Simplicity and Speed Comes First

Urban Bachelor Dinner Party

I had my second urban bachelor cooking dinner this past weekend. I only had one guest this time because I gave out a very short notice. I am experimenting with a new receipt my friend Keith gave me recently. It is basically some canned beans and tomatoes mixed together. Keith already simplified the recipe for everyone by combining two complicated recopies, and thrown out ingredients that are hard to prepare. Further more, he combined several cooking steps into one. The original recipe from Keith was: Canned Kidney Beans (fist size) Canned chunked tomato (large size) Hamburger Meat (fist size) Mixed Vegetables (fist size) Canned Pinto Bean (fist size) 12 Oz Beer (regular size) Chilly Mix (bag) Tomato Paste (small size) Mix them together and bring to boil in a pod. Set heat to low and let it boil for about 20 minutes. Food is about to ready when most of the beer is gone. Good luck. The dish tastes great with fresh bread. 


  • Canned Vegetables and Beer Mix
  • I was very excited and went to super market for all ingredients. However, I was not able to get every ingredient because I was not familiar with the layout of the super market. My guess is that many people out there share the same pain. So I make the following modification to help you save time in the super market. Basically go to the canned vegetable section. Just look at the pictures on the cans. Pick one with a picture of white beans and one with a picture of red/dark beans. Then add two other cans of vegetables with different colors. Of course you can pick a can of mixed vegetable which gives you many colors. I picked a can of mixed vegetables (red, green, yellow) and a can of chopped potatoes (white). Go to the pasta section and get tomato paste and chucked tomatoes. If you cannot find chunked tomatoes, ask around or find something else instead. Remember, in urban cooking, speed comes before taste. Go to the spice section for the chilly mix. If you cannot find it, get chilly powder instead. Then get Hamburg meat. Everyone should know where to get a bottle of beer. After all, this is bachelor cooking. When you get home, drain all liquid out of all cans. Mix all food together. If you got chilly powder, take two to four spoons full. Experiment. Add some oil to the chilly powder if you like. I don’t know what it does, but the lady in the super market told me so. Make sure you add 12 Oz of beer. Bring it to boil and let it continue to boil on low heat for about 20 minutes. My friend Domenic verified that the mix tasted great despite a lot of unknown before hand. The second dish was, “Microwave Steamed Asparagus”. I got this recipe from my friend Sam. She is a great cook.


  • Microwave Steamed Asparagus
  • Basically get some asparagus from the super market. Wash them and take of the ends by hand. It doesn’t mater how much you take off from the end. You can leave the end on but they are hard to eat. In fact, you will find the ends fall off automatically when you try to break them. Put the asparagus in a plate with at least ¼ inches of water. Cover the plate with a piece of plastic wrap but leave some opening on the edge for hot air to come out later. Don’t use aluminum folio even if it is not folded. Put the plate in microwave oven for 5 to 7 minutes depends on how powerful is your microwave oven. You can experiment. The third dish I made was “Seasoned Korean Pork Gorge Forman Grilled”. This dish takes little time to make because it is already season. The point I want to make is that there are great pre-made food (there are also very bad pre-made food) can be found in super market or specialty stores. Try them out. You might find something cheap, tasty, easy to cook and hard to mess up. 


  • Korean Seasoned Port George Foreman Grilled
  • The entered dinner, including two other dishes and enough food for the rest of the week took me 45 minutes to make.

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