The good old, nitty gritty cooking that most of us do isn’t fancy. It preferably isn’t complicated, but hopefully delicious. One of the more difficult aspects of cooking dinner on a ‘school night’ is finding something that is fast enough to satisfy grumbling tummies. Earlier this week, I cooked a fairly simple dinner that took about 35 minutes from burner on to plate set. The most astounding part of it all wasn’t even the time taken – it was that each part was finished at just about the right time.
There was no overcooked vegetable or cold carbohydrate, no raw, impatient meat or annoyed Emily. This unplanned coordination of parts in the kitchen shows itself every so often, just a quick peek out and then it disappears again. I like to think of it as a reminder to keep ‘practicing’ at this cooking thing, because it gets easier with time.
So what was this coordinated meal I’m raving over? Turmeric rice, soy-braised baby bok choy and chorizo. It’s a bit of an amalgamation of cultures, but it worked. The white rice toasted in the pan in some olive oil and butter and about a tablespoon of turmeric. A few minutes later, hot water was added and I moved onto the bok choy. Since I had some delightfully tiny baby bok choy from my CSA, I left them whole and just rinsed in the leaves a bit. Unsure what I wanted to do with the bok choy, Google lead me to a simple Martha recipe. Using a rogue Corona from my fridge instead of broth was my only change. The bok choy finished braising about the same time the rice was done. The bok choy was removed from the pan, with the liquids left in to reduce. I fluffed and dumped the rice into a small Pyrex and removed the bok choy from the pan. I’m all about reusing dishes, so the rice pot went back on the stove for the meat. The chorizo was in raw pork link form so I just sliced the links halfway open and put them into the pan split side down. But if you can’t visualize this, just realize you can cook the sausage in whatever shape you like. A few minutes later, I flipped the chorizo, added a splash of Corona, and let the links finish up. As per the Martha recipe, while the chorizo cooked, the soy and beer from the bok choy had reduced. I tossed the bok choy back into the reduced soy. Then, I grabbed a bowl (yes, a plate is perfectly fine too) and piled yellow rice in. Simply enough, the chorizo and bok choy went on top and some of the soy sauce was drizzled on.
A little bit of fresh tomato found its way on there too, to make a well-rounded if a tad unexciting (and poorly photograhed, by my computer’s webcam) dinner. But it happened! And it satiated me. And made for pleasant lunchtime leftovers the next day.