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Cook Something Bold

It seems there is a holiday for everything—from National Chocolate-Covered Peanuts Day to Kitchen Utensils Appreciation Day. (The latter may not be real, but it should be. I'm really thankful for my Microplaner.)

Today is National Cook Something Bold Day. What that means, well, we're not sure. But we took a stab at it, and we're sharing our favorite "bold" cooking experiments.

"Several years ago, I spent a few weeks in Nicaragua on a mission trip. A couple weeks into the trip, I made dinner for new friends, both Americans and Nicaraguans alike. The menu was pretty basic, chicken legs, rice/beans, tomatoes, plantains, etc… While grocery shopping for dinner at the market, I just made one little impulse purchase. Not the soda and breath mint type of impulse, but the bull testicle type... With bull testicles in “hand,” I prepared them for everyone. To say the least, they did not taste right, and chewed like the rubber caps that bounce in the air when thrown down. In retrospect, I have since learned that you have to peel them… With that, go out and buy something esoteric to cook with, and you too can have a ballsy story to share." — Adam Hickman, Recipe Tester and Developer

Here is a link to the rubber caps Adam referenced.

"I made a cactus salad and remember wondering who would ever go to this much trouble. They are covered with spiney “eyes” that have to be removed to make it edible." — Vanessa Pruett, Test Kitchen Director

"It's not one thing, but let me tell you—the days leading up to the the time when I had the Cooking Light editorial staff over to my house for lunch were fraught! Not that everyone isn't perfectly nice, but when you're cooking for people who earn their livings by developing amazingly innovative recipes every single day, it tends to apply more pressure than usual. (To be clear: Although I'm an editor here, I'm not one of those people. Writing this was a pleasant diversion from spreadsheet duty.) Menu: Snacks: Cheese Straws (a hand-me-down recipe from who knows where) Cooking Light's Arugula, Hazelnut, Persimmon, and Fennel Salad Marcella Hazan's bolognese sauce from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, served with tagliatelle Frank Stitt's Coconut Pecan Cake from Bottega Favorita." — Phillip Rhodes, Executive Managing Editor

"The boldest (and silliest) thing I ever had a hand in was one of those turducken things—huge amounts of deboning of birds to produce a final product that several guests were completely baffled by. Boldest successful thing I ever did was buy a big, whole hog from a farmer, dig a fire pit, rent a rotisserie rig, stoke and swab the fire and pig all day, and then serve about 50 people in a 200 year old barn. It was absolutely perfect." — Scott Mowbray, Editor

Tell us: What's the boldest thing you've ever cooked?