Invention is the starting point to becoming a competent cook. Whether you replace coriander for parsley because you don't like coriander, or substitute chopped ham for prosciutto because it is easier to find, you are beginning to experiment. And that is what cooking is about.
My computer died a year ago and I lost all of my recipes. Meh!! There are a lot of recipes out there, and I know what flavour combinations I like. Thinking outside the square is the term, I guess.
The two recipes I have included below illustrate lateral culinary thinking. The first is a curry which is definitely not a curry, but just uses the warm flavours. The second is a spring roll which is certainly a new angle, and (I hope) will have you drooling.
WARMING CHICKEN CASSEROLE
2 tbsp olive oil
4 chicken thigh fillets, sliced
1 large onion. chopped
1 tsp ground corinder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp curry powder
1 440g tin Cream of Pumpkin soup
200ml coconut milk
Heat the oil and gently fry the coriander, cumin and curry until fragrant. Increase the heat and add the chicken and onion. Fry until the chicken is browned through and the onion is soft. In a seperate bowl, beat the soup and coconut milk together until there are no lumps. Add to the chicken and simmer the lot for 20 minutes. Serve with rice and crusty bread, or naan.
TROPICAL SPRING ROLLS
8 Spring Roll wrappers
2 cups coconut
1 440g tin crushed pineapple, drained (reserve 1/4 cup juice)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 395g tin condensed milk
coconut oil for frying
Mix all ingredients (except wrappers) together and refrigerate for 30 mins.Lay Spring Roll wrappers in a diamond shape and put approximately 1/2 cup (size of a sausage) into sausage shape across the bottom third. Roll and tuck into a spring roll shape. Seal the edges with a little egg white.
Heat coconut oil until smoky (a tiny piece of wrapper will sizzle immediately.) Cook rolls in batches for approx two minutes each side, or until golden. Drain and sprinkle with sugar.
Serve at room temperature.
Remember this - hot coconut oil smells like melting plastic. Ventilate well!!