Couldn't get a job and getting bored alone in the house in daytime, I was thinking of what should I do to spare my time.
Many friends left Toulouse, for their internship or for their job.
I have been doing nothing since I last came back from Malaysia, almost 2 months since.
My boyfriend bought me a camera when I came back, nothing professional though, since I'm still a beginner, and other dslr cameras are quite expensive, for us, at least.
So I have been thinking for weeks, what should I do to make the time valuable.
So I took classes, to learn Hadoop, but I gave up after taking the introduction of Hadoop and the mapreduce courses because I realised that, with my laptop, I can't really practice it.
So I watched videos, to learn an interactive data visualization software, Tableau.
To be frank, they didn't really interest me, except the introductions, because I'm not sure if I'm going to use these softwares in the future. Seriously, the life is more boring than ever when you don't know what person will you be, what you need to learn, what you really want, and what you need.
I was literally LOST.
And then, I started to think (or rather tried hard to reflect of) what I like to do. And suddenly something popped out, COOKING. Ya, I remembered once I had wanted to be a chef (and I still think that I will be in the future. Don't laugh at me!).
So I started to cook, for my boy and for my own pleasure.
Thus, I started cooking, only fancy things though, with the recipes I found on internet, oriental and western. Foods that I had never tried to cook before. I had always did bakings like cheesecakes, brownies, yogurt cakes, cookies, pear chocolat cakes, tarts, &c. &c. But for cooking, I had always cooked what I already knew how to cook.
I made stewed beef, pastas, lasagnas, beef steak (trust me, it's not as easy as what you think when it come to controlling the cooking degrees),and some french dishes. Then I cooked some honey-roasted porc, char siew, cantonese roasted duck, claypot rice, pickled chinese cabbage with porc 酸菜扣肉, and some other chinese dishes.
Then I thought, why don't I capture these dishes with my camera?
Without professional skills, the photos are not as good as what I wanted they to be.
One day my bf bought us an entire duck. I learned how to cook magret de canard. Again, it's not easy, especially to control the cooking degree. My bf and I like the duck to be cooked with still a little bit red in the middle of the magret. ( they is no such best cooking degree, for duck, so for beef. It depends on how you like to eat). Since I couldn't cut it all the times to check if it's done, I have followed the advices on the internet, saying to make the skin crunchy by cooking the salt-and-peppers seasoned duck breast on a really hot pan for 5 minutes each side then 10 minutes in the oven with 200 degree celcius. Then I have prepared a simple sauce with balsamic vinegar. With the duck breast, I cooked some simple seasoned quinoa and salades. I didn't want to make something which might influence the taste of the duck breast. I like its own taste.
So it looked like this
We completed the meal with a bottle of wine. Nothing expensive though. A haut medoc 2011 from bordeaux. They went quite well along.
Then we bought a whole chicken. I had so many ideas with the chicken, and first came in my mind, the white chicken rice. I have always loved the boiled chicken, for both its taste and its texture. I knew it's not that easy to make it, to have it cooked and tender, without making it dry. So I kept looking of different advices online.
Here what I have done. I put ginger slices, chopped green onions and the chicken in a pot of water, entire covering the chicken and boiled it after putting the lid on. 1 minute after it's boiled, I turned off the hob, without removing the pot nor the lid. After 5 minutes waiting, I remove the chicken and colded it with tap water ( have in mind that the tap water here is cold, I didn't need iced-water.) When it's entirely cold, I put it again in the pot, boiled it again for 3 minutes this time (my chicken is quite small, so I don't need to cook long), and waited for 10 minutes with the hob off.
While waiting, I prepared a sauce with soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, sweet soy sauce, peppers and the chicken soup.
Again, I colded the chicken down and cut it into small pieces. Surprisingly, it's so easy to cut it.
I then use the chicken oil and chicken soup to cook the rice.
The rice looked perfectly cooked with the oil. And it's indeed tasty.
Looks delicious huh?
I think I had over cooked it, by waiting 10 minutes at the last step, because my chicken is pretty small. Hmm, will try 5 minutes next time. My bf was surprised that the breasts are not dry at all, but I had tasted better. Will try again next time.
So here come the problem, I had a pot of chicken soup. What should I do with it? Knowing that there is no more chicken, so it would be too plain to put in vegetables and make it a soup. Then I remembered something I loved to eat, especially when I was sick. Ta da, chicken porridge, with some mushrooms and eggs.
A small tip for the porridge: put the washed rice to the fridge the night before you cook the porridge, it will make the porridge like mine--sticky and thick.
Voila, what I cooked this week. Like what I said at the beginning, nothing difficult, only what I like. I love the original taste of ingredients.=)