Day 31: Rice and Peas (no peas)

Trying my hand at making rice and peas was today’s new thing. Sundays seem to be turning into cooking days, but that at least keeps me out of trouble, and the new-thing-a-day project ticking along quite nicely.

Cooking rice and peas

I have never attempted to cook Carribean style dishes before, so a bit of ingredient hunting was required. Luckily my local corner shop stocks a fairly interesting selection of products, with a wider variety than you’d guys from looking at it.

The list of required ingredients is quite simple, and as you probably know, doesn’t contain peas. It’s a combination of onions, beans, rice and coconut milk, with some fresh chilli and thyme for flavour. It’s surprisingly easy to cook, although the pot required some tender loving care as the mixture is quite sticky.

The end result was satisfying and tasted as good as the usual takeaway rice and peas we order. We ended up having the rice and peas as the whole meal, rather than as a side-dish. It was so flavoursome and hearty that it seemed to be a waste to serve it with something else.

An aside

I believe a brief apology is in order. While managing to keep up the new thing challenge, I have fallen slightly behind on finishing up the posts. I’ve been a bit busy for the past couple of days getting the house ready. Also, I’ve had to go back and edit a number of the posts. For some reason, I find it quite difficult to spot errors in my writing when I write on the phone. This means that I’ve been unable (or rather, unwilling) to write posts on the way home. Even with the help of flashy new keyboards, a lot of errors (both spelling and grammar) sneak into the content. And proofreading it on the phone doesn’t help catch it.

This post also wraps up the first month. There are a couple of things I haven’t had time to do yet, including some meta-new things, so I’m not giving up yet!

Day 12: Broiling a steak

For work I’m lucky enough to make relatively frequent trips to Seattle. One of the things I’ve always wondered is what broiling is. It also seemed like a reasonable thing for today’s new thing. So how exactly do you broil as steak*.

* – warning to vegan and vegetarian readers – contains pictures of meat.


As it turns out broiling is pretty much grilling in the oven. A little bit of research (or rather a single query on Bing) brought enlightenment: broiling is essentially cooking a steak under the grill. Definition in hand, it was time to make up a method.

The process

A piece of meat A hot pan Almost ready Time to eat

The thought of simply sticking a steak in the oven was a bit too simple. I decided to heat up my trusty cast iron grill pan in the oven to heat it up. Obviously I’d taken the steak out of the oven to get up to room temperature before starting the entire process. A little bit of pepper and a drop of oil and the steak was good to go.

Once the pan was suitably smoky, I seared both sides of the stake, before taking a wild stab at timings. I left the steak under the grill for about three minutes, turning it half-way through. After the poor steak’s brief stay in a fiery hell, it had a 5 minute rest.

The result

Meh, at best. I think first of the steak was to thin to broil, so even though the cooking process was relatively short, it ended up quite a lot more towards being medium to well-done than I usually like my steak cooked. The final outcome do did taste ever so slightly broiled, so it wasn’t a total loss. I don’t usually grill things, but when I get a thicker steak into the house, I might give it another go. The interesting thing is that it ends up cooking the steak from both sides, which, with a slightly shorter cooking time, should lead to acceptable results.