The missing ingredient

I don’t know about you guys, but I honestly find it very difficult to find cooking inspiration when coming home after a hard day of work …

The best source of inspiration and creativity is of course using cookbooks or magazines…  But everything has to go quick since you are hungry and just want one thing, quick food 🙂 But lots of times you encounter another problem when you finally found a recipe… You don’t have all the ingredients that are required to make it L I know I’ve encountered this already lots of times in the past …

What happens then, is I start using my imagination of what things I could replace with ingredients I do have at home and hunger is the best sauce to make you cook faster 🙂 These usually give me the best tasting dishes.

Let me give you an example, a few days ago I had bought a celeriac (knolselder) and needed to find a recipe, as I didn’t want to make a puree or a soup with it… So I found this really nice recipe in Weekend Knack special (Belgian Magazine) “cod with celeriac chips and choron sauce”. But problem n°1, I didn’t have the cod, but I did have was Pangasius… so I figured I’ll just use that.  In the original recipe for the Choron (Béarnaise with tomato), it said that I had to use fresh tomatoes… same story, so I replaced it by tomato purée  (which worked just fine).

So the Knack Weekend recipe à la Spinelli looked like this 🙂

Not bad for some made in max 30 minutes…

For the celeriac chips, you just cut the celeriac (after peeling it) like you would cut fries… put it in a mixing bowl, add some curry powder, salt, pepper and some olive oil. Heat a regular pan or you can also use a chip pan 🙂 throw them in and bake them as you would with French fries.

For the fish, you take any fish you want (sole, salmon, cod, etc…) it really doesn’t matter as this dish can go with everything. You can bake it in a pan, poach it or which way you would prefer for preparing the fish.

For the Sauce. Take 3 eggs (always 1 for the pot + 1 per person, so in this case it was for 2 persons) fill one of the broken eggshells and fill it with white wine (do this 3 times as you used 3 eggs) . Melt 250g of butter… I know it is a lot, normally  you won’t use it all. This depends of how thick you want your sauce to be (as the butter will thicken it). Put the stove on medium heat. Start whisking the eggs by forming an 8 (more or less) . You will see that the sauce starts binding, you know when it is ready, because than you will see that the whisk shape will stay longer in the pot…. Take of the heat and gently add the melted butter (not all at once, little bits at a time). You will see that the sauce will start thicken. When you think it is good enough for you, you add tarragon, salt, pepper, tomato purée and if you want some paprika powder… And voila your dish is ready.

Moral of this story, try to be creative in the kitchen… Don’t worry if there is an ingredient missing, I’m sure you will have something in your fridge or  closets you can use…. And no recipe police will arrest you 🙂

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