Thursday, November 03, 2005

Busy Busy Meltdown Busy

Well I blatantly stole the title, but you're lucky I'm even posting.

Work has had a bit of a crisis recently, which has been kind of fun. One of my dirty little secrets is that deep down inside, I like stress. Yeah, mister "I'm so laid back it's a wonder I don't topple over", has a dark side which gets a buzz from the twisted feeling you get in your stomach when everything feels like it's going wrong.

Hehe, but let's blog about food instead, since I seem to be around work constantly (most of the people I know in Malta at the moment work with me) and so have no urge to write about it here.

I've been making a lot of pasta recently, fairly simple stuff. Obviously, pasta is simple, although boiling it up with a chicken stock cube in the water and a pinch of oregano is a big improvement. But even the sauces aren't rocket science. A little care and flair (when the world recognises my unique genius and I get my internatinal TV show, that's going to be a catch phrase I think) can produce a pretty tasty dish.

I'm proof that any idiot can cook.

Pasta for dummies.

Big Fryingpan
Wooden Spoon
Chef Knife
Chopping Board
Stove top

Cooking oil (I like using olive oil, but whatever works)
1 Chicken breast
2-4 rashers bacon
1 Yellow Pepper (Capsicum in Kiwispeak)
1 onion
Garlic (I use 4 cloves, 2 would be plenty)
Frozen sweetcorn
Bottle / can basic pasta sauce.
Mixed Herbs
Chicken stock cube

Break a couple of cloves of garlic off the head. Crush them using the flat of the knife (turn it sideways and use the palm of your hand on the side of the blade). Peel them then slice into little bits.

Peel the onions and slive them into little bits. The easiest way to do this is to chop the top and bottom bits off, then cut about half way through the onion and then peel off the outside layer of onion.

Chop the pepper. Again, slice the top and bottom bits off to start. It can get a bit tricky here, but if you slip the knife down inside and carefully work it round, you should be able to slice away most of the seedy rubbish. Once you've stripped off most of the white gunk, slice the pepper into little bits.

Slice the chicken breast and the bacon into little pieces.

Half or two thirds fill the saucepan with water, place it on the stove. Add a splash (one quick tip of most bottles, about 15-30ml) of oil and the chicken stock cube (break it up first). Leave this until the water starts boil.

Add the garlic, a bit of oil, and some mixed herbs to the frying pan over a medium heat. Add in the chicken and bacon. Stir frequently.

Once the chicken bits are white all over, add the pepper and onions, and continue to stir.

When the water starts to steam, add the pasta to the saucepan.

Continue to stir the frying pan until the chicken starts to go dark brown, making sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Then turn the heat down and add your pasta sauce. Add a bit of water to the emtpy bottle / can, slosh it about and then tip the tomatoey water into the frying pan too. Continue to stir the sauce gently, adding another pinch or two of herbs.

When the pasta starts to feel just a little too chewy, tip the corn into the saucepan.

When the pasta to done to your taste, turn the stove off and drain the pasta.

Put the pasta on plate(s) or containers, whatever you plan on doing with it.

Turn the fryingpan off, and spoon or pour the sauce on top of the pasta, put some cheese on top.

Eat (and feel rather pleased with yourself.

Next time, gourmet baked beans on toast.

'course, to uber-gormet it you could make your own pasta, just mix semolina and flour (about 50/50) with eggs - a food processor is ideal and quick. Roll out and cut into strips. Cooks quicker than the dry stuff....
Welcome to the world of Neurotic People Who Strive on Stress.

We're the over-achieving motivated successful money-making Darth Vaders. We just don't kill people - often.

(nice title :P )
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