So 2 months of actively posting and almost 80 recipes later, it suddenly struck me (like a clean sliding glass door), that at this rate, I may someday run out of original recipes to post. My goal has always been to post at least 1 recipe a day, but with work being as crazy as it is and my list of ideas dwindling, I started to wonder if this was realistic.
Then I thought about what I did when I hit a cooking rut before I started this blog. This list quickly came together and I thought I'd share it with all of you for that day when you just can't figure out what you feel like making.
1. Rummage through pantry/fridge
This almost always works. I'm one of those people that just buys the most random shit, often because it's something I've never cooked with. Given the microscopic dimensions of my kitchen and "European" fridge, it's required that I go through and cull the contents of my fridge and pantry on a regular basis. I'm not the most organized person in the world, so digging through the pantry is like a veritable treasure hunt of surprises which inevitably leads to a train of thought that goes something like this: "That tamarind paste would go nicely with the rice stick noodles... Ohh and I have prawns in the fridge.... shit! where did this mint come from?..."
2. Wander around a food market
When I have time (and money), I like to hit up local food stalls such as the ones at the farmers market (the little one at Tompkins Square, not the massive cluster f*ck at Union Square) and the Essex Public Market in the Lower Eastside. Although I've been around the block when it comes to food, I'm still a virgin to many ingredients I find at these joints. There's also the encounters with old-flamea that I tired of long ago. Seeing them so fresh, tender and green really reinvigorates the lust in me to get to know it them over again.
3. Troll food blogs
As much as I love checking out all the amazing things the food community comes up with, I try not to get more than a rough idea from other blogger's posts like I did with this Hamachi Carpaccio that was inspired by a Panna Cotta.
4. Pull out cookbooks
This really has to be reserved for weekends as I can spend hours flipping through and looking at pictures of tasty things. But that's usually all I look at... the pictures. As the name of this blog implies, I'm your typical guy's-guy that doesn't ask directions, rarely reads the manual before operating heavy machinery and almost never follows recipes
5. Eat out
While this can be incredibly inspirational, I try to keep this to a minimum as it's too easy to rack up a few grand in debt eating out in NY and there's nothing that kills the mood to cook like getting a $20,000 credit card bill (yes this actually happened to me when I first moved here). Now I try to keep it to one dinner a week at smaller (read: cheaper) more innovative (not another steak tartare rehashed with Asian ingredients) restaurants. Perilla is a great example, using fresh local ingredients to fill out a small, innovative menu that isn't about to go 12 rounds with my wallet.
So that's it for me. Now tell us how you get inspired in the kitchen? Share your comments below:-)