Not to give too much away before the actual recipe, but I've been chewing on the contest a bit (pun intended) and here's where I am:
- Everything in the box is essentially a spice (not technically, granted, but due to the dried-ness of things that would otherwise be more feature-able). This is both a great thing and a scary thing. (Yay, I can do anything! Whoa, I could do anything. Like that.)
- What do I like to cook? I ask myself, in order to narrow things down a bit. Answer: breakfast, dessert, Italian food, meat. I'm likely to do something in one or more of those categories.
- The fennel pollen is The Ingredient Least Likely to be Used. It's basically a more intense fennel experience. And, well, I kind of hate fennel. Not bell pepper level hate, but.....it reminds me of licorice (they're not related), which reminds me of NyQuil, which reminds me of unpleasant times.....you see the problem.
- Next up will be some ingredient tastings. Every time a cheftestant on a cooking reality show doesn't do this, I get very indignant at them (from the safety of my couch; yeah, I'm totally an armchair sous chef). So it's be pretty stupid of me not to. I'll keep you posted.