Monday, April 20, 2020

Still cooking

Tonight I made dinner from some of my recent supplies. It wasn’t new, per se, because it was built on what I’ve done before, and yet it kind of was. Basically, it was just dinner, but it was easy to do and worth adapting, so I’m sharing what I did.

I took the chicken I didn’t cook last night (two boneless/skinless thighs), cut it into bite-sized pieces, and marinaded it. The marinade was dark soy sauce, which can be quite salty, so I added about a tablespoon of honey (lighter soy sauce will also work). I also used a clove or so of finely chopped fresh garlic, a bit of ground ginger, a bit of madras curry powder, and a pinch of dried coriander leaves. I mixed all that up, put the chicken in the bowl, stirred it all, then left it in the fridge for around a half hour. I can’t give precise portions because the amount of marinade needed will depend on how much chicken you’re cooking, but for a couple thighs, I started with around three tablespoons of soy sauce.

I put some frozen veggies in the microwave (peas, corn, and green beans), and chopped a fresh carrot into small pieces (so it would cook faster). Then I fried the marinated chicken in small batches and put the cooked chicken in a bowl to the side. Then I put in the fresh carrot and cooked it, I added a little of the marinade for some liquid. Then I added the microwaved frozen veggies, and a bit more of the marinade. Then I put in some unsalted cashews (as my mother would say, “enough—until it looks right”). Finally, I added the chicken back in, stirred it a bit, then added the rest of the marinade and simmered it all together for awhile.

I served it in a bowl with some jasmine rice (any variety would probably work). It had a little bit of heat (Nigel would say it had none…), but I liked it anyway, and might deliberately try to increase the heat just a little bit next time. It tasted a bit like a Thai or even Korean BBQ, though much cooler than than the latter.

This meal is based on a chicken and vegetable stirfry I used to make for Nigel and me, something I always adapted to whatever I had on hand. It’s not really the cuisine of any particular country, but influenced by various East Asian cuisines—well, as I interpret and adapt them, anyway.

The point of this, really, is that once you get a recipe down, it’s okay to experiment and vary that tried and true recipe. Tonight’s meal still has room for me to manipulate it, and that’s what keeps it all interesting to me.

This meal was also another meal I made from a plan: I made two meals each from the package of chicken breasts and the package of chicken thighs (the last two nights were the only contiguous ones). I have plans for two more groups of meat, plus frozen ingredients to make other meals. And I’ll be making bread every week. I never used to plan out meals as much as I have been lately, but being under lockdown means it’s not a simple thing to go out and get more stuff. Even if I go, there’s no guarantee the supermarket will have what I want. This means it pays to plan out at least a week in advance, and it will for a few weeks yet. The truth is, it’s easier planning for just me because I can base it on what I like and might feel like, and I don’t really care if I’m repetitive. I guess this is the one thing I can point to as evidence of moving toward whatever my life will become. I guess.

In any case, these cooking adventures will continue at least until we get to Level 2, probably beyond. I won’t necessarily photograph and talk about every one (actually, I know I won’t), but if I want to, I’ll post about it. After all, part of the whole point of this blog is sharing what I’m doing. Even when it’s just dinner.

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