There has been a lot of talk and a lot is being written about gourmet food lately. While I have been trying to follow recipes from many celebrated chefs over the years, this is one department that has failed to form a clear picture in my mind.
Wikipedia defines Gourmet as, a cultural ideal associated with the culinary arts of fine food and drink, or haute cuisine, which is characterized by refined, even elaborate preparations and presentations of aesthetically balanced meals of several contrasting, often quite rich courses.
I have been playing around this definition in my head from a very long time. The reason being, while it highlights the exotic character of gourmet food, it actually gifts us the liberty to fit in any food preparation within this definition to certify it as gourmet.
While I was juggling this idea, my cousin visited us. She is an explorer at heart and has traveled far and wide to be deemed an expert at fine dining. However, there was a minor glitch. She can’t cook anything except instant noodles and heavily relies on takeaways.
Our conversation started on the lines of discussing fine dining in the countries I have been fortunate enough to have traveled. As our conversation slowly turned towards gourmet food and steered to my intention of trying those exotic recipes at home, my sister got up from the couch.
I was a bit startled to be honest (for I take immense pride in cooking up recipes by the best chefs in the world in my kitchen twisting them to suit the resources at hand and seldom failing). She was in no way ready to be convinced that gourmet food, cooked at home, can remotely taste as it does in an exquisite restaurant.
I was ready to take up the challenge, but there were two major roadblocks. One, I had no clue what should I cook and second, once I had an exciting recipe at hand, will I be able to find the needed ingredients.
What started with a cordial discussion over gourmet food ended up with me taking up a challenge where I was left panic stuck. That was when I decided to look for an online supermarket. It was amazing to note that all the fancy ingredients international chefs use are conveniently available online in India.
My sister agreed to help me choose her favorite ingredients. So the only onus on my shoulders was to cook up a meal that tasted at par if not better than what she has been eating at her favorite restaurants. In the heat of the moment, I agreed.
We ordered quite a few ingredients in our online grocery shopping spree. But now that the ingredients have landed on my kitchen bench, I am too confused what to cook with them. I am tired of browsing online, because I simply can’t find a convincing recipe yet.
This is the real reason for this post. I’d love to hear from you what simple yet lip-smacking recipes can be created using the ingredients below. They include a Thai Coriander paste, Jamie Oliver’s Italian Herb Pesto, Light Soy Sauce and Rice Vinegar (for Thai cooking).
I have a reputation to keep and yes, a challenge to win. Your recipe suggestions and links to recipes are most welcome.