Breaking The Rules
Have you ever noticed how engrained certain culinary notions are?
Ideas about the right way to prepare a certain ingredient run deep, forcing us to dismiss a recipe outright, possibly fuelled by the imagined notion of how terrible the dish may be.
I used to be like that with lettuce soup, or as Ricardo likes to call it, Potage Choisy (french recipe only). Then I made said soup, and promptly ate my words.
Fish sauce was another ingredient that I refused to use. The pungent aroma is to be used sparingly, to be sure, but it can quite literally transform a dish so that it is more well-rounded on the palate.
And while I don't suggest you go out and buy fish sauce, I do think that there is an opportunity to make something totally different, and equally delectable, to break those ingredient biases.
Just the other day I was reminded that, as a distant relative to the tomato, ground cherries can be a sweet addition to a savoury dish. One of my favourites is a fresh ground cherry salsa, which would pair beautifully with tomatoes, peppers, and the ancho hot pepper you will receive again next week.
I've also heard of eating it as part of a hearty salad with a healthy, ancient grain like farro in the mix.
So while we can take the savoury route with ground cherries, we can also take the sweet route with tomatoes, which are a fruit, after all.
This Tomato Cake with Tomato Glaze is sure to please, especially if you let your guest take the first bite before revealing the secret ingredient (further erasing the above-mentioned bias). For my vegan friends out there, I have heard good things about these Tomato Cupcakes with Balsamic frosting.
My all-time favourite twist of ingredients, however, has to be the Chocolate Beet Cake I made for our little M's first birthday last November. I swapped the sugar for a little over a cup of honey and not only was it enjoyed by the adult folk in the group, but it passed the test on a 1 year old and 4 year old with flying colours!
Breaking the rules has never tasted so good.