Friday, March 28, 2014

Cooking with Diamond #3

I got another Blue Apron delivery this past Saturday. I never got to make the potstickers from the last one because the wrappers (I don't know what you call them- the outside of the potstickers) molded.

My own fault. I waited too long. Oh well.

This delivery is salmon, chicken quesadillas and beef stuffed cabbage. Truth be told, I only plan on eating the salmon. But I made the chicken quesadillas last night for B. If he liked them, which I assumed he would, he could eat the second one tonight. I just wanted the cooking practice and I thought he'd be into them because they're more "casual" than some of the other meals.

So. Quesadillas. They weren't as difficult as the other two dishes. Probably because I didn't have to mince any garlic. I do have to admit to buying Trader Joes frozen minced garlic for any future cooking. That mincing is for the birds. And in some cases, if you can cheat, you cheat. This is one of those. I also have another cooking confession. I took the chives out and the direction was to mince. I didn't know how I'd mince a chive. It looks like blades of grass. So I looked through my lazy Susan spice thingy in the cabinet and found chives in a plastic jar. Ok, they were from 2008. But they didn't seem like something that would go bad. Whatever. I'm the same person who almost served the Nissenbaum's ketchup from 2008 as well. Eric asked if it was that special colored ketchup for kids. I said no, we looked at the date and voila, five years old. Apparently, I cooked more back then. Logically, that would be true. It was pre-child. Judge me, I don't care. I'm trying now and that's all that counts. Just with old spices.

By the way, I didn't end up using the 2008 chives because they fell in the sink. A whole pile of them. When I saw they were just going in the sour cream, I realized, they didn't even matter. I don't need the equivalent of pebbles in the sour cream. Well, B doesn't.

I started this prep around 4:30p. I've realized that when I get the delivery, I need to put it all away in groups of what goes together from each meal. I've just been throwing it all in a bowl. Not opening the "knick-knacks"- the brown paper bags with the more specific stuff for each meal, but the bigger stuff that might be used for more than one. Like, the head of garlic, onions, fruit, spices, etc. Actually, I'm not entirely sure why they separate some stuff but not all, but no matter. The point is, what takes time is sorting the ingredients, then the prep. I had to slice (thin) 2 little blocks of cheese, a red bell pepper, red onion (which I didn't use because we don't like onion), cilantro- which I had to pick off vines, lime, slicing a giant green apple for the spinach side salad, and who knows what else.

Also, I'm reading these steps one at a time. So I do them exactly how it's there. Since I don't know what's going to happen next, I don't know where I can cut corners and save time. I might not even be able to because I have to learn how to do all this stuff for the first time.

It was the first time I cooked chicken in oil. I think any time I ever cooked chicken in a pan, I used something like Pam cooking spray. I never used olive oil for anything really. So this is definitely new. I learned to cover it, but the splatter of the oil is always a nice shock and mess. Olive oil is in like every recipe so I need to get more. I think I've been using too much so far. I also threw the chicken in forgetting to add the salt and pepper. So I ended up adding it to one side. Because I threw some pepper just in the pan and I guess with the oil, it started crackling and making noise. I didn't want to start a fire, so I thought better of adding any more. I had to add the red pepper and cumin into the pan with the chicken. While that seemed weird and gross, I did it. I am not a fan of cooked vegetables. Only raw. Just a personal preference. So, I've never cooked peppers in a pan.

I had to lay out the cheese slices on the tortilla, then top the cheese with the peppers. I had to slice the chicken, put it on top of the peppers and cheese, and throw on some cilantro. Close it up and put it back in the pan. Well, it was bigger than the pan, so that was interesting. Lucky for me, I am a freak about neat sandwiches, so nothing fell out of the quesadilla. I can't say I didn't burn it a little. But, it really was just a little.

They were really big, so one was definitely enough for one person. The side salad was spinach, green apple, salt, pepper, cilantro and olive oil. B added some balsamic. He loves a salad so the whole meal was perfect for him. I didn't want it because I'm on a diet. The recipe says it's 700 calories per serving and that's too much for me right now. Also, I wasn't a fan of the cheese. It was Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar. If it was mild cheddar alone, I'd have been into it, but I could leave those.

I finished at 5:45p. It was plated by then and cleaned up. Before B got home, thankfully. Because what's he's not a fan of in the least, is the Blue Apron mess. But he said the food itself was fab. One down, two more to go. And a new shipment coming Saturday.

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