Monday, July 4, 2011

Those optimistic cooking times

Eggs, sunny-side up, frying in a pan.Image via Wikipedia
Put these eggs on top of hash browns for a great breakfast.

"Cooks in Under 5 Minutes."

"Ready in Under 15 minutes."

When you prepare five or six family meals at home every week, quick-cooking claims are music to your ears.

They got me to try two new products at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack, but both took longer to prepare than the package times.

The first product is Tru Roots Organic Sprouted Bean Trio -- a blend of lentils, adzuki and mung beans in a 3-pound bag.

I followed the instructions: Combine one cup of the bean trio with three cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes.

But the beans were still hard, so I boiled them so more. When they were done, there was a lot of water in the saucepan, so I had to remove them  with a slotted spoon. 

They took a lot of seasoning before I could eat them, first with a couple of fried eggs, then a few days later with brown rice.

The second item I tried is Golden Grill Russet Premium Hashbrown Potatoes, which are dehydrated and come in small, 4.2-ounce cartons (eight in the package).

They are made by Basic American Foods in California. Ingredients are potatoes, salt and two preservatives, sodium bisulfite and BHT.

You open the carton, fill it with hot tap water and let stand 12 minutes. Of course, that doesn't contradict the claim, "Cooks in Under 5 Minutes."

Then, you preheat a large, non-stick skillet with 2 tablespoons of butter or oil over medium-high heat and pour in the contents of the carton, patting the shredded potatoes down with a spatula.

The time for "golden brown" is given as 3-4 minutes, but it took a lot longer than that to get one side brown. I could have flipped the potatoes and fried them on the other side, but I didn't.

I did sprinkle them with grated Italian cheese, and put them under the broiler for about 5 minutes, though. 

They were quite good, despite the simple preparation.
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