Every once in a while I get to thinking about the trends in the food that I have been eating. Recently there hasn't been a main theme, but for awhile soups were getting made a couple times a week, there have also been spans of eating alot of pork, apple dishes, mustard, and cooking with beer. So yesterday I thought about what ingredients or cooking methods interest me and I decided on three ingredients that may be the focus of my new culinary experiences.
First off are beets. My first experiences with beets are from the younger years of my childhood when my mom would cook pickled beets as a side dish. Besides the very cool color there wasn't much to like about them, they smelt horrible when cooking because of the vinegar and they didn't taste that good either (I seem to be very picky about what things I like pickled, some I love some I can't stand). However now that I am older I have thought about it and have realized that I have never actually had un-pickled beets. So beets are the first thing on my list of cooking focus.
The second thing that I have been thinking about is liquid smoke. The reason I started to ponder it was because I was thinking about the "next big food" which, incase you missed it, is currently bacon. I thought that maybe cooking with smoke flavor would be a natural extension of the bacon craze. Specifically I was thinking that having a wide selection of types of liquid smoke, each from a different type of wood would be huge. So I did some research and found out that liquid smoke is actually condensed smoke, and not just a chemical concoction (plus one point for that) and there is already is at least a couple kinds of liquid smoke already made. So the last time we were at the food store I picked up a bottle but I have not cooked with it, although I have alreday picked out my first target recipe.
The last ingredient that I will try to use more of is horseradish. It seems like every three years or so I get a carving for horseradish, and yesterday when I was thinking about new foods I stumbled upon a website about horseradish. I generally don't like this type of ingredient; radishes taste like spicy dirt, wasabi is ok at best, and I get tired of ginger (which to me tastes about the same to me) real quickly. However a good horseradish sauce made with cream for meat, or horseradish and lemon potatoes sounds really good, so I will take a look to see what other uses there are for horseradish.
One other idea that I have seen tossed around that I will look into trying is to use tea leaves to cook with, I don't know how exactly that works out, but it sounds interesting. Does anyone else have new dining horizons ahead? I would like to hear about them.
p.s. While scouring the internets for pics I found a recipe for beet chips with horseradish dip, I might have to try that.