Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Stirfry and a Stuffy Nose

I noticed broccoli on sale at the grocery store a while ago, so I bought two big heads with a whole dinner plan in mind. Grilled chicken, steamed broccoli and cheesy broccoli couscous. Unfortunately, while shopping my Dad called with a minor but urgent emergency (it's a boring story that pretty much just involves me driving all over CT) so I had to check out immediately. Aka, sans chicken.The broccoli sat in the fridge for a while, awaiting a new plan. I got some chicken the other day, but for some reason decided to make stirfry instead of my original meal idea.

The only problem is that when cooking this I had a bit of a cold. Now, I don't know how everyone else cooks, but I cook almost entirely dependent on my nose. My nose tells me when something is done cooking or whether it is seasoned right or missing something. So cooking with a stuffy nose for me is like cooking half blind with only one hand. I did the best I could, though. I whipped up a marinade/sauce incredibly impulsively with oil, soy sauce, Chinese vinegar, sesame oil and fish sauce in varying amounts. I then thrust it under my Dad's nose and asked him if it smelled ok. When he declared it's aroma "delicious", I decided it was probably the best I could do and tossed the chicken in it. (Side note, any picture I take of raw meat with the flash on looks GROSS).

Since we have no wok, I did the cooking in a cast iron pan. I would like to take a moment here to talk about cooking times. Different foods take different times to cook. It drives me crazy when I watch people cook with little regard for cooking times. Either they cooked the same food, but chopped different sizes (which can drastically effect how long it takes to be "done", especially with meats), or cooked many different things together for the same time. Either way you end up with some of the food being undercooked and some being incinerated. I am certainly far from an expert on getting cooking times right, but I do make an effort and I am learning the rhythm.

I started with the onions since I like the flavor of them, but I liked my onions super soft. Then some garlic. Then the chicken. Once the chicken was nearly done, I added the broccoli. I wanted it to be cooked but still crisp. I tossed everything around to make sure it was mixed well (which was hard considering the food to pan space ratio I had). The whole time I was cooking, my parents were very cruel and kept commenting on how good it smelled.

I served it all over some Asian noodles. No picture of that, sadly, because I was too busy eating it! I could vaguely taste it, and I think it was good.

Taking a second look, none of these food pictures taken with the flash look very appetizing. I'll have to work on getting more natural light when I try to photograph my cooking.

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