Summer is fast approaching. Summer has my favorite kind of weather, yet it's my least favorite season. Summer means that my family plans all these vacations, and I get really overwhelmed and stressed out. Summer is when so much of my mental energy is taken up by other things, that my side projects take a back seat.
All that to say, things are slowing way down for the food blog. I won't say I'm taking a break, but I'm tending towards making easier meals and spending less effort on creating aesthetically pleasing photos.
I really really like making this chicken and rice dish, but most of the time when I make it, I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. It's just easier. But this time, when I went to the store for chicken, the family pack of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs were 50% off, so I had to get that instead.
And really, the dish is so much better this way. What's nice about having the skin is that it gets nice and crispy when you intially cook it. But the problem with this dish is that you later nestle the chicken in while the rest of the rice is cooking, and the skin gets all soggy again. And I think the skin still tastes good that way, but it's just not the same.
So what did I do? I ate a whole bunch of crispy chicken skin right after cooking the chicken. So no, I don't have a full picture of the finished skillet because it's a bunch of naked chicken pieces and it's weird looking.
This dish actually makes a lot of rice, much more than what's needed for four chicken thighs, so I later cooked some more asparagus and salmon to also eat with it.
I know, I have a salmon and asparagus meal just three posts below this one! And I took a picture at exactly the same angle! Well, asparagus is in season, and I still have a ton of impulsively bought salmon, and this is just all my brain can handle right now.
(Okay...that salmon above? That's not even from the same shopping trip where I bought 2.5 lbs of salmon. This post's salmon was bought two weeks ago, and it was also an impulse buy. I had to! It was also 50% off!)
This was all already delicious right after I cooked it, but reheating the leftover rice in a skillet is 👌.
On my grocery shopping trip a week and a half ago, I impulsively bought some asparagus because it was only $0.99/lb! I figured this would go well with some salmon I impulsively bought last month.
Salmon is one of the easiest things to cook, but it is a little pricey, which is why I feel the need to impulsively buy it a lot. I love salmon, but I never order it from restaurants. I find that they never cook it right. It's always overcooked and dry and lacking flavor. But when I make it myself, it's always delicious.
My quick, go-to salmon dish is this Salmon with Dill. I first made it for a guy I was dating several years ago, and I remember it absolutely blew his mind at how good it tasted. I don't know. I didn't even measure anything. I did, however, cut the cooking time down to 10 minutes. 20-25 minutes for salmon is way way way too long. My other trick to cooking salmon is that if I don't want the skin, I just cook it in a crappy baking pan and I let the skin stick to the bottom of it.
I was going to also include potatoes, but then I forgot to buy some. I still needed a starch, so I made more hummus. It worked.
You guys know I love salmon. One of my friends has been raving about this Garlic Butter Baked Salmon so I figured it was time for me to try and make it myself.
The recipe calls for asparagus, but I just happened to have broccoli on me so I used that instead. And lemon-y broccoli? Not quite the same as lemon-y asparagus. I do think this would have been better if I used asparagus instead. I also don't know how I feel about one-pan baking meals. Something about the meat juices seeping into the veggies weirds me out. I also didn't even have enough room in my pan to make this all fit in a single pan, so I put the broccoli in its own pan.
I know, that would have made a lot more sense if I put the salmon in its own pan instead. Hey, at least I cooked it right side up this time!
The salmon tasted good, but I definitely overcooked it. I think salmon cooks better at 350 instead of 400. But the potatoes? They were delicious. I know, it's just salt, pepper, and olive oil, but it was so good I bought and roasted more potatoes the next day.
I also cooked a lot of salmon (maybe that's why it didn't all fit in one pan), and I happened to have some leftover sushi rice, so I turned some of it into sushi.
Clearly not as good (or as pretty) as raw salmon sushi, but still a pretty decent breakfast.
The other day I saw salmon on sale for $5.99/lb. I didn't have salmon on my list of things to cook for the week, but I can't say no to cheap salmon. So I walked to the grocery store and bought two pounds of salmon. That's it. Just salmon.
My aunt makes this great salmon dish with lemon pepper and mayonnaise. I always look forward to eating it when I visit her. It seems so simple to make, but for some reason, every time I try to make it, it doesn't turn out right.
And this time? It's no different. It wasn't great. I don't know, I think I need to watch her make it. I have all the ingredients written down, but how much of everything do I need?!
Also, do you see that salmon? I cooked it UPSIDE DOWN. How the heck did I do that? I didn't even notice it until I took it out of the oven. It was overcooked, but the breadcrumbs weren't browned, and it wasn't seasoned enough, but I think I put too much butter, but I didn't even use salted butter so it was weird...
It's alright. Next time, cook it for like 10 minutes and then broil for a few more minutes. Use more lemon pepper. Use more mayo. Use more chicken granules.
At least my green beans and eggplant turned out well.
Yeah, 5/5 for the veggies. 2/5 for the salmon, but I'll try the salmon again another time.
So I've been verybusy at work lately, which is why I haven't posted an update in a while. When I start working on a project at work my mind is just in this "I NEED TO FINISH THIS" mode and I can't work on other things. Anyway, I've found a stopping point, so it's time to catch up on blog posts.
Day 24 (Saturday): I have decided to take inventory of all my food. That's right. Everything in my kitchen.
I had already been doing this, but I finally took inventory of my herbs, spices, sauces, etc. Yes, this is what I stare at every day when I decide what to cook and what leftover to eat for breakfast or lunch.
Before I get to the dinner portion of this, check out this super aesthetic coffee my sister made.
So tonight's dinner was Nam Sod (Thai pork salad). I had about a pound of ground pork sitting in the freezer, but what I really needed to use up were some super sad looking limes.
We ate it both with rice and in lettuce wraps. I thought it was great, though my sister prefers something sweeter. Adding some Thai basil would have made this even better though!
Day 25 (Sunday): We decide to go grocery shopping. On a Sunday. But we didn't think about what Sunday it is. EASTER. That's right, all the stores are closed except Whole Foods. And Whole Foods has a line that wraps around the building. We decide to head back home. We'll survive.
Since we have about half a head of cabbage in the fridge, we decide to make Okonomiyaki. It was delicious. We also had some green beans that seemed like they were going to go bad soon, so we fried those up as well. Of course at this point we're starting to struggle a little with what ingredients we had left. We used up the rest of our eggs for this meal!
Day 26 (Monday): We also wanted to go grocery shopping this day, but for some reason my stomach wasn't feeling so great, so we stayed home again. It's okay. We had some salmon in the freezer and some broccoli in the fridge so we made a quick meal out of that.
Unfortunately I didn't let the salmon thaw all the way before putting it under the broiler so that was a bit of a struggle to get it cooked completely. I'm still learning how to use that broiler properly. But the rub we added to the salmon was great, and the meal overall was delicious.
At this point, we were out of garlic, soy sauce, milk, fruit...we absolutely needed a grocery trip.