Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bachelor Chow

Anybody who has spent some time in meatspace with me in the last few years has probably heard me talk about my food. Cuisine is, after all, one of the more popular topics of small-talk, probably just behind the weather. I often eat "Bachelor Chow" (now with flavour!), and I'm quite happy with it. So I decided to share some of my culinary delights with the readers of this blog.

The essence of bachelor chow lies in its extreme ease-of-preparation while still providing a more-or-less balanced meal (complex carbohydrates, protein, a variety of lipids, trace minerals and co-enzymes). Ideally, bachelor chow can be prepared from basic, store-bought ingredients in 20 minutes or less, from opening the freezer to turning on the TV. Consumption time should be similarly short - around 10 minutes or less barring conversation, or indeed any interaction with another human being. Additionally, bachelor chow should always provide sufficient leftovers for at least one more meal - typically, this would be lunch for the next day.

Note that these rules are a little flexible, in that certain components normally considered part of preparation time may be discounted by some factor (such as 0.3) if constant or frequent attention is not required, for example baking or steaming times.

I'll come back and update this list with links as I eat these things. I may also come up with new versions, so this list could expand.

Big List of Bachelor Chow

1.0 Beef Noodle
1.1 Hamburger Stroganof
1.2 PsuedoLasagne

2.0 Pasta and Tomato Sauce and Sausage
2.1 Pasta and Tomato Sauce and Bird
2.2 Pasta and Tomato Sauce and Mammal

3.0 Rice, Mammal, Corn
3.1 Rice, Bird, Corn

4.0 Stir Fry!
4.1 Stir Fry! on noodles
4.2 Stir Fry! of invertebrate doom

5.0 Lasagne

6.0 Toad-in-the-Hole

Bachelor Chow 1.0: Beef Noodle

"Hamburger Helper" or equivalent generic noodles-and-sauce package, "Beef Noodle" flavour
Ground Beef
Spices (crushed chillies, Tabasco sauce)

One sentence review: This predates the "now with flavour!" tagline, as evidenced by the general lack of anything not bland.
One word review: edible.


King Aardvark said...

When I was a bachelor, I rarely slid into "bachelor chow" territory, though I generally had to skimp on meat other than ground beef and on dairy in general. However, I would generally make pastas or other meals that would last me for 4 days. Man, did that get repetitive. Now, though, I do go into extreme bachelordom on the rare occasion that my wife is out of town for the day: I eat crap, I don't do dishes, and I barely wash myself or dress myself. It's great, but only for a day or two. After that, it just gets nasty.

Carlo said...

One of my new rules involves eating properly, all the time. I've really been trying to push myself into cooking full, healthy meals.

I do admit that I miss Hamburger Helper (ack, the lactose!). That being said, I should probably look into a bachelor chow related diet for evenings when I'm in the lab past 7pm. When I get home, I'm usually too tired to cook and thus eat and entirely nachos and salsa based meal... which is even more pathetic than Bachelor Chow already is.

King Aardvark said...

Mmmmmmm, nachos and salsa.

TheBrummell said...

Some versions of Hamburger Helper don't call for milk in the recipe; others have alternate directions for leaving it out. The beef noodle here presented as version 1.0 calls for 1/2 cup of milk and more than 2 cups of water, but does say that the milk can be omitted. The sauce contains no cheese.

Other Bachelor Chow version series contain no lactose - the stir fry, for example, though that has the disadvantage of not being freeze-able.

King Aardvark said...

Yup, stir fry is notoriously difficult to keep; that's the primary reason why I didn't cook stir fries much when I was in school. Now I cook them all the time.