235 Cooking

John shares a dish that he can cook well.


Todd: John, so you're wife taught us how to make tacos.

John: She's a good woman.

Todd: Can you make anything?

John: Yeah, my favorite food is Mexican food. So I can make a pretty good Mexican chicken casserole.

Todd: OK, first of all, what are the ingredients?

John: Let's see. Well, you need chicken, chili powder, rice, canned mushroom soup, and lots of cheese.

Todd: OK, and how do you make it?

John: Basically, you cook the chicken. You can like grill it or bake it. Whatever you want and you strip it into pieces and then you cook the rice and then you take the rice and the chicken and the mushroom soup and the cheese and the chili powder and you basically mix it all together in a big slop and then you put it in a casserole dish and throw it in the oven.

Todd: Oh, wow, sounds pretty good. How long does it take to make?

John: You could do it in about an hour.

Todd: An hour!

John: Yeah.

Todd: Wow, that's pretty fast

John: An hour or under an hour.

Todd: OK, have you made it recently?

John: No, I haven't made it in awhile. It's hard to find all the ingredients. Cream of mushroom soup is, I don't see it that often in Japan.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

strip into pieces

Grill or bake the chicken and strip it into pieces.

In this case 'strip' can be replaced with rip, tear or maybe cut. Notice the following:

  1. The first thing you should do is strip the cheese into pieces.
  2. Strip the meat into pieces so it will cook faster.

big slop

Mix all the ingredients together in a big slop.

'Slop' is an informal word that is kind of a disgusting word for semi-liquid mixture. If someone uses the word 'slop' it means that the food doesn't look very good at this point. Notice the following:

  1. It looks more like a big slop than soup.
  2. The cookies will look like big slop at this point.

casserole dish or throw in the oven

Put it in a casserole dish and throw it in the oven.

A 'casserole dish' is a glass pan that can be put in the oven.  We use the phrase 'throw in' as an informal way of saying 'put in.' Notice the following:

  1. I just need to throw the meat in the oven for about 30 minutes.
  2. I got that casserole dish from my grandma and I just love it.

under an hour

You can do it in under the hour.

If something can be done in less than an hour then we can say it can be done in 'under an hour.' Notice the following:

  1. The flight leaves in under an hour.
  2. She will be here in under an hour.


I haven't made this dish recently.

'Recently' refers to a time that has happens in the past, but very close to the present time, maybe a few weeks ago. Notice the following:

  1. How recently did you go to the eye doctor?
  2. I actually saw him recently.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Keep Listening

Below are some more great lessons!

Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
into pieces • big slop • casserole
throw it in • under an hour • recently
  1. I have been having a lot of headaches .
  2. If you want the warmer soup just the microwave for a minute.
  3. You have to strip meat before you give it to children.
  4. What they call food at this cafeteria is really just a .
  5. I can drive to your house in if there's no traffic.
  6. It is best to cook this in a dish, but you can use a pan.