Day 3 – Evening Musing

Well, again, I have worked on chores until 8 pm and find that I just am not willing to “make” a meal.  Good news for me, I had cooked chicken on Day 1. Bad news is that there is not enough to last past tomorrow.  I guess I just should have stepped away from the internet, dug down deep and finished cleaning out the freezer to have room for extras, that was the excuse this afternoon for not making soup – no room to store it yet.

Not an exciting culinary entry this evening: left over Pressured Chicken and green beans. Nice glass of red wine to round it out. Dessert was a few almonds and two pieces of dark chocolate.  Off now to finish the last of those chores.

No word yet from John today.  Believe he traveled to Dharamsala from Dehli.  I know he will be happy to stay in one place for a while. On this end it is just getting ready for a 4-day work week.


Day 3 – Columbus Day & Day Off

Why can’t I have a schedule like this every day?  It is 10am and I just finished breakfast … very civilized.
Brunchy Eggs:  Lovely having fresh “fixin’s” in the refrigerator.
Ingredients:  Today I started with 2 eggs, some chives, a large chopped button mushroom, some red bell pepper chopped in to small pieces, some yellow hot pepper (much less than the red and much more finely chopped), a small handful of yellow grape tomatoes left from my garden, an even smaller handfull of grated cheese, a large handful of spinach leaves, a slice of 4:9 Bread, pear preserves, and a little butter for the pan and bread.  What a great way to start the morning!
Prep is very simple:
a.       Chop the things that need to be chopped or hunked
b.      start the heat under the pan, add the butter, wait until the butter sizzles …
c.       add the peppers, mushroom, tomato and stir around a little – you are waiting for all to sweat and for the mushrooms to darken.  I added a little salt at this point to help draw out the fluids
d.      While waiting for that, whisk up the eggs with the chives
e.      Add the spinach to the mushrooms and stir to mix when the leaves start to wilt
f.        When the leaves look like another part of the mushroom mixture it is time to add the eggs.  At this point I also sprinkle the cheese on top now and cover the pan with a lid
g.       Turn down the heat to the low setting and refill your coffee.  Check on the eggs every once in a while – when they are almost done being shiny on the top, you can turn the heat all the way off
h.      Pop the toast in the toaster and find a plate for the eggs
i.         Butter and jam the toast and plop the eggs on the plate.  Voila! “Brunchy Eggs”
So John is somewhere between Delhi and Dharamsala – received an email; we are working on Skype.  The food on the plane was not nearly as good as my food this weekend. Then again, I’m not cooking vegetarian (except this morning’s repast would pass). ❤

Day 2 – Part Two

Lunch — You can take the girl out of the south … pimento cheese in a 1/2 pita with spinach leaves and a beer.  Nothing fancy – realized how hungry I was after shopping at the grocery again!
Dinner — Well, I seem to have forgotten about that tonight.  Instead I am making Rotisserie Chicken Carcass Stock. Just like it sounds – toss the chicken carcass and bits into the pressure cooker and fill no further than half-way with water.  The garlic allergy makes purchasing stock impossible.  I usually put the bones into a huge stock pot and boil all day.  Can’t wait to see what the pressure cooker can do in minutes.  Aw Crap!  Look at that – the rack is sitting on the pressure cooker instructions instead of being seated under said carcass.  Hope this doesn’t mean I really have to clean the cooker when this is over!
Beautiful – no mess.  I now have 10 cups of broth. Maybe I’ll get to those vegies tomorrow.  I’m thinking that next time I will through in some of the end bits of celery etc that I usually save for vegetable stock – and salt. But then I would have something similar to all the cans I put back thinking “I just want chicken and water”.  Can’t please me I guess.
Tomorrow – Root Vegetables, I promise.

Day 2 – Part One

B-B-B-Bacon, Eggs and Root Vegetables Day!

The Plan:
Hormel  fully cooked bacon – why am I so late learning about you?? OK having a vegetarian boyfriend is a large part of that, but really. Really? Wow.  How easy is it to turn ho-hum eggs into something special!  Today’s culinary feats are to include this wonderful product.
  1.  Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with spinach, mushrooms and, of course, just a bit of bacon – If I can refrain from eating it as I mix up the eggs.  Well, maybe I will have to wrap it in a crescent roll with a little fruit spread. Oops that is another piece in my mouth between sentences. I am thinking to leave the cheese in the icebox this morning.  Though, when eating bacon, it is hard to see the need for a trade off – I am already in over the suggested daily amounts of salt …
  2. Dinner: pressure cooked root vegetables – the goal is to ultimately make soup or a stew-like meal with them.  Still deciding.  Have parsnips, beets, carrots and maybe a turnip.  Thinking that an onion will round them out.  Adding chile after the cooking is over.

The Execution:

Breakfast  — Played around with this blog so much – the eggs never materialized (thinking about a quiche or frittata still … but I do have other things to do today).  So what I did make was my version of Pigs in a Blanket:

  1. The Stuff: 1/2 a can of crescent rolls (4), 2 slices of the above mentioned bacon, blueberry conserve.
  2. The Process:
    1. Pre-heat oven to 350 and plop the Exopat into the cookie sheet
    2. Unfold the dough and leave the two triangles linked so that there are 2 rectangles
    3. Spread the conserve lightly on one of the triangles on each, then place the bacon strip on top
    4. Role the dough over the bacon/conserve starting with the bacon side
    5. Place on mat and pop in oven for 12 mins.
    6. Drink a cup of coffee while I wait (and work on the blog some more)
    7. Once golden brown – remove from the oven and spread a bit more conserve on the top of each
  1. The result:  yum! Nice with the 2nd cup of coffee and the Sunday cross-word puzzle

Next Up?  Root Vegetables in the Pressure Cooker.

Day 1 – "Pressured Chicken"

Also known as .. Pressure Cooker Use 1st Try  

This little Fagor Splendid 10-qt  pressure cooker thingie is a little daunting. Probably because I was raised by the generation that was rightfully scared of exploding cookers.  Any way — last evening’s treat was amazingly simple.

So here is the process: 

  1. Marinate 2 chicken breasts in a baggie with soy sauce, ginger, honey.
  2. Leave in the icebox for hours
  3. Return and fret about how to actually cook them.  “Should I use the oven or the new cooker?”
  4. Decide on the pressure cooker:
    1. Insert the rack
    2. Add a bit more than 1/2 cup water
    3. Place chicken on rack
    4. Pour remaining marinade (ok I know that is not an approved use of marinade but come on) over chicken in the pot
    5. Close pot and place on high
    6. Watch for steam then reduce temp
    7. Cook for 8 minutes once temp is reduced

So – really yummy and perfectly cooked — Except … the pressure indicator never popped up.  I’m thinking that here at elevation it may take longer to get the pressure, even though the steam was coming out as the instructions indicated – or I didn’t have the lid on correctly.

Only regret — I did not cook more chicken so I wouldn’t have to cook it later this week.