Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Now, I’m really cooking

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,By Bread Alone,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 9:35 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

So, back when I was dating LK, I really got cooking.

No, not that, you dirty-minded naughty people. Cooking on a stove with food. But, since surviving cancer, I’ve been doing real cooking, from scratch, not the regular, heating up canned sauce and pouring it over cheap pasta that I usually do for myself. A couple of weeks ago, I actually made marinara sauce from scratch, and poured it over cheap pasta. Here’s how:

  • Pour enough olive oil in a sauce pan to cover the bottom with a little bit to spare
  • Add some fresh, crushed garlic (I used about half a full clove)
  • Saute that in the hot oil until garlic is golden brown and smells good
  • Add fresh chopped tomatoes until about two thirds of the sauce pan is full.
  • Spice to taste, but I included more garlic, oregano, rosemary, thyme and pepper. (Actually, most people could do without as much pepper as I used, but, still, I liked it.)
  • Simmer for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Add spices for color and taste.

Yeah, that’s it. Simple as all get out, isn’t it? And, yes, I fed it to actual human beings besides myself who enjoyed it, so they claimed, and did not die. I made that again, but added mostly cooked Italian sausage to make a meat sauce. Oh… Well, let’s just say my “lose weight” resolution took a little beating.

Then, there was the salad dressing I made with one cup of olive oil, one cup of apple cider vinegar and two table spoons of parsley. And some sugar and some other spices which I would tell you, if I could remember what I used. As salad dressing, it was okay. But, as something to dip bread into while we waited for the pasta to cook? Oh, I don’t think I exagerate when I say it was heavenly. Something about the tang of that apple cider vinegar just really, really went well with the fresh Italian bread.
A similar concoction for cold pasta salad didn’t do quite as well. Still, it wasn’t entirely a failure, so, I might try that again.

A couple of weeks after she broke up with me, I made “Mystery Whitefish” Almondine ala Leftovers. I had two small fillets of an unknown variety in my fridge that had to get used before they go nasty, so I grabbed my copy of Cooking for 1 or 2 and started to improvise. You see, I almost never have the ingredients I need on hand when I start cooking, so, I just come close and muddle through. I often find it surprising what I find when I do that.
This time, I substituited a failed batch of cornbread for bread crumbs and found something new and wonderful. Here’s what I did:

  • Toss your fillets into a bit of milk. Just enough to cover them a bit.
  • In another pan or plate, toss the cornbread crumbs and mix in a bit of pepper and salt. I used Lowry’s seasoned pepper, but whatever works for you.
  • Pop a medium fry pan onto the stove and, when it gets hot enough, melt a bit of butter in it.
  • Flop the fillets from the milk into the seasoned cornbread. Coat both sides well and drop them into the pan.
  • Cook until the fish is flaky and tender then flip the fillets onto a warm plate.
  • Throw some sliced or slivered almonds into the pan and saute until, what else, golden brown. I’d guess about a teaspoon or so per serving.
  • Serve over brown rice

I have to say, this was surprisingly delicious. Granted, there’s no one to verify the delectibility of this particular culinary experiment, but Hilda thought the plate tasted quite nice after I was done.

I tried this with chicken, instead of fish, and cashews, instead of almonds, and, while I have no idea at all what to call it, the result was, well, to put it mildly, heavenly.

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