Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Accidental Cook

I'm on a Thai and Vietnamese food kick these days. The flavors are incredible -- this mix of sweet, hot, and fresh -- tantalizes the taste buds. I was sure that I wouldn't be able to find the proper ingredients (Thai basil leaves, kafir lime leaves, harissa) but our Asian neighborhood has a Thai/Vietnamese store that has everything we needed. There are these mixes of flavors I never thought to eat: salmon and pineapple, potato and coconut milk. Yet, they work incredibly well.

I have not always had an interest in cooking. In fact, I pretty much despised it. Now I discover that, if you're passionate about the food, you'll want to try to cook it.
The recipes don't need to be long and complicated. Stylish Thai in Minutes has incredible recipes that takes around 30 minutes to make, and ordinary ingredients can be substituted if you don't have access to an Asian market. Of course, you have to like exotic flavors such as curries and hot peppers. Vietnamese cuisine is less spicy and more involved, but works with fresh ingredients and herbs that just explode on your tastebuds.

If you're not ready for that kind of cuisine but are curious about cooking in general, I recommend The Science of Cooking a website that talks about the basics of cooking, gives recipes, games you can play with the kids, as well as quizzes and access to cooks for specific questions.

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