So I’m working from home now, and I wanted to learn how to cook. I can throw together pasta and ragu and if I had to, put a few burgers on the table without ruining them, but I like cooking shows and the things they do just make sense, you know what I mean?
My friend Jason is a fabulous cook. He makes things that I would never have eaten, and I can’t wait to try them. He got me over my whole “I don’t like Mushrooms” phase. Still can’t get me over the whole hating tomatoes thing, but he’s trying 🙂
So a few weeks ago, I was over his house and mentioned it’d be cool to learn how to cook. He suggested we have lesson meals where I do all the work and he guides me through it, that way I see what has to be done and am the one doing it. I have always learned better that way, so it sounded good.
A few weeks ago we had the first lesson – chicken & broccoli in a garlic lime sauce. We took a bunch of chicken breasts and sliced them into sections and put them in a pan with some oil and garlic powder. Once they started cooking I had to cut a few in half because they were thicker parts, but it all cooked nicely, squeezing lime over it periodically. Throw in the broccoli to cook quickly in the juice/oil mixture and we had a damn good dinner. My first as the one doing it all, and I have to say it tasted really good.
There were a few things that made sense during the cooking time that I will do differently, but all in all, the chicken was juicy, tasty, and went well with the warm, crunchy broccoli. Oh yeah, we had it with brown rice too, forgot that part 🙂
So we started thinking about lesson 2. He made a few suggestions, but the one thing he makes that I really love is Risotto with sausage and mushrooms. Let me tell you, I knew it would take a long time, but I wasn’t going to be deterred.
“Lets do the risotto.”
“Hey man, that’s not gonna be an easy one to…you know what, fuck it, lets do it” he said, giving me the list of stuff to get from the store. This one especially it was important to make sure everything was ready beforehand because you can’t leave it once you start stirring in the broth.
Sausage cooking in the olive oil in the pan, check. Throw in the mushrooms when it’s done with some chicken broth, check. Turn down to simmer the whole 20 minutes and let a mouthwatering aroma permeate the house for the whole time? *drool*, check. Sweated the onions, threw in the risotto, and started spooning. I didn’t realize why it takes so long, but it has to do with the absorption of the broth/water mixture, and the gradual release of the starch. It’s a process that takes patience and a lot of turning of the goop in the pot 🙂 Otherwise, you end up with rice soup that doesn’t taste very good.
All in all, I think it was the best risotto I’ve ever tasted. Was it because I made it? Probably, but my friend, Fae, and Gillian all said it really was that good. Aidan tried it, but if it’s not fried, he doesn’t really like the look of it. (Yeah, gets that from me).
Am I going to be a professional chef? No. Would I do a show if Guy Fiere came to my house and asked me? Definitely 🙂 Going to keep learning stuff on my own and with Jason tho because I really enjoyed myself. My parents are coming out Thursday for Aidan’s concert and I’m going to cook dinner, which I have to say I’m kinda excited about. Trying to figure out if I should make the lime chicken again, this time by myself, or ask Jason to have lesson number 3 🙂
Any suggestions on what I should make? I just realized Fae bought chicken, so it’d have to be with chicken. Thinking something with rosemary.