Continuing My Exploration of Cooking
Posted by Evan at 7:30 am on September 19th, 2008
After my mom read my previous post on cooking she recommended that I try marinating the chicken in a soy sauce, lemon pepper, and garlic mixture (a marinade she uses with very tasty results). So on the following weekly run to HyVee I picked up the necessary ingredients and began planning my next great cooking experiment.
The experiment ended up turning out quite well! I found that I could thaw part of a chicken breast overnight, cut it into pieces and place it in the marinade the following morning, head off to work for the day, and when I returned I could toss the marinated chicken into the stir-fry mix. The resulting chicken was absolutely delicious and added a marvelous flavoring to the vegetables and rice. I eventually also tried frying the chicken instead of simply putting it in the stir-fry and it also turned out to be tasty.
Now that I had soy sauce in the refrigerator I decided I should try nasi goreng (Indonesian for fried rice). After looking up a number of recipes for nasi goreng online I decided it wasn't going to be too difficult to make; indeed, it wasn't. It wasn't that tasty either, however. I think my attempt did not succeed in part because the rice I was using did not have the correct consistency and in part because I didn't add enough seasoning to flavor the rice and vegetables.
My final cooking experiment for the summer involved making Mandarin Chicken. This is a dish, served over rice, which involves broccoli and breaded chicken pieces in a sauce. It was certainly the most complicated recipe I tried to follow this summer and it involved a number of new skills and methods. Among the new things I had to learn how to do was make bread crumbs (because I didn't think to just buy bread crumbs, silly me), how to dip the chicken in an egg mixture and then the bread crumbs before frying it, and how to get the chicken and broccoli to "steam" together for a bit. The recipe also calls for a corn starch based sauce, another new thing for me to work with! I ended up making it several times and it turned out decent each time - though it wasn't as good as when my mom makes it. :)
I have now been "out of the kitchen" for almost a month and I am beginning to miss cooking. Because of the demands on my time while at school I realize that it would be practically impossible to be able to cook every morning and evening like I was able to do this summer, but I think it would be fun to be able to do a little cooking now and then. Hope exists for this idea, actually, because the dorm in which Kelsey is staying in has a kitchen on the first floor so perhaps during a school break I could pick up some rice, vegetables, and chicken (or even beef) and make something!