Thursday, April 02, 2009

Adventures in cooking

So tonight the missionaries came over for dinner. I cooked, and thought I might share with you, my imaginary readers, what worked and what didn't.

This was the menu: Stir-fried chicken with vegetables, rice, a green salad, and a fruit salad. Also, Mr. Potter went down to Lyndells and picked up some apple tarts, which were pretty good.

The chicken was the weakest link, I think. I cut the raw chicken into bite-sized bits and let it sit in a marinade for twenty or thirty minutes. (I got the marinade recipe from this cooking magazine my brother subscribed me to for Christmas.) This was mistake number one. I should have let it marinate for longer-- overnight, maybe? The chicken was not bad, but I think it would have been better if I had let it soak in more flavor.

Anyway, after marinating, I threw the chicken into a skillet and cooked it. Then I added a bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables. This was the second mistake. Fresh vegetables are always better; these were mushy. Worse, adding so many veggies to the dish diluted the spices and made it all bland.

The third mistake is that I didn't have any corn starch to thicken the sauce. So, like I said, this dish was the weak link. But it was still okay.

The salads were better. For the green salad, I started with a recipe for Asian carrot slaw, which I had made on Tuesday and really enjoyed. I used three green onions, but only one carrot, and added cabbage and lettuce. It was quite good, but could have been even better if I had waited until the last minute to toss it with the dressing. (Also, I tried toasting the sesame seeds before sprinkling them on. I didn't notice any difference, so I think that was probably a waste of time.)

Last, I did a very basic fruit salad. I chopped up two oranges and one apple, and tossed them with some peanuts and craisins. That's it. No dressing or anything. But very good. I think that might be the first time I've ever made a fruit salad, but it was a successful experiment. Very tasty, and it went well with the other dishes.

Actually, I think everything went relatively well together, and that is probably the thing I am happiest about. I can usually get a single dish to taste good, but I have trouble getting a whole meal to work. But this time I think the meal was pretty well coordinated. And next time I have some ideas that might make it even better.

And of course if you have any ideas, put me some knowledge in the comments.

Yay food!


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