I’ve recently moved into a new houseshare. Not just new to me – new to all the people I’m living with. It was let as semi-furnished, so had a couple of fridges and a cooker, but no kettle or toaster. For a few days I made do with using the grill to make toast, but after several very-nearly-burnt-despite-standing-in-the-kitchen-with-it scenarios, a toaster was in order. As I bought the kettle, one of my housemates was going to buy the toaster. But being French, he was unaware of a major problem which must surely be causing distress right across the UK. Continue reading Inadequate toasters
The bane of my life!
While shopping in Tescos a few days ago, my girlfriend suggested she might cook me something. I can’t remember what it was going to be now, but I asked “do you mind if I get some actual meat to go with it?”
For anyone not up to speed on my current relationship, I’m currently dating a vegetarian, and what with my hatred of most vegetables and her not eating meat, eating together is somewhat complicated.
Luckily, as she’s got a busy life with friends and hobbies, and I’m a miserable old git who is currently unemployed, I get up at noon and go to bed at 2am, and we don’t often end up eating together.
Back to my story, and I picked up some sausages. I’ve never been any good at sausages. They seem to go black and don’t cook properly in the middle.
However, my girlfriend is a pretty good cook, so I figured she could show me how to cook them.
I bought them and got home, mentioned this to her, and she told me that not only does she not eat meat, she doesn’t know how to cook it either!
Not to let this get me down, I decided I’d have a go anyway.
So I put some of the sausages on a baking tray and put them under the grill. In a little under 5minutes, my kitchen was completely full of smoke. I removed the sausages to discover there’s either a fault with my oven/grill, or some food stuck in there that’s burning when it gets hot.
Frustrated at the apparent lack of cooking equipment in my kitchen, I switched the grill off and found a frying pan to cook my sausages.
High heat? Low heat?
I’ve no idea so I put some olive oil into a frying pan (I guess I would have used vegetable oil in a frying pan ordinarily, but I couldn’t find any) and put it on a low heat.
Someone in my house has got one of those Tefal pans with the red spot thing in the middle. Its red with detail on it to start with, so I think that means I heat it til the detail disappears. I got bored of heating it on a low setting, so switched my gas hob to the highest setting, but still the detail didn’t disappear. Maybe it’s broken?
Bored of waiting, I chucked in the sausages which immediately started to go brown very quickly on the outside.
This is the bit that confuses me. I’ve attempted sausages before and they’ve been cooked externally, but with a chilly food-poisoning-inducing centre. Last time I mentioned this to someone, they told me I was cooking them too fast, and I should try a low heat setting for much longer. I turned them down, and to be honest the outside still seems to be browning very quickly.
As the brown outside started to go black on one, I grabbed a sharp knife and cut it open to find it not cooked inside.
I moved them around a bit, then cut them all into tiny chunks. It seems easier to cook smaller chunks of meat than big bits, from my little prior knowledge.
I asked my girlfriend to let me know if there was any smoke, and went off to find my ‘Delia’s Complete Cookery Course’ book I bought ages ago.
Under sausages it has various complicated meals, and the simplest one just tells you to ‘brown the sausages’ before adding them to the recipe.
I looked under the beginning of the meat section but am still slightly confused as to exactly what ‘browning’ them entails, and indeed whether that results in them cooked, or just makes them brown ready for the next process in preparing them for eating.
None the wiser, I returned to the kitchen. As I’d spent a long time screwing around with my sausages and smoking out the kitchen, my girlfriend had actually finished cooking hers some time ago and mostly eaten her dinner without me. I did some baked beans to go with my now-blackening sausages and put some toast on to go with them.
As a final thought I borrowed (I haven’t repayed her yet) two pieces of fresh bread from my girlfriend and thought I’d fry it in the leftover oil. This may be something that doesn’t work so well with olive oil, because it came out black. It was edible, kinda.