Friday, September 15, 2023

Kitchen adventures

I continue to have kitchen adventures, even if I don’t talk about them as much as I used to. Some of them are meals I make, whether new to me, variations, or old favourites, but others are about products I’ve tried or even kitchen gadgets. I think it’s time for a little kitchen catch-up.

The photo up top is of four meals I’ve made for myself over the past month. While none of have especially earth-shattering, each has been quite nice, which is always the goal, of course.

The meal in the upper left corner waa last night’s dinner: A poached egg on smashed avocado on top of a piece of toasted homemade (breadmaker) bread. I’ve made it before, and always enjoyed it. The only difference this time was that when I made the egg, I stirred the water in the pit into vortex which, a TV chef assured, made the egg turn out like in a cafe. It worked—but I cooked it tiny bit too long because I got my timing wrong. Oops. I was still nice, though.

The top right photo is a variation of the chicken stir fry-ish meal I’ve made for years, but using noodles instead of rice. It’s adapted from the packet noodles came in—just not these particular noodles. The main difference between my old method and this is the sauce, for lack of a better word: A half cup of chicken stock mixed with some oyster sauce, grated ginger, and some cornstarch. I haven’t finished tinkering with the recipe yet, so I don’t yet have a full methodology, but I may eventually post about it as I have so many other dishes.

The lower left meal, from the end of August, was corned silverside cooked in the slow cooker. I made it the way Nigel taught me, but I haven’t made it in a very long time—maybe not since he died. It was going to be a blog post on its own so I could mention that corned silverside and corned beef are basically the same thing, but silverside is different cut than the brisket that’s more common in North America. Nigrl’d method is to put the meat in the slow cooker, fille it aroubd half way up the meat with water, add around a tablespoon of malt vinegar (a type of grain vinegar), around a tablespoon of brown sugar, and some peppercorns, and let it cook on low all day. We sometimes put in potatoes or onions, and this particular time I put in some cabbage.

Finally, the meal on the lower right is my macaroni and cheese, again using one of Nigel’s recipes. The whole reason I made it was because I had some Tasty Cheese, a type of cheddar in New Zealand and Australia. I don’t normally have that cheese, and it does make a difference, I think.

Not all my kitchen adventures are about meals themselves. For example, I recently bought a New Zealand-made dough scraper. I wanted one after I tried making gnocchi. Especially the most recent time, this past July. The person in the video I mentioned in that July post used a dough scraper, and I’ve seen them used on countless other cooking shows over the years. When one of the NZ online retailers I sometimes order form had it on special, and I saw it was made in NZ, the sale was made. It’s one of those things that I won’t need very often, but when I do, it’s definitely nice to have.

Those are a few of my recent kitchen adventures, and there are more to come, including testing various pre-made products. Right now, though, I have to get ready to leave for dinner. Someone else is cooking tonight.

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