Experiments In The Kitchen-Part 1

28 Sep

When you enter the kitchen do you enter with a cookbook? With a specific recipe in mind? I’m sure most of you answered yes. And most of the time I do the same. But every now and then I love to go into the kitchen without a real plan (and yes, my OCD does freak a little, but because I know I’m creating something new I’m able to push past the voice screaming in my head, lol). I usually have a few veggies in my fridge that I need to cook or they’ll go bad, so I come up with something that works, or doesn’t.

Tonight I got home early from work and I was planning on making some tortellini I had bought on my last grocery trip, but I knew I would need to make sauce for it. Lucky for me, my roommate Janelle had already been up to something in the kitchen. She still had some fresh kale and she wanted to do something with it before she went away for a week, so she decided to make a pasta sauce (not knowing I would be making pasta that night). Well she was worried that it didn’t turn out right. She chopped up kale and added onion, garlic (both powder and fresh), basil (finely chopped), can of tomato paste, can of diced tomatoes and a diced bell pepper for texture.

Okay, I’m not a fan of kale (ie, this may be the only time you see kale in quite a while), but I will try anything once. Janelle said it didn’t taste right, but she wanted a second opinion. I told her I would taste it when I got back from my run. The pot had been simmering on very low heat for over 20 minutes by the time I got back. I dipped a piece of olive bread in and was pleasantly surprised!  To be on the safe side since I can eat olive bread dipped in olive oil or with melted butter on it, I tried the sauce by itself. And you know what? It wasn’t half bad! It didn’t taste like kale, it tasted like a yummy pasta sauce. I poured it over my tortellinis and topped it with shredded Parmesan cheese and voila-dinner! I’m looking forward to seconds!

So I realize that not everyone knows exactly what kale is. And as someone who doesn’t eat it very often, I can only tell you it’s a form of cabbage. So what do I do? I Wikipedia it of course! It’s always been said that kale is one of those super foods, and you know what, they’re right. With over 700% of your daily dose of Vitamin K and half your Vitamin C needs and potentially anti-cancer properties, I think “super food” probably fits. Don’t be afraid to try new foods. I believe any food can be prepared to make it yummy (yummy is a technical cooking term), as evidenced by the many episodes of Chopped where they turn things like canned hagus and edible flowers into meals.

So next time you’re worried about veggies going bad but you’re not sure what to make, have some fun, be bold and start throwing stuff in a pot or pan and have some fun! I do recommend doing this only for yourself or a close friend the first time, just in case it doesn’t turn out the best, lol. I’d love to hear your experiments in the kitchen! Leave a comment below! And look for more “Experiments In The Kitchen” in future posts!

10 Responses to “Experiments In The Kitchen-Part 1”

  1. Jack Patino September 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    Good for you, cooking without a cookbook! I LOVE to do my cooking like that, experimenting with this and that. Let your inspiration lead the way. Oh, and congrats on the blog! Looking forward to reading of your expertise and new dishes 🙂

  2. actinglikeachef September 29, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    Thanks Jack! If you have suggestions of what you want to see just let me know!

    • Jack September 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

      Actually, I do. My landlady gave me a sage plant, and I LOVE the smell and flavor of it, but I have no idea how to cook with it (other than stuffing at Thanksgiving). Any suggestions?

      • actinglikeachef September 30, 2012 at 2:01 am #

        Sage goes great with fish! You can make a buerre blanc sauce (basically butter and white wine) and add sage to give it a stronger flavor. Pour over a white fish that you’ve broiled, baked, or pan fried. Squeeze a little bit of lemon over it too. I’ll add sage to my list of ingredients to cook with 🙂

        • The Old Curmudgeon September 29, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

          Get out your trusty cast iron fry pan, add some olive oil, crushed garlic, kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and fresh sage leaves. Cut small red potatoes inhalf (enough to cover the bottom of the pan) and place cut side down on top of the other stuff. Roast in a 450° oven for 30 to 40 minutes until done. Works well with fresh Rosemary, too.

  3. Allie September 30, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    Yummy is definitely an important cooking term, and that meal looks very yummy!

  4. actinglikeachef September 30, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    So glad you agree Allie 🙂 I only like to use legit cooking terms, lol

  5. blackstone griddle cover October 3, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    You actually make it appear really easy together
    with your presentation however I to find this matter
    to be really something which I believe I might never understand.

    It kind of feels too complicated and very vast for me. I’m looking forward to your next publish, I will attempt to get the dangle of it!


  1. Mushroom Cream Pasta Sauce « Acting Like A Chef - February 13, 2013

    […] since every recipe came from someone, somewhere experimenting in their own kitchen (remember the kale pasta sauce?) and it was yummy enough (very scientific term you know) to share with others. The story behind […]

  2. Braised Kale and Black Beans | Acting Like A Chef - July 17, 2013

    […] need to prepare it right. If you’ve been with me since the beginning you might remember the experimental pasta sauce my roommate made with kale. At first it was bitter, but after it had simmered for awhile it was […]

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