Monday, August 30, 2010

Friday, Aug 27th - I am a Time Management Machine! - Korean Vegetarian Curry

Korean Vegetarian Curry
I am a time management machine.  I often go to the gym after work or partake in some sporting activity at least a few days a week when I’m not chained to the desk past a reasonable hour.  That means, I am ‘Gantt charting’ my dinner by mid afternoon while I am working.  I am probably outside that generation accused of shrinking attention spans, chronologically speaking but we are brethren all the same.  If I am not multi-tasking, I am doing 1 thing really slowly or poorly. 

I remember mentioning my penchant to 'project plan' dinner with parallel activities and bottleneck averting actions plans to a young girl in the office a couple of years ago. I explained how I naturally found myself applying project management principles to cooking and she seemed awestruck by the concept.  I thought that was adorable.  It seemed pretty obvious to me and probably to most of the home cooks out there.  That said, I am a Time Management machine.  I will take all comers. 

1 pm

By mid afternoon or as I am running back to the office with my take-out Sushi for lunch, I have inventoried the fridge in my head and catalogued a short list of dinner options.  I eliminate based on my craving and or recent meals.  I add ones based cravings as well, then inventory the missing ingredients for pick up on the way home.

4h30 pm

I am leaving the office on a good day. We are playing golf.  I pick a walking route home passed the appropriate market for my selected meal.  I have run the subroutine in my head in the background while I am working.  I am probably still at 2-3 options.  As I run to the home today and decide how many holes we can play before sundown based on my pace.

If I go to the gym instead of an outdoor sports activity, I do not shower at the gym because: 1. Ewwww.  2. More time consuming than just whipping stuff on and off at home.  3. Reduces the stuff I have to carry and I’m going to walk home and sweat again anyway. 4.  And normally on gym days, the sun is setting and it is not a critical path item. 


D and I meet at home change and are out the door with the golf gear in under 15 minutes.  We go to Musqueam because they do not require booked T times.  Well, that was what we thought but we were wrong.  They recently changed the policy.  No matter.  They are not at all busy so they let us walk on. 

We play holes 1 through 7 then hit a bottleneck of a very slow high maintenance couple in a cart and very fancy golf clothing.  All Burberry and slow green clearance. Grrr!  Then by hold 9, they are caught behind 3 boys that are caught behind 4 beginner dudes who may as well be playing field hockey down the fairway.  We decide to skip holes 8 and 9 and go straight to 10. 

I did the most amazing thing on this hole.  There is a bridge half way down the fairway that crosses a stream.  I drive off the tee and my ball bounces off the 2 inch wide metal railing with a loud, reverberating clang and jumps forward 2 ft from the green!!!! Hilarious.

It is a relatively small course so it went fast. We finish all 18 holes with holes with the 18th practically in the dark. But ironically, we both had the straightest longest drives and most accurate pitches on to the green of the whole game.  Of course, we did not know that until we walked down the fairway to find our balls.

We gun home.

8h30 pm

I am going to make a Vegetarian Korean Curry.  Multi layered dish with different components including the Rice or Grain I will serve with it. 
  • I walk through the door.
  • I go straight to the balcony and turn on 2 burners on the BBQ. 
  • I place the Vegetable basket on the grill.
  • I wash and chop 1 small Asian Eggplant and ½ small Sweet Potato.  I wash 10 Asparagus with the other veg.
  • I parcook the Sweet Potato in a Pyrex measuring cup for 2 minutes while
  • I toss the Eggplant in some Olive Oil or Sunflower Oil with 2 whole Serrano Chilies in the Wok I will use later
  • I place them on the BBQ in basket with the Potato   
  • I fill the Pyrex Glass up to the top of the word Pyrex but 2 ¼ c will do.  Microwave for 3 minutes to boil.
  • I go to the other balcony and collect some Cilantro, Parsley and some Purple Basil.
  • I rinse and set aside. (Herbs are optional)
  • I get a small saucepan and measure out  3/4 c Quinoa and 1 ½ c Water and put on high o Boil.
  • I chop ½ small Onion, 1 T Ginger, minced, 2 cloves Garlic, and 10 spears Asparagus in 2” pieces
  • Toss the Vegetables on the BBQ (the Eggplant, Chili and Potato).
  • Turn down the Quinoa to a low simmer once it boils for 10-12 minutes and then turn off. 
  • Break 4 cubes of Korean Curry sauce. Set aside in the Microwave off to soften.
  • I take out my Pappadums and take two the the BBQ. 
  • I push my Vegetable basket to the back and roast two Pappadums.  Takes 1 minute
  • Think to myself that the Pappadums was a mistake because it brought down the temperature of the BBQ.
  • I set the Pappadums to the side to cool while I take out a bottle of wine from the fridge. 
  • I pick the Zind by Zind Humbrecht because it goes well with Spicy Food
  • I open the laptop in the kitchen and turn it on.
  • I open the wine and munch on the Pappadum and sip the wine while the computer boots up.
  • Tweet my wine selection and call myself a Time Management Machine. 
  • I turn off the BBQ as I see the vegetables are roasted enough.  They will cook more in the Stew but I like the roasted flavor as well as speeding up the cooking time.  Leave them there in the warm grill.
  •  I get out a large Wok.  Heat on Medium High and add some Vegetable Oil.
  •  Stir fry the Onions for 30 sec until Soften.  I get the BBQ Vegetables and toss for 15 seconds.  I add the Garlic and Ginger.  Toss for 15-30 seconds. 
  • Take out the Pyrex Glass and stir with a spoon.  Keep stirring as you pour into the Wok.  You may need another ¼ cup to swirl to get all the bits.  Add the Cilantro and Basil, torn. 
  • Bring to a hard boil to activate the thickening agent in the Curry cubes. 
  • Turn down and simmer for 10 minutes or longer. 
  • Serve over Quinoa with Parsley.
  • Eating in front of a DVD by shortly after 9pm because nothing is on and have nothing good saved on the PVR.
  • Shower after eating if I go to the gym.
  • The showering after is efficient on several levels because you will sweat whilst walking home, cooking and eating a curry.  As well, you will smell of curry.   
  • Pack the leftovers for lunch. This should serve 2-3 people
  • Warning, this last bit may only be acceptable if your partner is out of town or also thinks showering in the gym is gross.  D has learned to live with this.
We are done and eating within 30-40 minutes.  Ta-da!

1 Leave a / Read COMMENTs:

May Ling Wu said...

Love anything quick to make. I can totally understand about work and the gym. I am not only tired when I come home but so HUNGRY I can't wait too long to eat :)