Friday, July 13, 2007

How Much Red Meat...

... Is too much red meat?

Lunch today is steak. Therefore, dinner tonight will not be steak. Especially with last night's dinner being chili, the night before being elk sausage, and the day before being two meals of roast beef sandwiches. This requires a bit of a change in cooking plans.

My first thought is to swing over to good ol' reliable chicken. I also have a cornish hen kicking around I should cook. It needs to be thawed though. So chicken, because I don't feel like fish. I'm thinking pan-roasted. That means skin is required. Hmm... thighs or breast? Everyone does breast, I'm thinking thigh. Maybe thigh and leg. Yah, that sounds good.

Seasoning? I'm thinking an asian angle. Garlic is obvious, and I have some great fresh locally-grown garlic that needs using. Ginger? I have a severe lack of ginger. Easily remedied in Toronto. Green onion for sure. Lemongrass? Maybe. I really should have some. Worst case, I'll just use ground coriander seed. Basil is good too. Spicy ground red chili or cayenne for heat. Salt and pepper is of course required. Oh, and sesame oil and soy sauce naturally. Actually, with the soy, salt is less necessary.

Ok. So man cannot live on chicken alone. I was going to do potatoes, but with the asian angle, the starch will now become rice. Steamed would be healthiest, but I so do like fried. Bah, steamed it shall be. If I can get some fresh lemongrass, it will be used to flavour the rice at least. Mango wouldn't be a bad flavour in there either. That's a good 40 minutes of cooking right there. Minimal effort for sure, but still time.

Meat, starch. Still need a vegetable. Bok Choi? Chinese Broccoli? A stir fry of them both with some water chestnuts, onion, garlic, and some red pepper for colour? Hmm.. that's a possibility. How would fennel work with it?

And then... to drink. A mango smoothie would go well. It's strange that I don't like mango except when it's only contribuing flavour. I'd need yogurt though. Alternately, I could go with an asian-themed martini. Zen green tea liquor could make it interesting. Strangely enough, I don't think I have any lychee-flavoured alcohol. I do have pear though. Hmm... green tea, pear and a splash of pomegranate juice mixed with some Ketel One. Not a bad way to prep for the Donkament and other games. What? It's a sin to mix the Ketel with flavours? Maybe I'll just use the Grey Goose then... Lord knows I have enough of it.

Then there's dessert. Fruit or ice cream... maybe both. Maybe Baileys will be involved too. Maybe not.

All this will of course destroy any ability I have to play in a 50-50 satellite. So I guess I'll just buy in tonight and make sure I win it.


Alan aka RecessRampage said...

What's the best way to thaw chicken in a short time? Microwave or just start cooking it?

I'm all about using the rice cooker for steamed rice. Ever consider that option?

Astin said...

If it's a whole chicken, I don't know if I'd go for the short time option (too easy to cook the outside and have raw frozen middle). Stick it in the fridge a day or so before. If it's just a breast or similar (or any other hunk of meat for that matter - steak, pork chop, sausage), I use my oven.

I preheat to around 225-250 F, put in the frozen chicken on a piece of foil (a baking sheet gets too hot and cooks the meat), TURN OFF THE OVEN, and leave it in for 10-25 minutes depending on how thick it is, what I'm planning to do with it, etc.. While it's thawing, I'll prep everything else.

I find microwaves are tricky and I tend to cook the edges while the centre stays frozen. I find the oven much more even.

As for rice cookers. Since I'm seldom making more than one serving of rice, and those are only every few weeks, I don't see it as a worthwhile purchase for me. A pot, water and time works just fine for my needs.

lj said...

you ever make squab?

what about some snow peas w/ the veggies? yummmmmmmmmmmm.

personally i'm a fan of the fried rice, but that may be why i have trouble maintaining my girlish figure. ; )

that cocktail sounds AWESOME. i think i will be stopping for some pomegranate juice and pear flavored liquor on my home.

good luck in your tournaments. i am tempted to skip out early on home game to make kat's rebuy, but prob won't happen.

Astin said...

Mmm... snow peas. Can't believe I didn't think of those! Thanks!

Oh, I love fried rice, and make a pretty kick ass one (the secret is to crack an egg into it). Other than the health factor, I also think a gently flavoured white rice would go better with the chicken.

I love making drinks almost as much as I love cooking. It's the same concept, only there's more booze involved!

Heh, spend time with real people, it's healthier for you. Chances are whenever you get home, us online degenerates will still be up anyway.

katitude said...


Damn you.

And don't forget the bloggerment donkarama rebuy tonight

Irongirl01 said...

One of these days Kat and I are going to show up on your doorstep unannounced for dinner. I do usually bring a host gift!!

I think you need to do a nice Italian dinner of Osso Buco and a risotto.

Unknown said...

The wild women of poker with the "Bam" Poker Chef.

I like that.

We need to start calling Astin, the Poker Chef.

Get on it folks