Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Progress

Cooking has progressed. I finally managed to make the orange muffins without screwing them up. Sorry, no pictures. Most of the muffins have been eaten. But I really got them right. The batter was nice and lumpy and light, probably because I blended the liquids longer and didn't stir the livin' daylights out of the wet-plus-dry mixture. (Options: Demerara sugar, butter rather than oil. And a well-scrubbed orange.)

I've broiled two steaks. Butter, garlic powder (or minced garlic), ground black pepper. Nothing fancy, but it's been a long time since I had steak. Medium-rare, at that.

I've microwaved chicken breasts: a little lemon juice in the dish, mayonnaise on top of the breast, then garlic powder and ground black pepper. The mayonnaise keeps the chicken breast from drying out, and it disappears into the chicken with cooking. Seven minutes at #7 power was perfect; no pink left, 165F on the thermometer.

I bought a package of muffin mix. Chocolate chip muffins. Sounds good, but it was disappointing. They're white muffins with chips. My mouth wanted chocolate muffins.

On the other hand, I've made 3-2-1 microwave cake with a Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake as the second flavor. What you get is a chocolate angel food cake. (I think you're destined not to get a regular cake consistency. It'll have to be angel food.) So what I really want to do is combine the chocolate angel food with the chocolate chips in the muffin, because chocolate angel food is surprisingly disappointing, too. Next time I buy ingredients for the microwave cake, I'll remember the angel food consistency and try to plan better.

I've got a package of chicken thighs in the refrigerator, and I'm going to look around for an interesting recipe. I bought this cookbook, which has lots of good basic info including a list of typical pantry items to stock and advice about shopping for vegetables and stuff.

My microwave cookbook is going to be a problem. It was written in the days when "full power" meant 650 watts; my microwave is 1100 watts, so I can't just use the times and power settings from the book. But the book explains what wattage it means at each setting and tells how to calculate what wattage you're getting from your microwave at different settings, so I could set up a conversion table. (So much for the one cookbook I owned that was published in this century.)

And remember this?

Cast-iron skillet

After seasoning, it looks like this:

IMAG0674

Of course, recipes I've found for skillet cornbread have been for bigger skillets. I may make one of the cornbread mixes designed for a larger skillet and just bake in two batches--at least, as a trial.

And my oven is requiring some supervision. Sometimes 50 degrees above the recommended temperature is right; sometimes it gets too hot, sometimes not hot enough. This isn't terrible since I'm usually still in the kitchen for a while after I put something in the oven; I go ahead and wash dishes and blender and stuff.

4 comments:

deenbat said...

You're ahead of me - I'm far too lazy to ever bother with cast iron cookwear.

craftaceousperiod said...

I make the 321 cake all the time. I use the angelfood mix with a dark chocolate cake mix. Then, take some canned frosting and microwave it until it's runny. Drizzle some on the cake. Since the cake is porus, the frosting seeps all through it and makes it gooey. Adding chocolate chips works very well.

I've not microwaved chicken breasts. How was the texture? I always do mine in the crock pot. I've microwaved ground beef (to use in tacos and chili) but somehow I always imagined the chicken would be rubbery.

KF-in-Georgia said...

A goopy layer of mayonnaise on the chicken breast and some liquid in the bottom of the dish (water or lemon juice) will give you moist chicken, not rubbery at all. Also, cook at less than 100% on the microwave, so the outside isn't getting overcooked while you're concentrating on getting the insides cooked thoroughly. Saturday night was chicken thighs cooked the same way. Sunday, I may see if I can figure out something with barbecue sauce, still done in the microwave.

craftaceousperiod said...

Hmmmm. Now you've inspired me to try some chicken in the nuker!!