Friday, November 29, 2013

Day 4 of mat leave: Dessert in slow cooker success! Kind of.

Yesterday I made some Cantonese basics for dinner once more- stir fry Bok Choy and stir fry soy sauce-garlic-salt-sugar marinaded chicken breast. Both came out quite passable! Lessons learned:

-more salt for bok choy and cut the stems in half for easier stir frying. 
-need more marinade for chicken! I was so afraid of making the chicken too salty, I went super light on the sauce-garlic-salt-sugar combo. My mom suggested light and dark soy sauce with a bit of Hoisin in the marinade for next time. 
-chop chicken waaay thinner so I don't have to overcook the meat because I'm afraid it won't come out thoroughly cooked !

What I love about stir fry- the actual cooking takes about 45 minutes for a noob like myself, for someone like my mother, cooking time can be cut down to 30 minutes and even 20 minutes depending on quantity. Prep time for the chicken was another 15 minutes as the chicken breast came nicely packaged from the grocery store. The lengthy task was washing the damn Bok Choy. Now I get why my mom and aunts get annoyed when we don't finish the vegies :) It's a pain in the ass to wash. So next time you are enjoying Chinese leafy vegetables, don't waste what's on your plate! Washing a full bag of those leaves took me 45 minutes on it's own to rinse and wash 3 times as I like the water to run clear...

The dish that warmed my heart though and that I looked forward to all day was my apple crumble! Baked ... or cooked in our slow cooker! It took 5.5 hours to cook. Prep time was about 40 minutes as I was too lazy to find our blender for the crumble and I'm just slow at peeling and coring apples. Adding to the eagerness I'm sure was the heavenly smells of apple and cinnamon wafting through our home all, day, long ! When it was finally done, which was after dinner was served and dishes washed, I thought it was delicious! At least for my first serving. My mom and husband found the crumble a bit overpowering which upon my second serving, I also felt the same. As a quick remedy to even out the sugar-y and butter-y crumble, we peeled 3 more apples and just cooked them in a pot for 15 minutes until they were soft and added it to the crumble. Problem solved, now my crumble is a nice balance of sugar-y with tart and acidic. 

All in all, a good day for my culinary training. Here are some pictures of yesterday's food: 

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