Color and Texture Extravaganza!

10 Apr

Color and Texture Galore!

Just look at the colors and textures of this meal!  Aren’t they wonderful?  Meals begin with a vision and perhaps a “craving” for a certain taste or texture.  Then comes the decision about cooking at home or going out.  Next comes the amazing aroma’s and the feast for they eyes!  Dive in!

I love  food.  I have tried cooking all sorts of ethnic food, but not with 100% success.  So I took some cooking classes.  Having limited exposure to Asian food in my midwestern upbringing, I was not familiar with all of the flavors, spices and proteins of Asian food.  But I have always loved to cook, so I decided to stretch my culinary muscles by taking an Asian cooking class.

Asian fare is a big departure for me to try to prepare at home.  I grew up with my sole experience in asian cuisine being from a suburban Chicago eatery, Chins Chop Suey.  Sure I ventured out in Chins menu selections…sometimes I had Beef Chow Mein and sometimes I had Chicken Chow Mein. Yes, I was living on the edge with my variety!   But let me say that I just loved Chins.  When mom pulled out the Chins menu (did we really need to look at it every time we ordered from Chins?  What a crack up!) we knew we were in for a huge treat!  So clearly I am no culinary expert when it comes to asian food and cooking techniques.  Even now, despite my Asian cooking class, I still can’t really do it.  I know my limitations, so when I am craving Asian food, I go out!

Can you blame me?  First, I take full advantage of 1/2 price sushi night at my favorite Asian hangout.  Second, we all need to treat ourselves to having someone take care of us for a change.  And third, someone else does the dishes!  There is no downside in heading out for good asian food.  The textures and flavors of asian food are unlike what I usually have at home.  I mean, did you see that picture at the top of the blog?  YUM!

What is really great about all food, though, is the variety of colors and textures to play with.  I always try to consider that regardless of what type of food I am ordering or preparing.  Who wants a plate of a baked chicken breast, rice, and cauliflower put in front of them?  BORING!  Texture and color come into play when preparing food every bit as much as taste in my opinion.  It makes the food more appealing, more interesting, and overall more enjoyable.  So if I am preparing seared blackened scollops, for example, I want to juxtapose the crusty seared fish with something soft.  I would probably go along the lines of some savory sweet potatoes.  I might finish with a good pop of color, like some fresh blanched haricots vert (french green beans).  Texture is one of the reasons good crusty peasant bread accompanies soft pasta so well.  So let the artist in you bloom.  Let the variety of colors and textures inspire your next meal!

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