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Accidental Cooking: Tater-Attack
You PROMISE yourself you will cook
So, I was working away, and finally THAT moment arrived. You know the one. The one where you TOLD yourself you will actually COOK, an "actual" meal. You PROMISED yourself you would. You knew in your heart that you SHOULD cook. After all, you can only eat pork-N-beans straight from the can (while staring at a computer screen) for JUST so long. Same thing for peanut-butter and jelly. It only goes JUST so far.
THEN the veggies you bought start to rot. And you are eating PB & J sandwiches, to the smell of old onions and broccoli- (or chicken breasts you took out DAYS ago, and just LEFT sitting in the fridge). All the while you work like a focused maniac at your terminal, WONDERING what "that" smell is...
Then, that means... you must plan on DOING DISHES. *sigh*
I'll do ANYTHING to avoid dishes. And cooking involves dishes. It's not that I am lazy about dishes AT ALL. Quite the opposite, I find that once I start cooking...
HOURS could go bye bye... (and I have "WORK" to do... real work...) Thus, my PB & J bill. I'd rather sacrifice the quality of food for a while ... and just focus on what needs doin'.
Oh well... here we go... Onions...
(Rotting onions REALLY suck- see my article on the Corpse Flower - "Amorpho-phallus titanum", it smells like Rotting Onions, Rotting Fish, and Sweaty Feet". Yum. And I want one in MY back yard... (I have a neighbor I hate).
- Botanical Giants #1: Amorphophallus titanum - The Corpse Flower
Related to and shaped like, the Calla Lily. Blooms every 2 to 7 years & has a 5 to 10 foot tall blossom weighing 100 to 150 lbs. It's fragrance is that of rotting flesh, the root edible. by StvRich
Onions... in-prep, water warming
I preferred to salt N pepper them FIRST, then dice them
When you salt the onions first, and let them sit
The pickling effect upon the onion pulls juices out of the onion pieces. The salt is thoroughly mixing with the tissues of the onion, and the pepper is there too, a pungent amalgam. After it sits like that a brief time I go to pre-cook the onions. I want them Carmelled a little, browned and flavorful, before using them with the potatoes.
Into the sauce pan and a little oil and water - salt N papper
On High Heat - WATCH IT - do NOT walk away... (like I do)
In my first article on 'Accidental Cooking"
I went on about the blessing of "forgetting" that the meat is cooking. And in the case of a roast beef, that could actually be a good thing. It comes out quite tasty in a way that most do love. I also call this the "Oh Sugar!" effect. ...except I am not saying "Sugar".
And here, with onions on a HIGH heat, again, I find myself WATCHING the clock as I just get more, and then MORE involved with cooking... passing time... making more and more dirty dishes... (but actually enjoying the act of cooking) and then, before I know it, it is FAR later than I originally thought... the place SMELLS good, ... but ...
I just do not like lavishing the time on myself in this fashion.
Yet, this must be done... sometimes.
Cover, bring UP to a high heat, let the water boil off
And "here" is where I start having "Fun" with it
I start "having fun". This type of activity is a temptation. It simply draws me AWAY from what I SHOULD be doing, and once started, you KNOW how it is. It is just "one thing" after another, and you just start getting MORE "involved" with it... doing more things, taking a little longer... lavishing MORE attention on "other things" surrounding this activity.
It's also why I do tend to burn things when I cook. I reluctantly cook. But not because I do not like it. I DO like to cook.
No I am not saying I have ANY particular skill. I just ... enjoy cooking. It's easy. It's understandable. Almost intuitive. Okay, it IS intuitive... What I am doing with the onions is just making a savory type of flavorful "Stuff" to add to the potatoes while they are boiled.
You must carefully watch this to NOT over-burn itClick thumbnail to view full-size
THEN I add the cooked onions to the potato Pot
Along with some freshly diced onion...
Into the pot of pre-heated water. I throw the cooked onion, as well as a few pieces of fresh onion. Then I add the potato's.
Back under high heat for a short time-
This stage will, of course take longer
So, after briefly cranking the heat up to just get the pot HOT, I leave it at a medium heat for a bit, until it is vigorously boiling, then turn it down. Once on a very low heat I just leave it ... and NOW I can go sit at my desk and turn my mind AWAY from the stove for a bit.
I am planning on leaving these taters in the pot for a long time, but I WILL also have some soon. And why not? I was craving them anyway, that's why I made them.
But I WILL be leaving some of these potatoes for a length of time (under heat) in this bath I made for them.
I actually microwave the potato's first (briefly)
I do want to cook this as fast as possible
even tho I am going to be leaving them to cook a longer amount of time, I DO wish to get a first batch finished as rapidly as possible. So I stick the potatoes in a microwave JUST before submerging them in the pot of water. This raises the core temperature of the potatoes rapidly. This gets the cooking process going faster.
About 3 minutes for a plate of these potato's cut, for the pot of water.
And these (cooked/ready) are lightly flavored, lightly salted
I only added the slightest amount of butter to these
The flavor was very light. I would NOT compare it to that of a fine restaurants work. But, I don't think I used even a full tablespoon of butter on these.
There was No Need to.
They were lightly salted, peppered. And the light butter I added was a beautiful touch. I thought they were good. Simple flavor.
I had extra stinky onions to bag up and use later. I gathered them up neatly as possible and bagged them, then put THAT bag, inside another bag. There was onion juice everywhere, and I was working to keep it under control. The precut onion would come in useful later.
And I did not even burn a thing...