Seared Chicken and Tomatillo Salsa with Sweet Corn and Rice

cooked meal lowrez

Ingrediants lowrezMise en place
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Long Grain White Rice
Tomatillos medium dice
Fresh Corn cut off the cob
Scallions finely chopped
Cubanella pepper
Summer Squash
Golden Raisins
Rice Vinegar
Sugar

Cook rice then add raisins and one Tbls vinegar after the rice is cooked.

Make Tomatillo Salsa of diced tomatillo, sugar and one Tbls vinegar let marinate while you cook the rest of the meal.

Sear the chicken three minutes per side.

Combine corn, diced pepper, thinly slice squash, and scallions.  Cook 3 minutes in the same pan you seared the chicken scraping up any fond.

cooked meal lowrezPlate the dish with roughly cut chicken, rice and cooked vegetables and top chicken with tomatillo salsa.

My Kitchen

Cook Top-cropped

This is blog entry describes my adapted kitchen. I’m also posting it as page to be a so it will be readily available for future reference.

Luckily when I built my house I designed it to fit my needs and didn’t have to modify a traditional house. In the kitchen the oven, cooktop counter tops, the sink need changing and even where you store things need to be adapted to my needs. I’m including pictures of how I did each of these things.

A traditional stove with the oven and cooktop in one piece just won’t accommodate my special needs.

I hate to think what would happen if the level of the oven was low and I fell out of my chair on to the hot door while I was leaning over and trying to take a hot pan out. The oven needs raising and I must be able to take pans out from beside the oven and not lean over the door.

What is very useful but not obvious is the piece of ceramic tile I keep on the counter beside the oven so I can put hot pans right there and not have to carry them to the preparation area.

The cooktop needs to be lowered and I also need to get my legs under it so I can use a spatula or stir something in a pot even if they are on back burners.

Something that is useful is a screen top for the frying pans otherwise oil popping will burn my arms if I need to reach a pot on a back burner.

Cooking Preparation Area

Prep Area Header lowrez

Space under Prep Area lowrez

It is most important to able to get my legs under the preparation area. Some tasks like smashing garlic to peel it needs some strength and it helps to be able to hit down. I also prefer to use a nylon portable cutting board so I can remove it to the sink when not in use.

 

 

Mandolin and cutting board lowrez

I invested in a good quality professional mandolin. That make evenly slicing things like Summer squash or onions much simpler.

 

 

 

 

Knive low rez verticle

Keep a variety of knives. Particularly a big heavy one that you can turn on its side for smashing garlic. Its lucky I like garlic; it is in almost everything I make.  I use my knives a lot and having a knife sharpener is useful. Not shown are some cut resistant gloves. Keeping your fingers out of the way is not enough. These gloves won’t protect you from a determined cut but are useful to avoid grating or zesting your fingers.

 

 

 

 

Hand tools lowrez

Two items are almost essential for me are a good heavy garlic press and a heavy hand juicer. Thinly slicing garlic not easy using just your hands and a knife. Deseeding and juicing a lemon or lime is not easy and is best done with a heavy tool. Don’t scrimp on these get good heavy professional quality tools because you will use them a lot.

 

Prep Bowls- Cropped lowrez

It will be simpler if you put everything you are going to use in bowls BEFORE starting the actual cooking. Never underestimate the importance of mise en place, French for “set in place.” Following a recipe can lead to mess and chaos in the kitchen—especially if it’s a recipe you’ve never tried before. I didn’t realize this when I started seriously cooking. You never seem to have enough prep bowls. The first thing I bought was a set of bowls.

Adapting the sink, pots, pans, storing things and suggestions

Low Sink-Cropped lowrez

Of course, the sink needs to be lowered. I use a double sink with a disposer in one side. The bowls of my sink are deep. It cuts down on being able to get my feet under but useful since if you are pouring something large out there is less chance it will slop over. I keep a white curtain in front of the sink to hide all the plumbing.

 

The black water filter is there to remove minerals that are in my water.

Dirty dishes lowrez

There is also a dishwasher next to the sink. Because after you cook the sink will look like this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here a few time saving and safety tips I have learned.

Pans lowrez

Have a good heavy non-stick skillet. Do NOT try to move pans containing hot liquids. Let the liquid cool. Have plenty of Olive Oil you will use a LOT of it. If you can use professional quality cookware. It is more expensive and heavy but good quality pots will last longer and if something needs more heat because it didn’t get done you can put them directly in the oven.

Storage #1 lowrez

When I built my house something I didn’t think of is where I could store ingredients and other food and still get to them.  Doing this takes a lot of extra floor space.

 

 

 

Storage#2 lowrez

I order most of my food online through Amazon Prime Pantry. One advantage of this is the boxes come with a handle so the boxes are simple to move when you need something stored in the back of the box.

 

 

 

Towels cropped lowrez

Keep a kitchen towel on your lap while cooking you will spill things.

 

 

 

 

 

The most import thing is to plan and THINK a recipe all the way through. Don’t cook yourself into an awkward situation. Sometimes a recipe will call for something like pouring a boiling liquid through a strainer and that is a big NO-NO. I know I’ve faced it! Plan and think of an alternative.

 

 

“Dirty Rice” // Creole Beef and Pepper Rice

This looks so good I’ll have to make it!

Wish to Dish

Bringing you a warming one pot wonder today as even in the midst of summer comfort food is still essential!

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I recently experienced my first foray into Creole cuisine via a Gumbo that my Dad made for dinner a few weeks ago. It was sheer perfection. Warming, spicy and packed full of carefully balanced flavours yet utterly gentle on the palate. In short it was a hug for my mouth. Centered in Louisiana it is a style of cooking and eating brought together by it’s immigrant population – a blend of cultures and cuisines from all across the world. I read about a common side dish eaten in Louisiana called dirty rice; “dirty” because of the colours and flavours the rice adopts by being cooked with meats and spices. This recipe is inspired by several traditional dirty rice recipes that I read though I substituted the customary chicken liver for…

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Shrimp Rolls with Quick Pickles and Sweet Potato’s

Shrimp Rolls2] liqrezShrimp
Dog Buns split on top
Garlic
Kirby Cucumber
Red Fresno Peppers (These are VERY spicy be careful.)
Lemon
Sweet Potatoes
Celery
Dill
Sugar
White Wine Vinegar
Creamy Mustard Sauce

  • Bake Sweet Potatoes 475 degrees 25 Minutes.

    Peel then gently smash the Garlic.

    Juice the Lemon.

    Half then quarter the Cucumber.

    Slice the Celery.

    Cutoff the stem end of the pepper, remove the ribs and seeds. Wash the cutting board and your hands immediately after handling the pepper.

Combine and bring to a boil ¼ cup or water, sugar, garlic, dill, and salt. Then add the cucumber stir and turn off the heat. Leave it at least ten minutes. I just let it cool while I did everything else.

Rinse the Shrimp pat dry, salt, and pepper then cook with 2 teaspoons of olive oil for 3 minutes.

Toast the Hot Dog Buns.

Transfer the cooked Shrimp to a bowl containing the Celery, Creamy Mustard, Lemon Juice, and as much of the Pepper as you’d like. Remember the pepper is very spicy. (I personally used only four small pieces.) Mix gently then spoon into the Hot Dog Buns.

Discard the liquid, and all the spices from the pickles.

Opps forgot mention Kitely and Inworldz

I forgot to add Willow is also in the virtual worlds of Kitely and Inworldz. I’m not in those worlds as much as Second Life.

KitelyHouse#1_001

Kitely Home

While Kitely is technically interesting and may be the future of virtual worlds it is a little too “geeky” for me. I spent a couple of decades working professionally with computer systems and I don’t want to spend my time trying to figure out how something technically works. I’m also not fond of the its every sim is its own world data setup that is only loaded when someone accesses it.

The Inworldz world is almost the same as Second Life but without the exorbitant land prices.

InHouse#1_001

Inworldz Home

InHouse#1_002

Inworldz Home Interior

In my opinion Kitely and Inworldz are hindered by not having enough population. Since I’m in virtual for social reasons so that is a problem.

Since Sansar may eventually supplant Second Life; I know LL says it won’t but with the haphazard way they do thing who really knows. So, it may be a good idea to keep your options open if it doesn’t cost too much.

About Willow (This is going on a page but I’m putting on a post also.)

Square Phillida with Tripod Large

I’m what some people call a “super-wheeler” or if you’re a member of the physically challenged community you could call me a “super-crip”. Since I earned a university degree and had a successful career as a professional staff member of an investigative organization. Then after I took early retirement and designed my own house. All while being in a wheelchair.

Now that I have time for myself I am a learning gourmet cook, an accomplished photographer, and spend a lot of time in a virtual world called Second Life.

Pizza Just out of the ovenI started seriously cooking in February of 2017. I may be just learning but I think I’ve prepared some interesting dishes. All those years watching the food channel haven’t been wasted. On the left is my Asparagus and Arugula Pesto Pizza with Pink Lemon Ricotta. I also designed an accommodating kitchen for myself. I’ll add a page later about that later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ferris Dawn from Flickr

Lately except food photography of my own dishes most of my work takes place in Second Life. If you look at my Flickr site at https://www.flickr.com/photos/tarotgrove you can see some of my work. If you look far enough in the site you’ll find some of my real-life images also.  I’ve also branched out into making video or machinima of Second Life. While a few of those videos are on Flickr here is one of my early efforts at making a music video with a Second Life theme. https://adobe.ly/2oJvxqv No copyright infringement was intended but I think  the lyrics need to be shown from a Second Life perspective. The photography on the left is a still image I made in Second Life.

Willow and Partner for blogI spend a lot of time in the virtual world of Second Life. Some may call it just a trivial and inconsequential game but it is a lot more than that. Here is a link to a video I made in 2015. https://adobe.ly/2oq362a Our appearance is out of date but most of the reasons haven’t changed. What you get out of Second Life is depends on how much you put into it and a lot of people including me put a lot into this virtual world. As you can see from my video there a lot to do in this virtual world. A lot of people including me put a lot of effort into this virtual world.

I know it is considered bad literary form to repeat the words or phrases in writing but it is deliberate because a lot describes many things in Second Life. Most people don’t realize it the but the population of Second Life is approximately nine hundred thousand. That is a lot. That is larger than some countries. In mid-2017 the number of concurrent user’s peaks at over fifty thousand people a day. And those people are from around the world. Want to get to know someone from India well this is a place. BTW that is couple more of a lots.

Charity is a big activity in this virtual world since 2005 the Relay for Life of Second Life has raised over three million US dollars for cancer research and patient care. That is another a lot.

I mentioned in the video that some people make their real-life living in Second Life. It’s estimated that they take around sixty million dollars out of this “trivial game”. That is another a lot. 

The picture is how my partner and I looked in 2017. Second Life keeps developing. This virtual world is mostly user designed and build so a lot is going on.

 

Pork Chops and Rosemary Potatoes with Summer Squash Agrodolce

PC Cooked#2 LowRez

This dish had quite a few ingredients as can be seen in the Mise en Place – French culinary term that means “everything in its place.” This culinary term refers to purchasing, preparing, and pre-measuring all the ingredients necessary for a dish before you start cooking.

PC MEP#2 LowRez.jpg

I’ve found that it is very important to prepare and layout all your ingredients before you begin to cook. It will save you from leaving out things or overcooking something because you could open a package fast enough. A lot of bowls will have to be cleaned up later but it is well worth the effort.

I’m new to choosing wine but I choose a Patelin de Tablas. Since it is fruited and spicy so I thought it go well with this dish.

 

PC Wine LowRez