I never really like following recipes, but I do love reading them. I mean what’s not to like about opening up a magazine, cookbook, or what-have-you, and perusing to see what someone, somewhere (out there), has published as the best way to prepare blueberries on a summer’s eve?
I guess there are a bunch of things not to love about it. Where’s the adventure? Where’s the learning from failure? Well hush up kids, let’s just take recipes as sources of inspiration for new flavor sensations!
And that’s how I ultimately look at recipes. I look for different combinations of flavors that are smashed together over a bed of mixed greens or couscous of good ol’ pasta. I like seeing how lemon really brings out the flavors in blueberries or how onion and garlic are almost always clumped together in the bottom of a pan sizzling with oil and salt.
Because of this love for exploration and discovery, I normally spend a few hours a week looking at cooking magazines. Nothing special. Bon Appetite, Savour, Cook’s Illustrated, Vegetarian Times. Never paying for them. I’ve found if you just linger by the magazine aisle in the grocery store or sit down with a glass of water in book store, you normally can get all you want out of a food magazine: new flavor explosions!
What I took two days ago was an idea to use figs and sausage. Probably nothing new, but new to me. So, equipped with a bunch of CSA produce recently returned to the home front, I set off to the grocery store with a list of ingredients without quantities. For this meal, I only had to buy blueberries, crème fraiche, and dried figs. Everything else: from the garden.
So madam and monsieur, sit ye down to my summer pastiche. Translation: Girls and Boys, gather round this table for a smattering of fresh tasting things.
First off: Mixed Bean Salad with Honey Vinaigrette over Mixed Greens
Then to: Pan Seared Sausage sautéed with onion, garlic, salt, olive oil, mint, and dried figs served over Mixed Greens.
Finally, stuff me silly: Blueberry cobbler with biscuit tops.
That’s right folks, it’s gourmet. And you’d also be right to say it was a cheap endeavor: 15 dollars for the three course meal for three. And one more time, yes! This was the first time I cooked meat, successfully, not on a grill. Hallaluj.