I’m trying to get consistent with meal prep this term. Busy weeknights usually find me floundering at the thought of actually cooking and resorting to the straightforward but actually somewhat time-consuming fried-egg-and-rice. Instead, I want to avoid the dilemma altogether and cook a large quantity of real food once a week. Today, the first day of winter term, I kicked off this resolution today by making seven servings of chicken curry.
This curry is made from scratch (save the Golden Curry for another day), and requires only eight ingredients, two of which are oil and salt. It took me thirty-five minutes from ingredients-on-the-counter to fragrant-curry-steaming-on-the-stove. While this is a significant chunk of time, for seven servings, it divides into only five minutes per meal, which is pretty good. If you like to think in terms of money, seven meals at your friendly neighborhood Chipotle would cost about 7 x $8 = $56, whereas the ingredients for this curry cost no more than $10. That’s $46 saved in one week!
Coconutty* Chicken Curry
Yes, coconutty. More so than just coconut chicken curry, this curry boasts an intense offering of delicate coconut flavor.*
Makes 7 cups of curry.
**Ingredientsolive oil2 cloves of garlic1/2 an onion3 chicken thighssalt1 Tbsp. curry powder3 cups frozen vegetable mix (carrots, corn, peas, green beans)can of coconut cream (can substitute coconut milk)
Equipmentcutting board (preferably large)chef’s knifelarge nonstick saucepan or wokcan openerwooden turner/spoon for stirringladle for serving
MethodMince the garlic and start to sautee it in some oil in the pan on medium-high. While this is heating up, dice (half of) the onion and add to the pan. Cook until the onion begins to turn translucent, stirring occasionally. While the onions and garlic are cooking, slice the chicken against the grain. Add the chicken and salt liberally.
Cooking the chicken dry - before adding the coconut cream and vegetables - allows it to brown via the Malliard reaction, developing a caramelized crust. To amplify the Malliard reaction, you can add in the sugar here. Once the chicken has browned, add the coconut cream and curry powder, and if desired, ginger, turmeric, and cayenne for an extra kick. Mix thoroughly and bring to a boil. Add the veggies and return to a boil, then simmer until they’ve cooked. Add salt to taste.
Serve with rice. I packed half of mine up with rice in individual containers to take to campus for lunch and stored the rest in one large container to eat for dinner.
One of the most exciting aspects of college life is the freedom that students enjoy when living on their own. When most students think about college life, one of the first things that comes to mind is Greek life, with the many sororities and fraternities on campuses across the country. While Caltech does not have Greek life, per se, we do have a unique housing system, similar to that of Hogwarts. There are eight houses and one residence on campus: Avery, Blacker, Dabney, Fleming, Lloyd, Page, Ricketts, Ruddock, and the Bechtel Residence. Each of the houses has its own unique culture, character, and traditions. I am a member of Ruddock House!
This past year was so different than most of us could have ever imagined. Living in “the virtual school year” posed a plethora of challenges, but at the same time, it opened the door to new possibilities. As a society, we learned how to better operate in a virtual world, and as individuals, we had time for new endeavors. For myself, this meant taking the leap of faith to move away from home and live with some fellow Techers. While I had already had the experience of moving away from home and coming to live in the Caltech houses, this was quite different. Instead of living in organized student residences with hundreds of other students, a meal plan, and tons of support resources, I was about to go live with just 5 other people (some of which I did not know super well) and we had to find and manage our own housing, food, and necessities.
My favorite part about Caltech is the Houses! The easiest way to describe them is as Hogwarts houses: each has their own personality and group of people and the first thing you do at Caltech is go through a “sorting” process. The people are what makes the Houses at Caltech so great. As a frosh, it’s amazing to be able to come in and immediately have a group of 100+ people to support you. Because the Houses have students from every grade, you make friends with upperclassmen and can ask for help on tons of things like: