Chicken and Sushi and Such

Last week I tried another crock pot recipe, since my last one was such a success. This one though… not so much.  I had planned to make a pineapple chicken dish.  It was really simple, with chopped onions layered on the bottom, then chicken, then pineapples.  All covered in a chicken broth with soy sauce, etc. The problem was that even though I set the timer for less than suggested, the chicken dried out. It was under layers of pineapples so I couldn’t see it while it cooked.

And I think the reason was that I tried to cram too much chicken into the pot. I wanted to ensure everyone had a piece of breast but I think I should have put in less meat and then just shredded it.  But everyone was gracious enough to say it didn’t completely suck.  And the truth is that topped with the onions and pineapple, it wasn’t half bad. Not sure I’ll try chicken in the crock pot again for a little while though, just to be safe.

pineapple chicken

So then on Monday I had cooking class again and this week we were rolling sushi. This was SO cool! But it is certainly a lot of work for just one meal.  We first went through all the prep steps for each of the ingredients.  We steamed rice, mixed that with vinegar, salt, and sugar.  Then all of the inside stuff.  We cooked eggs, carrots, and beans. Then we cut those, avocados, and cucumbers into strips to make it easier to roll.  For meats, we used imitation crab and tempura shrimp.  Using seaweed as a wrap, we learned how to assemble and roll our sushi.  There are a few pictures below of the process.

sushi 1

sushi 2

My rolls weren’t awesome at first, meaning not that tight, but they got better.  Once rolled, our sensei told the class that it was most important to cut the rolls with a wet knife.  That was probably the hardest part. Traditionally, the ends of the roll were given to the family while the inside pieces were given to the guests. I could only eat one of my rolls so I brought the other home for my roommate to try.  He’s a sushi snob, but even he said it wasn’t bad 😉 It would be kind of fun for a dinner party to have all the ingredients and then let everyone put whatever they wanted in their rolls.  Thursday night dinner in the future?

sushi 4

sushi 3

My latest cooking attempt was a side dish, for a change.  I want to be able to make complete meals in the future, so I tried a vegetable casserole this week. It was broccoli and cauliflower, tossed in an alfredo-like sauce that I made. I mixed it all in a casserole dish and then topped it with bread crumbs. After cooking it in the oven for a while, it came out looking pretty good! It certainly wasn’t anything fancy, but was a good compliment to a chicken dish and it even reheated well the next day. I’d make it again for sure.

veggie casserole

We’ll see what dishes I decide to try next week as my cooking experiments continue!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Cultural Culinary Creations | Rays of Funshine

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