Friday, December 14, 2012

Now You're Cooking With Gas!

Throughout the kitchen reno I was preparing meals in the basement in a makeshift kitchen.  Laundry tubs doubling as a place to do dishes, the hotplate and microwave set up in a separate room, the fridge on the main floor.  A very inconvenient 'working triangle'!  

Finally cooked a meal in the new kitchen on Day 19 of the reno , when the new gas stove was connected.  I spent most of the time running up and down the stairs between the basement and the main floor collecting pots, knives, spices etc needed to make a meal. 

I kept turning the different burners on and off, checking out how the flames or simmer or on high.  Who needs a fireplace?

Our first meal cooking with gas was a big spicy bowl of thick udon noodle soup with tofu, chicken, scallions, and baby bok choy. A bowl of hot soup on a cold dark night warms me to my toes! We then ended up slurping downstairs in front of the tv.  

Over the course of the reno I’ve mainly prepped meals using the hotplate, relying on old favourites like curry or pasta, but I did try a couple new recipes.  There was one recipe I think will enter regular rotation: 

Japanese Mom's Chicken

8 chicken drumsticks (skin on!)
1 cup water
1/2 cup balsalmic vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 garlic clove, peeled and bruised
1 small hot chile pepper, slit open, seeds

1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan over high heat.
2. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes
3. Remove scum that rises to surface
4. Increase heat, turning drumsticks frequently in the liquid, and cook until the liquid has reduced to a sticky glaze.
5.  Arrange the chicken on a serving platter, remove the garlic clove and chile from the liquid, and spoon the glaze over. (remember it is a glaze not a sauce so there is not a lot of it!) 

The liquid will thicken to a glaze if you are patient. It just takes a bit of time. If you feel your chicken is cooked (and going to overcook) remove it before going on to reduce the liquid. If you do it this way rather than thickening with cornstarch you will get a richer glaze and not need to add stock or broth instead of the water. It just takes patience. 
New kitchen is almost complete!

Day 16  - painting completed
Day 17 – tap & plumbing installed, corner tile replaced, painting of door frame, we moved fridge in
Day 18 – working tap, cabinetry for under-counter lighting
Day 19 – stove in place, 2nd treatment of floor

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