Tag Archive | science

3/21/17

Apologies for this huge hiatus. Long story short: I wasn’t myself during that time, but now that I’ve made some changes that allow me to resume my merry ways, I’m happy to announce that I am back! One amazing thing happened while I was away though–more recently now, since I haven’t officially started yet–I have a job! An actual paying job that will allow me to cook for the elderly.

Getting hired was a very easy process (only for me at this particular establishment). The people are super nice there and right now, I’m in the middle of the hiring process, but I handled all the medical stuff today (drug testing and the physical). They should be getting those results back, I don’t know when. That’s not my concern. Once all that is handled, I have to go back in and start part two of the hiring process, I guess, which is a two-hour appointment with more paperwork.

Anyways, so now that I’m getting on my feet, I’ve decided last-minute to make dinner, for old times’ sake. I’m currently taking a break because I wanted to serve Tasty’s Shrimp and Asparagus Stir-Fry, with rice, which takes time to make fresh–about an episode of CSI‘s worth. The wait is only until I have ten minutes left (oh, we have our own rice pressure cooker, which tells us how much time is left to cook and then how long this batch has been cooked). That way, we don’t have to wait till the rice is finished if I just jumped right into cooking.

I did do most of my mise en place however: prepping the shrimp, asparagus, and lemon juice. This was the first time that I’ve learned that shrimp sometimes comes with poop. You can buy it without it, apparently, and with or without skin. I had to buy two trays’ worth of large shrimp, just so I could get an entire pound. I have a little less than a pound though, for both shrimp and asparagus, which means I should take out some of the lemon juice too.

The video shows the chef squeezing in the juice themselves directly out of the pulp, but that confuses me, because what about the seeds? I squeezed out the juice into a small bowl and then used a handheld strainer to separate the liquid from the seeds.

BRB–I’m down to four minutes. Better get cookin’!

And…at least 15 minutes later, the finished product:  The first bite was a little too salty, but not painfully. Overall, the dish was absolutely delicious! I’d definitely make it again. I just did it exactly the way the clip showed it (except I might have forgotten the lemon juice even though I prepped it–oh well, I’ll just save it).

This yield was the perfect amount for the three of us, in my opinion.

I think I might know why the dish was slightly too salty. If I recall correctly from class, lemon juice equalizes saltiness, so I think if I had remembered to put it in before service, it might have made the dish less salty. Maybe. Don’t quote me on that. I learned something like it during the first week of class when we started on vinaigrettes. The point of the exercise was to get creative with our vinaigrettes and make adjustments based on the chemical reactions, I guess? I was never good at science. If something is too salty, add lemon juice, or vice versa–that way, they balance each other out.

Again, don’t quote me on that; it’s just what I remember hearing in class.

So that’s what I had to say about that! Bon Appétit! And break an egg!

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4/18/16

You know, I never realized this about cooking: even if you’re following a published recipe, it’s exactly like a science experiment. Think about it: let’s take a look at the scientific method:

  1. Question: “Which recipe should I use?”
  2. Research: “I have a bunch of options, so I need to narrow it down by specifics.”
  3. Hypothesis: “I think this recipe will work best for me.”
  4. Experiment and Make Observations: “Let’s try it and make sure it goes perfectly.”
  5. Did it work?: “Was it right or did it have flaws? If so, what were they?”
  6. Adjust: “More of that, less this.”
  7. Test again: “Will this round be better?”
  8. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

Isn’t this so true though? I thought of it after the conversation my family had about the cake yesterday. “Too sweet.” “Use olive or canola oil if you’re going to use the entire bottle, because avocado oil is expensive.”

Anyway, back to business: today is going to be an easy culinary day. Instead, I’m going to provide a recipe for a ham and cheese sandwich that I personally love (or at least figured out myself). Of course, this meal is one of those dishes that works best by preference, so you can go with other choices of meats and cheeses. This is just what I usually make myself.

This recipe is based on what my high school would typically serve for breakfast. It was a plain bagel with fried egg, ham, and cheese. Or was it turkey and cheese? Either way, this is what it’s based off of. It doesn’t taste exactly like what they served in school, but it’s pretty darn close.

Ingredients:

1 plain bagel

1 or two slices provolone cheese (I get the reduced fat from Lucerne Dairy Farms)

1 or two slices Beef Bologna (Again, I get the light version because it has 50% less fat)

1 egg

 

Instructions:

  1. Slice the bagel in half and leave it open.
  2. On a medium-sized fry pan, in medium heat, apply a little bit of olive oil–not too much or too little; just enough to make sure it doesn’t stick…or whatever olive oil is supposed to do. Too much oil might cause it to burn you when your ingredients pop. At least I think that’s why I kept getting hit with pops of oil.
  3. Apply the egg and let it run (as in you can poke the yolk).
  4. In the same pan (but kept separately), add the ham.
  5. After a minute or two, flip all your fried ingredients. Flip them a couple more times until you think they’re ready. (And make sure that you’ve got your cheese slices ready too, because it’s a lot better when they melt at first touch, like you and your true love <3<3 .)
  6. As the egg is running and setting into what it’s officially going to look like once cooked, gather up all the yolk and make sure the shape is somewhat a circular blob. Then press down with the spatula as a way to, I don’t know, make sure it stays that shape. Then, I flip it and make sure the other side gets it too. It creates an ugly indent of the spatula shape, but you’re not gonna see the entire egg since you’re going to be eating it in a sandwich. (Even if it’s pretty, you’re there to eat it, not stare at its pretty face.) Don’t forget to flip the meat as you’re doing this too.
  7. Now, place the finished egg on the bottom half of the bagel. Then, place a cheese slice on top. Add a slice of ham, another layer of cheese, another layer of ham, and press the top half of the bagel down. (Bonus points if you match both halves to their rightful place!)
  8. Cut it in half and, if you’re fine with eating it like this, then bon appétit! If you think you’d like the entire sandwich to be warm, microwave it for 15-30 seconds. And then bon appétit!

We freeze all our bread so it doesn’t grow mold, so what I have to do first is microwave it for one minute, if all I want is the bagel. If I’m prepping it for the sandwich, I microwave for 30 seconds and then start the recipe. When I’m done making the sammy, I cut it in half and save the other for later (so cover it with Saran wrap and place it in the fridge).

FYI, I literally just put this recipe together based on what I usually do, and set more specific limits by going along with it. (I guess I’m set for dinner.) That means that it’s not the official recipe I’m going with. Even if it is the most perfect recipe for me, it probably won’t be for you since you and I have different tastes. That’s why you can add whatever ingredients you’d like to your individual bagel sandwich preferences. This one is mine, which I am suggesting you try.

That being said, I know this isn’t some fancy meal, or even a unique idea. Whatever version of this you’ve been doing, keep it if it works for you. I mean, there may be an intricate version of this that the professionals use. This way just works for me, but if there’s a better way for me to make the ham, egg, and cheese bagel they once made in school, I’m all for that.

Now that I recall though, they never cooked the ham… It was just the plain bagel with cheese, ham, and egg (in order from top to bottom) and they’d microwave it for 45-60 seconds. I’m confused. I’ll try that next time and get back to you. Till then, my friends, The Breakfast Sandwich:IMG_2665