Less of Paige

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A La Cuisine!! ???

Where have I been? I wish I knew. Actually, I had the flu. And a nasty head cold.

Which brings me to today's story: I cooked.

I came home from work last night, around... mmm... 8 or so? And my hubby, poor guy, was in bed with chills and very flu-like symptoms. Symptoms that I had over a week ago and led to three days out of work, throwing up, and other fun times, but for him are leading to one day out of work and "I feel better!" Good thing I'm not bitter.

So I was left on my own to cook. Now, if you don't know me very well, you have no idea of the crisis this brings. But it does. See, cooking gives me anxiety, makes me nervous, is difficult for me, and I don't do it well. Most of the time (oddly enough I make some things well: lasagna and shrimp calzones. I'm strange.).

Khalil had left out pork to defrost, and I was pretty sure that once you defrost meat you aren't supposed to refreeze it, so I decided to cook it. I looked on the handy dandy internet and found what seemed to be a pretty easy recipe for pork chops. I thought, I can do that. And I decided to make some broccoli-cheese rice (from a box) and steam some squash. Easy-peasy, yes? Nnnoot so much for moi.

I read the recipe and the instructions for the rice several times. I planned what I would cook in what order. Start with rice (you have to brown the rice before adding water) then do the flour and the sear for one minute on each side of the porkchops. Then I'd add the water to the rice, put the water and steam the porkchops (if you don't believe, click on the link for the recipe) and then set the squash to steam.

Everything went according to plan! With much concentration and effort, I did everything. I browned the rice. I seasoned the pork and coated them with flour. Heated the right amount of oil. Seared the pork one minute on each side (I timed it). Cut the squash and got it ready. Then I got the rice ready with water and seasonings, got the pork ready with water and seasonings, and set the timer on the squash. Weirdly enough, all three of my dishes were steaming and simmering. This did not seem odd to me. Maybe it should have.

About twenty minutes later, timers are going off and I think "Voila! Dinner! I rock! maybe this isn't so hard???" God laughs. I pull the rice off the heat and take the lid off. I had to like pry it off, which was weird. It looks a little, well, runny, but you're supposed to let it sit for five minutes so I figure that will take care of the runny. I take the lid off the pork. Looks, well brown. I'm fairly certain pork's supposed to be brown, so I figure that's good. I'm not thrilled with the having to scrape the pork from the pan, but I notice a yummy looking coating of brown on the bottom of my pork. (More golden brown and less pork brown). Mmmm that looks good! Maybe I'll just turn the porks over and see if I can get the other sides golden brown??? I try, but seems like that's not really working so I give up and take them out of the pan. Tinfoil over them to keep them warm while the rice is, um, setting. Getting less, you know, runny.

I weigh my pork (a little too much, but the bones in pork are, well they weigh alot, right??). I get my rice. Still a little runny, hmmm, but I'm hungry and it's 10 pm (I kinda procrastinated before starting to cook. I had medicine to give and blogs to read, come ON!) so I figure the rice is fiiiiiiiine. I get my squash (seems a little, um, watery but whatever) and go sit down.

Take some bites of rice. Yeaaaah, still runny but you know- tastes pretty good. Try some squash. They're not overly cooked, but for some reason they're watery. HOW did I make watery squash!?!?!? Still, not bad. Try the pork. Oh. Can't cut the pork with the side of my fork. That's odd. Cut it with my steak knife. The brown part, it's um, Crunchy. Not chip-a-tooth Crunchy, but kind of close. The rest of the pork is, cuttable. Maybe a teeeeeeny bit dry, but still. I have lots of water on my plate from the squash and the rice, so I can just kind of dip the pork in that and it will be ok.

I told Khalil today and when I told him what I did with the pork he said, "That doesn't sound good". Thanks, hon. He looked at the leftover pork (which I saved (??!?!?!?!?) ) and laughed.
He told me this: You're not actually supposed to follow the directions on the box of rice (HOW am I supposed to know that, I wondered aloud??? I just told you, he says.). You need less water and you don't put the lid on all the way. I overcooked the squash (14 minutes not my 18) and I think he was implying that my first problem with the pork was the recipe. I hope he implied that anyway.

So what? So cooking's not my strong suit. Sue me.


At 8:14 AM, Blogger melissa said...

I'm sorry you were feeling icky!


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