Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fall Tuesday Cooking Practice

So here goes, I guess I'm liveblogging today's cooking practice where I'm trying out One Practice To Rule Them All. So far, so good, first of all I slept, thank you for asking. The sweetie man woke me up at eight before he left to take care of Rudy, I got up shortly thereafter and fixed myself (!) a cup of coffee with almond milk and went back to bed to do my words. Sent Travis his reminder email about his Saturday appointment, and then up and at 'em. Tidied the bedroom, and tidied the kitchen only enough to clear off the cart. The cart is my prep surface, my favorite story about this cart is that I assembled it while baked on vicodin.

1a. Shakshuka

I don't really like cooking with dishes piled in the sink; but shakshuka has to simmer at the end, so I'm saving the dishes to do then. I put my saute pan on the stove over low heat, glug in some olive oil, then pretty methodically, maybe meditatively, dice onions, peppers, and zucchini, adding the vegetables to the pan as they're diced, gradually turning up the heat and occasionally giving them a stir. After the zucchini's in the pan, I start on the garlic. I just barely have patience for peeling and mincing garlic, I only don't run amok with a kris in my teeth because I know the zucchini could use the time to brown up. Garlic goes in, a spoonful of cumin, a spoonful of paprika, stir, then open a can of tomatoes, chop them up, and add them to the pan with their juice. And now the shakshuka simmers and I do the dishes.

When the dishes are done, the shakshuka is done and I ladle seven ladlefuls of shakshuka into seven mason jars and one ladleful onto a plate. By the way, I increased the amounts from the original recipe to make this much. I need enough shakshuka for the whole week.

There's going to be a pic of my shakshuka jars here in juust a sec...

shakshuka jars

1b. Crispy fried eggs

My new favorite thing is the crispy egg from smitten kitchen, or if you're me, the three crispy eggs. I clean out my shakshuka pan pretty well with my heatproof rubber spatula and make the eggs right in that pan.

crispy fried eggs shakshuka

Breaaakfast tiiime is here...

I upped my breakfast eggs from two to three as a positive step toward actually eating more protein and not just saying "I should eat more protein" and then eating the same amount of protein. And not unlimited amounts of protein, just this one extra egg for now. And the same goes for water, just an extra half glass here and there.

But anyway, enough of my yammering. Up up, Munt. More cooking to do.

But first, I think I will drop my camera and mess it up good, tch, I dropped it so lightly this time... now it has a droopy eyelid, the battery compartment won't shut, and I think it has internal injuries so it won't talk to Flickr? I am sad. I've had this camera since before this blog, it's the end of an era—

2. Slow chicken

Today's slow chicken is basically this shallot and squash slow chicken except I don't have shallots, I have a leek, and lately I'm making slow chicken with unconscionable amounts of butter. I slice up a stick of butter and put the pats in the bottom of the cooker, then the chicken on top of the butter. I have a new slow cooker that cooks properly low, so might as well give the butter and chicken a head start while I cut up the leek and the squash. In you go, Mr. Leek and Mr. Squash. And that's it, now it just cooks by itself.

2a. Ground meat

I'm doing ground meats for fall specifically because I'm doing all my cooking in one practice, so I can do chicken in the slow cooker and meat on the stove.

First, fill up a soup pot with water and start heating it up on the back burner for 2b. Greens.

Okay today is Korean ground beef, and I'm going to make it right in this pan that I made the crispy eggs in, that I made the shakshuka in. Drain the excess oil from the crispy egg pan, scrape out the burned bits, et voila I'm good to go. I suppose I could have just used the crispy egg oil, but I do like sesame oil for Korean beef. So drizzle in a bit of sesame oil over medium heat and put in the ground beef and break it up. While the beef is browning, dagnabbit, more garlic, should I have chopped a whole pile of garlic when I did it for shakshuka? Meh, six of one, half dozen of the other. I have to wait for the meat to brown, anyway. Peel and chop the garlic, sure, a little bit extra for the greens, trim and chop the green onions, and by now the meat is browned, so I can stir in most of the garlic, red pepper flakes, two spoonfuls of molasses, and four spoonfuls of soy sauce, and now it all goes on the back burner over low heat for twenty minutes.

2b. Greens

The pot of water comes to the front burner. When it comes to a full boil, I open a bag of kale and dump it in. It says on the bag that it's prewashed, how I feel about that is don't look a gift horse in the mouth. It's being boiled! It blanches just until I can smell it, then I drain it and by now the meat is done, gets its green onions stirred in, and goes into its container. And now I'm going to do the kale right in the pan that I did the meat in, that I did the crispy eggs in, that I did the shakshuka in. Just hit it with a drop more sesame oil, dump in the drained kale, and scrape the rest of the chopped garlic and stray bits of green onion off the cutting board into the pan. Stir it up and put it on the back burner.

2b. Quinoa

The pot that I blanched the kale in, now that gets a cup of quinoa and two cups of water and gets put over high heat on the front burner.

I really want to sit down, but I have to wait for the quinoa to come to a boil. So, I might as well do the dishes. When the dishes are done, the quinoa is boiling and gets covered and put on the back burner for fifteen minutes.

I retire to the couch to write this up so far.

Then the timer goes off, I turn the heat off the quinoa and let it rest while I put the kale in its container. Then the quinoa goes into its container.

All done, it pretty much looks like this except beef instead of pork:
meat greens quinoa

But wait, I think I will heat up the rest of this tofu soup that I made for the sweetie man right in this pot that I did the quinoa in, that I did the kale in. And I will eat the soup for lunch. And I will take a nap. This is doable, but I am tired.


I have two people to train tonight, the chicken is done when I home and I fish it out of the slow cooker with tongs. I let it cool while I fix myself a snack and chat with the sweetie man. Eventually I pick the meat off the bones, divide it and the buttery squash and leeks between four jars. Finis!