A Day of Cooking

This is my catch up post, which I titled yesterday, but never wrote.  So, here goes.

Yesterday, I managed to do a lot of cooking (what this really means was that I was feeling under the weather and feeling avoidant…then again, I pretty much feel avoidant every day of the week…hmm.).  First, I tackled the cabbage.  I managed to cook up a batch of Nom Nom Paleo’s World’s Best Braised Cabbage.  Now, my pictures are no where near as pretty as hers, but this is what my prep looked like.  (Oh, PS, I made some modifications…are you surprised??)

After setting the oven for 325 degrees Fahrenheit, the first issue was to determine what I was going to use for fat.  I realized I had a recently neglected bit of duck fat left and that’s what I used.  I probably did not have the required 1/4 cup of fat, but no matter, I used the fat that I had to grease my Pyrex baking dish and for the recipe itself.  The fat actually did not melt fast enough for my liking and I ended up just smearing the softened fat onto my cabbage sections…yup, that’s me, impatient and weird.  It worked out, you’ll see.  So my left over duck fat.

Duck fat is great.  The container says to use in place of butter.  I’m not entirely sure about that, but duck fat smells like a crispy roasted duck to me and it’s a great fat to use.  Gives dishes a bit of subtle flavor.  I like it best for my veggies, but it works for just about everything.  (Don’t hold me to that last part…it’s mostly speculation.)

In case you have no idea what a greased pan looks like, I present to you my greased Pyrex baking dish.  If you don’t have Pyrex in your kitchen, you should.  It works in just about every cooking situation, they now come with plastic covers, and you can buy them at Target.  What more can you ask for?  Plus, glass is the way to go.

After greasing my Pyrex with my chunk of duck fat, I proceeded to wrestle with the green cabbage using my one and only trusty kitchen knife.  I do own two smaller colored knives, but those are for peeling fruit and small jobs.  I’m pretty sure this cabbage would have broken those knives, which would have made me quite irritated.  Anyway, my trusty kitchen knife managed to get me through, but it was a tough time involving a lot of muscle and force.

I did manage to eventually make the cabbage look like this:

As you can see, not a whole lot of space in there.  I ended up taking out one slice from the line up and that lone chunk of cabbage is now sitting raw in my fridge.  I’ll have to figure out something else for that piece.

Using my trusty Himalayan salt (I love the pink color), some fresh ground black pepper, and some chili pepper powder (I didn’t have any flakes and I wasn’t about to expand my nightshade stash.), I spiced up my cabbages.

The cabbages along with the red onions and carrots before heading into the oven:

I actually used more than one carrot.  I had probably three or four left of the short, fat, stubby variety that needed to be used, so I dumped them all in.  I also felt lazy and just put them in peel and all.  (I did wash them very well, I’m not that much of a weirdo.)

After more than two hours of oven time, the final product came out looking like this:

My taste test verdict: The cabbage was quite good.  It’s even good cold from the fridge (I tried it that way today…I’m too lazy to heat things up usually…yes, I know it’s called a microwave, but I don’t really like them).

I actually enjoyed making this, save the wrestling with the cabbage to get it into wedges, because having this going in the oven left me to do other things in the kitchen and I felt really productive.  I managed to get all my greens washed and a bunch of them cooked.

While the cabbage was going…

I washed and chopped my rainbow chard for a stir fry.

I usually use onions in my stir fries, but my last onion went to the braised cabbage dish, so I did a quick olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper and the chard came out wonderfully.  You can really taste the chard, which I like.  I had to cook it in batches, which really highlighted the different colors.

Here is red.

Then there is yellow.

And then everything all together.  There were more than just red and yellow, but those were the dominant colors in the bunch.  As you can see, I’m using my 9×9 Pyrex baking dish here as a storage vessel.  It has a top that snaps on making it easy to toss in the fridge.  (I guess today is my Pyrex plug day.)

I also washed up my red Russian Kale, which I did not cook, but after letting it dry a bit, I put in a big plastic bag for future use.

While I was doing this, I was also hungry for lunch, so I fried up a duck egg.  I went with my “dud” green egg, which was not really a dud, just different looking.  The one thing I noticed about duck eggs is that they have a huge yolk and a very thin consistency to the whites.  I like the way it fries up.  It makes over easy very easy to accomplish, since the yolk is so huge.

I ended up eating my duck egg with some fresh chopped Japanese mustard greens.

After my quick lunch, the braised cabbage was still going.  While I was putting my freshly washed greens away, I spotted the leftover cauliflower and decided to take advantage of an already heated up oven, and threw these guys in with some olive oil, salt, and pepper into the oven after the braised cabbage was done.  Initially, I wanted to add these to the oven, but I couldn’t really maneuver everything, so I settled for after.  Either way, I saved on the impatience of waiting for this oven to heat up.  (I really am not a fan of electric.)

For dinner, I stir fried some of the tatsoi in sesame oil with some chopped garlic.  I put the chopped garlic into the warmed up sesame oil and let the garlic toast a bit before I dump in the tatsoi.  Tastes better that way.  I also add some salt and black pepper to taste.

I always think of shrimp and bok choi going together and since tatsoi is not really that different from bok choi, I dug out some shrimp from my freezer and pan fried them.  What I did was salt and pepper them generously and place in a warm pan of olive oil.  Then I put a lid on them to steam them up for a couple of minutes and then flip them and finish off the cooking.  Here they are on top of the tatsoi.

As you can see, my shrimp are quite peppery looking and they taste very good this way, so try it sometime.

So that was my day of food yesterday.  While we’re at it, I think I’m just going to update you on today.  I don’t know when I’m going to be back with more posts, since I’m supposed to be studying.  I suspect it won’t be too long, but you never know.

Today’s recap is pretty short.

Breakfast was a huge salad of chopped Japanese mustard greens, stir fried rainbow chard, and roasted cauliflower topped with a pan fried duck egg.  Yum!

This photo is making me hungry.

Moving on, we have my little experiment with rabbit meat.  Since I don’t have any onions and I wasn’t sure I wanted to use garlic because I thought it would overpower the rabbit meat, I cooked the ground rabbit in olive oil with salt, black pepper, and a dash of coriander.  I was going through my spices and coriander called to me.  I have no idea why.  After the rabbit meat was cooked, I turned off the heat and dumped in some chopped Japanese mustard greens and moved things around until the greens were wilted, but still vibrantly green.  Tasty!

So, this ended up being lunch with some roasted cauliflower to amp up the vegetable factor.

Dinner was the same as yesterday – left over bok choi and shrimp.

As for desserts and snacks…I had my pumpkin yogurt, which was tasty, but I think I was hoping for more of a pumpkin pie taste.  The good thing is that it wasn’t sweet, so I might be willing to buy more than two yogurts this coming week at the farmer’s market.  I felt like such a scrooge only buying two yogurts yesterday.

The last issue is that of chocolate.  I’m running out and although I think I should probably forget about buying any for the time being, I’m thinking that either I can go and buy it in a planned fashion, or I can wait until I’m raving mad for chocolate and buy it in a chocolate craving induced frenzy.  I’m thinking the first option is the better choice.

Off I go…I hope everyone has a great week!

PS I just tried to post this and got an error message and nearly fainted at the thought that I might have to write this post all over again from scratch!  Oh the horror!  Luckily, all that was missing was the last line and the tags. Phew!!

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