06 March 2016


I planned on heading to the World of Coke & the Aquarium today to finally finish being a tourist in Atlanta, but alas that didn't pan out. Perhaps for the better since an idle Sunday afternoon is to be cherished, and that I could take a personal day and go when it's less crowded. Though the thought of fried chicken will taunt me till then.

Instead of fishes, here's a food recap as I've put more effort into my meals this week:

 Perhaps the most effort I've put into plating since ATL.

Cheesy gochujang pasta is to pasta what african peanut stew is to soup. I've finally given in and bought a microplane, and gosh so worth it. Now I can pile on the parmesan with next to no effort, I added much more after the photo was taken since my normal amount would've left barely any pasta to show.

When I first started cooking for myself, raw meat made me really squirmish, and even now the extra effort handling meat is enough to make me eat a largely vegetarian diet. But I did buy a bunch of chicken thighs on sale at Sprouts and was craving a good ol' 川菜 dish. So to Wechat I go to consult my dad, and man he is a much better cook "orz Mom too. As much as I like my own cooking usually, it doesn't even compare to when I go home and eat theirs. 2 more month!!

Anyways, his instructions are below in case anyone is interested:
  1. Heat oil until reeeeally hot, add dried chili (broken up into small pieces) and 花椒. 
  2. Cook until fragrant, as in you're coughing from breathing in the chili, and that the chilis begin to char to a black color. Add in small pieces of chicken that has been marinated in a generous amount of salt and soy sauce. I also coated the chicken pieces in corn starch. 
  3. Along with the chicken, add in garlic, ginger, and green onion. 
  4. When chicken is cooked, toss with some toasted peanuts and you're done. 
My version includes a bunch of vegetables, celery and carrots, which I cook until almost done before starting on the chicken. Also subbed cashews for peanuts, and left out the green onion because I forgot to buy them. Also got to use my Thermapop for the first time to check the temperature of the chicken pieces, which meant no more overcooking to err on the side of safety, and hence reeeally tender chicken (thigh instead of breast meat helps too).

 ta-da! The most photogenic dish out in this batch. I've switched to using Provia for food shots.

It is great, and I am looking forward to Monday because this is lunch (also for Tower of God and Trump ofc).

Weekends are when I stray from my daily breakfast of oatmeal, this one hints that the warmer weather to come. And there lies in the problem, I always tell myself that I won't buy produce out of the season, and fail every time berries go on sale outside of summer. Despite countless disappointments of the lackluster taste, I never learn. At least I macerated the strawberries, but should've also cooked it with some spices.
This bares repeating: Fage is the best brand of greek yogurt.

The final entry is the results of 2 hours of cooking on a Monday night, not sure what possessed me to do so:
Based off of Smitten Kitchen's tortilla de patatas 

My modifications were adding ham, a ton of smoked salt, not quite deep frying the potato slices (but probably still ended up using a full cup of oil) and baking the pie in the oven. What took so long was definitely cooking all the ingredients before assembling the pie. Took out my mandolin for the first time after a long struggle of whether I wanted to practice my knife skills, but alas it was a Monday night. The mandolin was fantastic, I did not lose a finger and had beautiful thin slices of potato...too many beautiful thin slices. I ended up baking a whole bunch into chips along with the pie. Next time I'll just toss in the potato slices raw and lower the oven temperature so hopefully it can just cook with the entire pie.
But mm it was worth all the effort.


I also made a pot of hot and sour soup but clearly I have no sense of how much stuff my pot fits and over-crowded the pot again. Needless to say it did not turn out that well. Also surprised that the Sprouts tofu didn't take well to freezing, which is contrary to all the frozen tofu my mom makes for hotpot.

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