Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yes, I have been cooking.

So it's not that I haven't been cooking in the past month. It's that I haven't been writing about it. First off, there was Thanksgiving. It was my first time cooking the entire meal, complete with an 18 pound turkey (I didn't research before I bought the turkey and later learned that was way bigger than we needed). It was a small gathering with my mom and my boyfriend and I did mess up the homemade gravy, but for the most part, I pulled it off. :)

Then there were all the leftovers, which were delicious on their own. But to revamp the turkey after oh, about five days of reheating it, I had previously found this Turkey Tortilla Soup recipe way before Thanksgiving. I bookmarked it immediately and kept it in mind for this holiday months later. It definitely paid off.

Turkey Tortilla Soup
Start to Finish: 20 minutes
Rated: 8

There were few ingredients and it was simple to make. I took a shortcut and used tortilla chips. The key to the recipe is to use a quality salsa. I had a great salsa with chipotle already opened in the fridge, so I used that. It really gave the soup a kick. Also, although it says optional, the lime makes a huge difference in the taste of the soup. I tried it first and preferred it without lime. My boyfriend loved the lime flavor. It's a recipe that could be experimented with to possibly thicken the broth or to add different vegetables. I do think it's one I will keep for future uses.

Baked Acorn Squash
Start to Finish: 1 hour 30 minutes
Rated: 5

So after the fridge was rid of Thanksgiving leftovers, I dug out the acorn squash I had had in the cabinet for a couple weeks. This was my first time tasting as well as making squash, so I looked up a traditional recipe to bake it. It wasn't too difficult; cutting it in half was the hardest part. I believe it turned out as it was supposed to and it was nice to try something new. However, neither the boyfriend or I were big fans of the flavor or texture. I don't know if I'll be making it again.

Chicken Stir Fry
Start to Finish: 20 minutes
Rated: 9

The most recent meal I made in which I tried something new was a chicken stir fry. We had some leftover mix of vegetables and I wanted to add some extra flavor to them. What better way than to serve them with chicken, rice and a nice sauce. So I started searching online about making stir fry. It seemed quite simple and I didn't have to buy anything special.

So I started boiling the rice while I made the sauce and heated my large skillet with oil. I used everything I had in the fridge to make the sauce: some sweet chili sauce, a touch of Worcestershire, hot Sriracha sauce, and luckily we had some leftover sweet and sour sauce from Chinese takeout. With a desire for something like a Szechuan sauce, I combined it all to taste. Then I cooked the chicken almost to being cooked through and removed it from the pan. Then I heated the vegetables through, as they were already cooked. Adding the rice, sauce, and chicken back into the pan, I stirred it until it was mixed through. And voila, a simple chicken stir fry. It certainly wasn't complicated and it might not have been very traditional or technical, but it was delicious.