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5 Tips on How to be Innovative & Creative in the Kitchen

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Mix the unmixable.

Being creative in the kitchen, means to be bold. Don’t be afraid to put together the ingredients that you never mixed before. Try the following ideas in your kitchen:

  • Cook seafood with pork. It’s been proven that shrimps and other shell fish go fantastic with pork belly, so cook a seafood-pork stew with fennel and potatoes.
  • Mix together vegetables, fruits and grain. One of my favourite recipes is bulgur wheat with dried apricots and zucchini. Another one is tasty snack with rice, figs and eggplant. Try delicious salad with red kidney beans, prunes and spinach.
  • Serve soft cheese on corn chips, or vegetable skin. Try to melt camembert cheese on tomato slices or mix Roquefort cheese with shredded walnuts and grapes and serve it on the crackers.
  • Go for delicacies that you never tried before and prepare them with the original twist. For example, red or black caviar is usually served on toast with butter or cream cheese. Why don’t you serve caviar in the pasta shells with a touch of sour cream? Make frog’s legs stew, baked snails in a spicy tomato sauce or foie gras toast with sweet fennel jelly.
  • Use your imagination and innovative cooking methods

If you want to be a progressive and unconventional cook, think outside the box. There are many ways how you can express your creativity in cooking:

  • Perhaps you should try an original recipe for marinade? I always marinade lamb. Spices, onions and white wine make it tender and bring out the natural flavours of the meat. I marinate quail in a sweet teriyaki sauce and use lemon, garlic and fresh rosemary to marinate sea bream. If you want to make your dish with oriental flavours, use soya sauce, sake, dry basil leaves and garlic.
  • Use unusual appliances for your cooking. For example, you can bake a soup in the loaf of bread or prepare zucchini cakes in a waffle maker, or bake seafood pies in the muffin shells. Make unforgettable ‘magic bread’ by stuffing the baguette with turkey or ham, spicy tomato salsa, cheese and marinated vegies.
  • Wrap your food and make layers. Use ham, dough or vegetables to wrap your dishes. One of my favourite is asparagus with marinated bell peppers and arugula salad wrapped in thinly sliced turkey. Or make salad with layers. For example, cut into small pieces: potatoes, eggs, your choice of meat, boiled carrots and place them in a casserole dish in thin layers. Use creamy mayo dressing between the layers and refrigerate it for 1 hour before serving. When you cut it into slices like a cake, the layers will make the salad look innovative and yummy.
  • Don’t be afraid to use alcohol in your food preparation. I use beer when I cook sauerkraut and pork. I add red wine in the beef stew and I like the pan fried steak with a drizzle of a cognac. Add tequila into the chicken casserole; try white wine in your tomato sauce.
  • Get state of the art kitchen gadgets. For example, Foodpot by Fusion Brands is the silicone bag that makes your life easier when you boil or steam foods. The bag helps to keep the water if needed and helps to get the steamed food quick and easy.

Make it colourful

Distinguish your dish through interesting palette of colours and contrasts on the plate. Make brown rice; serve your dish with colourful olives, or multi-colour pasta, use bright yellow saffron sauce, or green avocado salsa. Cook black ink risotto and serve it with buffalo mozzarella on top.

Spice it up

Don’t be afraid to use herbs, spices, plants and flowers to spice up your food. Herbs are great substitute for salt; they are full of nutrients and they can make your dish flavourful, rich and appetizing. I cannot cook without oregano, basil, parsley and estragon. You can easily find fresh herbs year round at the market or a grocery store. Fresh rosemary, coriander, mint and chilli peppers will make your meal savoury and piquant.

Present your meal in style

  • Home cooked meal could be more pleasant and enjoyable if it’s served in attractive tableware. I believe that proper table setting could provide an opportunity to express artistic personality, create the ambience of comfort and promote best manners. Needless to say, nice setting boosts your appetite and makes meals more delicious.
  • Serving dishes in fine china is an extraordinary experience. Treat yourself to a touch of luxury by using Villeroy & Boch dinnerware. Villeroy & Boch is a leading manufacturer of ceramics and tableware in Europe. I like this brand for its dedication to tradition, innovative design, top-quality and diverse design. Dinnerware by Villeroy & Boch is also one of my favourites because it has a perfect balance between quality and price. This china maker has a collection for every occasion.
  • If you prefer edgy look, and you could describe yourself as urban and futuristic, I would recommend Villeroy & Boch’s metropolitan style collections such as New Wave and Flow. That also means that dishes that you serve should have a modern presentation. I think classic meat loaf would look out of place in this particular tableware. Therefore, classic collection Anmut is a perfect choice for many occasions and meal variations. Farm House Touch Collection is best suited for families who want to highlight the warmth and hospitality of their ranch, country cottage or beach house.
  • Don’t fancy expensive china? Use vegetable skins or shellfish shells to serve your meal. It will make your dish original and creative.

But most importantly make sure you put lots of love and passion into your cooking. Bon appetite!

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This article was written on 12 Sep 2013.

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