the perils of cooking while hungry (with tasty results!)

October 31, 2008 at 3:55 pm 3 comments

Lessons I’ve learned about cooking:

1. When baking, always follow the recipe when it comes to baking powder/soda (when I was little I tried making cornbread without cornmeal. How was I supposed to know you couldn’t substitute baking soda in its place?!)

2. Taste as you go (for instance, you really don’t need to add brown sugar to caramelizing onions, they’re plenty sweet as they are)

3. Try your best not to cook while extremely hungry.

This is best demonstrated by the meal I tried to make Wednesday night. Something compelled me to buy a bag of pistachio nutmeats (I swear the package calls them that), and I wanted to make something good with them that wasn’t another delicious batch of addictive and fattening cookies. Quinoa*, I thought! Haven’t had that in a while. The final breakdown: Quinoa with pistachios, dried cranberries, arugula and fried onions with a pomegranate/mustard dressing.

The dressing was easy. A quick search brought up this recipe – all I did was switch the lemon for lime juice. The rest would have been easy if I hadn’t been so hungry and unknowingly (unwittingly!) burned the quinoa. Apparently if you let quinoa boil over before simmering, it can burn with dire consequences. And by dire, I mean bitter. Holy Moses was it bitter! I went through the whole cooking process, thinking it looked a little darker than normal, but not worrying about it. Then the taste test. When the b-fri tried it, I’m pretty sure it would have been impossible to hide the grimace on his face if his life depended on it.

To say the mood was dampened is putting it nicely – two hungry and tired (the clock struck 8:30 at this point) people in a kitchen can be dangerous, but the hunger drove us on. The saving grace? A a box of Israeli Couscous, which when burned (because yes, I burned this a little bit, too) still tastes delicious. The lack of quinoa equaled a lack of protein, since the pistachios wouldn’t have been enough to satisfy us, so my lovely boyfriend graciously added some lightly grilled tofu to the finished product, which, by the way, ended up being sooo tasty!

Oh, one more lesson: I have a lot to learn in the ways of food photography. The only good picture I got of the salad is an X-TREME close up.

Is it just me, or do some of those fried onions look like worms? Maybe I shouldn’t have brought that up…

*Click the Quinoa link to read more about it.

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Entry filed under: dinner. Tags: , .

totally tops ramen making up for lost protein

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Paula  |  October 31, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    I burned brown rice last night! in a rice cooker!

    i’m glad you finally got to eat. it looks great.

    Reply
  • 2. shmeeps  |  October 31, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    thanks sis! i think i burn rice every time i make it. sometimes that crispy rice bottom is tasty though! crispy Israeli Couscous bottom is pretty good too.

    Reply
  • 3. Alley Von Teese  |  November 4, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    it looks delish. one should always keep a chilled corn dog in the icebox for famished occasions. the porker the better i always say!

    Reply

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