When crafting culinary creations, there's a fine line between improv recipe and insane (and inedible) food combination. I'm always fighting the impulse to combine too many flavors into one dish, which turns a potentially edibile meal into a Food Frankenstein's Monster.
Like anytime I go to Mongolian Barbecue. I always hate to go there, because I can never decide what sauce to have. So I usually mix them all up. And then my meal doesn't taste very good, either because the flavors don't blend together well, or there are so many competing flavors that it doesn't really taste like anything.
So, last night, when we went out to Mongolian Barbecue, I kept it simple. I went with duck for the meat, got a bunch of veggies, made curry powder the main seasoning, and and then did only a couple different sauces to round out the plate. It was very good, spicy, sweet, and well-balanced.
Tonight, I'm tempting fate. I'm making an odd dish at home, and I'm not sure if it will come out well. I'm trying to go vegetarian, and use up some pantry staples that I rarely use--like a bag of split red lentils that I've had for two years. I wanted to use coconut milk, but decided instead to use a substitute--sweetened condensed milk with coconut extract added. I'm not sure whether to also add some black beans or crushed tomatoes. Curry powder will be involved.
I'm a little worried that this will turn into a nightmare, but it could taste pretty good, especially for those who like those types of flavors. I'll keep everyone posted on how it turns out.