Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bachelor Chow: A Contemporary Cooking Methodology!!

Cooking is like music; both of them are at the same time a form of art and science that takes minutes to get into, but years to master.  Having not (yet) acquired any degree or formal training in culinary science, I'm certainly no master of cooking, but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to share with those who are interested in saving time and money while not having to sacrifice deliciousness! Bachelor Chow is a term I’ve coined to represent entrees that are comprised of a meat, a veg, and a carb; each of which can be varied to accommodate what you have on-hand to concoct an easy meal that is cost-effective, healthy, and – most importantly – tasty!

Bachelor Chow does not necessarily refer to one particular recipe, but rather a method by which an entrée with countless variations can be created.  Additionally, making Bachelor Chow not only encourages innovation and creativity in the kitchen, but is also an excellent way to practicing one’s timing in the kitchen!  Furthermore, through trial and error, a sense of what flavors and textures are complimentary and work well together will build itself naturally as you attempt different combinations of various ingredients each time you make a new batch.  Before long, your delicious pile of leftovers will be the envy of all your co-workers as they nuke yet another Lean Cuisine or toast up a Hot Pocket!
This Kicked-Up Dirty Rice is a great example of Bachelor Chow (not to mention damn tasty!).   I love this stuff, esp with some Fiery Diablo Seasoning on it!

For this batch of Bachelor Chow, the meat category is represented by a generous pound of burger meat that I had stoached in the freezer for just this occasion.  A bag of mixed veg (pronounced “vedge” – get it right!) is the vegetative matter, while the carb has been represented by the rice, specifically Zatarain's Dirty Rice, in this instance.  Any or all of them could be exchanged for a different ingredient within its respective category to create unique dishes suited specifically to the mood you happen to be in at the moment.  That’s the beauty of Bachelor Chow; you get to dictate exactly what goes into it to determine how it comes out!  Not in the mood for beef? Go with chicken!   No chicken?  Hack up some of the smoked boneless pork loin that you froze last week!  Don’t like mixed veggies?  Swap it out with frozen peas!  Or something from the garden!  No rice on-hand? Pasta or couscous are great alternatives!  The possibilities are endless!

Another beautiful thing about Bachelor Chow, aside from its extreme flexibility, is the ease with which most of the components that make up each batch can be cooked!  Even for people who lack experience and knowledge when it comes to cooking, concocting a batch of Bachelor Chow is somewhat of a no-brainer.  For this reason, I tend to make it when I really don’t want to cook because I’m low on give-a-damn, yet I remain unwilling to compromise eating a quality meal for the sake of convenience!  Furthermore, Bachelor Chow is a dish that can be scaled up for those occasions when you’ve got guests on the way, or hungry little mouths to feed!  Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about feedin’ youngin’s (yet), so I get to enjoy my leftovers at work for the next day or two!

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