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July 27, 2012: Steak Round 2, Time Battle!

So Friday night was another one pot wonder night – a whole dinner using my one pot; only this time I was up against the clock! I had been planning to cook the last 1/2 of my steak, from a few weeks ago, sometime during the week, but didn’t have a chance to do so until Friday. Friday, of course being the night of the Opening Ceremonies for the London Summer Olympics. I came back later than I had expected from the internship, and by the time I had gotten ingredients and gotten into the kitchen, the NBC coverage at 7:30 was only 40 minutes away, and by my count, I needed 45-50 minutes to cook the whole thing.

Steak!

So the first thing to do was cut the steak up into about three portions, because based on the first half, it should last for about three meals. And so I threw in some oil into the pot while I started cutting up the steak. The oil heated up quickly, perhaps more quickly than I could cut up the meat, but I threw in the meat as soon as I cut it – realizing then I had forgotten to add any spices! So quickly, I threw in some salt and pepper into the pot, trying to coat the meat. Not sure how effective that was though.

Cooking the steak

Anyways, I then had the different pieces of steak going. Everything up until then was quick – a little time for a break. But it was like a competition show! In fact, I’d like to see some of those shows give their chefs only one pot – it’d sure test their ingenuity! (And I’m sure they have a heck of a lot more than me!)

So the main challenge here was keeping the heat high enough to cook the meat fast, without burning – a task made harder when the sides of the pot also give off a lot of heat (though it can help the cooking too!) While the steak was going along, I washed some spinach.

It took a while for the steak to cook, because of its thickness. I ended up cutting some of the pieces; I know I lost some juice, but it was a faster cook time.

(Mostly) cooked beef

I took the steak out with the spatula, and then threw in the spinach right away (no need to rinse the pot for this, it’s a timed cooking session after all! I added some water, and covered it, letting it boil and steam, along with the beef juice, allowing it to shrink.

Spinach

I poured that out into a bowl, and threw in the butter into the hot pot for the Rice a Roni. To my dismay, they use MSG in their spices (perhaps I’d be better off at a cheap Chinese restaurant that says “No MSG”!). Anyways, I got that going, and by the end of its simmering, I had to run back and forth to see the start of the Olympics coverage  (granted it was directly around the corner; and there were other people, so no threat of buring down the place!). Luckily, the actual ceremony was about 20 minutes in, so I was safe. But I had it simmering, so I could run away for about 30 seconds. With about 5-10 minutes left of cooking time, I threw in my leftover rice to cook, and I was done!

One Pot Meal!

Truth be told, this picture was taken before the rice was cooked – I wanted a nice picture, so I took this one with the leftover rice while the new rice was cooking. Then after everything was done, I washed the plate and dishes, and ended up eating from plastic leftover containers so I could go to the TV room and watch the opening ceremony with everyone!

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