My project for the new year is to learn how to cook! I have enlisted the help of my kitchen-saavy fiance, Will, to teach me how to find my way around. While I am already adept at creating delightful baked items, but my dinner skills could use some major improvement. Thus, Will is going to help me master the art of cooking.
We began on the January 1 with an adapted Salsa Black Bean Soup. We borrowed a recipe from Will’s new favorite blog, Budget Bytes, and created what we could from our fridge and pantry. Instead of using all the vegetables the recipe calls for, we just used some salsa we had in the fridge. After running 2/3 of the soup through the food processor, we added some half and half to thicken it up, and once we mixed it all back together, we enjoyed a fabulous soup! To reference the recipe, look here: Budget Bytes: Black Bean Roasted Salsa Soup
On January 2nd, we had some friends over for a Moroccan feast. I was in charge of making the hummus, which involved a new relationship with the food processor. Chick peas do not chop easily. After adding in spices here and there (at Will’s discretion), we finally determined that the typical hummus recipe we had used turned out good enough (although I still think it had too strong of a tahini taste to it). Will made the main course for our friends, Moroccan meatballs and poached eggs in a tagine, and I provided some peppermint chip cookies which are a disaster to make, but end up looking pretty cute and tasty.
On January 3rd, we cheated and heated up a pizza on our stone. Womp womp.
Tonight, January 4, we made spicy Thai noodles, a recipe I found on Pinterest. The lesson started off with Will once again having to correct my knife technique while cutting the vegetables. I also received a lesson in shredding carrots without having to use the cheese grater. We stumbled upon one problem in the recipe where we were supposed to strain ground red peppers out of the oil they were heating in, but we don’t have a fine enough strainer! So Will went through the tedious process of trying to scoop as many peppers out of the oil as possible. The recipe was fairly simple just requiring this oil mixture, noodles and an arrangement of nuts/veggies. We mixed it all together and voila! Dinner! As we sat down to eat, we discovered why the recipe had suggested straining out the peppers-it was SPICY. But it was very good, despite the occasional dousing of red peppers over the tongue and we look forward to the leftovers tomorrow.
Spicy Thai Noodles (from A Small Snippet)
1 box linguine*
1-2 tbsp crushed red pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sesame oil
6 tbsp honey
6 tbsp soy sauce
Toasted sesame seeds
Boil noodles then drain. Chop the green onions, cilantro, and peanuts. In a small pan, heat both oils and crushed red peppers over medium heat. Strain out the pepper and reserve the oil. Whisk honey and soy sauce in with reserved oil. Toss the mixture with the noodles and refrigerate until cold. Serve topped with green onions, cilantro, peanuts and toasted sesame seeds. Serve chilly or warm.
*Soba noodles work well, if you don’t want to do linguine.