For my second meal, I decided to try salmon. I have never cooked fish. My parents never made fish when I was a kid. I’m not sure if it was because I was a picky eater and complained a few times before I could remember, or if they just didn’t like fish. Now, I freaking love seafood. Its delicious. Never cooked fish though.
First I had to buy the fish. That’s step 1: buy the food. I went back to Fresh Market and asked the guy at the counter how much a half pound would be. He took out some salmon, threw it on the scale and I stared at it like an idiot. I was just far enough away that I couldn’t really tell how much I was looking at. Probably wasn’t enough I thought. So I asked for three-quarters of a pound. He packaged it and handed it over. Now I needed a side.
After wandering around the grocery store aimlessly for longer than I’m going to admit in writing, I found the risotto. Risotto is yet another food I have never made. I guess at this point I stop pointing out when I’ve never cooked a certain food. That’s going to get old quick.
I picked out a box of the add water and stir risotto. (Let’s just consider this the walk-before-I-run part of my kitchen development.) I grabbed what looked like the cheesiest risotto available. My motto has always been when in doubt, go with the cheesiest product. It’s the same way I choose my favorite movies.
With the food selected, I just needed to figure out the best way to cook salmon on my stove. To research I pestered my brother via text for a good 3 hours and repeatedly Googled “cook salmon on oven.” I settled on Italian seasoning and some garlic pepper for seasoning – neither of which I had. That was another trip to the grocery store. Another thing I’m going to have to work on is my organization. So far any money I’ve saved from cooking dinner has been negated by multiple trips to the store for things like fish and salt and cooking instruments.
When cooking time came, I started sautéing the rice. At least I’m going to call it sautéing. Low heat and some butter? Right? Rex? I drank beer and dutifully observed the two burners as they heated my dishes. I stirred. I flipped. I seasoned.
Everything cooked properly and turned out to be really good. Using a tip from my brother, I created a cheap-o glaze using mayonnaise and horseradish mustard with a touch of honey. It was f***ing delicious. Of course, the smoked salmon was good enough on its own. The risotto was also delicious. Suddenly, I understood what Gordon Ramsey is always yelling about.
I guess through two days I’ve learned that I’m pretty good at applying direct heat to things. Eventually, I’ll start putting things together, mixing, chopping and whatnot. That time will come. For now, I’m happy to know that I can survive an entire (work) week without consuming any pizza. Never mind. That sounds kind of depressing and boring.
I’m without a picture because I was in too much of a hurry to eat. I’ll be working on the art for the site over the weekend. More pictures. More updates throughout the process on the Twitter feed that was created while I wasn’t looking. There are exciting new features in the works! Maybe. We’ll see what happens.
Until then, I’ll say “Mahi Mahi” which is Hawaiian for both “hello, fish” and “goodbye, fish.”
For my first trick, I cooked chicken cordon bleu. Don’t worry, I didn’t get fancy real early in this experiment. I bought the chicken/ham/cheese combo at Fresh Market (I will reference them until they inevitably sponsor me. Whore whore whore! Also, a paypal link is coming soon!) and all I really had to do was plop them on the tray and not burn them. Easy enough.
The most important lesson of day 1 was to wash dishes. Regularly. Like, every single day. Living with roommates since I moved off campus, dishes always seem to pile up. Sometimes they’re mine. Most of the time they’re theirs.
I’m sure that’s how everyone who lives with someone feels. I’m sure my roommates look at the pile of dishes and think I’m responsible for most of them. I know my mother always felt that way. Of course, she was completely right. With roommates, its a gray area.
Dishes have a bitch of a snowball effect to them. Its as easy as throwing a spoon in the sink. Who would was a single spoon? Nobody just washes a spoon. There’s soap and a dishcloth involved. It would be insane to wash a spoon. Then somebody sets a PBR pint glass in the sink after having a glass of milk. (I’m not pointing any fingers) Then a plate. Then a fork and another spoon. Pretty soon, you’ve got a full sink and, well, f*** that noise. You wash the dishes. That’s when it really fills up. When it gets to the point where you can’t fill your Brita water pitcher without a detachable faucet, its high time to wash the f***ing dishes.
Well, it was high time to wash the f***ing dishes at my house. So I did the dishes. I really don’t know why its so bad. Dishes are so easy to do. All you have to do is stand in one spot and rub something with a cloth. You can listen to the radio or watch television. You can use your hands-free device to speak on the telephone. Or you can listen to your favorite podcast. (/nods at Rex)
Anyway, dishes clean and sink empty, I put the pre-constructed chicken cordon bleu in the oven. Then it was time for the waiting game. The most important thing to remember is to set the timer. Since I might not be in the kitchen when the timer went off, I also set the timer on my iPhone (Endorsement welcome!) so that when the duck started quacking (JS4life) I would know to take out the food. And darn it if that duck didn’t save the day. I couldn’t hear the oven beep over the radio. I was so proud of myself. Setting two alarms? How responsible is that? I bet you don’t learn about the two-timer method until third year of culinary school.
For sides, I warmed up carrots and green beans in the microwave. I made sure to leave them in the water from the can to keep the nutrients locked in. (That was also my plan to keep them as flavorful as possible.)
To drink, I had Batemans’ Mr. Greorge’s Ruby Porter. In fact, I had a couple of them. I figured since I was cooking that a little bit of the spirits were called for. It’s what… s***… Who wrote this cookbook that I haven’t even opened yet? Julee with two E’s and somebody… Anyway, I’m sure those two ladies enjoyed tipping one back while in the kitchen. After doing all those dishes, I figure I deserved it.
Oh, and the food was delicious. Two thumbs up from the girlfriend.
You know me. I probably know you. What you might not know is that I’m not much of a cook. I’m 28 years old and in a long-term, committed relationship. I should be eating like an adult. The embarrassing truth is that I’m really eating like a college kid. What can I say? Pizza and chicken wings are freaking delicious. You can’t deny this.
The deliciousness of pizza notwithstanding, at this point in my life it’s becoming apparent that I need to learn to cook. So this weekend Lauren and I bought a cookbook and went to the Fresh Market. Thus begins my journey to becoming someone who can cook multiple foods effectively.
Before I get started – Yes, I saw Julie & Julie. Boy did I hate that movie. However, I’m a blogger/struggling writer and any excuse I can find to write is worth my time. If I can turn this blog into a shitty movie, I’ll consider myself blessed. And I’ll welcome everyone that hates me as a result.
Instead of Julia Child’s Joy Of Cooking, I’ll be working with The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins’. Hell, I won’t be working with that all the time. This isn’t some ridiculous list of recipes that I’m going to try and cross off every day. Hell, I’m still going to be eating lots of pizza and wings. But I’m going to try and learn to cook some shit in between those delicious, fattening, beer-matched foods.