Cooking for n00bs

Discussion in 'Films, TV, Music, Books, Etc.' started by Master_Craig, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. Master_Craig

    Master_Craig Forum Moderator
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    Hey guys.

    So I'm bad at cooking. Like, really bad. I can't really cook that much at all. Preparing food isn't a problem - as long as it's already made so to speak, but making it myself, oh God.

    I need to learn how to cook. Is anyone here pretty good at cooking, or is in a similar boat to me?

    I bought myself the "The Can't Cook Book: 100+ Recipes For the Terrified" - http://www.amazon.com/The-Cant-Cook-Boo ... 1451662254 - to see if this can help me. Tonight I'm going to cook spaghetti for myself and my girlfriend... I can cook spaghetti, however I always use pre-made sauce. Tonight I'll be making the sauce myself from the recipe.

    I'm going to post the Spaghetti Marinara recipe down below and I'd love to see other people throw down recipes they enjoy, even photos of their creations would be awesome!

    Spaghetti Marinara

    Actual work time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 25 minutes
    Serves: 4-6

    Ingredients:

    -1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
    -3 gloves garlic
    -2 T.e.v olive oil
    -1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    -1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
    -1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    -1 box of whole wheat or regular spaghetti
    -grated parmesan cheese for serving

    Tools nededed:

    -Large pot
    -Colander
    -Cutting board
    -Chef's knife
    -Measuring spoon
    -Large saucepan
    -Wooden spoon
    -Can opener
    -Cheese grater (if grating yourself
    -Kitchen timer

    1. Fill the large pot with water about an inch from the top. Place on the stove and turn the heat on to bring water to a boil. Place colander in the sink, open the can of tomatoes.

    2. Chop the garlic.

    3. Place a large saucepan on the stove and turn on the heat to medium. Measure and pour in the oil and heat until it shimmers (1-2 minutes). Scoop up the chopped garlic with your knife and add to the pot. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until light golden brown (about 1 minute). Remove the pan from the heat and add the tomatoes. Then stir in the salt, red pepper and black pepper (12 turns on a pepper mill). Return to the heat and let it come to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-lower and simmer (low boil), stirring often for about 15 minutes. If the cause becomes too thick and starts to sputter, add 1/2 cup of water for desired consistency.

    4. When water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Once the pasta is al dente, drain it into the colander. Divide the pasta among bowls and top with the marinara. Serve with grated parmesan.
     
    #1
  2. WickedLiquid

    WickedLiquid Regular

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    Sounds like gooooood pasta. Do you have an indoor grill? Like George Foreman grill? Whenever I make pasta I like to cook sausages on the grill, then slice then into chunks the size of meatballs and grill all sides then stick em in with the sauce

    I like to use hot Italian sausage (that's what she said) but if you are a wuss for spicy stuff use mild.

    And if you really wanna impress the lady make her breakfast in bed. Bacon, eggs, home fries and toast. If you are kind of clueless about how to cook this stuff never fear for I will teach you young padawan.

    Breakfast in bed
    checklist
    2 frying pans
    Medium size pot
    Baking pan
    Strainer
    Papertowel

    Eggs
    Bacon
    Potatoes
    Bread
    Butter
    Milk
    Salt
    Lemon pepper (optional)
    Assorted fruits (optional)


    The most hassle will be the home fries so start with those.
    Bring a medium pot of water to boil while peeling potatoes. Peel about as much as you think you and your gf can eat. I usually peel around 4 depending on their size. Once the water is boiled cut the potatoes into small cubes and dunk them in. The trick to home fries is you want to boil them until they are half-way cooked then fry them for the other half.

    While your potatoes are boiling get started on the bacon. The trick to making perfect bacon (like the kind you order in restaurants) is to cook it in the over. DO NOT preheat the oven. You can not stick cold bacon into intense heat, this is the mistake people make when frying it in a frying pan and it shrivels up into nothing. It needs to heat up slowly.

    Lay the bacon down on a baking pan. Again, use as much as you think you and your gf should eat. I cook 8 stripes (4 each). Put the bacon in the oven and set the oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Time it for 15 minutes.

    Stir the potatoes a bit, it will take time for the potatoes to cook and you've got 15 minutes before you have to check the bacon. So while you've got some time to kill get started on the eggs. I always make em scrambled, cook them however you want, if you don't wanna scramble em skip the next paragraph

    Crack as many eggs as you want into a small bowl and whisk them with a bit of milk. I use 1/3 cup of milk with 6 eggs (3 each).

    Don't start cooking the eggs yet. Your home fries should be ready to fry soon so get a frying pan and heat some oil over medium heat. You'll know the potates are ready if you stick your fork in with ease but the fork does not come out with ease (if the fork comes out with ease then they are fully cooked, you want them to be halfway cooked). Strain the boiled potatoes and add them to the oil. The oil should be HOT before adding potatoes. You'll know it's hot if the potatoes sizzle when they hit the pan.

    As the potatoes fry your timer for the bacon mighht beep, if it does then take the bacon out of the oven and flip each piece. Then turn the heat up to around 425 Fahrenheit and put it back in. Set your timer for another 12-15 minutes depending on how crispy you like your bacon.

    Continue to fry the potatoes until they are a golden brown. While that's cooking get back to the eggs. Melt a teaspoon of butter in a second frying pan for your eggs over medium heat.

    Omce the butter melts add the eggs to the pan and stir the eggs as they cook, also stir around the potatoes. A good trick to cooking eggs is to remove the pan off the burner and let the hot pan cook them for a bit, then return them to the burner. Back and forth while stiring.

    Once the eggs are cooked and the potatoes are golden remove both from heat. Pop some toast in the toaster and put 2-3 sheets of paper towel on a plate. Pour the home fries on the paper towel to soak up the grease and lightly salt them. I also love to season them with lemon pepper.

    When your bacon timer beeps take out the bacon, it'll be greasy too so place the strips on more paper towel to soak up the grease.

    Boom, you now have breakfast you would pay $15 for in a returant. Do this for the gf and bring it into the bedroom as she wakes up and trust me, she will be rewarding you with dessert.

    You can also add some diced fruit to the plate to colour it up a bit and make it look all fancy. Strawberries, banana, melon, grapes, cantaloupe, whatever.
     
    #2
  3. Sourdeez

    Sourdeez Rookie

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    Take beef steak and put some salt and pepper on it. Then vacuum seal it and place it in a temperature controlled slowcooker for just over 2 hours at 130F. After pull the steaks out, dry them off, and hit them with a propane or mapp blowtorch to sear the outside. You now have a perfectly cooked rare steak. Amazingly delicious.


    Picture
    http://s17.postimg.org/n9lagx5sf/IMAG0044_1.jpg



    And it follows the FDA guidelines for pasteurizing beef at such low temperatures.
    Beef, Lamb, & Pork

    130F (54.4C) 121 minutes
    135 F(57.2C) 37 minutes
    140 F(60.0C) 12 minutes
    145 F(62.8C) 4 minutes
     
    #3
  4. Paradox

    Paradox Soaring Phoenix

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    [​IMG]

    Those recipes sound awesome. I'm an alright cook. The only thing I really make that people seem to love is sausage balls. It's four pounds of pork sausage mixed with grated cheese, Bisquick, and milk. I roll them into one inch balls, arrange them on nonstick foil, and cook them for 30 minutes at tree-fidy. The result is crispy on the outside, soft on the inside little balls of meaty, cheesy, greasy goodness.
     
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  5. cyberjim2000

    cyberjim2000 Veteran

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  6. Paradox

    Paradox Soaring Phoenix

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    ^^^ That looks badass.
     
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  7. used44

    used44 Forum Moderator
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    Just sitting here imagining all the stuff in my house getting red stains on it.

    Also, marveling at how precise with the temperature and timing you would have to be for your candy to be perfectly clear like that.
     
    #7
  8. Green_Lantern

    Green_Lantern Forum Moderator
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    I love a good rare/medium rare, but that looks like it's still hanging from the cow...
     
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  9. used44

    used44 Forum Moderator
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    Food is super hard to photograph.
     
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  10. Master_Craig

    Master_Craig Forum Moderator
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    Going to try and make the spaghetti marinara tonight (last night my girlfriend's mother invited us over for dinner instead, tried to reschedule but she preferred yesterday).

    Wish me luck! I'll supply photos if successful. :p

    Also, thank you everyone for your recipe contributions. :) Wicked's Breakfast in Bed sounds epic and that dessert thrown down by Sourdeez looks awesome.
     
    #10
  11. Sourdeez

    Sourdeez Rookie

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    I am at it again tonight!

    Here are some already vacuum sealed steaks that have been sitting in my fridge for weeks. Already seasoned.
    http://s23.postimg.org/3nkx2k0ln/IMAG0140_1.jpg

    Crockpot Heating up
    http://s27.postimg.org/dy9iua5ab/IMAG0137_1.jpg

    Steaks going into crockpot.
    http://s1.postimg.org/pzkf8tnvj/IMAG0142_1.jpg

    Torch ready
    http://s8.postimg.org/jg1j5xbxx/IMAG0139_1.jpg


    :Update:
    So Uh guys, I kind of got high and drunk and consumed the steak without taking pictures. Whoops. It was delicious.
     
    #11
  12. Master_Craig

    Master_Craig Forum Moderator
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    Wow Sourdeez, that's pretty awesome. Sorry to sound like a dumb arse but I am a n00b at cooking... so you actually put the vacuum sealed steaks into the pot cooker, while they're still sealed?

    I bet those steaks are delicious. Not gonna lie man, I'm hungry now, I love a good medium rare steak.

    I was successful with my cooking last night and I made spaghetti marinara! :)

    [​IMG]

    It was actually quite good, my girlfriend and I really enjoyed it. I think in the future though I would like to add more to the sauce, such as mince meat and maybe even mushrooms. They weren't part of the recipe and it'll make the recipe slightly more complex, but I think it could work out really well.

    Tonight I'm going to try and cook again, this time I'm cooking pan-roasted chicken breasts. Since the recipe is only for the chicken, I'll be adding brown rice and steamed vegetables to the meal, but for now I'm just going to post the recipe for the chicken.

    Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts

    Actual work time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 25-30 minutes
    Serves: (depends on how many chicken breasts you cook, one breast per person)

    Ingredients:

    - <Your choice of number> boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 to 8 oz. each) - in this case I'm working with 2, maybe 3 :p
    -3 tsp. e.v. olive oil (1 tsp. + 2 tsp.)
    -1/2 tsp. kosher salt (1/4 tsp. + 1/4 tsp.)
    -1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (1/4 tsp. + 1/4 tsp.)
    -1 T.fresh thyme leaves (about 4 sprigs - I think it depends on how many chicken breasts you're using, e.g. one sprig per breast)

    Tools needed:

    -Cutting board
    -Chef's knife
    -Measuring spoons
    -Large skillet
    -Tongs
    -Kitchen Timer
    -Paper towel

    1. Wash the chicken under water and pat dry the chicken with paper towels after. Measure 1 tsp. of the oil and then drizzle a bit of the oil on each chicken breast, before rubbing to coat entirely. Measure 1/4 tsp. of the salt then pinch and sprinkle over the tops. Season the tops with 1/4 tsp. of the pepper (about 6 turns on a pepper mill). Turn the chicken over and season the same way with the remaining 1/4 tsp. of salt and 1/4 tsp. of pepper. Wash and dry the thyme sprigs, then pull the leaves from their sprigs and sprinkle over the tops of the chicken breasts.

    2. Place your large skillet on the stove and turn the heat up to medium. Measure and pour in the remaining 2 tsp. of oil and heat until it shimmers (about 1 - 2 minutes). Using your tongs, add the chicken breasts, thyme-side down (you should hear a nice sizzle) and cook until the undersides are a golden brown, which should take about 5 - 6 minutes. Flip the chicken (it should easily release from the pan) and continue to cook until golden brown (again another 5 - 6 minutes). You can cut into the chicken's thickest part to make sure it's no longer pink.

    Wish me luck on this guys. I'm looking forward to trying this. :)
     
    #12
  13. Green_Lantern

    Green_Lantern Forum Moderator
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    Here's my chicken breast recipe.

    Step 1: light grill
    Step 2: put chicken on grill
    Step 3: cook chicken on grill
    Step 4: eat chicken

    Works pretty damn well.
     
    #13
    Margery likes this.
  14. Master_Craig

    Master_Craig Forum Moderator
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    Dat chicken and dem proteins.
     
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  15. MattAY

    MattAY Forum Moderator
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    I make simple stuff, chicken teriyaki, spaghetti Bolognese, jalfrezi curry...shit like that. The measurements are never precise. If I feel like a bit more chilli powder etc was needed I'll just top it up next time I cook that dish.
     
    #15
  16. Master_Craig

    Master_Craig Forum Moderator
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    I've never really been great at cooking, which is why I'm following these recipes from the n00b cook book (the cooking "For the terrified" book). Chicken teriyaki sounds really nice though. :)
     
    #16
  17. WickedLiquid

    WickedLiquid Regular

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    Why do I feel like I just recieved cooking tips from Nick Offerman?
     
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  18. Master_Craig

    Master_Craig Forum Moderator
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    Here's that pan-roasted chicken I cooked last night:

    [​IMG]

    It was pretty good! I'm surprised that it wasn't awful! My girlfriend and I really enjoyed it. In all fairness, the brown rice and the veggies were microwaveable and weren't part of the recipe, so the only "cooking" involved was the chicken... that being said, it was quite good. :)

    Tonight I'm going to be trying a simple meal, funnily enough the cook book calls it Simple Peppercorn Steak. I'm not sure what side dish to have... maybe fried eggs?

    I'll post the recipe below from the book.

    Simple Peppercorn Steak

    Actual work time: 10 minutes
    Total time: 35 minutes

    Ingredients:

    -2 New York strip steaks (about 1 inch think, 1 lb. each - I'll be using scotch fillet steaks)
    -T.whole black pepper-corns
    -2 tsp. canola oil
    -1 tsp. kosher salt (1/2 tsp. per steak)

    Tools needed:

    -Cutting board
    -Chef's knife
    -Small skillet
    -Large skillet
    -Measuring spoons
    -Tongs
    -Instant-red thermometer (optional)

    1. Take the steaks out of the refrigerator and let come to room temperature for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, crack the pepper using the bottom of a small skillet until all of the peppercorns are cracked.

    2. If there's a lot of fat on the steak, you can trim the fat off with your chef's knife. Drizzle each steak with 1 tsp. of the canola oil and rub the oil onto both sides. Measure 1/2 tsp. of salt, then pinch and sprinkle the salt over the tops. Turn the steaks over and season the same way with the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Rub the cracked pepper onto both sides.

    3. Place a large skillet on the stove and turn the stove on to medium-high. When the skillet is hot (after a minute or two), add the steaks. Cook the steaks on the first side until a deep brown crust has formed , which should take 4-6 minutes. Flip the steaks over and cook the other side for another 4-6 minutes. This will result in a medium-rare steak. Put the meat back in the pan and using your tongs, you can hold each steak on its side to seat the fat. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

    I'm thinking fried eggs would work well as a side dish. Maybe some veggies too. Wish me luck!
     
    #18
  19. Sourdeez

    Sourdeez Rookie

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    Put hot salsa in bowl.
    Open bag of chips.

    Boom Vegetarian Dinner!



    Yes I use a foodsaver to vacuum seal my food.
    Your chicken looks good and I am not saying that just because I'm drinking. You can even try sousviding it,
     
    #19
  20. Paradox

    Paradox Soaring Phoenix

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    I got drunk last night and ate a can of chunky baked potato and steak soup right out the can. Didn't even use a spoon, just tossed it back like a beer.

    After I sobered up a bit though, I crisped some wings in the oven and tossed them with a spicy BBQ sauce.
     
    #20

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