I was recently gifted a copy of An Epiphany of the Senses, a beautifully-compiled cookbook by my friend and fellow blogger, Nancy of Spicie Foodie. Inside, it contains delicious recipes that are a mix of her heritage (Mexican), her country of residence (Czech Republic) and strangely enough, Asian. I can only assume that her interest in Asian culinary influences stems from the fact that food from this region uses a cornucopia of spices for flavoring. Of course, I may be wrong so if you're reading this, Nancy, please feel free to correct me.
Nancy's book in hard and soft copies
Ginger, turmeric, red curry
Opening the book for me is like being suddenly transported into Aladdin's cave - you just want to cook and eat everything featured in it! Each dish was prepared, styled and photographed by Nancy herself and everything looks gorgeous and utterly tempting. The book is also available in PDF or electronic version so I am able to access the book via my iPad (which is often in the kitchen whenever I'm there). It's the coolest thing next to a Spicie Foodie App, but that's probably in the works as we speak, hey Nancy? :-).
The first dish out of the book to become a reality in my kitchen is Spicy Thai Inspired Millet. Why did I choose to make this? Several reasons, really. It's vegetarian, it contains two of my more favorite spices, (turmeric and ginger) and lastly, I had never cooked nor eaten millet before this occasion. Whenever I think of millet, bird food somehow comes to mind because as a child, I remember feeding my colorful, perpetually cheerful budgerigars with palmfuls of millet seeds. The way this dish was depicted in the book, however, was so enticing that I couldn't wait to make this to feed myself! At the very least, I hoped to discover the secrets to my budgies' chirpiness all those years ago.
Since I had never cooked millet before, I stuck religiously to the recipe and the only thing that's different in the photos here is the addition of lime. I found that squeezing some lime juice over the hot millet dish enhanced the spicy flavors brought about by the ginger, turmeric and red curry. The millet itself was fragrantly nutty and bore the texture of cooked rice. Surprisingly it was quite filling so it's possible to have a full plate of this as a main course as opposed to it just being a side-dish. This dish was simple and enjoyable to prepare, and I understand now why my birdies were always joyful under my childhood watch.
If you'd like to view the recipe, I would suggest you get a copy of An Epiphany of the Senses. And if you really can't wait a few days for the delivery of the actual book, get the instant electronic version or even better, get both!