Oct 13, 2009

How to cook like me.

I always get tickled seeing blogs where the professional camera comes out in the big, fancy kitchen, all so we can see how to make a sandwich. That's not cooking, that's showing off. So, today I cooked one one of my favorite comfort-food meals and cooked it in my 10 x10', stock Lowe's kitchen on my new $350 stove. Photos will be courtesy of my Kodak EasyShare and a pirated copy of a nice photo-editing program that I don't know how to work very well. Sound like fun? I think so, too.

First, let me say that I'm cheap. I hate wasting food and today's meal is going to be a chicken and vegetable curry with rice, using stuff that has been in my fridge and freezer too long. It's not gone bad, mind you...I'm too freakish about germs and bacteria to do that. It's just some food that was looking a little shop-worn. C'mon, I know I'm not the only one that lets things sit around too long and I doubt I'm the only one who figures out how to still use them, so don't look cross-eyed at me over that.

We need one packet of red curry paste (somewhat expensive in grocery stores so I buy them by the case when amazon.com has a big sale and I've got coupon codes), one can of coconut milk, one bag of frozen okra, a couple of sad looking yellow and zucchini squash and an eggplant I've had for maybe 2 weeks. We're also using (not shown yet) 2 large chicken breasts I found wadded up in a Zip-Loc bag in my freezer. Jackpot! *snickers* It's only fair to mention now, before I forget, I will wind up adding a second can of coconut milk in to this because I tend to wing it when I cook. All that being said, let's chop the veggies and chicken into chunks.



Roast the raw veggies for
oooh, maybe 30 minutes. They have salt, pepper, a bit of cumin and some smoked paprika on them, so you know. No reason for that combination other than that sounded good.



At this point we're ready to put the chicken in a skillet and this is when I realized I need onions, too. I dug through the crisper and come up with these lovely gems. Man. They're sad and a little slimy, too. Ah, well...they'll be fine! *flicks the bluebird off my shoulder and proceeds on*




Now look at that...some washing, some peeling, some chopping half their tails off and hiding them under some garlic and they're now nearly new again!




Throw the onions and garlic in a pan with some olive oil. sea salt (regular would do fine but I only use sea salt for cooking), fresh ground pepper and cardamon. I love cardamon and it's such an underused spice, probably because when you buy it you can't afford to feed your family for the next 4 nights. You can pass on the cardamon, if you like. I'll never know.




This next part is crucial: Start your rice cooking too early and have yourself an energy drink while you feel all good about the fairly healthy dinner you're making.




Time to add the okra! Also, in a separate pot, combine a can of coconut milk and the entire package of
curry paste, even though it says to add only a tablespoon or so. Screw them, add it all. Trust me. Heat and stir this mixture until the curry paste melts into the coconut milk, then realize you really need to add that second can of coconut milk now. Forget to take pictures of this whole procedure. At least that's how I did it.



Add that curry concoction into your skillet and it'll look a lot like this. If you really want to make it like I did, get to thinking about the fact you've fucked up your proportion of curry paste to coconut milk and add extra curry powder to what's in the skillet, just to be sure. And mind you - taste *nothing as you cook. Have enough confidence in your skills to know it will be perfect, dammit.




While the chicken/okra/curry mixture simmers, keep looking at that pot of rice you made too early and get a little irritated. The energy drink helps with this part.




In 15 minutes or so, get the roasted veggies out. They should still have a little bite to them and not be cooked to death.




That's it! Pile it on a plate, spoon the "sauce" over the whole thing (especially the rice, since it is now room temperature and gummy), artfully stick a fork in it for the picture and head for your recliner. Okay, you don't have to eat in your recliner if you don't want to...I did, though. I promise you, this tastes far, far better than it looks. It's rich, a little exotic and has some
heat to it. The heat isn't the searing kind found in jalapenos, but that subtle, warm-in-the-back-of-your-throat heat...
mmmm!



PS: For those who have never seen or eaten okra that wasn't fried, I did this just for you. See those little seeds? Flavor beads. *nods*

18 comments:

won said...

You had me until the last picture.

Anemone Pie said...

You don't see all that when it's in your mouth, though!

Bella said...

Sweet play-by-play! The last photo looks like something that might have washed up on the beach, though.

Angel said...

I love okra!! I also love squash, so this is my kinda meal!

I do these post all the time with dinners I make, hehe!

MY LIFE WITH BOYS! said...

I'm cracking up over the previous comments. I also was hooked until the last photo. I thought it was a gutted fish! The rest looks good though:)

Erin Lutz said...

This looks like a good hearty dish for all my cattle rustlers!! LOL at your instructions-especially the rice.

The Queen of Chaos said...

OMGosh you cook like I do ... a little of this, a little of that ... love it!

laura said...

The last picture is awesome. Wimps all of them. Love me some OKRA! I'm motivated to go diving into the crisper tomorrow.

Still have to laugh at the similarities, getting ready for Nancy at 9.

Really Frugal said...

Looks like Betty Crocker Cookbook play by play. I was with you right up to the okra. Can't deal with that stuff.

Tina said...

Looks good....yummy!

Jeanette said...

I'm going to have to second Bella's comment.

won said...

I won't expose your nakedness of your earlier comment here. I will just say that I appreciate it...and much of it resonated it with me.

And I am glad to know you too. I sincerely mean that.

You are good peeps!

Jeanette said...

You've been tagged!

Dawn said...

I loved the play by play. Everything looks yummy though I must say, The last picture is the reason I don't eat okra.

Jennifer said...

*shudder* that okra looks like scary sea life. I KNEW there was a reason I don't eat it.

The rest of that looked really good though, and I loved your commentary!

Anemone Pie said...

I'm so cracking up at everyone being afraid of the okra! By the way, if anyone wants to try making this, you can use any veggies you like in it. You don't have to have the okra but think you should. ;-)

Won? Ditto! And I'm off to Jeanette's to see what I'm tagged for...

GrammieMommy said...

hahahaha..love this post. It's sooo...YOU!! You beat PW hands down my dear! Okra? Gotta love it with coconut milk! Try it with squash too!

Trudy said...

I love your post. I'm not a okra eater and that last pic is why. lol