Once you find a place that you trust, a place with excellent quality food, and the highest quality standards for their meals, it’s great to step outside of your comfort zone! Common “stretch” meals among people I know could include Beef Tartar, Beef Carpaccio, Tuna Tartar, etc. Where the “stretch” is to eat something prepared in an entirely unfamiliar way for your palate. You could also experiment with spices, heat, cold (gazpacho anyone?), or even preparation styles like the Molecular Gastronomy which is becoming quite popular here in the NYC area. I love to “stretch” my palate, but being a Paleo eater, I also recognize the importance of taking extreme care with your stretch choices, and just as importantly: the preparing chef.
Being perfectly honest, I’ve been preparing and sharing some of my best and most delightful meals here on urbanpaleochef.com, but none of them have been “stretch” meals for my palate. That is, until recently, when I made the Quick Chicken Tagine which I shared this week. I loved stretching my palate with the powerful lime flavoring, and the spice of the extra ginger in the dish. It was a delight for me! So last night my wife and I headed to Hu Kitchen expressly to stretch our palates! We were headed there to try out the Antellope Burgers that they’ve been featuring on their Thursday Night Happy-Hour menu. Unfortunately, they were out by the time we arrived, but we were there to “stretch” – and “stretch” we did!
Cervena Venison, Roasted Butternut Squash, Coconut Button Mushrooms
I am no stranger to Venison, having grown up in northern Vermont. It’s certainly not as common as beef, but Venison is reasonably available, and anyone with a mind to try it will always be able to find a way. A neighbor, family friend, or even a local store will have some available during Venison season. I’ve had Venison burgers, Venison steaks, Venison sausages… I’ve tried most of the major ways to serve meat with Venison as the “meat” of the meal. And I really enjoy Venison! Unlike with beef, however, I have never tried Venison with a carpaccio style meal: cold, mostly raw. That was a “stretch” for us – and it was totally worth it!
So get out there, go to your “safe” restaurant, where you know they make great food, and try a “stretch” meal! You may not end up liking the food, and that’s ok! But you’ll enjoy the experience for sure! And if you’re in the NYC area – Hu Kitchen is about as good a “stretch” restaurant as I could ask for!