A friend asked how I create meals on the spur of the moment with a limited pantry. It's a good question, one I've considered at length.
- Read lots of cookbooks, cover to cover.
- Get comfortable with basic techniques and recipes: risottos, soups, omelets, boiling water...
- Pay attention to classic flavor combinations. This is the surest way to ensure success when experimenting. Tomato and basil, pork and apple, and garlic and parsley to just scratch the surface. I'd love to hear readers' favorite combos.
- Most importantly, you can't be too hard on yourself, because ultimately it's a hit or miss endeavor. You'll get better at the techniques and flavors, but only if you get started in the first place. Here's a tip: never combine fig and blue cheese on top of pasta. Don't know what I was thinking that night!