Sunday, January 15, 2012

did you know that I cook things?

When I first got married, I had very few cooking skills. Everything that I knew about cooking came from vaguely passing through the kitchen while my mom was cooking, and from watching MasterChef and other Food Network shows. I had no desire to cook, but I did love to watch food shows.

In the months prior to getting married, my mom offered several times to teach me how to cook. But me being the clueless and uncooperative person that I am lead me to adamantly refuse while saying things like "my husband can cook for himself" and other nonsensical strings of words. Needless to say, when I was finally faced with the reality of having to cook, I felt like a chicken with its head cut off. Some of the things that happened to me while I was learning:

-Once we bought a freshly slaughtered chicken and it still had the head attached - I refused to cook it until my husband cut the head off while I was not present.
-I once had to clean a chicken that still had its guts intact. I gagged all through the experience, then was unable to eat the cooked chicken due to my squeamishness.
-I made rice that was the consistency of lumpy oatmeal.
-I burned myself (and continue to do so) on a regular basis. And I burned food.
-I didn't think marinating meaty things prior to cooking was that important.


In the months following this, I came to realize that there are just a few general rules to cooking, and then all else is pretty simple. It's kind of interesting to produce edible things. is now my ultimate favourite website. Here are some of the things I've cooked:

Meat and spinach pies, YUM (If I do say so myself)

Home-made pizza

Fried chicken fingers and fries

Spinach Spanakopita

An Egyptian twist on chicken biryani

Chicken goulash

Stuffed peppers

Chicken soup & rice, mom's style
I'm getting hungry now. Awesome.


sara said...

These all look super yummy!

I'm making this bread today!

Asmaa said...

That bread looks really delicious, let me know how it comes out. I've thought about baking bread myself, but since we can buy fresh bread every day, I've decided to spend my time making brownies and such instead :D

Naureen said...

Please post recipes of the chicken goulash and the spinach 'samosas' in the begining! And thr biryani too. Im in cairo :-)

Asmaa said...

Naureen, I'm glad you enjoyed the pics :D for the spinach pies, I used this recipe I found: I added cheese to them because I found them to be a bit bland once they're cooked if they don't have a bit of cheese. That website also has lots of other really nice recipes :)

For the chicken goulash, I use thinly sliced chicken breast - marinate it as you like (simple is good - onion, garlic, etc.), then simply cook the pieces in a bit of oil on a skillet - only takes a few minutes on each side. I then cut them up into tiny bits and mix them with sauteed onions and a bit of mushrooms (you can do without the mushrooms if you want). Season to your liking. Then set up the goulash as you usually would; melt butter and oil together & lay out each sheet of pastry, then spread a bit of the butter mixture over it, then put the next sheet on top, etc. after half the pastry is laid out, spread the chicken mixture evenly, then add one cut up green pepper and one cut up tomato on top (cut in tiny pieces), then lay the rest of the pastry over it in a similar manner.

Before putting in the oven, cut the finished pastry into pieces. Mix one egg with about 3/4 cup milk and some salt and pepper. Pour that mixture over the goulash. That mixture sort of gathers the whole thing together so it's not falling apart on you when it's done. Bake for approx 30 mins on 350-400C until the top is golden brown.

Biryani: sautee onions, then when they are done, add cut up green pepper, tomato, and shredded carrot (not much of each, half a small tomato, one small green pepper...and maybe like half a carrot). Then mix it well & add whatever spices you want (I add some cinnamon, a cinnamon stick, cardamom, this biryani mix I have, salt and pepper). Mix it all well until the veggies are well cooked. Then add however much rice you want (yellow basmati rice) and mix well, then add an equal amount of water or chicken stock (I used leftover chicken soup, it has a better flavour). When it boils, lower the heat and leave for about 15 minutes til the rice is cooked. The chicken I just cook separately and put with the rice at the end.

I feel like I've made something simple sound complicated, but I hope it helps nonetheless :) yay!

sara said...

The bread turned out really well!

Asmaa said...

Uhh that looks amazing! I want to taste it, I love homemade breads.