Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Timing is everything - especially in cooking.

Y'know, I've been cooking for myself for at least 10 years now.

I've been cooking for more than one person for at least 6.


Ok, I'm exaggerating, I can - some of the time. Maybe even most of the time. Depends on the month.

USUALLY it's a big fat timing failure because I just jump in without having read the recipe directions, just the ingredients. It's a bad habit I developed that I've mostly broken myself of, so tonight, I thought I had it ALL FIGURED OUT, that it was going to work out PERFECTLY. I'd read the recipe directions and knew what I needed to do, and figured out the timing so everything finished at the same time... or so I thought.

Tonight's meal (which is already eaten or I'd post a picture) was oven-"fried" boneless pork chops and a new-to-me recipe, spinach and rice "pie".

photo by Cooking with My Kid!

So, the pork chops I had are THICK - like, over an inch thick. I usually cook them fast at a higher temperature, but I figured they could cook slow at the same temp as the spinach/rice bake and would probably need an hour to cook completely. So, brilliant time-manager that I am, I did the pork chops first, threw them in the oven, then started the recipe, figuring it'd be ready in the 30 minutes I'd allotted to give the pork chops a head start before throwing the spinach/rice bake in the oven while the chops finished cooking.

The rice part of the bake is a rice pilaf box mix that you have to cook before you assemble the "pie". Well, I didn't read the damn directions on the box and LO AND BEHOLD, the particular mix I'd bought took 25 minutes to cook, and needed another 3-8 to "set"! ARGH! By the time my pie was ready to bake, my pork chops had been in there 45 minutes and the pie needed at least 25 minutes MORE to bake.

Not wanting dried-out chops, I took them out to see how close they were to being finished... and they were done. Like, perfectly juicy done. So I took them out, and they sat there while the side dish took its 25 minutes to cook. *facepalm*

The result was actually a quite tasty meal, for all the strum und drang . The Hubs and I like oven-"fried" pork chops, it's a staple, and the spinach/rice bake was actually quite good! The Hubs is kind of finicky, and he had seconds! SUCCESS. My only modifications are to add a little garlic powder and parmesan cheese, and mix salt and pepper in before I bake. It's not BLAND, but a little salt and pepper over the top gave it a little something more, if that makes sense. It probably doesn't, I do that a lot.

The main lesson to take from this is to READ THE DIRECTIONS ON THE DAMN RICE PILAF MIX, and to take the chops off the hot baking pan if they finish before the rest... they dried out a LITTLE bit from waiting around for the stupid side dish. It's not the end of the world, obviously, if anything I wrote about it because even when I break my bad habits (not reading recipe instructions before cooking), I still somehow manage to mess it up. The name of this blog isn't merely to appear clever. ;p

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