§305 I cooked todayMarch 5, 2009
I’m pretty sure it’s the first time ever I’ve cooked entirely by myself for someone else. Me and my wife agreed that sometime after the tests it would happen, and we settled on Thursday. During the week I started planning. My wife sent me a few websites with recipies, and I consulted the Åsna. Something that looks fancy but is pretty easy to make. She suggested to take “some meat”, fry it in a frying pan, add salt and pepper and just before it’s ready throw on some vinegar, to make it more tender. And then to take out the meat and use that stuff that’s left to make a gravy by adding cream and salt and pepper. Sounded pretty ok. I had no idea what kind of “some meat” I could take, but I thought I’d figure it out. Probably some beef fillet or cutlet, or maybe mutton if that’s not too expensive?
After that I searched those recipe sites for something potato-like. I found two recipies that I liked and improvised a mix between them. One was sliced oven roasted sweet potatoes (sliced as orange segments). I liked the idea, but it seemed a bit boring. Just olive oil, salt and pepper and nothing else. Then I found a potato recipe for the oven with pretty much the same things, but also garlic slices and something that was called “salvia” in Swedish (sage). I didn’t even know what that was, but I wikipedia’ed it on Swedish wikipedia and then clicked the “Hebrew” button next to it for the Hebrew word. Marvah. Ok, so if I see something called “marvah” in the shop, it’s woth checking out. If not, I’ll just do this with garlic only. Then I made a search for “colorful salad” and found a lense salad. I didn’t want lenses, but the rest of the salad looked ok, and so did the proposed dressing. It used both vinegar and olive oil which I was going to buy for the other stuff in any case. So there we go. Some sort of meat with a cream based gravy, sweet potato slices in oven with something on, and a colorful salad. Yesterday evening I went through the kitchen to see what was available and what was needed to be bought.
As I came to the supermarket I found that Marvah thing. Ok, worth a shot. The wine based vinegar looked really exclusive and fancy, but it had exactly the same name as the recipe, so I took it. In the meat section I saw entrecotes. Fine and ready, in packages of two each. Could it be more perfect? Just to make sure I asked the butcher there if that was for frying. He said “sure, 3 minutes tops”. I bought some fancy chocolate for dessert also (I’m not going to bake dessert, there’s some limit to my abilities), but totally forgot about something to drink. Wine would have been perfect for this meal, but it turned out that the little we had left is needed for the shabbat. Never mind. We drank Mango juice instead. I also bought Tsiftit. The Swedish salad recipe suggested cutting up feta cheese, but we both prefer tsiftit (usually known as “safed cheese” in English. Google it).
Then I came home, my wife went to our bedroom with her laptop to study and leave me alone in the kitchen. I started by turning on the oven letting it heat up and then clear some space. I figured I’ll make this potato thing first, and do the rest of the things while the potaotes are in the oven. So I cut up the sweet potatoes and one regular potato. Then I put it all on an oven pan with olive oil salt and pepper and shoved it into the oven and turned on the clock. I set it on 5 minutes less than needed, because 5 minutes before I needed to add the garlic and the sage. So now I had 20 minutes to fry the meat, cook the sauce, cut the salad, make the dressing and cut nice thin slices of garlic to add to the pan with sage leaves.
The meat took more than 20 minutes to get ready. I turned them over quite often and had it on low heat to make sure it gets cooked thouroughly. There’s nothing worse than meat that is burned on the outside and raw on the inside. When it looked ready I took a knife and cut in one of them. Still blood red inside. Fry longer. While I waited for that I started to cut the salad. But the worry for having it burned made me stop every other second to check on it and turn something over. I got a few vegetables cut, but nothing more. Then the meat was finally done, and I sprinkled on some vingegar and turned it over a couple of more times to make sure it melted and sank in real good on both sides. Then I took out the meat and poured in cream to make the gravy. Added salt and pepper. Then I turned to the vegetables again, and back to stir the gravy that had started to bubble. More cream, maybe a little bit vinegar… some more cream. Back to cut vegetables. Then all of a sudden beep-beep-beep, the potatoes alarm started to scream. Darn! I haven’t cut any garlic yet! And now it’s five minutes before it needs to be done. And the gravy is bubbling up again.
Breath… breath… put the salad aside for a while… turn of the gas underneath the gravy. Take out the potatoes from the oven and let them sit outside while you cut the garlic… there now…
Ok, potatoes stirred around a little, garlic and sage and a bit more olive oil added and done. Pan has been put back in the oven, and alarm is set for five minutes. Then I poured the gravy to a smaller cooking pan (instead of continuing with the same frying pan where I made the meat) and made some test tastes until I was satisfied with the result. Cut another vegetable, and the oven was done. Ok, food is done salad is not. Uhm… honey…? Heeeelp… how do I keep food warm…? It’s all done but the salad isn’t….! How the heck do you manage to get everything ready exactly at the same time..? Covering it up? Ok, I can do that, most of the pans have lids… here we go… ok, cut more vegetables, make a salad, take out the tsiftit… oh crap, more dishes for me. This salad bowl is to small I need to pour it all over to another one. Ok, and now we make the dressing. Olive oil, salt, pepper, vinegar, squished garlic, water… and shake it around before I pour it on the salad. There, done!
Honey, dinner’s ready!
This was the first time ever I planned, shopped and cooked an entire meal by myself for someone else. I know my dad will shake his head in disbelief when he reads this, and I totally agree. It’s not ok to do that for the first time ever when you’re almost 27. But good news, it works. I apparently can cook (more or less). I even improvised the recipies on my own, mixed two recipies together, and it worked out great. The taste that sage gave the potatoes was really interesting… never had anything like it. A bit too salt, I will keep that in mind for the next time. Now I also know how long time some of the things take so I’ll be able to plan my time better when needed.
I created something today. It was yummy.