Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chef Natalie, I Am Not

I have found an unfortunate issue with "Phase 2 Implementation". In order to eat healthy, it appears I might actually need to be able to cook. This is a skill I currently do not possess. I mean... I can cook...a little bit. I can follow a recipe. Things turn out edible, most of the time. But when things go beyond throwing chicken on the grill or putting veggies in the steamer, things can go downhill in a hurry. 

So last week I hit a spot where I need to take a break from chicken breasts. I swear they had been some part of my daily food intake for about 3 weeks straight, and I couldn't take it anymore. I decided last Sunday to try a new recipe. I have a magazine -  America's Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2010 - that has a recipe for light spaghetti carbonara in it. I get to use real bacon, so I figured this was a no-brainer. Right? Maybe not so much.

One of the ingredients it calls for is "Dry White Wine". Not knowing how important the "dry"component is to things turning out properly, I texted a friend who does a lot of cooking. This exchange should give you a pretty good idea of what my friend thinks of my cooking skills:
  • Me: "I have a cooking question....if I need "dry white wine", can I use the 3 buck chuck I already have?"
  • Response: "Is it Chardonnay? If so yes....if it's red no"
Really!?! I know I am not well-known as a culinary genius, but I do know you can't substitute red for white wine! I giggled for a while about that one.

So the day comes to prepare the meal. I read through the entire recipe before I start. I somehow think that is going to make me more prepared for this. It doesn't. I follow the directions, but get all spazzy when the Canadian Bacon/Bacon that is browning in the pan starts jumping ship. For real! The chunks of meat were flying OUT of the pan! 

So I got a cover on the pan while it finished cooking. Then I got that out of the pan, and put the garlic in the oil. I needed to get the wine in with it, but hadn't measured it. DELAY. The noodles were done at the same time. The garlic got too done. I was spinning around like a maniac. 

I finally completed the dish. It tasted just fine. The kitchen did not burn down. I left the salt out, so it was probably a little more bland than it needed to be - but still made me feel like I was getting something decadent. The best part? There was no chicken in it! Pasta is one of the few things I actually like left over, so I even had meals for the week! 

Next time I know to get everything prepped before I even get started. Hopefully that will help cut down on some of the spaz.

We are starting a new tradition this year. My immediate family is getting together to do our Family Christmas on Christmas Eve-Eve. I decided it would be a good time to insert another new tradition, and I am going to attempt to cook us all a healthy meal. Wish me, and more importantly - the people that have to eat it, luck!

1 comment:

  1. LOL, I imagine your face, as the bacon is jumping out of the pan :-D Natalie, you are one of a million, I love your humor. When is your book coming out?



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