Quick Meals

MAGIC 15-SECONDS CREAMY SCRAMBLED EGGS

THE PREVIOUSLY-THOUGHT-IMPOSSIBLE SCRAMBLED EGGS-FANTASY

SPEED, AND CREAMINESS.  ALL TOGETHER

We all think we know how to do scrambled eggs.

We all know, I hope, that speedy scrambled eggs cooked over high heat will be grainy, rubbery… and worst of all, will ooze liquid out of themselves and ruin a good morning.  Thus we all know, that it’s almost only legal to cook scrambled eggs over a low-and-slow process, to get creamy or die stirring in the pursuit of that velvety wrapped-around-your-tongue texture.  Right, no news there.

So for the longest time, that’s what I did.  So for the past blissful decade, using my very scarcely inherited patience, I’ve abided by the rules in front of all those carefully guarded wee-flames, stirring and stirring until my mind started to wonder… on that last episode of Game of Thrones, on waitwas-that-mold-I-saw-on-my-broccoli?… on anything but asking if this was the only way to the perfect scrambled eggs.

But last week, in an attempt to feed liquid-food to my temporarily anorexic dog-son, I tried thickening an beaten egg with a bit of potato starch (or cornstarch) to make an egg-goo (which I rubbed on his mouth so he would lick it…).  And who knew, that unappetizing glob… lead me to one of my greatest kitchen-revelations realized.  I thought… wait a second… maybe… a thickening agent is the answer to the previously-thought-impossible scrambled eggs-fantasy.  Speed, and creaminess, all together.

And it is!  Just by adding a little mixture of milk and potato starch (or cornstarch), the water is forced to bind with the protein even if cooked over high heat, which solves the watery eggs disaster.  But better yet, it also creates a creamy and custardy texture with the bits of beaten eggs that aren’t completely cooked through, as if, YES, that they were done slowly over ow heat!  While in fact, 15 seconds!!  Ahem, friends, here’s how:

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LAST SHIT – THE 3 FOUNDING DONBURI, THE ART OF EATING CANNED MEATS

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(THEY CAN) TRANSFORM INTO SURPRISING DELICIOUSNESS OF ELEGANCE AND COMPLEXITY

THIS is the last post (for awhile at least) of the new week-long segment, The Shits I Eat When I’m By Myself.  Jason is coming home tomorrow, and if you were any decent, none of us is ever going to speak of what happened here in the last few days…  But even though we’re near the end of an epic run, I have meticulously kept the best, and I hope you agree, for the last.

I’m going to share with you what I eat, sunny or rainy, broke or stashed, then-young and now-old, then-slim and now-lumpy… by myself or not, doesn’t matter.  This.  This is what I actually eat, love to eat, and I mean, like all the time.  This is what raised me, put me through college, and every other weekday-nights along with the lovely grin of Jon Stewart.  This, completes me.  I never had a name for this before, but for the sake of easy reference, I will now call it – The 3 Founding Donburi, The Art of Eating Canned Meats.

Donburi, is Japanese “rice bowl”, with various toppings that ranges widely.  The integrity of well-cooked short-grain rice is, of course, important, which is a subject I won’t even touch today for it’s so not the focus here (fine, two words, rice cooker!).  The focus here is the topping, and the topping, my friend, is a promiscuous playground for something that we all, at any given moment, got 1 or 2 stashed in a dark corner within the pantry.

Canned meats.

Good sardines in olive oil from Europe, bad sardines in olive oil from Europe, not-bad sardines in tomato sauce from Southeast Asia, corned beef, tuna, salmon… SPAM!  Misunderstood and badly represented, where people see them as shunned practices of desperation, I see them as cherished and indulging delicacies.  Good quality canned sardines (or even just the OK ones), with just a light touch of acidity, grated ginger and scallions piled over warm rice, can transform into surprising deliciousness of elegance and complexity.  How can I douse sichuan chili oil over diced SPAM, with a few drops of black vinegar and calling it a thing?!  Well, that is too, what doubters said at the historical moment when somebody thought why not smearing a bit of mustard over hotdogs…  Then browned corned beef, mixed with chopped kimchi and gochujang, toasted sesame oil and grated garlic… will have you breathing stinky and happy.

Each of the donburi will take… 2 min to put together at the most (not including the cooking-time of the rice).  Less than the time it takes to boil a pot of water.  And they will have you asking yourself, where have they been all your life?

Well… they’ve been right here.

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THE SHIT I EAT WHEN BY MYSELF – ONE POT INSTANT MC-URRY W BROKEN PASTA

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MY “HURRY CURRY”… GOT MC-DED.

YESTERDAY, rising above a sea of flaming red and orange, I pulled myself together and decided to eat like a real human being.

I ordered McDonald’s.

That’s the danger of leaving me alone with myself, in an obscured reality and a space where I have nobody to impress, culinarily or physically.  Things… can get really low.  I ordered 2 large fries and 20-pc of nuggets, all of which are items I believe to be the gooders among evil, the first being undeniably an extension of real earth-grown potatoes, and the second, … protein.  So on the couch there I was, horizontally, feeling really good about myself consuming a conscious choice of – really, when you think about it – potatoes and chicken protein, and forgot all about WHAT shits I eat when I’m by myself?  I wasn’t at all anticipating a relapse.

The downfall was that I was being too good.  In an applaudable demonstration of restrain and wellness-living, I left a whole 10 pieces of nuggets untouched.  I was practically Gwyneth Paltrow.  But today, when I walked into the kitchen to make one of my absolute favourite of all The Shit I Eats, which is an one-pot, instant-yet-homemade Thai curry with broken thin spaghettis and something legitimate like tofu and shrimps, something unprecedentedly horrid happened.

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Unprecedentedly, was the key word.  I don’t.  Do this.  Except for this time.  My “hurry curry”… got Mc-Ded.

Broken, torn pieces of what’s possibly one of the greatest invention in the history of food, thrown into another greatest invention – curry.  And they married.  I mean, literally.  In the land of curry where it yearns nothing more than substances that can soak up all its complex glory, everything that a curry could ask for, the nuggets answered.  The breading and the porous interior of the nuggets became a sponge that drank up this bowl of good brown, along with broken thin spaghetti as a hearty backdrop, this was one of the best of the worst things I could possibly do.

Just to say… people probably shouldn’t do the same.  Even I.  Don’t do this.  Except for this time.

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THE SHIT I EAT WHEN BY MYSELF – FLAMING CHEETOS + ARUGULA GRILLED CHEESE

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THE ARUGULA IS NOT JUST THERE TO VALIDATE THAT I’M STILL A HUMAN BEING…

If you thought, we shared a passionate connection yesterday over orange ramen for our new segment – The Shits I Eat When I’m By Myself – well, here comes true love.

True love is… true love is…  I say true love is when your other half walked in on you, with this throbbing in your mouth, said nothing, walked away and pretended like nothing happened, and didn’t cancel your credit card…  Uh, what was in your mouth oh I mean, my mouth you asked?  Uhem… even the mere pronunciation of the words, has to come with great courage…  It’s sharp gouda grilled cheese.  ……………..  OK.  OK… that’s not entirely honest.  Wwwell, it’s sharp gouda grilled cheese with baby arugula, and something tangy, spicy hot and fabulously crunchy in between…  What?  Now you’re just prying…

Fine!  FINE!  It’s flaming hot crunchy cheetos!  It’s FLAMING HOT CRUNCHY CHEETOS!  And I fucking love this shit!  Ya happy now?  It’s gooey melted gouda grilled cheese, but with a crunchy and contrasting texture sandwiched right in between, releasing neon-red powers that are, possibly, the last surviving legal addiction.  And didn’t you hear that there’s A-RU-GU-LA?  Which is, a ve-ge-ta-ble.  Which is, not just there to validate that I’m still a human being, but to elevate the entire flavour profile to please anyone, who obviously, isn’t insane.

What’s not to like?  Don’t answer that…

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THE SHIT I EAT WHEN BY MYSELF – ORANGE RAMEN

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IT REMINDS ME OF (HIGH SCHOOL CAFETERIA), MINUS THE SIDE OF CONSCIENCE THAT CAME WITH ADULTHOOD

So… I guess here we go.  Day 1 of my new segment – The Shits I Eat When I’m By Myself.  Listen… if you were gonna dump me after this, please do it gingerly, ok?

And really, there’s no point talking or paining an elaborate narrative for this “shit”.  It’s pretty self-explanatorily wrong which, unfortunately by the same definition, also guarantees to be uber-tasty.  Any form of instant ramen-noodle drenched in a bastard-sauce between something tomato-ragu-ish and cheez-whiz-ish… cannot taste bad.  It reminds me of the very popular, tomato/cheese ravioli they sold at my high school cafeteria, minus the side of conscience that came with adulthood.

But what I should point out is – given that if you were gonna do the same – this is something one should only do when utterly alone.  I will not be held accountable for what happens when other human beings walk in on you doing this…

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THE HOT BUNNY PASTA SAUCE

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” MY CURRENT…
ORANGE STATE OF MIND “

Jason has gone to my happy place without me.

A week-long business trip to New York, by himself, is just about as much salt as you can rub on a bloody wound of someone who’s doing her time in doggy-prison.  Right.  Perhaps I’ve failed to mention that for the past 6 months, I haven’t been able to leave my apartment for more than 12 hours because these days, a pot of hot caramel is constantly bubbling on my stove.  That’s just the code-words for my 14-years-old dog, Dumpling, with his very inconvenient heart condition that has rendered me immobile as well.  So, right, no NYC for mommy, or anywhere else for that matter…  But, as if squatting in my prison-cell isn’t responsible enough, now I’m being thrown into the “the cooler”…

As I am scraping these words with my finger nails onto the concrete walls of my solitary confinement, I guess it’s only appropriate to also drench myself… in gushing orange.

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WOODLAND FIRE SICHUAN-HUMMUS

“Tonight… LET’S SET THE WORLD
ON FIRE”

I guess… it really isn’t a secret what unnecessary gimmicks I’ve been occupying myself with in the last couple days.  Hello, my  name is Mandy and I’m a theme-aholic.  In fact, I’m a theme-aholic who also happens to be, tech-intolerant.  Like an alcoholic who’s allergic to alcohol, an UV-addict who lives in Seattle, a real human being married to Gwyneth Paltrow…

Well, you get the point. It’s all been very dysfunctional around here.

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