Getting Back In The Saddle

…or rather in the kitchen.

It wasn’t until I was about 18 years old that I started experimenting in the kitchen.  By experimenting I don’t mean trying to cook some exciting, frivolous stuff, I’m talking about experimenting with the basics.  I had never cooked before, basically because my mother didn’t encourage it at all.   My first cake was a bit too ambitious – the recipe was called rainbow buttercream cake.  It looked like a rainbow alright, but I had substituted the butter for margarine because that’s all I could find in the fridge, and no one told me you couldn’t.  Yuck!

After trying out recipes, I started experimenting with my own ideas.  Just throwing together food and spices I liked and see how it would turn out.

These days I sometimes wonder why and when my sense of adventure disappeared.  It’s not that I don’t like trying out new recipes, it’s that I can’t come up with any ideas of my own.  There are an awful lot of recipes out there, so it’s not as if one could get bored cooking those.  But just going into the kitchen, looking into the fridge and be inspired?  Not really.  Is it fear of failure?  Is it simply safer to cook according to someone else’s ideas?  Or is it because one of my basic traits seems to be laziness?

The other day at the supermarket I put some filo pastry and some goat’s cheese in my trolley.  I had no clear idea what I was going to do with it, but there at the back of my mind, I guess my sense of adventure was egging me on to do something I hadn’t done in a very long time.  Just buy whatever takes your fancy and see what will happen.  So – fear, safety, laziness?  Not anymore.  Today was the day I looked into the fridge and thought I should be doing something with that filo pastry.  So I did.

When getting out the filo pastry and the goat’s cheese, my eyes fell upon these little jars of curry paste.  Korma, Tikka Masala, and Vindaloo paste, to be exact.  Also some Cheddar and a red pepper.  Ah!  I was going to make samosa-style Indian vegetable filo parcels.  With cheese in them as well. Check freezer – onions, broccoli, cauliflower, and cream spinach.

The result was very good, I could hardly stop myself from eating all the filo parcels in one go.  Depending on the type of curry paste, these can be a bit hot.  In the case of the parcels that contained the Vindaloo paste, I dipped each forkful into crème légère.

Indian Style Filo Parcels

Heat the frozen vegetables in butter.  Grate the Cheddar and crumble the goat’s cheese with a fork.

Divide each filo sheet in 4, spread some curry paste on each piece, spoon vegetable mix over it, then sprinkle with cheese, either using one kind of cheese per parcel or combining them.  Fold the 4 corners of the filo pieces on top, and close the parcel any way you like or is possible.  I sort of just overlapped mine, then stuck my finger in the middle to keep them in place.  My first parcel started leaking when I  lifted it onto the baking tray, so  I used 2 pieces of filo on top of each other for the remaining parcels.

Spray top of parcels with cooking spray.  Bake at 170°C in a fan oven, second shelf from the bottom, for 25 minutes.

Enjoy!

It wasn’t until I was about 18 years old that I started experimenting in the kitchen.  By experimenting I don’t mean trying to cook some exciting, frivolous stuff, I’m talking about experimenting with the basics.  I had never cooked before, basically because my mother didn’t encourage it at all.   My first cake was a bit too ambitious – the recipe was called rainbow butter cream cake.  It looked like a rainbow alright, but I had substituted the butter for margarine because that’s all I could find in the fridge, and no one told me you couldn’t. Yuck!

After trying out recipes, I started experimenting with my own ideas.  Just throwing together food and spices I liked and see how it would come out.

These days I sometimes wonder why and when my sense of adventure disappeared.  It’s not that I don’t like trying out new recipes, it’s that I can’t come up with any ideas of my own.  There are an awful lot of recipes out there, so it’s not as if one could get bored cooking those.  But just going into the kitchen, looking into the fridge and be inspired?  Not really.  Is it fear of failure?  Is it simply safer to cook according to someone else’s ideas?  Or is it because one of my basic traits seems to be laziness?

The other day at the supermarket I put some filo pastry and some goat’s cheese in my trolley.  I had no clear idea what I was going to do with it, but there at the back of my mind, I guess my sense of adventure was egging me on to do something I hadn’t done in a very long time.  Just buy whatever takes your fancy and see what will happen.  So – fear, safety, laziness?  Not anymore.  Today was the day I looked into the fridge and thought I should be doing something with that filo pastry.  So I did.

When getting out the filo pastry and the goat’s cheese, my eyes fell upon these little jars of curry paste.  Korma, Tikka Masala, and Vindaloo paste, to be exact.  Also some Cheddar and a red pepper.  Ah!  I was going to make samosa-style Indian vegetable filo parcels.  With cheese in them as well. Check freezer – onions, broccoli, cauliflower, and cream spinach.

The result was very good, I could hardly stop myself from eating all the filo parcels in one go.  Depending on the type of curry paste, these can be a bit hot.  In the case of the parcels that contained the Vindaloo paste, I dipped each forkful into crème legère.

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