Home > cooking, work > Working Cook January 13, 2010

Working Cook January 13, 2010

Also Jan 12th.

Tuesdays are dairy days.  I try to maintain the kashrut of the kitchen as much as I can, knowing that most of the staff are not Jewish and while they try, they make mistakes and don’t tell anyone.  I don’t blame them.  Also, I’m always finding meat dishes in the dairy dishdrainer and I know they’re using only one sponge. 

Anyway, to make things a bit easier, I designate Tuesday as the day when I’ll cook or create whatever dairy needs to be done.  This is honored often in the abeyance – for example, I made ground chicken for Mendy (and Misha) yesterday.  But mostly, I made the mayonnaise salads – tuna, corn and egg salad.  And yes, that means first cooking my eggs.  I’ve been making PERFECT hardcooked eggs.  I place the eggs (number I need plus one, with a minimum of three because if one egg has a red spot, it needs to be in the minority.  The plus one is a cook thing.) into a pot of boiling salted water.  I set a timer for twenty minutes.  I turn the pot down to a simmer.  When the timer goes off,  I take an egg out and cut it in half.  It’ll be done PERFECTLY – solid white, cooked yolk, not a trace of green.  I then dump out most of the water, turn on the cold water and let the pot overflow for a bit.  I then eat the test egg.  If the egg wasn’t perfect, it would have been underdone and I would have cooked them further.  Hasn’t happened yet.  🙂

All the salads are made pretty much the same way – main ingredient in large plastic beaker.  Two teaspoons of full-fat mayo for each two eggs, or can of tuna, or half-cup of cooked frozen corn.  Eggs and corn get salt.  Onion powder.  Pepper.  Dried parsley.  Then I use the dairy handblender to puree them.  Then I portion them out into individual servings and refrigerate.

I have increased the tool inventory this week – I purchased two sets of silicon spatulas, in blue and red, clearly marked dairy and meat.  I can now get far more puree out of the beaker or the food grinder, and more safely, plus I really like cooking with a silicon spatula in general – safe for all cookware and the best stirrers around.

So, yesterday – zucchini and broccoli and string beans for Mendy, as well as the ground chicken.  Also the three salads.  For everyone else, I made baked tilapia.  Ilya loves tilapia.  And a pan of steamed spinach.

Today, Mendy got baked potatoes and sweet potatoes.  I bake the sweet potatoes, pull off the skin, and mash them with margarine, salt and cinnamon.  The baked potatoes are squashed and I add two slices of cheese.  I squash them because all of Mendy’s food is portioned into these little 4×5 foil containers with lids. They used to have cardboard lids, but we ran out, and when we sent a counselor to get more (taking Mendy with her), she came back with the right little containers, but with plastic dome lids.  I did some experimenting and discovered that placing the lids upside down made the containers stack nicely and in less space.  So that’s what I do. The baked potatoes don’t always fit, but they’re squashable.   He also got spinach.  And I figured something out – it takes less time to puree the entire bag of spinach first and then season it (salt, pepper, garlic powder, oil) and then portion it than to season and puree one portion at a time.  And the small spatula is still very useful.

He also got his dessert – sugarfree seven layer cake.  I divide it into twelfths and put it in the same containers.

Everyone else?  I made beef stew with sweet potatoes.  I cut the stew meat very small first.  I got five trays out of it.  Two went into the freezer, two went right over to Keshet, and one stayed in Kerem.  I also made and froze two trays of mashed potatoes, and cooked a bag of frozen green beans.

And I cut my left thumb.  Interestingly, it’s vertical.  Otherwise?  I spent the day listening to MSNBC and the horrific news.

Categories: cooking, work
  1. otherdeb
    January 16, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    I’m probably being stupid here, but it’s late and my brain isn’t working well. Can you do a more specific recipe for the corn salad? It sounds really yummy!

    Thank you in advance.

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