Yay, we made it to Friday! Give yourselves a round of applause! I was thinking about what today’s post was going to be about since this weekend is going to be super busy for me and I won’t be able to share my thoughts for a few days and then I reflected on THE most common statement/question I hear about cooking. I believe this one thing is THE biggest setback for most people to get over and rock it in the kitchen and it goes something like this: I don’t know what ingredients go together! I don’t know how to cook Indian food, I don’t know what food goes into Indian food.
Have no fear!! If this is your biggest fear and hold up, I have found something for you. So as I had mentioned before, a lot of gaining your confidence in the kitchen and cooking is reading. Read, read, read!!!! I’m going to put in another plug for The Flavor Bible, you NEED to have this book in your kitchen. Now we don’t have to get study groups together about ingredients and have regional cooking text books strewn about the house; if you find a new food from a new region that you like, READ about it!
About a year ago, I was scrolling through Facebook and found this graphic that I thought was the most genius compilation of ingredients that pretty much helps sum up which ingredients are in what cuisines. It’s super simple to follow and hopefully inspires you to throw out the lemon pepper seasoning that I know somebody here has in their cupboard! I present to you these (here is the article online if you wanted to read the history behind the charts):
So as you can see, cooking really isn’t complex! It’s super straight forward and simple. Now of course there is more to Mexican cooking than chilies, tomatoes, and limes but it is a great starting point. I believe that these charts give you a starting point to make Mexican inspired dishes or whichever cuisines you want to make.
When I found these charts, I just thought “everyone needs to see these!” I was so happy that someone or a group of people had put together this comprehensive graphic. Now I encourage you guys to use these charts as a guide in your cooking but you also need to do research (more reading and even eating! R&D baby!) on different cuisines for staple dishes and seeing what makes up all of these regional cuisines. Just because France may just have wine, butter and basil in their chart, France is surrounded by different countries so Southern French dishes are going to be much different than Eastern French because the south will have a Mediterranean influence whereas eastern will be more influenced by Germany and Switzerland. It’s very much like here in the States, southern cooking is very different from New England and those are all different from the Pacific Northwest… And Hawaii is a whole different story on its own (love love LOVE Hawaiian food).
If there is anyone reading this that was hesitant before about cooking and branching out, I hope that these charts help you start building foundations for other types of dishes! I will admit that some of my go to dinners include pasta, veggies and some canned tomatoes and there is nothing wrong with that but let’s all make a resolve to try something different! My challenge for you guys is to buy one different food or ingredient and make dinner with it! I want to hear about your creations. Happy cooking everyone!