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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day off + No $$$ = Domestic Goddess

So, I cook for a living. I cook for other people, that is. I cook things that other people have told me to make, or things I have come up with that mostly had to be approved. So, sometimes, I want to cook for myself things that I like. And then sometimes I am very low on funds, and I need to cook cheaply. And so over the years, this has always been a trend, and I find that poor cooking can be some of the yummiest cooking!

Like the other night, the Food Pimp did sushi class. He didn't have sushi left over, because people are animals when it comes to sushi. But he did have rice left, so he made fried rice. This is weird, because I really don't know if he's ever made fried rice in his life. But it was delicious. Nothing fancy, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, veggies.

So today I went grocery shopping for the weekend. You have to understand, that for us - the Food Pimp and I (the food ho) grocerying is not usual. We make groceries one meal at a time, maybe 2. Don't ask why. Anyhoo, I went to Pancho's and used the usual strategy... go to the meat section first. So, I just looked for the cheapest per pound meat... chicken leg quarters.

So, chicken grosses me out raw. And then, I watch something like Food Inc, and it grosses me out even more. But 10# of leg quarters for $7.90, I get over the grossness. Plus I'm going to make adobo which means less handling of raw meat and cooking the hell out of it, so there's no samonella or bacteria. Sure, I could still get sick, but I'm not that worried. So I won't give you the adobo recipe, because I've posted it so many times.

But I'll list the ingredients - chicken, peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic cloves, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, water, onion, eggplant, mushrooms. Yes, eggplant and mushrooms. I like to use these veggies because they soak up the adobo flavors. So, I browned the bay leaves and peppercorns, then added the onions. Then I took all that out of the pot, and I started to brown the chicken. Then I thought, why bother. Usually, it's to render fat out for flavor and seal in the moisture of the meat and because that's what they teach in culinary school. But when you're braising for hours, it doesn't need it. So I just added the peppercorns and stuff back in the pot, then added the vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar and water.


So I didn't have a pot big enough for 10#s, so I left 2 legs in the pot that I made the sauce in, and I put the rest in a half hotel pan with most of the sauce (aluminum baking pan) and covered it and shoved it in the oven. The 2 legs were for rush cooking for lunch. Now all of it is just sitting on top of the stove "cooling".


And I almost forgot the cookies baking, but luckily I'm blogging about them so I pulled them out at just the right time.


I made peanut butter ginger oatmeal cookies. All with ingredients I scrounged from the pantry and the fridge. I basically fused together a recipe from the internets, and a recipe from the oatmeal tub, and adjusted it according to what I had available. It is just okay for a cookie. I love good cookies, and I could eat them by the dozens. These are alright. But I didn't have to spend extra money to make them, besides the energy I used having the oven on. Am I the only one that used the Quaker oatmeal tub as a drum when I was little, or did everyone do that? I was always excited about that tub when the oatmeal was almost gone. Amazingly, I could never be a drummer and I have horrible rhythm. Yes, I do play bass, but I kinda fake the rhythm part with a lot of concentration.

But anyway, I'm not going to give you the adobo recipe, because if you want it you can search for adobo in my blog and find probably one or two recipes. I suppose I'll give you the cookie recipe, because it's probably been about 2 years since I posted any kind of recipe on this here little blog!

Peanut Butter Ginger Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 c peanut butter (this is all I had of some generic springfield brand stuff that the FP used in a cooking class)
1 c brown sugar
3/4 c powdered sugar (because I didn't see the bag of granulated sitting right on the counter in front of me)
2/3 c shortening
1 oz butter (because that's all the butter I had)
2 eggs
2 t vanilla (whatever amount of vanilla the recipe calls for, I usually double or triple it because I like it, I like it a lot)
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c cocoa powder (just cause I found some)
1 c oats
1/2 c chopped ginger (because I was too lazy to grate or mince it - c'mon, it's my day off!)

Cream the pb, sugars, shortening and butter. Scrape the bowl, then add the eggs and vanilla and mix. Add the flour and oats and cocoa and mix. Scrape the bowl. Add the ginger and mix it again. Lightly grease a pan. Space 2 oz scoops evenly apart on the pan. Bake for about 9 minutes on in oven, preheated to 350. They are done when they are golden. Take off pan and let cool before you eat one. It will be so much better if it doesn't crumble in your hands.

7 comments:

caninecologne said...

hi fh,
funny, i just made adobo tonight. i made 2 big batches for the secretaries and our dept for tomorrow. Wednesday was secretary's day - fk that PC term, "Administrative Assistant" or whatever). they're mexican and white, so filipino adobo makes them happy and excited because it's "exotic" to them. they're going to get a goodass meal tomorrow complete with rice.

i notice you put brown sugar in yours. i've got to try that next time. we basically have the same recipe (except for the water and brown sugar). i brown my chicken first then dump that shit into the pot.

here's my not so secret ingredient ---i will throw in a frozen ice cube or two made of calamansi juice. i just reduce the amount of vinegar. i will also add sliced ginger.

i need to try cooking other chicken parts instead of just wings. those are kinda too fatty but man, it tastes good.

sometimes, i will even add annatto powder so that the adobo will look reddish. my mom does that. but i used the old school recipe.

my daughter likes the empy oatmeal tub. yes, she used it as a drum. we're cheap parents. we didn't buy her a lot of toys. we gave her empty containers and wooden spoons and plastic tubs to play with. she ended up putting her lego pieces and other crap in there. makeshift musical instrument.

Ryan Hogrefe said...

I used to get Chicken Adobo from the street vendors in Manila. I ate the fish balls once and made the mistake of dipping in the "community" sauce. Ended up in the Makati ER.

~Ryan

the food ho said...

CC - that is really weird that you made adobo too. I'm sure everyone at work will be thrilled!

So no brown sugar? Hm. I usually put ginger in mine too if I remember, but I didn't this time. The calamansi cube sounds delicious. I want a calamansi tree!

Maybe sometime next month I'll have a regular schedule again and we can plan lunch or dinner. We're hibernating for now.

Ryan - sounds like bad luck. I do things like that, and then realize I shouldn't until it's too late. I haven't gone to the Philippines since I think I was 7. I'd love to go back, but, you know, taking time off and having money is always an issue. Thanks for reading!

caninecologne said...

hi fh - whenever we end up meeting up lunch, i can bring you a bag of my calamnsi cubes. even if it melts you can freeze that shit up in the ziploc it's in.

yeah, the secretaries loved it. and so did my co-workers. there were no leftovers. i also sent a plate to our resident Spaniard (a Spanish teacher), but it only so i could connive him to make me paella for next time. ha ha.

yeah, let me know when your sched permits...

word ver:
slyti

Khanh said...

So I totally understand the no$$$ idea. When I was in college, my goto dish was a pseudo-asian spaghetti stir fry. My very conservative east coast boy friend loves it. Basically: spaghetti, chopped veggies - whatever you have on hand (carrots, celery, onion, broccoli, zucchini, red or green bell peppers), italian sausage (de-cased) or chicken (if using chicken, chop into small pieces and marinade in soy sauce, pepper, mirin if you have it.

Basic technique, start with the meats, break up sausage or brown chicken. Add veggies until just tender. Remove to a bowl. Into skillet, add bit of oil and garlic and the pasta. Once they are warmed add some Maggi, stir fry until a good color and flavor is obtained Add veggies and meat back, adjust for seasoning. Here's the secret: add parmesean cheese and mix in. A couple of handfulls usually does it. It adds an unexpected savory element...

If you try, I hope you enjoy

the food ho said...

Khanh, that sounds like something I would have probably tried to make in college too. So interesting... it's like italian chop suey.

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