Forgive me, but I’m going to step up on my soapbox for a minute…
I’m noticing that many of my posts on my Facebook page recently call out some of the evils of our modern food world and it’s becoming harder and harder every day to trust that any commercial provider of food has our health or welfare in mind when offering their wares to us. How can we get around this? Sadly, there may be limited options to us, but one should always work.
It’s up to US, and only us, to COOK more food. It won’t cook itself, and quite honestly, we’re getting to the point where we can’t trust others to do it for us any longer. Maybe if we pull this power back into our own hands the food industry may notice that people care about what they’re eating. Maybe then they’ll think about food quality again.
So, to help promote this viewpoint, I’m going to start tagging my future posts with the trailing comment “Cook More Food.”
Take care and…..
COOK More Food.
This project only has $215 to go to get this awesome invention in production. Anyone who uses a wok on a home gas stove NEEDS one of these. I know I routinely struggle with getting my wok up to a high enough temperature on my 30k BTU gas stove, so something like this would make my stir fries (especially noodle dishes) even better. To be fair, I have pledged to this campaign, so I’ve got a slight self-interest in seeing this thing shine.
When a recipe “makes your soul scream,” please don’t cook it.
Cooking Light’s “Thai Chicken in Cabbage Leaves” is one such recipe and I ignored what my brain was telling me as I read the instructions. One portion of the instructions says to add the first three ingredients (chicken, sliced red onions, and water) and cook in a non-stick pan. Not too bad so far, but the combination of water and a non-stick pan gave me pause. Fond development is always a good thing that seems to have been ignored by whoever developed this recipe. The next instruction was “cook until chicken is done and then drain”. WHAT??!!! My soul screamed as I could see what little flavors those ingredients might have developed, as the chicken cooked, going down the drain. I imagine that the folks at Cooking Light thought they were doing the readers a favor by saving a few calories on the oil that would normally be used to perform the chicken cooking step. Cooking liquids are often very full of flavor and should not be tossed without a very good reason. I saw no such reason here.
Even after modifying the recipe, and shamefully serving it to my family anyway trying to salvage what I knew was going to be a disaster, it still sucked. The dish was very heavily unbalanced, tasting only of fish sauce and lime. I tried to fix it by adding some things to sweeten it, make it a bit saltier, and add some umami. Mirin and some medium sweet soy sauce (a variant of kecap manis) were added. While the resulting dish was edible, it was a lost cause at the start that my meager skills as a “chef” could not save. I can only imagine what the unmodified dish would have been like. I am still shuddering at the thought.
So, when your brain tells you that a recipe is seriously flawed, do yourself a favor, listen to it and don’t cook it. I could have done much better creating this recipe ad hoc from the depths of some severely damaged brain cells and still have been money ahead in this race.
I hope to never post such recipes here and take credit for them as my own. This I pledge to you.
I picked up these artichokes at the store today. All I could think when I saw them was holy cow! Of course, my next thought was YUM! I’m going to steam these and serve them as a light side for a dinner-time rack of ribs that’s going into the smoker in the morning. Now all I need to do is come up with a dipping sauce to go with these gargantuan, but hopefully tasty, leaves.
I found a new drink to love, a Cucumber-Tequila Cooler, on a once beloved blog. Maybe sometime later I’ll talk about why they are falling in my esteem, but occasionally flickers of brilliance from their former heights of glory surface. The cucumber drink was one such height.
I am always looking for cocktails to make better use of the bar ingredients I’ve amassed. Instead of the household liquor bottles being relegated to the top shelf of a book case (mainly devoted to Arthurian literature), last year I built a floating shelf to hold my bar ingredients.
Since putting it up, it has been nice to see the bottles on display and be reminded that I need to step out of my happy beer-comfort-zone and try some cocktails to tease my palate more often. Previous go-to cocktails have included rum punch, Pimm’s cup, electric watermelon, Long Island iced tea, Japanese slippers, and various margaritas.
Last night, the Tequila-Cucumber Cooler sounded like a good cocktail to go along with some hot dogs we decided to roast over the fire while spring had its way with our neighborhood. It was a nice contrast to the beefy hot dogs and chips. With the celery and the cucumber in it, it’s very “vegetal”, but in a very refreshing way. Those flavors both offset and complemented the tequila in the drink. My only modification to the recipe as written would be to add a tiny bit more of the agave syrup to sweeten it up a bit.