Home > cooking, work > Working Cook March 8, 2010

Working Cook March 8, 2010

It’s Monday, all right, but, lovely reader, NO split pea soup.  I actually tossed out half a pot last week, so I’m guessing the boys are as tired of it as I am.

Instead, I made a vegetable soup.  I covered frozen “cholent meat” (probably a shoulder cut – very tough) with water and brought it to simmer.  Meanwhile, I prepped and added about a pound of carrots, two and a half onions, half a head of celery (the bottom half – the top half had frozen) and four sweet potatoes.  I also put in the usual herbs, including my favorite whisper of cumin.

I took the rest of the onions (one and a half) and browned them.  Meanwhile, I thawed ground beef and chicken, and took out zucchini and peas, and started a pot of water for orzo.

I mixed the onions with the ground beef plus egg, matzo meal and flavorings (including some oil) and made mini meatloaves.  The problem was, something had spilled on the floor of the oven, and while I was preheating, it started smoking badly.  Eventually, we got the windows and door open and the vent fan going, and it all settled down, but it was unpleasant for awhile.

I cooked the chicken to grind for Mendy (I made too much, so some of it got frozen. I’ll add it to this week’s chicken soup.) and then did the zucchini and the peas.  Shlomo (one of the office people, not a resident) asked me if I preferred to use canola or olive oil – he was watching me add olive oil to chicken before grinding it down.  The grinder works better if  you add some liquid.  I use water for the veggies and a touch of oil for meats. 

Olive oil is very good for you and has a distinctive taste, which makes it a useful flavoring agent.  However, too much heat and the flavor disappears.  The heat of sauteing will do it.  I use it for flavoring things that won’t get a lot of heat afterwards, like the chicken, like salads, like finishing touch for soup.  I do use it to cook Mediterreanean style foods because it’s more authentic. 

Otherwise, I like neutral oils – canola, corn, safflower.  They have higher smoke points, which makes them safer, and sometimes you don’t want the additional flavor.  You could use deflavored (aka “light”) olive oils, but, well.  No.  So the ground chicken was cooked in canola oil.

Dinner was mini-meatloaves with tomato sauce on top, orzo and cauliflower.  Mendy (and Misha) got chicken, peas and zucchini, and everyone got soup, which had a nice beefy taste.

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Categories: cooking, work
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