A silly accident and a resulting broken foot have had me confined to the walls of my apartment for the past 10 days and I still have 10 more days to go until I am off crutches (who knew those are so hellish and painful to get around in!) and finally allowed to walk (albeit in an air cast).
So what’s a girl to do? Well, cook! While my more elaborate Sunday lunches with friends are not around the corner just yet, I was determined not to be spending my homebound time ordering food in – partly because I want to stay healthy since I cannot exercise in the same way and also because I thought this would be an opportunity for me to experiment some more in the kitchen.
And thanks to the fact that I live in New York City where basically anything and everything can be delivered, I have been having regular grocery shops dropped right at my door. And I worked out a little trick to avoid putting any weight on my injured foot (which I am not allowed to do) while standing and cooking (using a chair to rest my lower leg) so with that all set, I was ready to cook up a storm!
My first home made lunch was a Thai beef salad. I love, love, love Asian food but seldom cook it. I guess it’s a little outside of my comfort zone but I also made this week some pork and shrimp gyoza that turned out really tasty so I will definitely be cooking more Asian food in the near future (I want to attempt Korean bulgogi soon). The Thai beef salad was super easy to make and doesn’t require much explanation – I followed this recipe but made sure to use beef tenderloin as it’s so decadent and made the whole dish more special.
As for the gyoza, while a little time consuming, they are so easy to make! I made them over a 2 day period as I got tired since there was more standing up involved and the filling held up beautifully. The only wrappers my grocery store had were wonton ones though so I wasn’t able to do any kind of crimping or embellishment on the actual dumplings (since they are square instead of round) but the flavor more than made up for their appearance.
They also cook extremely fast – they start off with a quick sear on both sides to give them a lovely color, then I poured about a glass of water to give them a quick steam and the whole process took about 5 minutes! They also freeze well so I now have a stock of them on hand. The recipe I followed is here. I served them with what in my mind is an asian take on a tomato salad where I added plenty of coriander (using it as a leaf rather than an herb) and a dressing I made with lime, canola oil, garlic, fish sauce, salt & pepper and a touch of rice wine vinegar.
And finally, to round out my experiments with flavors from the East, I made salmon kedgeree for one of my girlfriends who came over for brunch.
Kedgeree is kind of an India/British dish from the old colonial days and something that’s been on my list of things to try for, literally, years but that I have shied away from it because I’m not super confident cooking rice. I can do a mean risotto but I have messed up basmati rice (which this recipe calls for) more than once. But in the end, I treated it a bit like a risotto – adding liquid when required and tasting often for doneness and it worked great.
I followed a recipe from Nigella Lawson which has the additional little twist of adding a dash of fish sauce to it – a really pungent ingredient that I love. I used my Anova sous-vide to cook the salmon as I really think this gives the best results, consistently. I made enough for 4 servings but we loved it so much that we polished off the whole thing between just the 2 of us!