I have been cooking for a few years now, and I have a small repertoire of things that I can cook decently. Most of them are simple, such as pasta, chicken fried rice, or grilled fish, but I do try to experiment and branch out, too. I am a really big fan of spices, and so I am always trying to discover new spices and new combinations for old ones, too. One of my favorite things to do is to try a very plain fish, baked with different spice combinations. This allows me to test out new ideas, and was how I discovered that curry and chipolte chili powder go together well (try it if you don’t believe me).
On a different note, every since I haved moved into this apartment, I have been watching the Food Network a lot. I don’t watch the “how to cook” shows very much, I prefer the cooking competitions or events (Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Dinner Impossible, Iron Chef America, etc.) more. I think I enjoy it because it shows the amazing talents of the cooks. Take Tony Hawk for example. Sure, it’s fun for him to do a show on how to skateboard, how to do basic things, and such, but it’s much more fun to watch him do the amazing stuff that most people could never even hope to do. That’s how I feel about the cooking shows. It’s fun to watch the learning how to cook shows sometimes, but I would rather watch them do amazing things that I could never cook. (I think this may be part of the reason that the expressions lessons and advanced lessons are more popular than the regular and intermediate lessons, as another example)
The reason I mention these two things together is the following. Quite often on the cooking shows I watch, they use a spice called cumin. I am not familiar with it, and I see different chefs use it all the time, for a variety of things. So, last night, while I was at the store, I decided to buy some cumin, so I could attempt to cook something with it. When I got home, I opened it, and smelled it. The smell was incredibly strong, and definitely nothing like I have ever used. And because of that, I have no idea what to use it with. Based purely on the smell, I think it might go well with curry or maybe paprika, but I really have no idea. So…any suggestions? I know some of you have to be cooks!