Unique (and awesome) ingredients you need to try

It’s time to get experimental with your cooking.

Create some bold, intriguing dishes with truly unique ingredients. You’re sure to have fun tasting something new and you’ll impress friends and family with your culinary knowledge.

Here are some basic tips to follow, straight from the source of experimental chefs, before you go all-scientist mode in your kitchen.

  1. The first and foremost thing that you need to have is the will to try out new stuff. If you are too scared of what the dish might turn out to be or worried that you are wasting time, money, and energy, then experimental cooking is not your forte.
  2. Ensure you use good cooking utensils and proper equipments. For example, if you have decided to bake but you do not have an oven, then the dish is scrapped of even before it enters the processing stage.
  3. Use good and fresh ingredients. Try out ingredients that you have never experimented with before.
  4. Do a bit of research on the ingredients you have chosen. For example, if the ingredient itself is naturally sweet, if it requires a high cooking time, if it lets too much water while being cooked, etc…
  5. Learn the technique of cooking with every new item. This will save you time and effort.
  6. Always go for the simplest of recipes to know what you are dealing with. You can later progress to recipes that are more complicated.
  7. Initially, cook in small portions. Therefore, even if the dish does not taste as expected, you would not mind throwing out a small portion, rather than discarding the entire lump.

Here are my top three unique ingredients.

1. Romanesco Broccoli

Half broccoli, half cauliflower, and all awesome. The Romanesco broccoli, often called fractal broccoli, is an example of an approximate fractal in nature. Its eye-catching appearance helps you create dynamic dishes with a creamy, nutty flavor.

Cooking tip: Try Romanesco broccoli with brown butter and shallots.

2. Kohlrabi

A vegetable like no other, Kohlrabi has a strange appearance, yet is from the same family as the wild cabbage plant. You can eat every part of the Kohlrabi plant, including the leaves, which have a similar taste to collards or kale.

Cooking tip: Roast Kohlrabi with garlic and Parmesan cheese.

3. Star Anise

Star anise is an anise-like spice that infuses dishes with a licorice flavor. The unique star shape gives this spice a look all its own. It can be used in cooking, baking, and even drinks. That bottle of Galliano you have in your liquor cabinet contains star anise.

Cooking tip: Use star anise when you make your own cocktail cherries!

Have you tried out a new, unique ingredient lately? Leave me a comment and let me know how it turned out for you.