Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cooking with Flavors from Faraway...

One possible problem about cooking with a restricted diet is, well....boredom. I cook everyday for my husband & myself and even though I am a pretty good cook with a lot of inspiration and creativity (note that I like cooking from scratch), there are times when I don't know what to cook or am just plain not inspired to cook.

I have a pretty extensive collection of gluten free, paleo, SCD/GAPS, hypo-allergenic...etc cookbooks (that I use for inspiration and/or with a little bit of tweaking), some of which I like & use more often than others, but sometimes you need something else...Something comfy, something that brings you back to your roots, something that brings an instant smile to your face.

My father was born in Tunisia so I grew up with the exotic flavors of orange blossom & rose waters, dates, harissa, merguez & couscous...So naturally, when I started cooking I incorporated all sorts of herbs & spices into my dishes.

Now that I'm used to soak, ferment, infuse & (slow) cook nutrient-dense foods I feel the need to reincorporate these flavors of my childhood. I love stews for example, because everything is always cooked to perfection: meat is tender, flavors are fully developed...A few days ago, I made a Moroccan tagine (which is technically a stew) for the first time: grass fed lamb, onions, prunes, cinnamon & almonds. At first I was worried that the cinnamon would be too sweet & overpowering but not at all. It tasted different than what I was used to and my taste buds were nicely surprised. I also felt like I went somewhat back in time since I know that combinations of meat/poultry/fish, vegetables, fruits (fresh or dried), nuts & spices/herbs were used in medieval cooking ;).

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