This week we changed up our scene a little. My daughter had expressed a few days earlier that she wanted to help me cook on Chopped night after cooking something with her Papa. After the initial “Eek,” I agreed that it was a “great idea” and thanked my daughter for taking the initiative to blah blah blah. Don’t get me wrong I love when children express a yearning to learn (and help for that matter), and I love to teach. With cooking, though, I am not 100% confident in my skill set…I’m not even 50% confident–I win some, I lose some. Okay, that is not accurate. I, at best, get by with not producing inedible food. My dinners are fast and efficient…and not bad. They’re far from four stars outside of the palate of a six year old. Anyways when outside of my comfort zone I need total concentration, or, at least, enough to not burn anything. Oh well it would be a new experience, so I dived in. Since my daughter would be cooking with me, I decided she could draw our ingredients from a hat, well actually a bowl, based on the foods we had in the house.
We ended up with:
I immediately thought of Thai food. We, of course, had rice, because that is a pantry staple, and I had just bought some fish that day–cod, to be exact. First, I had my daughter help me make the rice. It was easy enough to let her pour one cup of rice to two cups of vegetable broth, while I cut up some carrots and broccoli. She also added the sesame oil. We, then, set it to boil and put a lid on it.
Then, we prepared the fish. Normally, I like to put a little sear on it, but my dishes were piling up, so in the oven it went. I had my daughter throw some lemon juice, salt, and pepper on it beforehand.
While those two things were cooking, we created the sauce using mango juice, soy sauce, sweet & sour sauce, curry, water, and peanut butter. It didn’t take long to melt it altogether in a pot on the burner. My daughter’s job was to keep stirring and not touch the stove with her hand.
The rice finished in about 20 minutes and the fish in about 40. My daughter couldn’t wait to eat the food she helped prepare, so she watched me plate every step of the way.
We couldn’t decide whether the sauce should go on the fish or rice, so she suggested we try it on each separately. She would try it on the rice, while I ate it on my fish. It turned out quite good. Nevertheless, I was chopped! I forgot to use the lunch meat, which I had planned to put in the rice, but had returned to the fridge and forgot all about it. We made just enough food for the both of us, so the sauce was the only thing leftover, which was quite a shock to my husband when he thought he was reheating beans in the morning! He was not ecstatic.