Sunday, January 10, 2010

What I've Been Up To Lately

It seems like it's about that time where I should be posting about something other than the Bucs... Thus, I sat down to write about what I've been up to since my last non-Bucs post... but couldn't think of anything super-interesting. The only thing I can come up with other than going to work, sleeping, and dealing with bunnies (the bunnies are a separate post, below) is that I've been cooking yummy food. It feels really amazing to be getting back to cooking again. I'm still having some back issues (and lugging around my awesomely heavy enameled cast iron pan full of delicious food probably doesn't help), but I seem to be back to where I cook most of my meals (rather than ordering in or thawing meals I've previously frozen for myself). Last week I made one of my favorite curries, which is thickened with ground cashews:
I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but let me reiterate that the cashew nut is the greatest nut on the planet. You can't do better. Period. You can try to make a case for the macadamia or the almond... maybe the pistachio... but in terms of deliciousness and versatility, I don't think the cashew has any real competition... I was also feeling inspired by the freezing weather, and used some frozen homemade Chinese chicken stock to make a big batch of Bok Choy and Turkey Meatball Soup for lunches to take to work.
Yesterday I made a big batch of Scorching Chile Chicken, which I may have made too spicy even for me... I realized that it's not a particularly rational process when I make this dish. I just keep dumping more and more spicy stuff in until I feel like it might be painful to eat, and then call it good... Then today before sitting down to watch football I threw together a batch of Chicken with Green Olives. As I mention over at the recipe, this was originally a Mark Bittman recipe, and he has you boil the olives like 3 times in fresh water, apparently to remove that pesky "olive" flavor... which seems stupid to me since the phrase "green olives" is right there in the title... Thus, I skip that step and add the olives much earlier in the cooking than he does. I also at some point (I think while I was in Melbourne) switched from plain green olives to chili-garlic green olives (which I make myself by tossing the olives with crushed red pepper flakes and minced garlic a day in advance if I can't find them in the store), which makes it even better...
Oh, and I had eel for a special pre-football brekky this morning... because there's really no better breakfast on earth (other than maybe a nice bowl of noodles in spicy broth) than eel on sticky rice and a side of spicy sauce...
In summary: Much deliciousness around here lately... A trend I intend to continue.

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