Every year, millions of couples flock about trying to make dinner reservations at fancy restaurants and eateries, all to play the Valentine’s game. Yes, the setting may be nice, and it’s nice to have someone bring food to your table, so you and your mate can focus on the mushes, but what if you couldn’t get that reservation? What if you’re just plain poor? Or alternately, what if you just want to make something at home to keep Valentine’s Day special? Well PCFG has you covered! Today we’re gonna go over one of the easiest “fancy” recipes you can make for that special someone, while seeming like a total whizz. And best of all, odds are that you already have everything to make it! So pull up a chair, and let’s look at making some delicious, chocolatey crepes!
Chicken Tikka kicks ass. It’s the chicken fingers of Indian food. You can find it everywhere, it tastes amazing, and everybody loves it. Originally stemming from Indian Punjabi cuisine, the U.K. miraculously likes to take credit for it somehow, since one account states a Pakistani man created it in a restaurant in Glasgow. Despite that, it’s undoubtedly rooted in Indian heritage using curry spices and being cooked in manners consistent with Eastern food. If you want to get technical, Chicken Tikka is plain old boneless chicken pieces marinated in a spiced yogurt. Chicken Tikka Masala is that same thing, only served in a curry sauce, aka a masala. Though it seems fairly intimidating to cook at first, the effort is sooooo worth it in the end since it tastes amazing and looks super fancy. Serve it with some rice or homemade pilaf!
Easter is supposed to be a time of rebirth and rejuvenation. It’s also a time of year when people dole out copious amounts of chocolate and sugar to kids to celebrate a carpenter coming back from the dead 2000 years ago. I don’t see the connection. Nonetheless, Easter is a pleasant holiday and important day for both Christians and worshipers of the Easter Bunny. Perhaps the most common tradition is dyeing eggs. Most people do so using the preset color kits you buy from the grocery store which range from simple color tabs that cost a handful of pocket change, to elaborate setups involving paintbrushes, stickers, foil and other craft standbys. Most if not all of these kits use artificial dyes that are effective, but are made in gigantic factories from chemical compounds and broken dreams. Hell, red dyes are barely existent nowadays on account of the fact they just straight up caused cancer. Never fear however, as there are certainly natural alternatives to cancer eggs! And by alternative I mean the way people dyed eggs for centuries until being replaced with harsh dyes.
Probably one of the biggest things standing in the way of people from learning to cook properly is how intimidating it seems. The culinary world borrows words from dozens of different languages and has its own set of lingo that makes no sense outside of context. As mentioned last time, dredging is usually the industrial process of collecting mud, waste, and trash from the beds of harbors, but in cooking terms it simply means coating meat in flour. It’s easy to see how one could be easily confused and overwhelmed when the neat, new recipe they’ve found calls for them to acquire fancy-ass sounding ingredients like anise extract or turmeric or herbes de provence. It’s enough to make someone immediately yell “What the hell?” and quit while they’re ahead.
The same goes with directions too. How do you fold a liquid batter? It’s not paper. And furthermore, “browning” your meat doesn’t mean you want it literally the color brown. Actually, one of my favorite methods of cooking is one of those fancy shmancy terms, sautéing. It sounds SO ritzy, yet it’s probably one of the simplest cooking processes out there, and is a key stepping stone to learning to cook.
You’ll see a lot of recipes calling for you to “dredge” your meats prior to cooking them. Of course the word dredge brings to mind imagery of large industrial machines scooping out mud, garbage, and dead whales from the bottoms of harbors. Yes, that is what dredging technically is, but fortunately it has an alternate meaning in the cooking world.