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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    Man, those meals look great. That pizza looks awesome and that rack of lamb looks real classy. Nice work, guys. :)
     
    #61
  2. Sightless

    Sightless Veteran

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    Hey Master_Craig, huge props for being more involved in the food you consume. I am a huge supporter of people getting to know what they eat, and I think it really produces better (read: more conscious) eating habits. And home-cooked meals are usually way better than going out, on multiple levels. One downside though is that if you become good at cooking, going out to eat on special occasions can sometimes be a let down, because you typically want to go out to have food that's better than what you can make at home!

    I'm glad you're comfortable cooking chicken, because handling raw meats is often a big hurdle for people. I've got three things to contribute today:

    1) It's all about seasoning. Usually when people say their meals don't taste great, or are lacking something (that je ne sais quoi~), it's because they underestimate the power of salt & pepper, or herbs/spices, or even sugar, depending on the dish. I see you're using curries and familiarizing yourself with other flavours, which is awesome and key to a tasty tasty meal.

    2) Since you're on a pasta kick, you could try adjusting the cooking method and pan-frying the pasta. After boiling as usual to al dente or as you prefer, just drain and add it to a pan heated with oil (I'd typically suggest olive oil, or could do avocado oil or whatnot), and add your spices/herbs. And add whatever other ingredients you like of course. You can do this with any pasta, but long noodles are best -- specifically a linguine, in my opinion. And with pesto. Mm.

    3) Just some of my favourite things to have with pasta: julienne-cut (strips) red peppers and red onions with oil and pepper; baby clams (or any seafood, really) with pesto or white wine sauce; butter, herbs, and a nice cheese, maybe some shaved pecorino; and garlic bread/toast (lots. Like, yes, make the whole loaf. Why else did you make the sauce. What up, carbs.).

    I'm a fan of the amount of cheese you add, by the way. Right on.
     
    #62
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  3. Master_Craig

    Master_Craig Forum Moderator
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    Thanks, Sightless! Good to see you back here on the forums again. :)

    I use a crap load of seasoning/spices when ever I cook chicken. What I've been doing lately, is I'll get a bowl, and then fill it up with several tablespoons of smoked Paprika, onion salt and a few other bits of seasoning, including salt/pepper. I'll then take my cut chicken breast and lightly coat each cut in extra virgin olive oil, then I'll pretty much dunk the chicken into the bowl of spice/seasoning, roll it around a bit, cover the whole thing up.

    I agree. Never underestimate the epic power of seasoning.

    I haven't cooked pasta in a while. I've lately been doing just rice. I really enjoy rice, I can eat rice on its own with nothing else, to be honest. Since it's so easy to cook, that's the prime carbohydrate I use.
     
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  4. Sightless

    Sightless Veteran

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    Yeah, rice is great. The east asian in me wants to tell you a good short grain rice is the only real rice, but in truth I also really enjoy basmati and wild rice. In the right dishes, of course.

    Do you have cooking tools like a slow cooker, rice cooker, etc? That opens up a whole world of recipes specifically for those devices.

    And while I'm thinking about it, soups are a really great food category to experiment with flavours and such. Maybe good for wintertime. :)
     
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  5. used44

    used44 Forum Moderator
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    #65
  6. Sightless

    Sightless Veteran

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    That's nuts.

    I keep forgetting to photograph food creations. I usually just photograph baking..?

    I also actually wish I had recipes to share, to pass down to other people and all that, but I cook so randomly. I think it's a kind of goal for me to develop something that really stands up and stands out. Like, I want to create a dish that's equivalent to what my grandma's apple cake is for me. Never had anything like it anywhere else. How do people do that?
     
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  7. Excitable

    Excitable Rookie

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  8. Master_Craig

    Master_Craig Forum Moderator
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    #68
  9. Master_Craig

    Master_Craig Forum Moderator
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    In relation to the "Do you even lift?" thread, here's a quick, cheap and healthy recipe.

    Super basic but actually pretty good chicken, rice and vegetables - for one. For ingredients, you'll need:
    • Skinless chicken breast (how much is up to you, I'd suggest 100 - 200g)
    • Frozen mixed vegetables (how much is up to you, I'd suggest 40 - 70g)
    • Any kind of rice (how much is up to you, I'd suggest 40 - 90g depending on your needs)
    • 1 egg
    • Minced/crushed garlic in a jar
    • Minced/crushed ginger in a jar (or tube)
    • Soy sauce
    • Sesame oil
    • Salt and pepper
    • Coconut cooking oil (spray is fine)
    For tools, you'll need:
    • Two small bowls
    • A frying pan
    • Stove
    • Rice cooker
    • Egg boiler
    • Cutting board
    • Knife
    • Tea spoon
    • Microwave
    • Glass (microwave friendly) bowl
    • Spatula
    1 - If you have a rice cooker, awesome, use it to cook your rice. You might as well cook yourself a lot of rice in bulk, so that way you've got plenty of rice for the week to re-use.

    2 - Put your frozen veggies into a suitable container (like a glass bowl or something) and microwave it on a high setting for about five to ten minutes. Five should be fine.

    3 - If you have a means to easily boil your egg into a hard boiled egg, do it now (I have a pretty cool egg boiler).

    4 - Take a small bowl and add in about 1 - 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, 1 - 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, a teaspoon of minced/crushed garlic and about half a tea spoon of the minced/crushed ginger. Using the spoon, stir it all up.

    5 - Using a cutting board and knife, cut your skinless chicken breast in half, and then proceed to dice it up into small cubes, about 1 cm or so in size each.

    6 - Put the cut up chicken into its own bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add the soy sauce/sesame oil/garlic/ginger and drizzle all over chicken. Use tea spoon (or hands) to really mix up all the liquids/seasoning with the chicken.

    7 - Take a frying pan and spray the base with your coconut oil. Put on the stove on a medium-high to high setting for about two minutes, use a timer of some sort if you need to. After that, add the chicken.

    8 - Using a spatula, continuously move the chicken on the frying pan (so that it doesn't melt/stick onto your pan), insuring to rotate and flip the chicken regularly. It's a bit hard to see the chicken cooked when it's covered in the previous dressings, so to check if it's cooked, find the biggest cut of chicken you have on the pan, then use a knife and fork to cut it open. If it's white on the inside, all good, if it's still red/pink, it'll need more time. I tend to cook for four to five minutes before checking on the chicken.

    9 - Once the chicken is done, turn off the stove, put your desired amount of rice in a bowl, followed by the vegetables, and then with the chicken on top. If your hard boiled egg is ready, peel the egg shell off, then proceed to slice/dice the hard boiled egg and add it to your meal.

    10 - Eat.
     
    #69
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
  10. used44

    used44 Forum Moderator
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    Your dedication to meal prep is very impressive. I need to get in on it.
     
    #70
  11. Margery

    Margery Rookie

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    I will share a recipe I've learned in Indonesia: Nasi Goreng or Fried Rice. It's delicious!

    You will need:
    • Sesame oil 50g
    • Meat (chicken fillet or veal) 300gr
    • Chili pepper fresh or dry 1 pc.
    • Fish sauce 30g
    • Onion 1 pc
    • Carrot 1 pc
    • Bulgarian pepper 1 pc
    • Rice 250gr
    • Peas (fresh or canned) 150gr
    • Egg 1 piece
    • Corn (fresh or canned) 150gr
    • Green onions
    • Sesame 50gr
    • Fresh cucumber 1pc

    Cook on high heat, preferably in a wok.
    Add the ingredients one by one in 3-5 minutes, mix ingredients.
    Follow the sequence of adding ingredients.

    Recipe:
    1. Boil and cool the rice. Cut the meat into strips. Chop onions, carrots, peppers, cucumber, chili pepper, and green onions.
    2. Preheat the frying pan. Pour sesame oil, add chopped chili, add meat. Add the fish sauce.
    3. After the meat is lightly fried add onions. Wait until the onions are also slightly fried and add carrots, then pepper. Mix ingredients after every step.
    4. Break the egg and add rice. Mix rice well so that there are no lumps.
    5. Add peas, corn, green onion, and cucumber. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
     
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  12. Master_Craig

    Master_Craig Forum Moderator
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    Thanks, used! I find by preparing my meals in advanced, I actually save money (as going out to eat for lunch at work everyday is expensive) and I'm getting the macro-nutrients as prescribed by my nutrition/exercise coach. On top of that, I get to practice my cooking, try new things etc. which is good, so it's a total win/win.

    The good thing about the diet is I'm not restricted to it... so for example, if I want rice one week to be my main carbohydrate source, then rice it is. If the next week I don't want rice but instead want say, pasta of some sort, then I can swap out rice for pasta. It's pretty easy to do that, using a sub-calculator thingo that they designed. Helps a lot. :)

    Of course, the only bad thing about "meal prep" is it costs time... so I usually spend about two hours on a Sunday doing it. Sometimes it takes longer, as when I clean up my own stuff, I'll tend to do any other dishes and kitchen cleaning if needed.

    Margery - That fried rice recipe sounds awesome. My only concern is the sesame oil, 50g of it is quite a lot (442 calories), but I suppose it's not that bad when the meal is served to multiple people. I'm going to save this recipe and try it for a special occasion, I reckon. Sounds delicious. :)
     
    #72
  13. shandog137

    shandog137 Novice

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    Blackened Salmon 1.jpg Quick Recipe for when I don't feel like cooking - Blackened Salmon Filet with herb roasted baby potatoes and pear and goat cheese salad.

    Main-

    Ingredients: Salmon filet, baby or fingerling potatoes, a lemon, red onion (medium), rosemary and thyme, blackening seasoning, garlic, mayo, relish, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and hot sauce (optional)

    Tools: Oven safe skillet and small baking dish for potatoes

    1 - 8-10 oz boneless salmon filet.

    Prep Tip - (Tweezers (Clean)) Run your fingers along the center of the salmon filet feeling for bones regardless of if it is a "boneless" filet - you will typically still find at least a couple of bones so remove with tweezers and try to go with the grain of the salmon when pulling so that you don't damage the meat too much.

    1-2lbs of baby potatoes or fingerling potatoes

    Prep Tip - Wash and clean with cold water and set on towel to dry

    1 - Medium Red Onion - peeled and sliced

    Prep

    (For this recipe I just used a store bought blackening spice (try to find one low in sodium as you can always add salt - the purpose of the spice should be for flavor vs salinity.)

    1. Season meat side of filet. The skin side will be the primary cooking side so don't put blackening spice on that side as it will burn and may end up bitter. Set in the fridge while you prep potatoes.

    2. In a mixing bowl add a couple tablespoons of olive oil, the sliced onions, either dry or fresh chopped rosemary and thyme, a couple cloves of smashed & chopped garlic, and a few splashes of balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Place in baking dish and cover with foil. Set aside for now.

    (fresh I use several sprigs of each - take your fingers pull against the direction of the leaves to pull the leaves from the main branch then chop with a knife (rough chop is fine)

    (Dry seasoning just sprinkle maybe a teaspoon of Italian seasoning or half teaspoon of each)

    3. Tartar Sauce - Few tablespoons of mayo, a couple teaspoons of relish, juice from half a squeezed lemon, dash of hot sauce - mix in a small bowl and toss in the fridge

    Side Salad

    Ingredients: Mixed greens, cucumber peeled and sliced, tomato cut into wedges, plain or cranberry goat cheese, white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, thinly sliced red onion

    1. In a large mixing bowl add greens, cucumber, tomatoes, and thinly sliced red onion and toss. Set aside

    Cooking

    1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees then place potatoes in oven for 30 minutes. Check every 15 minutes afterwards until potatoes are fork tender (time varies depending on size of potatoes and quantity).

    (Note: Fish will take about 15-20 minutes to cook and salad can be finished in about 2-5 more minutes)

    2. Place skillet on stove with a tablespoon of olive oil on medium high heat. when the oil just starts to move away from the center and the pan lightly smoke place salmon meat side down in pan for 2-3 minutes. Flip to skin side and place in oven for (thus the need for oven safe skillet). cook at 375 for 10 -12 minutes until filet is light pink throughout when flaked with a fork.

    When you remove the filet from the oven take the fish out of the pan and either plate up or place on cutting board - if you leave in pan fish will continue to cook from residual heat.

    Fish Done!

    3. Add olive oil, white balsamic salt & pepper to salad mixing bowl and toss to dress to taste. Place salad in serving dish and top with sliced pear and then crumbled goat cheese.

    Salad Done!

    4. Remove potatoes from the oven and if you timed it right they too should also be done.

    Potatoes Done!
     
    #73
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
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  14. used44

    used44 Forum Moderator
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    That looks great. My kind of meal. I gotta keep an eye out for cranberry goat cheese. That salad in particular looks so good.
     
    #74
  15. shandog137

    shandog137 Novice

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    Thanks man. I am going to post a quick street taco recipe I like to make with country spare ribs next...when I get a chance. I have been cooking since I was 7 but I don't use recipes so I have to think through what I did to try and make it recipe friendly -thus "dash of this" a few "splashes of that".
     
    #75

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