New Ingredients...

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I've been inspired lately to try ingredients I have never cooked with before or ingredients I didn't like as a child that I am "revisiting"... Here are some of the ingredients I REALLY want to cook with!!! And.... My pomegranate disaster... hehehe
I LOVE pomegranates but haven't been eating them because I always seem to make a mess. They are in season right now and I have been seeing them everywhere so I thought I would give them another go...
Aaaannnndddd I pulled an Andrea and made a huge mess when one of the halves splatted on the floor
But alas... I DID IT! The best method I have found is to cut the pomegranate in half like a grapefruit and then bang seeds into a bowl, seed side down. It worked pretty slick actually!
Leeks! Leeks are so good for you and add dimension to soups, stews and as a side dish. Whenever I tell people I haven't cooked with leeks they look at me like I'm an alien... I do love the flavor so I am looking forward to trying!
Fennel! Normally the white bulb is used for salads, salsas, roasted vegetables etc but the fennel fronds are also used for fragrance in fish dishes, pasta, and roasts.
SqUiD. I really want to make homemade calamari or a squid dish
Speaking of squid... Squid ink! Squid ink has basically no flavor but turns whatever you add it to black so it is occasionally added to homemade pastas, risotto or sauces. Now don't think I'm nuts here.. Have you seen Iron Chef?! They use it sometimes!
Squid ink risotto. Told ya so!
Endive! Endive is such a pretty vegetable that is most commonly used as an appetizer base like a little scoop for a salsa or something along those lines or in salads.
Escargot! Yep- snails... Delicious, buttery, garlicy SNAILS! They don't even taste like snails. They taste like... a mussel or something.. and I like them best in a mushroom cap with lots of butter and garlic. NUM! M & M Meats actually has a great escargot I have tried once or twice.
FROG LEGS! Yep! I said it.. Don't judge- if you have never had frog legs you don't understand. THEY ARE SO GOOD! Frogs are my favorite animals believe it or not... I have tons of frog memorabilia around my house. Frog legs on the other hand taste like really tender, flaky chicken. They are delicious.... I promise ;)
OX TAIL! Ox tail originally used to be from an actual ox but nowadays it is just the tails of beef cattle from both genders. Ox tail stew,  pasta, soups and curries are common in cuisines around the world. The best ox tail dish I ever had was the ox tail ravioli at Bonterra. Delicious! Ox tail is best slow braised in liquid to make them tender and bring out the flavor.
Okay back to some more normal ingredients.. I really want to learn how to make homemade pasta! I know it is a labour of love that takes a long time but I think it would be amazing to make a batch!
Polenta! You will often see polenta packaged like this at your local grocery store. Polenta is made with ground yellow or white cornmeal and is used as everything from a side dish that sort of looks like mashed potatoes or if you slice it you can use it as noodles in your lasagna. I have also seen it sliced and then lightly fried as a cracker for an appetizer.
I've never cooked with duck before but would love to give it a try. Duck is a fattier meat and this picture is my favorite way to eat it! Peking duck style! You take these thin pancakes and wrap a piece of duck (the skin is the best part) with some hoison sauce and cucumber and roll it up. SO DAMN GOOD!!!
Bok Choy! Bok choy is also known as "Chinese cabbage" and is great in stir fry's or as a side dish.
I'm inspired... Time to run to the grocery store... Don't think Safeway will carry squid ink or frog's legs though ;)

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