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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Show and Tell: Intuitive Cooking

If I've learned anything from writing this blog is that if I'm going to do a post on food it must have a recipe AND a photo. To do one but not the other is to invite threats of being strung up. Hey, I hear you, I'm listening. Honest!

So, I have more food po.rn .(Are you excited yet?)

Lately, I've been thinking about food and how I cook. In my very humble opinion, the reason most people don't cook is fear. They're scared of screwing up and looking foolish. Why the fear? After all, it's just food! It can't bite you back. Really...

I love cooking, that's no secret. I come from a family of cooks. My father and brother cook for a living and my Mom learned from her Mom, who was a great cook. If I couldn't hold my own in the kitchen, I jokingly tell people that I'd be disowned. I sometimes think it's not so much of a joke.

When I'm in the kitchen, I like to play. Mostly, I take very simple recipes and change them up. Throw in this, and then a little of that. Taste. Repeat. I stop when I feel like it's done.  I add ingredients without always knowing what will happen. So while, I enjoy trying new recipes as much as the next kitchen goddess, sometimes it's much more fun to simply toss out the cookbook and play.

Last week, we had salmon on the menu. We had a package of wild spring salmon in the freezer. I pulled out a couple of fillets to thaw. I also had bought a beautiful large eggplant; it's shiny dark purple skin inviting adventure.

But I had no idea what the hell to do with it.

So I turned to Google. And even though there were lots of recipes involving salmon and eggplant, I either didn't have the ingredients or it took too long. When you care for a baby, time is of the essence.

So I did what I usually do in this situation... I made it up as I went along.

So here is my lovely creation, complete with a name and a recipe. However, if you were hoping for a full ingrediant list and a full play by play, I shall have to disappoint you. Go ahead and try something new, play, be intuitive about your food. You know what you like. Use only my ingredients, use none of them, or even a mix with your own twist- I'll never know. Don't be afraid of making a mess of it, because even if you do, there's always another day to try again.

Lindsay's Italian Eggplant Baked Salmon

Chopped onion
Minced garlic
Chopped eggplant
Fire roasted peppers, chopped (I happened to have these in my pantry, but you could easily use fresh peppers and toss them in wiht the onion etc)
Black Olives
Canned plain tomatoe sauce (or you can even use fresh chopped tomatoes and cook them down a little)
Salt, pepper, oregano
Salmon Fillets

Fresh grated parmesan cheese

In a saucepan, cook the onion, garlic and eggplant. Add peppers, olives, tomatoe sauce and seasoning. Remove from heat. Place the salmon in a baking dish and cover with sauce. Generously sprinkle cheese over the top and toss in a hot oven. Cook until the slamon flakes easily (about 30 minutes at 350 degrees F).

Serve with whatever you like for sides. We had slices of whole grain baguette to soak up all the lovely sauce. Salad is nice too.

Food is only good for you if you enjoy it.

Now pop over to Mel's and see what the rest of the class is cooking. AND just a reminder to those participating in my Photo Challenge that the post goes up on FRIDAY.


WiseGuy said...

This is going to be a redundant opinion....but here it is:

It looks fab and is very mouth-watering to look at!

Is eggplant=brinjals???

pandabox33 said...

Creative !

kmina said...

My mouth is watering. But since I have a temporary dislike for meat (including fish), I think I will try your sauce recipe just like that. Sounds divine!
Thanks for sharing. ;-)

Kristin said...

Yay, someone else who experiments in the kitchen! It looks divine.

areyoukiddingme said...

I have to follow a recipe first, to get the feel of it, and then I experiment with what might work better. But then, I'm a chemist at heart and we like our formulas...

It looks delicious, but I'm not a fan of salmon, and the only eggplant I'll eat is the one my MIL is frying!

Jen said...

that looks incredibly delicous, and I would so make that if my kids weren't picky about fish

Saige said...

Oh my goodness you are creative in the kitchen! I used to be afraid of cooking because everything I made tasted like cardboard. When I married DH, he taught me how to cook, and now I love it. I make the awesomest, most tasteful dishes ever.

I hope your meal turned out as tasty as it looks. :)

Lavender Luz said...

I love the idea of intuitive cooking. And your dish looks mouthwatering!

Parenthood For Me said...

I am SO scared of cooking

MrsSpock said...

That actually looks really good- if only I wasn't allergic!

JamieD said...

THAT is what I want! Not salmon and eggplant necessarily (though it looks delish!) but the skill and imagination to take what I have in my cabinets and see what I can make of it. That is a talent in and of itself!

Quiet Dreams said...

Looks so delicious!