Category Archives: cookordie

Backlog: Beef, beans, and bacon in buns – 2003.12.10

Whoops, hadn’t been writing. Have, however, faithfully adhered to
constraints of CookOrDie. Last Wednesday, threw together quickie lunch
of ground beef, pork and beans, and bacon (real bacon!) in hamburger
buns. Decent meal – reminded me a bit of some meal I’d eaten before
but forgotten.

Preparation was fairly simple.

– Attempted to cook bacon.
– Became disturbed as bacon does not brown after a few minutes of cooking.
– Suspected that constant flipping to check doneness did not contribute to quick cooking of bacon.
– Consoled self by browning 1/8 kg. of ground beef in same pan.
– Opened can of pork and beans impulsively bought day before and dumped contents in aforementioned pan.
– Stirred for a few minutes and poured results into hastily cleaned plastic container.
– Stuffed extra hamburger buns into storage bags and into ref.
– Grabbed remaining hamburger buns and container with meat and beans mixture and headed off to school.

Backlog: Mashed potatoes, beef, and bacon bits – 2003.12.11

Another quickie meal as had class in less than 30 minutes.

– Grab large pink potatoes from supermarket, as convenience justifies expense.
– Also buy 1/8 kg. ground beef.
– Ensure that salt, pepper, and bacon bits containers were firmly closed. Throw them into school bag for very quick lunch in school.
– Hastily wash large plastic container in school.
– Pop washed, pricked, pink potato into container and microwave for 5 minutes.
– Flip pink potato.
– Pack ground beef into small plastic container and place it into microwave along with flipped potato.
– Microwave potato and beef for 2 minutes.
– Pour some bacon bits onto plastic lid. Microwave for 20 seconds to make bacon bits crunchy.
– Pick up ground beef with fork, as fat had rendered in the plastic container. Place ground beef in large container with well-cooked potato.
– Dump bacon bits into large container.
– Tear potato apart with fork and spoon, effectively mashing potato with beef and bacon bits. Sprinkle with lots of pepper and mix thoroughly.
– Look at the clock and start panicking.

Backlog: Potatoes, beef, bacon – real this time – and cheese – 2003.12.12

- Microwave second pink potato for 5 minutes.
– Cook half of second slice of bacon. (Still unable to figure out how to get nice, crispy bacon, and am about to give up and always chuck it into the microwave.)
– Brown ground beef. Add plenty of salt and pepper. (This is starting to sound very familiar.)
– Flip potato and microwave for another 2 minutes.
– Mash potato, beef, and bacon together.
– Add diced cheese to amalgam and mix thoroughly.
– Pop into microwave and set for a few minutes under “Grill” in attempt to brown potato mixture nicely..

Rice

Parents very supportive of CookOrDie project. Suspect they find it
funny as youngest daughter makes far-out attempts to become
“independent girl” while still remaining v. close to parents. To wit:
have told them about double-entry accounting (but have been slipping
these days due to rush-rush CookOrDie grocery shopping), CookOrDie
project, and even contemplated SewOrDie project as cannot easily find
clothes to wear – teacher clothes somewhat boring, but most clothes my
size too casual. (That said, find The Black Shop a nice place to
window shop.)

As result of parental support, have now acquired full complement of
pots, pans, and knives. Parents have thankfully kept space and cooking
limitations of CookOrDie project in mind – no huge woks or
for-several-thousand-people pans.

Parents unbelievably keen on youngest daughter learning how to cook.
Parents enlisted help of company cook in teaching how to make rice,
although as had been very busy this weekend, had not actually had
time. However, performed rice experiment earlier with mom with great
success.

Cooked 1/2 cup rice traditional way and 1/2 cup rice microwave way.
Did not actually know correct microwave procedure, so guessed.
Microwave finished first, but had problems with boiling over – suspect
must use deeper casserole. Traditional way documented on rice package
resulted in good rice after 20 minutes, although also resulted in
crunchy part which most Filipinos like but personally am not
particularly fond of.

Also, prepared very first cup of tsokolate. May need strainer, but is
v. nice – although a bit rich. Perhaps water instead of milk is
advisable.

Backlog: Fish – 2003.12.15

- Find small sections of fish. I haven’t gotten around to eating fish bellies yet, although many people swear by them. I prefer the part
that browns and gets all salty when you cook it.

– Put fish into frying pan with a bit of oil.

– Wait.

This CookOrDie episode was hard because I couldn’t see what I was
cooking! It was early morning, so I hadn’t put my contacts on yet, and
I used chopsticks (yes, while cooking fish – darn difficult to hang on
to the pieces sometimes) to test if the fish felt crunchy. I also
peeked every so often to see if it was browning properly. The
sputtering oil from the fish made me loath to look closer, though.

Still, I think it was worth it. I’m particularly fond of daing na
bangus (milkfish that’s marinated and then fried), and my dad and I
usually fight over who gets to eat the brown parts. Actually, no, we
just try to be first at the fish. I haven’t actually tasted the
results yet due to a bit of a mix-up yesterday. I was supposed to
bring it for lunch but the car couldn’t take me to school. They sent
the containers along later, but now that it’s been out a few hours at
room temperature, I’m a bit wary. All that rice will also be wasted
unless I think of something to do later – and I’ll have to eat it for
lunch, as I’ll be going home today!

Hmmm. Which means I’m in a bit of a spot, as I have a couple of
potatoes earmarked for potato soup (or a reasonable facsimile
thereof). I am a little hesitant about rice and fish as they’d been
out for a while. I think I will have cream of mushroom + potato soup
later… The rice is such a waste, but I guess I can treat it as an
experiment.

CookOrDie

Smooth lasagna workflow

My workflow for preparing lasagna is pretty smooth now. No changes to
the recipe, just minor tweaks to the process. I didn’t waste too much
time.

1. Put the ground beef in the microwave and start defrosting it in

the large container you’ll use for the sauce.

2. While the beef is defrosting, use the water heater and a saucepan

to boil water for the lasagna.

3. While the water heats, peel and chop the onion.

4. By the time you finish chopping the onion, the meat should be done

defrosting. Throw the onions in and set the timer for 3 minutes.

5. The water should be boiling at this point. Pour a little salt and

(butter? oil?) into the water. Break the lasagna noodles in half
and dump them into the water. You can reduce the heat to medium.

6. Give the meat a quick stir.

7. While the meat is browning and the lasagna is boiling, open the can

of sliced mushrooms. Cut open the foil packs of spaghetti sauce.
Every so often, check if the lasagna is done.

8. Drain the lasagna. Dump it onto a plate.

9. Drain the meat. Put it back into the container with the sliced

mushrooms and spaghetti sauce. Add lots of Italian seasoning and a
bit of salt. Microwave for 5 minutes.

10. Separate the lasagna into individual pieces. If the pieces stick

together, you can use water to ease them apart. If you can’t, put
the pretty sheets aside for the top layer.

11. While the sauce is being microwaved, prepare the cheese mix by

dumping everything into a large bowl and mixing it with a spatula
or spoon. Make sure the serving dishes are handy. You should be
done with the cheese at about the same time the sauce finishes.

12. Prepare one dish. Pop it into the microwave. While that’s

cooking, prepare the next, etc. Pipelining!

The sauce was just the right volume, too. Using 400g spaghetti sauce
instead of 200g gave me more flexibility. I have a little extra sauce,
but that’s okay.