My latest quarantine obsession is binge-watching Bon Appétit, a cooking channel on YouTube. The show features chefs like Claire (a universal favorite), who recreates factory-made foods like Skittles, Sour Patch Kids, and Butterfingers. I also have a soft spot for Chris, who blindly tastes food and then attempts to recreate the dish. Oh, and who could forget Brad, a world traveler who ferments food? It is absurd that I spend hours watching Chopped competitions and Tasty videos when I have no intention of making anything in the kitchen. So, this week, I challenged myself to make at least one meal every day—while heavily relying on frozen, pre-made food.
- No. 1
I started off easy with Ling Ling dumplings. I boiled them in a pot for ten minutes, drained the water, and then fried them in oil for two minutes on each side. Overall, I was pretty pleased. We got that nice browning, a bit of crunch, and best of all, it wasn’t raw. I helped myself to a side of blueberries and a cup of cranberry juice.
- No. 2
Today, I warmed up frozen samosas (filled with chickpeas, potatoes, and peas) in the oven. Chopping up the onion was a painful experience. It certainly wasn’t a fine dice, but I persevered despite tearing up. My mother ended up mixing the onions with the chicken (pictured at the top).
- No. 3
This salad was by far my proudest achievement. As an avid salad eater, I ate a salad at least once a day at Dartmouth; I highly recommend the Hop’s Kale Chicken Caesar Salad. For today’s salad, I chopped up a head of lettuce, tossed in a handful of cherry tomatoes, and attempted to julienne a carrot. I also gathered the croutons, dressing, parmesan cheese, and extra carrots on the side.
- No. 4
I was craving something sweet, so I brought out the Betty Crocker brownie mix and whisked in oil, water, and eggs. Despite the mild cracking around the edges, I deemed this a victory. My family demolished it within a day.
- No. 5
I further refined my chopping skills with these yellow and red peppers, which were used in our lunch of grilled steak and peppers. As this challenge drew to a close, I reflected that while I learned a lot about chopping, dicing, peeling, and warming up, I didn’t do much cooking. I’m going to have to keep working on it.