With exams out of the way, I have taken over control of the kitchen – MUAH HA HA HA HA – well, not entirely, but almost. I’ve asked to cook dinner (and be provided with the necessary grocery budget) almost every day for the holidays until the next semester. This will definitely help me to cultivate the art of cooking (among a range of other arts that I am intending to learn/master during the course of this break).
Since my mum doesn’t want anything fried, I will learn how to make stews, soups, roasts, baked dishes, and everything else that doesn’t require cleaning up the entire kitchen. Since the kitchen is now equipped with a blender, I shall try to learn how to make dishes with it.
I must say. The internet is really awesome. No need for trial and error when you can learn how to cook anything and everything under the sun by watching videos and reading a range of recipes, and then deciding the best course of action from doing intensive research. I must be crazy. I realised today that I have been researching recipes with the same kind of intensity as researching for essays. It’s a good thing I am not in the library, or else I may very well be carrying stacks of recipe books and going through every single one of them to research how to make a particular dish.
So anyway, today, the fruits of my culinary research are:
(1) Freshly Made Tomato Sauce with Spaghetti, and (2) Oven-baked salmon with Lemon and Terragon (some herb).
I was quite surprised to learn that making your own tomato sauce without cheating (i.e. using canned tomato puree) can be extremely tedious. How many tomatos do you need to serve four? Well, more than 10! I thought that ten tomatoes would be enough, but unfortunately, I was wrong. The dish turned out quite well, although it would have been better to have much more tomatoes so that enough sauce could go around. But how was it tedious? Well, it turns out that not only do you have to remove the skins of the tomatoes, you also have to remove the seeds! Doing that for ten tomatoes was quite a task!
Anyway, to the sauce, I added carrots, onions, garlic, red wine, fresh basil, and some Italian herbs (comes in a bottle – not sure what herbs are used). I must say. The blend of ingredients was fantastic. I sampled a little scoop of the sauce and was totally wow-ed by the harmonious mix of flavours. It was so awesome! And the whole family agreed as well! Now that I know how much more tomatoes are needed, I will definitely make this dish again.
On to the oven-baked salmon with lemon and terragon.
I was so surprised that baking salmon was so simple! All you had to do was to wash the salmon, drizzle olive oil all over, marinate with salt, herbs like terragon, and other stuffs (in this case, slices of lemon), wrap it up in aluminium foil into a packet, throw it into the oven at 200 degrees celsus, and wait for about 30-45 minutes, and viola!
The most astounding moment was when the packet was removed from the oven and opened! The sweet aroma of salmon, the tangy lemon, and the aromatic herbs burst out from the packet and perfumed the entire kitchen! And it tasted oh-so-heavenly! It’s amazing how simple dishes can taste so good. Everybody loved it too.
What a wonderful cooking moment this day has been.
I’ll be cooking again on Sunday. The menu? Chicken Stew! I haven’t figured out how I shall be making it, but my good friend, the internet, will help me to decide.
I’ve got a range of dishes to cook. Here’s what I’ve planned so far…
Sunday: Chicken Stew with Rice (or Noodles), and a salad.
Monday: Mushroom soup (chunky pieces of mushroom) with chicken cubes, bread seasoned with flavoured oils and herbs, and potato salad.
Tuesday: Baked/Roast Chicken with Baked Potatos, topped with butter and yet-to-decide-awesome-stuff.
Wednesday: Pork Rib Noodles