I embarked on a personal food journey at the start of September last year that would see a swag full of new tastes and experiences never before travelled. The challenge: to attempt a new dish each week until the end of the year and subject them to judgement, humility, tears, joy, laughter, greatness. My side goal was to hold back delivering food poisoning to those dishing out sub par critiques 🙂
So how did the dishes fare? Let’s take a look.
I’m not going to lie: not all dishes were great. And for me, rarely will I hit the bullseye on the first attempt.
Each dish has been organised into the following three groups:
- Nice: definitely added to my recurring repertoire.
- Ok: they were ok, nothing wrong with them, just not something I’d make over and over, unless requested.
- Pfft: these dishes will be remembered and laughed at for years to come. A great conversation starter.
|Chocolate lava cake||✓||I prefer variety|
|Chicken and mushroom casserole||✓|
|Sizzling lamb koftas||✓|
|Prawn toasts||✓||Yummo but a bit greasy for a recurring dish|
|Prawn laksa||✓||I’d rather jump out of a plane than make this again|
|Crispy skinned lemon chicken||✓||It was ok, just nothing special|
|Lamb pie with potato crust||✓|
|Creamy mango jelly||✓||Avoid any recipe that calls for premade jelly|
|Chicken noodle soup||✓|
|Jamie Oliver’s Happy Cow Burgers||✓||Awesome (from a meatarian)!|
|Apple and date crumble||✓||Too sweet, won’t be trying that again…|
|Rocky road sundae||✓||Still prefer Hogs Breath’s version|
|Middle Eastern beef sausage rolls||✓|
From the above table, I’ve remade several of those high calibre dishes multiple times already. In fact, today I made the sausage rolls for the fourth time (it was doubly comforting on a wet and stormy weekend and so enjoyable knowing how much more healthier they are):
I didn’t write an article about the mango salsa only because I had forgotten to take some clear photos of it during Christmas but here’s one together with the ribs and roast spuds (after plating up my second serving… oops). I followed that up with some sticky date pudding which resulted in some peace and quiet as visitors got comfortable and fell into their comas.
I thought I’d throw in a picture of my beef burritos which made a showing on several occasions throughout the experiment. I normally add tomatos, capsicum, carrots, lettuce, cheese, hot salsa sauce and the secret ingridient: sliced gherkins to add a deliteful sweetness.
Through these experiences, I’ve shown others that it doesn’t take ninja level mastery in the kitchen to create nice (and edible) dishes. In the process, I have managed to inspire my 12 year old cousin to challenge himself and build a life skill so important. Did I mention that he is male too? Generally speaking, males in an Asian family aren’t subject to these sort of duties. If nothing else, I’m super happy that I had that sort of impact on another.