In the past 2 months that I have been at school, my nights have been quite boring for one main reason; I don’t know how to cook. Each night I have found something microwavable or pre-cooked that I can warm up for 2 minutes and eat, not because I am in a hurry, but really because thats all I know how to do. However fortunately for me, our class has been given the assignment to do a six week long Genius Hour assignment, which has inspired me to learn to cook.
Each week I plan to cook something different to gain knowledge in a variety of different areas. My dad is an amazing cook, so it is important to me that I learn how to do the same. Anyone who is interested in health, cooking, and accomplishing a goal can relate to my challenge. I am searching for tips and recipes in multiple areas such as Pinterest, cook books, and a personal cook book my Dad made for me. I will use Google as well to search for answers on questions I have.
For my first week, I wanted to cook a fish dinner. I went to Pinterest and searched for something that was healthy, looked delicious, and would challenge my skills and knowledge so that I would grow in my cooking. I found a recipe for Honey Garlic Shrimp and decided that I would take this on as my week one Genius Hour challenge.
To begin, I went to Kroger and purchased all of the ingredients that the recipe called for.
- 1 lb. shrimp
- 1/2 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
While at the grocery store, I looked to find the best deals on these items as well. I compared store brands to known brands, and chose fresh produce over prepackaged produce. I also bought green beans to sauté and serve with the shrimp. I found that buying fresh green beans instead of pre-cut and prepackaged green beans was a lot cheaper.
When I came home, I first washed the shrimp and began to cook. The first step in the recipe is making the sauce for the shrimp to marinate in. I did not know what marinating was so I googled it, and learned that it is soaking the shrimp in the sauce which allows it to pick up more flavor. So, I combined the ingredients to make the sauce, divided it in half like the recipe called for, and let the shrimp marinate for 25 minutes.
Next I took a 10″ skillet, added some oil, and heated it to medium high heat. I put in half of the shrimp that had been marinating to give them enough space to cook. Using tongs, I let the shrimp brown on one side for about a minute, and then flipped them over to brown on the other side for about one minute. I repeated this with the remaining half of the shrimp, pressing the shrimp in to the skillet to allow it to get as much flavor as possible.
After the shrimp had cooked in the skillet, I moved it to a bowl and drizzled the other half of the sauce that I created in the beginning onto the warm shrimp. I let the shrimp sit in the bowl and soak the flavor up while I began to work on the green beans.
For the green beans, I used my dad’s recipe that he put in a customized cook book for me. It is a pretty simple process to cook these. I started by washing the green beans and cutting the ends off with cooking scissors. I then put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a skillet and heated it up for 1 minute on medium high heat. Next, I tossed in 2 garlic cloves, minced, and heated them until they began to brown. Once the garlic was browning, I threw in the green beans and a dash of salt. The key to cooking these green beans is to keep stirring them and cook them until they bend instead of snap. It took me about 5 minutes to cook them all the way, and then they were ready to serve.
Once the green beans were finished, it was time to dish up. The combination of the shrimp with the green beans created a delicious plate. I was extremely satisfied with what I had created.
So to conflude, I am highly satisfied with the food I prepared. It was healthy, tasty, and filled my appetite. I was so excited to send pictures and recaps of my food to my parents to show them what I did after I finished, and I am looking forward to learning more skills. I can now say that I know what it means to marinate fish, and to properly prepare a recipe. For the future, my goal is to learn how to make dishes like this without using a recipe. This genius hour challenge has really sparked an interest in me with cooking and I am truly prepared to take on the next 5 weeks. Stay tuned to see what I make next, and hopefully learn a new recipe too!