In this blog, I like to write about stuff from my childhood, but I also write about random happenings in my life. I can’t always write about my past because eventually I’ll run out of subjects to blog about. This time I want to write about something I saw in the supermarket.
As I was about to check out and pay for my groceries recently, I did the triple take at the impulse magazine rack:
What the hell? I opened it up and saw that this is a recipe book released by Coca Cola. Initially I was confused because Coke is a drink. Why would they have a recipe book? Do they want customers to have Coca Cola Freestyle drinks at home?
No. These recipes combine soda with cooking the same way cooks use wine or beer. It sounds interesting because Coca Cola has a distinct taste and I really want to know if the flavor really influences their dishes, or if it is just a gimmick. I have used wine when cooking food like chicken and I believe the poultry had a better flavor. I tried to make beer battered fried chicken and it was just okay. Maybe I didn’t fry the chicken right, but it was too big a hassle to repeat it. I have less annoying things to do, like get root canals at the local dentist school. In any case, the publishers got my $4.
As with any other book, I read the introduction to get a feel for the book. I found out that cooks have used Coca Cola with their recipes for decades. Yet, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of it. The book itself states that there are 44 recipes with soda in it, and there are 19 recipes that can be served with Coke. That is, drinking Coca Cola in the can with the meal. That’s weird. I have several other cookbooks and I found one thing in common between them: EVERY recipe in these books can be served with Coke. I guess the writers ran out of ideas and needed filler to have a complete book. I’m already regretting spending $4.
Okay, so I started to read why one would want to put soda in their food. The book stated that it gives a full body and uniqueness. This is starting to fall under beer talk. I love beer but I have no idea about the process or ingredients used to make it. I know that hops and barley are used but that’s all I can tell you. Reading things like “full body” doesn’t do anything for me. Is that opposed to a quadriplegic body? Are these recipes related to Johnny has his Gun? That’s messed up, Coca Cola. First Nazi collaboration and now teasing the injured? That’s messed up.
There are also other words in there such as, sweetness, depth, flavor enhancing, and tenderizes. I will get back to this shortly (if I remember).
The table of contents looks like any other cookbooks you may have read. There are sections for soups and starters, entrees that have pork, beef, poultry, and seafood, sides, sauces, salads, and finally, desserts. This book is a pretty good money-maker for Coca Cola. I only spent $4 on the book, but if I want to make anything from it, I have to buy the soda. What a great idea. If I was a jerk, I would try to make money with my blog in a similar fashion.
After flipping through the entrees for something to make, I decided to try the Country Captain Chicken.
It doesn’t seem too hard to make, which is good because I’m not the chef of the future. Sometimes I like to try new recipes just to get some variety in my food. I can’t eat Chef Boyardee’s all the time, especially since they don’t have character shapes anymore.
Okay, so I had a heck of a time looking for all the ingredients I needed and had to go through certain supermarket isles several times until I found them all. It looks like a lot and it certainly is for me, but real chefs would laugh at this list, then laugh at me, pointing and calling me “sissy girl.” I am used to using a packet with seasonings to marinate meat and that’s pretty much it. A rice cooker and frozen vegetables would help me make an easy dinner, so this recipe here is serious business, and I don’t do serious.
Next, I joined the smaller spices with the tomato products and mixed them up in a bowl. It didn’t look too great but I know that will change as the food cooked. I also cut up the vegetables and put them in their bowls. I surprised myself with the ease of cutting the pepper and onion because I’ve cut them before and it never went this smoothly.
The onions still almost melted my eyes out but I think watching too much Food Network let me know how to cut these veggies with ease. I guess watching chef reality shows with people crying like fools after their elimination actually came in handy. I’m such a mean bastard.
I also had to combine chicken broth and the soda together so that I can pour it in the skillet. The combo looked like nothing I would ever want to eat. I had to remember again that it’s all going to look different in the end.
Now was the point of no return. I had to brown the chicken on both sides in olive oil. I’m really glad the directions said how long to brown them. I really suck at frying anything and either overcook or undercook meat. I was starting to worry about not seasoning the meat before like I usually do. I was hoping that this meat wouldn’t be the Chipolte Restaurant version of this recipe: boring and bland.
Once I browned the chicken, I took it out and fryed the veggies in the same pan and oil. As the peppers and onions start getting soft, the yummy smell starts to waft through the kitchen. The combo of flavors is getting me more hungry and I want to eat already. I’m hoping the result is as promising as the smells predict.
So now I add the sauce and soda/broth and eventually the chicken and then let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. The rice is in the cooker, ready to go, and once the chicken simmers, it’s go time.
Finally, after all the “work” that I did, the shopping for different items, the eye-scorching onions, and the hope that I didn’t forget anything, this is the result:
The taste…not bad. I don’t taste any Coca Cola and it’s kinda tasty. The chicken is tendered well and it has a sort of sweet taste. The adjectives used for cooking with this soda are true.
My wife thought it was a little too sweet for her tastes. I thought it was okay. However, I did seem like a lot of work. Like I said before, I don’t put much into making food. I don’t think this is something I could do regularly.
Still, I think I would try a few more recipes before I put the book with the other dust-covered recipe books on the shelf. There was some good-looking desserts and other entrees I may try. It’s always fun to try a new recipe, and it’s also a good way to keep blog readers busy. Be busy my friends.