Food Things

I’ve been pretty lazy about documenting my food adventures, which was one of the reasons I started writing this anyway, so here’s a few things I’ve made and remembered to snap a couple photos.

Chicken or Vegetable Stock: All the veggies you have sitting in your fridge, like celery and onion, potato and sweet potato, carrots, what have you, lots of garlic and ginger, softened with some olive oil, then brought to a boil with lots of water, some soy sauce and Magi seasoning, salt, pepper, various herbs, and simmered for a good hour or two. Only made better by the addition of whatever chicken bits you have-a whole bird, a thigh, scraps of bone, all chopped up and tossed in there. If there’s chicken involved, occasionally skim the foam from the top and discard. I freeze mine in single portion containers, thaw them out as needed to add to soups, sauces, rice, etc.

Chicken Stock Simmering

I made hot chili oil by mincing leek, garlic and ginger, and mixing it with a lot of crushed red pepper flakes. I also coarsely chopped some dried red chilies. I heated up canola oil in a wok, then poured the boiling oil over it. I liberally add this to soy and vinegar for dumplings, put it in noodles, use it to season scrambled eggs, etc.

Hot Chili Oil. Goes With Everything.

Today for lunch I decided to use up the coconut milk that I had bought last week. I had an interesting chicken recipe I wanted to try, since it used coconut oil, and we just so happened to have a tiny bottle of coconut oil in the pantry (another item inherited from Bambi’s previous roommate).
The recipe was for a whole chicken, but I had some chicken thighs in the freezer so decided to use one instead, especially since it was just for me.
I salted and peppered both sides of the thawed thigh, then browned it in the coconut oil in a wok. I had cut up an onion and several scallions, roughly sliced up some ginger and crushed four cloves of garlic. After browning the chicken I turned the heat to low, tossed in the veggies, and seasoning: some salt, three or four teaspoons of sugar, a couple dashes of fish sauce, and a squirt of lime juice. About a cup of coconut milk, a cup and a half of chicken stock, and two cups of water (added in gradually to keep the liquid from boiling), stirred it all up and let it simmer slowly for about an hour.

Coconut Braised Chicken

I also made some coconut rice, to use up the remaining cup of coconut milk. One cup of rice, one cup of milk, two cups of water, salt. Seems simple enough. I have this vivid memory of eating a lovely meal at this restaurant called Stonecat in upstate New York-thinly sliced pan seared duck with a cherry glaze over coconut rice and it was all just heavenly, even for a 12 year old kid. I’ve tried upon two or three occasions with different recipes, but can never duplicate it. I always seem to mess up coconut recipes. Anyways, I didn’t really like how it tasted, but the liquid from the chicken was great, so when then rice was mostly done I strained it, rinsed it off, and finished the cooking with some of the chicken stock-coconut mixture. It came out better, but still not great. Disappointing.

Chicken over rice and broccoli for lunch

Anyways, I pulled the chicken off the bone and shredded it, served it over the rice with steamed broccoli. Turned out as a decent lunch although the braising method needs tweaking (it’s hard to control temperature on Chinese stoves since most Chinese dishes require high heat, even the lowest setting causes the wok to boil).

And some news that just made my day: tomorrow the important/experienced Frisbee people, which includes my two roommates, are having a strategy meeting at one guy’s house. He happened to recall that I am obsessed with baking, and has an oven and was like “oh, you guys should bring Robot so she can bake things if she wants” and oh boy am I ever going to bake things. Brownies are happening, and depending on if I can find either blanched almonds or ones that haven’t been salted and seasoned, either honey cake or almond honey cake, and probably one type of cookie. Baking overload. And this is Baby M’s dad. Chances that I also get to play with the most adorable child in the world are extremely high. I am the most excited.


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