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The Unnatural Cook

a chronicle of weekly meal plans from someone who can't just throw a meal together

Tag Archives: Rice

There are certain meals that become my husband John’s domain and I have a tendency to keep them that way for as long as possible. I think every married person does this to some extent – consciously doesn’t learn how to do something so they won’t be required to do it in the future. Tonight was only the second time we’ve made Pasanda Kebabs but I have already filed them under the category of things that John does, not me. The rice pilaf he made used to be filed there too but I eventually learned to make that and now take a perverse pleasure in the fact that I can. The kebab recipe is from Pakistan (via Saveur Magazine) and the marinade is a fascinating concoction of spices, yogurt, oil, lemon, and both cooked and raw onions. It’s delicious. I’m not sure how long I can fob my kebab responsibilities off on John, but one thing is for sure, it’s going to require that I learn how to use the grill – a task I’ve successfully avoided for twenty years. We even got a gas grill at the end of summer so I could learn but I managed to let the fall slip by and now it seems wrong to learn to grill in the snow. Maybe spring has the power to make me turn a leaf.

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Week 2! It is very difficult for me to control the impulse to philosophize – it is, after all, my one week anniversary as the Unnatural Cook. Does that give me the right to look back and draw grand conclusions? If I were to indulge the impulse I’d say this: It’s hard to stay on top of all the cooking and cleaning that is necessary to keep a family running. I think what makes the blog such an exciting prospect is that it turns something that must be done, into an art form. After just one week of photographing and writing about my meal plan I am noticing the colors of the meals. When I look back over Week 1 there’s a lot of white. Where’s the green? We had salad and spinach and string beans but they’re not the featured items. Will taking these photos inspire me to make more vegetables? To think more about the colors on the plate? These are things real cooks think about, I know this. Will the blog turn me from an unnatural cook into a natural one? We’ll seeā€¦.

Tonight’s dinner was Chicken Indienne. A great chicken curry recipe from my mother-in-law, Suzy Roach. It’s another meal from the freezer because on meal plan/shopping day I never want to cook. We always serve Indienne with a basmati rice pilaf recipe from Cooks Illustrated, one of the magazines we used to subscribe to before we had children and we had time for such things as cooking magazines. Maybe we will again when they go to college? Will there still be printed magazines? I hope so. Usually I make roasted cauliflower too but we just had cauliflower last week so I opted for frozen peas to get an easy vegetable in there. It wasn’t the best match, but it was green.

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