Kitchen experiments

20 07 2010

I’ve been cooking quite a bit lately (amazing how cutting out processed food makes you do that) and in an effort to keep things interesting, I’m experimenting.  Some experiments are pretty tame (see a couple entries below about making a recipe sans my favorite ingredient) and some were just plain dumb. Witness:

Not sure where the idea started, but I decided it would be easy to make some egg fried rice.  Just rice and scrambled egg, right? I thought the “fried” part had more to do with preparation (in a frying pan) than using copious amounts of oil.  (I still don’t know if that’s true).  I didn’t look up a recipe because it seemed to simple!  Made some brown rice with more chicken stock than usual (for flavor) and added some diced carrot…. this may be where I went wrong.  Mixing Mexican with Chinese.  It seemed like a good idea! and added color! (Possibly too much carrot, either way. It was pretty sweet.) Also, I over cooked the rice; haven’t made non-“instant” rice in a while and thought I should just let it sit until all the water was absorbed (gift idea, family! a rice cooker!).  I knew the ratio would be different, trying to get 25 g of protein (egg) and 25 g of rice together (resulting in WAY more egg than Panda Express variety egg fried rice), but still figured it would work. (I think the major downfall of this cooking attempt was my ridiculous optimism throughout the process).  So I scrambled some eggs, mixed in the rice right at the end… and it was terrible.  I couldn’t even finish it. Too sweet, mushy, and just weird.  Damn.

Experiment #2: New seasoning for chicken! yay! I eat so much chicken, and as much as I love lemon pepper, it gets old.  I mixed equal (as equal as a paste and liquid can be when eyeballing) soy sauce and cock sauce and one clove garlic.  Using the crushed, frozen kind from TJ’s, I had to mash it up a bit before adding the other ingredients, but I was just waiting for the chicken to cook, anyway. It worked! Yay! I’ll continue to mess with the ratios, but in general it was pretty darn good.  I used up my mushy, sweet rice to make a few ready-to-heat meals with this chicken.  They don’t necessarily go together, but what DOES go with overcooked carrot rice?

Another experiment (kinda) from a few weeks ago: Lemon Zucchini Chicken and Pasta.  Dayum, this is good! I made it first true to the recipe, and then made it again the following week, eliminating wine (stupid diet) and skipping the arduous task of julienning the zucchini, because it seemed to end up in a pile and not mix well with the pasta (this could entirely be chef error).  I think I’ve mentioned that I often cook anywhere from 4 to 8 servings at time (because recipes come this way and it’s easier than cooking every day), I often find myself altering the amount of things to make a final 25/25 ratio to fit into my diet.  For whatever reason, I decided it was easier to cook a whole box of pasta (8 servings) which resulted in LOTS of zucchini and chicken, really too much to fit into my large skillet (There was some very careful stirring). (Wish I had this one.)  The result, however, was delicious!

(Notice how all these servings just barely fit into one shot on my tiny counter top.)

I love, love, LOVE this recipe.  I’ll make it again, possibly adding more lemon. Because you just can’t have too much lemon.

OH YEAH – I splurged (can you call $6 a splurge? you can when you’re broke!) on the sea salt and pepper grinders from Costco this weekend.  I can’t even believe how much flavor is added with the fresh ground varieties. SO good.  And using less (salt, at least. I’m sure I eat more pepper than average).  Since I’m cooking so much, I felt this was a small but significant addition to my kitchen.



One response

22 07 2010

I’m not much of a cook but I know that (more) pepper and cajun sauce/seasoning makes everything better!

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