Cooking Diary – log 4 – 08/05/2012
—-This post was written mostly on Monday, May 7, 2012—-
Today, I take my first step into the whole final thesis process by listening to 3 others presented their thesis final seminar. Hidden Beauty and her boyfriend were 2 of them.
I saw the whole thing: how nervous they were before the presentation, how much encouragement and hard work they put into their thesis, how happy and relieved they are when the supervisor gave them praises for doing a great thesis.
They have just finished their bachelor degree after 3 and half years of study.
I am happy for them, I do. They have worked really hard and they deserved that.
I congratulated them, many times.
But there was just a pinch of sadness and scare in my congrats. I don’t know why.
Maybe, it just that those were signs that they are really leaving. My friends, one by one, sooner or later, they will all do. Maybe, part of me get too familiar us hanging around, having a good times for such long time, that I am not ready to have these people out of my life, just yet.
Maybe, part of me wishes I were them, that I can know for sure that I finish my thesis today. I know all this thesis chaos in my mind now is all self-created. My perfectionism and competitiveness is killing my last nerve. What is wrong with being good, not great? What is wrong to lose to some one better than you, just this one time? What is the matter with you, Rose? Why you place such baggage on your shoulder?
“I am so stressed right now, I have to cook and bake something.” I thought to myself.
So I ran into the kitchen, take out my prepared croissant dough and roll it out.
Also, I take out the prepared poolish to make some Cibatta bread.
Also, I start writing my post for tomorrow about Long-legs Vietnamese Orange Chicken that she cooked for us the last time. I made a promise to come back to it, here.
I have to keep my head and my hand busy.
Long-legs recipe was not very clear but she mentioned about the original recipe that she uses. The one that I post here is a revision from Gocbep recipe of Vietnamese Quick Orange Chicken. It is a very easy recipe to follow with great result, tender chicken with sweet sour sauce, and garnished with coriander. Uhhmm!
All photo were taken with the demonstration of Lovely and Long-legs, and without the permission from both of them. LOL, just kidding!
Ingredients (serve 4)
- 4 chicken thighs
- Fresh orange juice squeezing from 3 normal-size oranges
- Zest from 1 orange
- 4 garlic gloves, peeled, crushed and finely chopped
- 3 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. grounded black pepper
- A bit of chopped coriander leaves for garnish (optional)
Step 1: Debone the chicken thighs. My friend, Lovely, proudly presents a new “technique” of deboning chicken: by scissor. Surprisingly enough, she finished one thigh in less than 5 minutes, excellent scissoring skill.
After the deboning step, you will have the chicken thigh meat, and bones, like this. Please do not discard the bones into your trash bin immediately, save them for homemade stock, a great way to save money and increase quality of home cooking.
Step 2: Marinate both sides of the chicken meat pieces with total one 1 tsp. of salt, and 1 tsp. of pepper. Put meat in a bowl, and let it for 30 minutes.
Step 3: After 30 minutes marinating, preheat a non-stick frying pan with 2 tbsp. of canola oil. When the pan is heated, arrange the chicken meat onto it.
Step 4: Wait until one side is golden then flip to the other side for even browning. It should take about 15 minutes.
Step 5: While the chicken is being fried in the pan, prepare the orange sauce by combining orange juice, honey, sugar, orange zest and 1 tsp. salt into a cup, stir well to combine.
Step 6: When both sides of the chicken are golden, discard most of the fat in the pan; just leave about 1 ½ tbsp. left. Add the chopped garlic into the pan, and stir well until aromatic.
Step 7: Pour the prepared orange sauce into the pan; flip both side of the chicken in the sauce.
Step 8: Let the heat on medium and turn at 5 minutes interval until the sauce has been reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes. Taste, adjust the flavor by adding salt and sugar if needed.
Step 9: Turn off the heat. Scoop it on a plate, garnish by chopped coriander. (Last time, we didn’t have the coriander in hand, so we just simply left it out)
Serve with cooked rice. And enjoy!
Hidden Beauty and her boyfriend asked Bear and me to go out celebrating with them. But then we decided not to go, in order to give those lovebirds some free time to celebrate to each other. Furthermore, I had quite a planned busy baking plan for tonight.
I have baked some croissant, trying a new, dryer recipe. Here is a picture after baked.
Here is a picture of its crumb.
I have managed to create quite OK honeycomb crumb structure with this recipe, but it is not as open as the last time, maybe next time I will try less turn and fold for such small amount of dough and also not to try stretching it out so much while final shaping the croissant; there are plenty of room for improvement. But Bear love this recipe’s flavor, so he insisted that I keep this recipe for next times. I have baked croissant for almost 20 times now, one of the most popular bread of my kitchen. Come back to my perfect croissant chronicle later. Promised!
Also, some Cibatta are baked in my kitchen tonight. YAY, finally I collected enough courage to bake my very first Cibatta. I tried SteveB Double Hydration/ Double Flour Cibatta recipe here. His breads are gorgeous; his blog is one of my best bread “porn” blogs ever. Here is my loaf about baked.
Here is when I cut it out.
Not very open crumb, except for a very big hole in the front. Hum, there must be something wrong with my shaping. Or maybe, it’s something else. I wish some experts were here with me and teach me their techniques or just simply perform those so that I know what is right, what is enough. Gosh, I am such a learning-by-watching person. Anyhow, even though the crumb was not so open, it was very chewy and tasty; and the crust is super crispy, too. So at least I achieved something.
Hidden Beauty invited us to her apartment to have some birthday flan (not cake, flan, and yes, her birthday is today, too. Happy Birthday, again). And it was very good. She has a killing flan recipe, and I have just asked for it. Come back to it another day. Pinned.
See Rose, everything now is not so clear yet, but it’s OK.
Take a deep breath.
And slow down.
Everything is gonna be OK.
Just do it step by step. No rush!
Ok, Ok, I just reorganized all the files concerning the thesis sent by my commissioner into their appropriate orders tonight. It is a good start.
I have prepared a stockpot of Vietnamese Bun Rieu for tomorrow breakfast.
You are doing great, Rose.
I also came across a great quote today.
English Translating as:
“When facing difficult choices in life, flip a coin.
You know that it works.
Not because it will give you a choice.
It’s because in the very moment when the coin is flying in the air,
You will suddenly realize what you really hope for and want to happen.”
Have a nice day,