One task on my 22 Before 23 list that has taken me far too long to complete is "Try/Cook a Brand New Dish." While technically, I've definitely tried numerous new things in the past 12 months, including trying some cod just a few nights ago, I decided I'd feel much more accomplished if I actually cooked something myself that I hadn't done before.

While living at my mum's house I used the excuse that I wasn't in charge of the food shopping as a reason for not ticking this one off my list and when I did move out, I used house decorating as a reason to be "too busy" to cook new things. 

A few weeks ago though, I decided enough was enough. On a whim, I loaded up BBC Good Food just to notice that I actually had an account on there and had even saved a few recipes on there. These were:
Now, I'm useless at following recipes, I only use them as inspiration and a starting point. So, after reading this recipes, looking at the ingredients I recognised and picking out the steps I agreed with, I went off to cook something that was probably quite different from the author's original intention. 

Thankfully, if I may say so myself, I'm actually a pretty good little cook, and all of these new dishes turned out a success.

First up, miso prawn skewers. If you take a look at the picture above, you'll notice that I decided to ignore the skewers. Instead, I took the ingredients for the sauce from the recipe, mixed them all together and marinated the prawns in there for a bit. Then, I cooked up a stir fry as I normally would, tipping the prawns and the sauce on afterwards. To say I'm not familiar with ingredients like miso paste and rice vinegar, this turned out pretty well!

Next up, the risotto! Technically this wasn't really a "new" dish because once you've cooked one risotto, you've cooked them all pretty much! However, the risotto I often refer to as my speciality features copious amounts of goat's cheese and if I don't use that, I expect my risottos to at least have cream. This has neither! In all honest, I barely followed the recipe for this one. I simply took the ingredients I fancied and made up a risotto how I normally would - just minus throwing in some goat's cheese at the end. I will say when I make risotto I never, ever make up to the stock separately. I tend to just crumble a stock cube in directly when the stock is needed and add more water as necessary. Makes a good one-pan meal that way! I also always find risotto to be a bit rich and so serve it with spinach, rocket and watercress salad - not only is this healthy, it means I can eat more without it being too rich!

The miso brown rice and chicken salad ending up being pretty much the same as the "skewered" miso prawns. I made up the same marinade, definitely did not use brown rice and instead of using the suggested vegetables, I used up ones that needed using up - mainly courgettes and leeks. However, I deem it a success! I don't like plain chicken at all, it always needed a sauce or marinade or I just won't eat it. This was delicious and suited my needs perfectly.

Finally,the most daring item on my list was the soy and ginger salmon. I'm not a fish person, but James is. Fish is also really healthy, so I decided to use these things as motivation to make me like it. I'm still not entirely sold on fish, although salmon is definitely growing more and more tolerable. With this recipe, I did actually follow it quite accurately. I did switch the soba noodles for udon noodles and skipped the frozen soy beans as we have no freezer right now, but everything else was done by the book. Despite featuring my fishy nemesis, this was probably my favourite of the bunch. The flavourings were spot on and I love udon noodles.After cooking this, I knew I could definitely tick "Cook a Brand New Dish" off my 22 Before 23 list!

My birthday is just a fortnight away now, stayed tuned to see how well I do on my list!