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The General Cooking Thread

Discussion in 'Cooking' started by Blue Dog, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. Blue Dog

    Blue Dog
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    This is a thread to post all of you best recipes and cooking techniques, or to share funny tales of complete culinary failure.

    Have at it!
     
  2. JDTheHero

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    I made cheesy chicken cacciatore last night and boy was it fucking delicious.

    I took a fairly deep roasting pan and covered the inside with tin foil so as to not have a crazy mess when I was done. Preheated the oven to 375, and placed 4 boneless chicken breasts in the pan. I seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic salt, and then covered the chicken in one can of zesty hot and spicy spaghetti sauce. I then added 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce and Frank's Hot Sauce mixed together over the top of each piece of chicken to give it a bit of flavour, then added half a cup of water so I could have a thinner sauce for the rice. Cooked the chicken at 350 for 45 minutes and then left it at 125 for 15 minutes until I was done cooking the rice.

    After the rice was cooked, plated it up and grated marble cheese over the top of everything. I have a picture on my phone, Ill upload it in a few. Easily one of the easiest, most delicious meals I have ever prepared for myself...ever.
     
  3. xmarksthespot

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    Could somebody post a good BBQ sauce recipe? I've been wanting to make my own sauce for a while, but wasn't sure what recipe to use.
     
  4. Backroom

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    Focus: Looking for a good and EASY lasagna recipe, preferably involving spicy meats. Thanks.
     
  5. graffin226

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    I'm looking to start cooking as a hobby, but I've got limited experience. Anyone have any good suggestions for rather simple beginner recipes?
     
  6. Backroom

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    I guess it's not a full meal, but something that you can remake and rework all the time to try out new ways is an easy red sauce for pasta. You can tweak it 1000 ways and still have it a bit different each time. For a base, just saute (cook til lightly brown with a bit of olive oil in a pan(not trying to make fun, just have no idea about what you;re comfortable with in the kitchen)) onions, peppers and a bit of garlic. Add canned (well I do) tomatoes of any variety (crushed vs. whole etc) and add spices yo your liking. I also usually brown up some hot italian suasage and toss it in there. Now just go from there. I've made about 20 differant variations and loved each one. Good luck!
     
  7. lust4life

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    I suggest getting an issue of Cook's Illustrated. Probably the best cooking magazine in publication. They take a variety of standards, and experiment with different methods for improving the recipe and explain everything they did in a brief article before the final revamped recipe is provided. It's a great way to learn different techniques while getting your feet wet with some basic yet classic dishes. No advertising and product reviews round out the offerings. This month's issue (Nov./Dec.) has a recipe for crispy roasted potatoes and the article explains why Yukon Golds are the best for this recipe, how parboiling and "roughing" the potatoes (and preheating the baking sheet) help speed evaporation to provide the perfect crispness in the shortest amount of time. We've made these spuds at least 4 times since the issue came in the mail. I'll be pairing them up with the horseradish-crusted beef tenderloin (same issue) for Christmas dinner this year. Seriously, its a great kitchen resource for novices as well as those who know their way around a cooktop.
     
  8. JDTheHero

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    I'm making steaks for dinner tonight and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for what to baste them/season them with. I have a pretty full spice/herb rack and various bbq sauces and such in my fridge, but I have usually only done the basting with frank's red hot.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
     
  9. Blue Dog

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    Honestly man, if you have a good cut of meat, you don't need anything other than olive oil, kosher salt, and ground black pepper.

    This is pretty much how it is prepared in any great restaurant- season your room-temp steak with the above, grill for about 4-6 minutes a side for medium rare. Or if you are without a grill, pan sear on high heat in melted butter until both sides are caramelized, 2-3 minutes a side, and them finish in the oven on high heat for a few minutes). Cooking time depends on the thickness of the meat, but whatever you do, don't poke it or slice with a knife to see if it is done. This will leave you with a dry, tough piece of meat.

    When done, place in a warm platter coated with a melted butter and garlic mixture, cover with foil, and let sit for 5-10 minutes.

    If you want to go crazy with some kind of sauce, a simple Bearnaise is one of my favorite things to add to a good steak. Here is a simple recipe I just googled:

    # 3 tablespoons butter
    # 6 raw egg yolks
    # 2 shallots
    # 2 tablespoons chervil vinegar
    # 5 peppers
    # ½ teaspoon salt
    # Few grates nutmeg
    # 12 tarragon leaves chopped fine

    1. Chop the shallots, cook in vinegar with the crushed peppers; reduce until nearly dry, then cool.
    2. Rub into it the egg yolks, beating sharply; then work into it gradually the butter, seasonings, and tarragon leaves.
    3. Cook over boiling water, beat briskly; serve at once.

    Or hell, I use the McCormick bearnaise sauce packets all the time. One of my favorite things to do is to take those package sauce mixes and sexy them up to make them my own. But yeah, its all up to you.
     
  10. Currer Bell

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    This is the sort of information that has helped me out more in the past year than in the decades of cooking previously. There really is a science to cooking, and accumulating facts such as the ones quoted makes the process less prone to failure. Alton Brown is another good source, as well as various shows on the food network. I also like to read the food chat every wednesday afternoon at washingtonpost.com, I get a lot of good tips there.
     
  11. bonzo

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    Get a copy I'm Just Here For the Food by Alton Brown. Not only does it tell you how to cook but also explains why some techniques work and some don't.

    This is a great book for beginners because he doesn't just throw recipes at you. Everything is explained in plain English and with some humor and good sense thrown in.
     
  12. Blue Dog

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    I'm not great at plating (somehow I spilled sauce all over the place. Well, not somehow really. I was drunk and just sloshed that shit on there), but I can make a good plate of food.

    Seared Tuna w/ Bearnaise, along with wilted spinach that has been sauteed in a minced garlic and white wine reduction.
     

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  13. hawkeyenick

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    BlueDog's recipe sounds amazing, and I will be trying that. However, another easy way to season steaks is use salt, pepper, garlic salt (or fresh garlic, your choice, the garlic salt is for ease), season salt, and then some worcestershire sauce. My wife loves this one steaks.

    My favorite recipe is chicken piccata and roasted potatoes with garlic and rosemary.
    The chicken piccata:
    You take 4 chicken cutlets (essentially thinly sliced chicken breasts). Season those with salt and pepper, then dust them with flour. Then heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on medium-high heat, and saute the chicken in there. If they're thinly cut, it only takes 2-3 minutes on the first side put down, then flip them and saute for another 1-2 minutes. Then remove the cutlets from the pan, and deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of white cooking wine and 1 teaspoon of minced garlic. Then take 1/2 cup of low sodium chicken broth, 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of capers and put them into the pan with the cutlets being put back in as well. Cook the cutlets for 1 minute on each side. Finally, remove the cutlets and add fresh lemon slices and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter to the pan until the butter melts. You can then pour the pan sauce over the cutlets to serve them.
    The potatoes:
    These are pretty easy, you just clean up 2 pounds of baby red potatoes (Yukon gold also work), and cut them into fourths (or halves if they're small). Preheat the oven to 450, and put the rack in the lower third of the oven. Take a baking sheet (one with sides) and put it on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Take 1/4 cup of olive oil, 4-5 cloves of garlic, and 1 tablespoon of rosemary (fresh is preferred, but the standard dried stuff works too), put these ingredients in the baking sheet. Boil the potatoes for 1 minute. Then take the potatoes from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and put them directly on the baking sheet. Stir them so the olive oil, garlic, and rosemary coat the potatoes. Then put them in the oven for 20 minutes, take them out and stir them, then cook for 10 more minutes. Once they're done, sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper to taste.
    I make this meal for special occasions, things like birthdays or Valentine's Day, and my wife loves it. Its especially nice because the meal feels special, tastes good, but doesn't sit in your stomach real heavily like a steak can, making activities later that night just a little more enjoyable.
     
  14. a1398

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    I've used the Kansas City Sweet Sauce, South Carolina Mustard Sauce, and Lexington Dip from this site: http://amazingribs.com/recipes/BBQ_sauces/index.html

    All three were fantastic, especially the mustard sauce. His "Magic Dust" rub is also phenomenal on ribs. Great website. Enjoy!
     
  15. Moose

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    About a week ago, a female friend's birthday was coming up. I like to say that because I can't draw or paint, when I'm feeling creative, I cook. For my first ever attempt at a cake from scratch, I decided to go with a triple chocolate and strawberry beast. 2 layers of chocolate cake, home made chocolate frosting between layers and on top, and a ghiradelli ganache glaze over the whole damn thing. Piped a few rosettes around the edge and slapped on some strawberries. Everyone loved it, and my ego was sufficiently stroked for a while.
     

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  16. MisterMiracle

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    Dude, nice job on cooking the tuna, but you drowned it in the bearnaise.

    I have an idea for your spinach. Next time try this: cover the spinach in olive oil and then cover them in a bater mixture of corn meal/salt/pepper. Flash fry them for about 30 seconds in olive oil, take them out and drain for a moment or two on a paper towel. THEN you need to bake the spinach at about 300 degrees until the bater becomes solid.

    What happens is the spinach becomes dry and flakey underneath the batter. Very very tasty and a nice use of technique.
     
  17. MisterMiracle

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    http://www.fancyfastfood.com/

    This is a website where a food stylist and a chef use fast food items to create something that looks like it came from an elite restaurant. That's about as far as it goes because as far as taste goes, it's still fast food. Cool idea though, wonder how far they can take it.
     
  18. hooker

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    Grilled Zucchini and Tortellini Salad with Asiago Cheese

    This is by far the best pasta salad I've ever had, and it's so fucking easy.

    Vinaigrette:
    1/2 cup (125 mL) olive oil
    2 tbsp (25 mL) red wine vinegar
    2 tbsp (25 mL) balsamic vinegar
    2 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped fresh oregano
    1 tbsp (15 mL) grainy Dijon Mustard
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Salad:
    3 green zucchini
    3 yellow zucchini
    1 lb (500 g) fresh cheese-stuffed tortellini
    1/2 cup (125 mL) Kalamata olives
    1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
    6 ozs (175 g) Asiago cheese, cut into small cubes
    1/3 cup (75 mL) coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

    1. Combine oil, red wine and balsamic vinegars, oregano, mustard and garlic in a bowl; season with salt and pepper.

    2. Cut each zucchini into three length-wise slices, about 1/2-inch (1-cm) thick. Place on a baking sheet and brush with 1/3 cup (75 mL) of the vinaigrette. Place on greased grill over medium-high heat and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until just crisp-tender. Let slices cool slightly; cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) thick chunks.

    3. Meanwhile cook tortellini in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain; rinse under cold water to chill. Drain well.

    4. Combine tortellini, grilled zucchini, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, cheese and parsley in a large bowl; pour remaining vinaigrette over and toss. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

    Serves 6 to 8
     
  19. guavo

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    My go-to delicious dating meal (Usually paired with a decent Australian Shiraz):
    Spinach and Strawberry Salad
    Pepper Steak with Brandy Sauce
    Chocolate Caramel Crackers


    Last summer, I discovered that homemade pizza is really easy to make. Takes 5 minutes of work to make the dough with a food processor.
    Cuisinart Pizza Dough

    After the dough rises and you punch it down:
    - Preheat oven to 450 degrees
    - Split dough into two balls and let rest for 10 minutes.
    - On a floured surface, roll out the ball into whatever shape you want - circle, square, or retarded ellipse (My preference).
    Note: If you screw up rolling it out, don't make a ball and start over. It will end up worse.
    - If you have a pizza stone, transfer dough to pizza peel that has a decent amount of cornmeal, otherwise place on a pan.
    - Make the crust by rolling up the edges
    - Add sauce, cheese, and toppings. (I've tried to add the sauce/cheese/toppings before transferring to pan/peel and it ended in disaster)
    - Bake for 8-10 minutes (I prefer a crispy crust, so I leave it in longer)
     
  20. Timo

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    I'll probably catch hell for this but these 2 gay guys in DC run a pretty decent food blog
    http://thebittenword.typepad.com/thebittenword/

    They have subscriptions to alot of the major food magazines and pick the recipes they like the best and post them along with their results. Alot of their stuff comes from Cook's Illustrated (my fave).