The Taste Test Tuesday Experiment

I’ve mentioned before that I’m trying to get my recipe collection under control. Part of that was getting myself organized, but I also decided that in the process I wanted to try some new recipes instead of making the same five things over and over. With that in mind, about a month ago I instituted Taste Test Tuesdays at our house.

Let’s be honest here, I mostly picked Tuesday for the alliteration; Taste Test Saturday doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. But I also have most Tuesdays off from my part-time job, so I figured it would be a great opportunity to fiddle in the kitchen for as long as I needed without feeling rushed or tired after a long day. The rules of Taste Test Tuesdays are these:

1) It must be a recipe I haven’t prepared before.
2) See rule 1.

Ok, so it’s not that complicated. I have a shelf full of wrinkled magazines and mostly untouched cookbooks – not to mention my mile long Firefox bookmarks folder – that I’ve been hanging onto because I wanted to try the recipes in them when I got around to it. Much like the frantic work I did on my master’s thesis the night before a meeting with my advisor, Taste Test Tuesdays are the chance to force myself to get around to doing it. And it’s been a pretty great experiment so far!

I finally got to two recipes from that Silver Spoon Pasta Cookbook that I got a couple of years ago. The fettuccini with orange blossom had a bitter but strangely delicious aftertaste, and the Mister devoured the linguini with crab meat and smoked salmon in tomato vodka sauce, even though he’s not much of a seafood fan. On this week’s menu is another selection from that cookbook, a lamb ragout with penne that I’ve been pretty excited to try.

There was a bite in the air last Tuesday that was perfect for Everybody Likes Sandwiches’ chicken and orzo with lemon. I substituted white meat for the drumsticks, but it didn’t dry out, and the orzo could have passed for a creamy risotto in a second.

My favorite so far was the ribs with spicy-sweet chipotle rub and chipotle-cherry barbeque sauce from a recent issue of Bon Appetit. Their writing may have gone downhill, but the recipes still deliver.

I haven’t actually ventured too far out of my comfort zone, to be honest. It’s not as if I’ve never tossed a pasta with some diced tomatoes or had barbeque ribs before. But it has been fun to work my way through my collection. It’s the recipes that are slightly different from our usual fare – a couple of different spices here, a different shape of pasta there – that we’ll be more likely to add to the rotation than the ones that are really wild or require a lot of effort. And I’m sure we’ll get to those ones eventually!

How are you all about trying new recipes? Do you rely on the same things over and over, or are you more like our Jen R. L. Disarray? Where do you find your new food adventures?

By BaseballChica03

Political hack. Word nerd. Stays crispy in milk. Oxford Comma user. Blogger since 2001.

4 replies on “The Taste Test Tuesday Experiment”

Ooh, I’ve made a lemony orzo recipe before, and it was really tasty!

I love to try new recipes, but I’m bad at motivating myself to actually do them – I’ll print them out and get all the stuff, and then future Mr. and I will keep saying, “Oh, we should make that one thing tonight.” “YEAH!” Dinnertime: “I’m tired.” “Me too. Let’s have popcorn.”

I’m definitely guilty of doing the same thing. That’s why I instituted T3. Any other day of the week, I can plan to make X thing I’ve been meaning to try but decide to order pizza or go out or have cheese and crackers instead, but Tuesdays I HAVE to make it. It has definitely helped!

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