One of the more interesting challenges I face in my new life in the Midwest is that of dinner chef. Since I am not working at present, my contributions to our family are the household chores: cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. These have not been imposed upon me by Wes, but rather are my way of thanking him for providing for me while I get my ducks in a row.
The sad fact of the matter is, however, that I am no cook. Given that I am now responsible for several meals a week, this is a skill I’m trying to improve upon. Wes has provided me with almost a year’s worth of his subscription to Cooking Light and I have been perusing them for ideas for new meals each week. Tonight I was hoping to regale you with my triumphant tales in the kitchen.
Last week I made a delicious dinner: chicken with onions, peppers and mushrooms in a Marsala wine sauce. I served it with brown rice and we both enjoyed it very much.
Last night, I made a tasty creole recipe with Turkey Sausage, canned tomatoes and a box of Zataran’s. (Hey it counts as cooking if it requires the stove!)
But, this week I also decided to get more ambitious. Lately Wes and I have been enjoying a lot of Thai food. A particular favorite of ours is Tom Kha Kai, a coconut lemongrass soup with chicken and vegetables. Somehow I got the notion that I could replicate the soup we love so much on my own stove. I consulted one of my wisest friends, the internet, for a variety of recipes and suggestions on what I should include in my soup and headed to the local market to stock up. Surprisingly, the local Hen House has a great selection of Asian delicacies: fish sauce, coconut milk, and others. Sadly though, it is lacking in the fresh spice and vegetable department. I had to substitute or omit many ingredients. The result was predicable – the soup tasted nothing like I had hoped it would. Wes declared it not entirely a failure since “it’s edible!” but I was hoping for something better. So much for victory laps around the house.
However, I will persist. Just tonight I found ThaiGrocer.com who will ship me the fresh spices and herbs that I need, but couldn’t get here. I learned that I should cook the broth and chicken, and put the vegetables in the pot much later in the process. I also learned that this should make a downright tasty meal when served over rice. So I’ll try again and some day soon I’m hoping for this: