Monday, April 12, 2010


Lunch: Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches, Chips and Pineapple Tidbits
Dinner: Jerked Chicken, Yellow Rice and Veggies

Disaster is temporarily averted. I did not blow up. You may feel free to breathe out a sigh of relief now. In case you’re wondering what I’m talking about, there could have very nearly been a disaster today. I was working in the kitchen as usual (read: dinking around on the internet) when I started to get a terrible headache. I went outside for a little air, and upon returning, noticed the kitchen smelled like gas. I checked all of the knobs on the stove to be sure they were in the proper off position; they were. I asked a passing frat boy if he thought the kitchens smelled like gas, and he confirmed it. I had to get in touch with the higher ups and let them know. They came down and started sniffing around, determined it was one of the stove burners leaking and then shut off the main gas line. Ok… well that makes it hard to cook. So I waited awhile for them to get in contact with someone… then the time for me to start cooking came and went. By the time 3 o’clock rolled around, I was beginning to wonder if I shouldn’t just go home. I called the president of the fraternity to determine what was being done. He said they weren’t going to be able to get anyone out there until tomorrow. So, he lit the offending burner and turned it on low. Eeft! I was terrified the whole thing would blow. I let them know that in no uncertain terms would I cook like that again tomorrow. They had to get it fixed, pronto. It’s just too dangerous otherwise. The kitchen is poorly ventilated. What would have happened if I hadn’t discovered it till tomorrow and then went to light the stove…? I say again, eeft!

I really must apologize for my spotty posting of late. I’m in the middle of trying to get our house cleaned, packed and moved. So unless I can get my post done on the bus, then I’m not going to get a post out that night. It isn’t always possible to get a post done on the bus either. Frequently, I’ll have large seat mates who take up more than their own seat so I can’t put my computer on my lap, or the person in front of me will lean their seat back so far they’re practically in my lap (the commuter buses are like greyhound buses). Once, I even had a seat mate that kept falling asleep on me.

If I ever do find a real job (like Pinocchio, he wanted to be a real boy… well, I want to have a real job), I think I know what I’m going to re-name my blog… “Cooking by the Seat of Your Pants” Do you like it? I think it’s a rather apt description of my cooking style. I have a tendency to just throw myself into it and see how it goes. I never follow recipes exactly. I might research different recipes, trying to find one that describes what I’m trying to achieve or to give me ideas on the general method or cook times, but I always end up changing it as I’m going. I frequently, especially at home, just dive into my cupboards to see what will go with what. Although, I’ve become rather accustomed to doing that at work too when the guys thieve my ingredients and I have to make on the fly substitutions. This week I decided to make jerk chicken for the guys. I had a couple jars of jerk seasoning blend leftover from a previous recipe and decided that I would just get some chicken and figure something out. Well, it wouldn’t work just to sprinkle the seasoning on the thighs and legs I got. The skin would be tasty, but the meat would be bland. Well… I served pineapple for lunch, and I always pour the juice off canned pineapple and save it. (I love the juice from a can of pineapple, my siblings and I used to fight over who got to drink the juice when we had canned pineapple at home). But there was only about 3 cups of pineapple juice… not really enough, I needed something else… To the fridge! Hmm… Leftover orange juice from Friday’s lunch? Ok! Mayo… no Mustard…. no… Pickles, probably not. Ah ha! Soy sauce. Pineapple juice and soy sauce make a great base for teriyaki marinade. Asian food has a lot of the same blending of sweet and hot that Jamaican cuisine is known for. We’ll use that! Voila, add in the orange juice and jerk seasoning and you have a respectable marinade. Maybe not authentic, but we’re not necessarily going for authentic; we’re going for tasty. The minute I blended it together I knew we had a winner. And that my friends is a brief glimpse into how I cook.

What was in the Fridge Jerk Chicken
serves 24

48 Chicken Legs and/or Thighs
3 cups Pineapple Juice
3 cups Orange Juice
1/3 cup Soy Sauce
2 bottles Jerk Seasoning Blend

Blend the orange juice, pineapple juice, soy sauce and jerk seasoning together. Pour over chicken legs and thighs. Cover and marinate at least 4 hours or overnight (overnight is better).

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a shallow oven proof casserole or roasting pan. Place chicken, skin side up in casserole; discard marinade. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165 degrees. Skin may blacken a little.

(You can use a homemade jerk seasoning blend, there are plenty of recipes out there. Use about 1/3 to ½ cup or seasoning blend for this recipe)

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