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Cooking |OT| If you can read, you can cook!

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Timedog

good credit (by proxy)
Yea, that's why I said preferably overnight. A lot of people don't want to start preparing their meals a day ahead of time so a few hours won't be horrible but won't be the best it could either. Happy median.

It's the best after 2-3 days in the fridge (this requires less yeast though, for a slower rise). A couple hours really isn't doing much of anything for taste/lactobacilli production especially considering the time it take for the dough to go down to the temp of the refrigerator. The only real reason to put it in for a couple of hours is if you make the dough, but you don't want to use the dough til later that day. If that's the case you could always just put a little less yeast into the dough so it rises slower, and leave it at room temperature too (covered, of course).

The only reason I bring this up is in case someone's like "I wish I could eat this pizza sooner, but I have to put it in the fridge for a few hours first like it says in the directions".
 

DietRob

i've been begging for over 5 years.
It's the best after 2-3 days in the fridge (this requires less yeast though, for a slower rise). A couple hours really isn't doing much of anything for taste/lactobacilli production especially considering the time it take for the dough to go down to the temp of the refrigerator. The only real reason to put it in for a couple of hours is if you make the dough, but you don't want to use the dough til later that day. If that's the case you could always just put a little less yeast into the dough so it rises slower, and leave it at room temperature too (covered, of course).

The only reason I bring this up is in case someone's like "I wish I could eat this pizza sooner, but I have to put it in the fridge for a few hours first like it says in the directions".


Good points and I agree regarding letting the dough age a couple of days. The first time I let it go longer than overnight was by accident. I forgot it was in there for a couple of days and thought for sure I had ruined it. I used it anyway and it turned out to be one of the best, most flavorful crusts I've had.

Your the dude that ate nothing but Pizza for a while, right? You should know.
 

darkwing

Member
all this talk reminds me to make some dough later for the week

tried to make some homemade pizza sauce, how do you make them red? it looks like colored rust to me lol
 

LProtag

Member
Since moving out I've been trying to get better at cooking.

The most fancy thing I've made though is baked chicken with vegetables covered in diced tomatoes, haha.

I'm also looking to invest in a decent chef's knife. I hear the Victrolux 8" chef's knife is pretty good, and only 25 dollars on Amazon.
 

darkwing

Member
Since moving out I've been trying to get better at cooking.

The most fancy thing I've made though is baked chicken with vegetables covered in diced tomatoes, haha.

I'm also looking to invest in a decent chef's knife. I hear the Victrolux 8" chef's knife is pretty good, and only 25 dollars on Amazon.

yup, I bought it a few months ago, pretty good for that price, there's a knife thread here

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=458439
 

sazabirules

Unconfirmed Member
Can anyone recommend a site with a good amount of beginner recipes to make? I don't know where to start looking with all of the recipes on the internet.
 

404Ender

Member
I originally posted this in the IronGAF thread but was pointed here (seems like a much more appropriate place anyway!). I'm actually going to tweak the questions a bit because the OP did a pretty good job of addressing some parts:

I have a couple of questions as someone trying to start cooking for myself more often. Up until now I've always either lived at home, or had roommates, but now I'm finally moving into my own apartment and I need to actually get better at this. Growing up my family ate out a lot, so I didn't exactly have someone to watch or learn from in the kitchen, so I'm appealing to y'all.

1. Specific recommendation for pots/pans and knives. Probably looking to spend around $100-150 on pots/pans and $50-75 on a couple of knives (I've heard a chef's knife + utility or paring knife is a good combo?).

2. What are some basic cooking skills that I should know (ex: knife technique, etc) and what are good resources for learning these?

Thanks!
 

beat

Member
1. Specific recommendation for pots/pans and knives. Probably looking to spend around $100-150 on pots/pans and $50-75 on a couple of knives (I've heard a chef's knife + utility or paring knife is a good combo?).

2. What are some basic cooking skills that I should know (ex: knife technique, etc) and what are good resources for learning these?

Thanks!
1a. 10" or 12" nonstick skillet (frypan), T-Fal Total Professional, and a 12" clad skillet if possible (stainless steel over an aluminum core). Tramontina if you're on a budget, All-Clad if you're not. If you're on a really tight budget, get stainless steel with a decently thick aluminum base welded on, and a smallish (3 qt?) pot too. I would also advise getting a $40-$50 enameled cast iron dutch oven, 5-6 qt size.

1b. Budget knives: get a vegetable peeler, a Victorinox Forschner 3.5" paring knife, and a Victorinox Forschner 8" chef's knife, plus a bread knife (same brand) if you are going to be slicing your own bread a lot; otherwise you can postpone the latter. Also, get a ceramic honing steel from Ikea if you can, and a manual sharpener (Accusharp's isn't bad, Ikea's rebranded Fiskar sharpener isn't horrible IMO either, or you could just get a series of fine grit sandpapers).

And a cutting board, maybe two (one for meat and one for veg). The main things you want in a cutting board are (1) it doesn't damage your knives - so absolutely no glass and (2) it's durable yet doesn't trap bacteria.

Always hand-wash your knives and put them away dry. A knife block is nice, or a magnetic strip, or you can get a knife drawer tray. Worst case, make some cardboard sheaths for your knives so you can put them in a drawer without them nicking each other.

2) Slicing carrots, slicing/dicing onions, chopping garlic. Sauteeing aromatics, searing meats. Braising is great to turn more inexpensive cuts into delicious food, though I do tend to think of it as more of a fall/winter technique.

Seasoning food appropriately is so important. Michael Ruhlman's new book "Twenty" really gets into how and when to salt, so read that if you can.
 

cdyhybrid

Member
Anyone have any advice on preparing broccoli? I need to start eating more veggies and I hear broccoli is one of the healthiest out there. Doesn't have to be the healthiest recipe ever (not going vegan or anything either) but something more minimal would be good. I've avoided veggies in the past because I can't stand the texture in my mouth, it makes my skin crawl. So I'm just looking for something that will get me used to eating it and then I'll transition into healthier recipes.

I have a steamer apparatus that works with my rice cooker.

DISCLAIMER: I have never eaten broccoli before.
 

zethren

Banned
Freakin' subbed. Definitely been wanting to cook more, lately. Recently made myself some almond crusted salmon that turned out really great.
 

Hilbert

Deep into his 30th decade
Anyone have any advice on preparing broccoli? I need to start eating more veggies and I hear broccoli is one of the healthiest out there. Doesn't have to be the healthiest recipe ever (not going vegan or anything either) but something more minimal would be good. I've avoided veggies in the past because I can't stand the texture in my mouth, it makes my skin crawl. So I'm just looking for something that will get me used to eating it and then I'll transition into healthier recipes.

I have a steamer apparatus that works with my rice cooker.

DISCLAIMER: I have never eaten broccoli before.

Boil a pot of water. Break apart your broccoli a bit, and peel the tough skin off the bigger stems if needed. When the water is boiling throw the broccoli in without turning it down. As soon as it boils again they are done. Do NOT overcook them. salt slightly and eat with butter optional.

some people will say to blanch them and stuff, the above is good enough.

I've avoided veggies in the past because I can't stand the texture in my mouth, it makes my skin crawl.
I don't know if this will help your problem, but I love the taste of green veggies and want to eat them raw or as close to raw as possible. I have been known to take chard, pour boiling water over them, then drain immedietly and serve. barely cooked veggies stay crunchy, have that great veggie flavor and are probably better for you.
 

beat

Member
Anyone have any advice on preparing broccoli? I need to start eating more veggies and I hear broccoli is one of the healthiest out there. Doesn't have to be the healthiest recipe ever (not going vegan or anything either) but something more minimal would be good. I've avoided veggies in the past because I can't stand the texture in my mouth, it makes my skin crawl. So I'm just looking for something that will get me used to eating it and then I'll transition into healthier recipes.

I have a steamer apparatus that works with my rice cooker.

DISCLAIMER: I have never eaten broccoli before.
What Hilbert's describing should come out a bright green, brighter and greener than raw broccoli. If it gets back to dull green, you've overcooked them.

But that said, I like roasted broccoli at least as much.
 
I can't make pizza dough to save my life. As a matter of fact, the last time I did it, it turned out considerably worse than the first time. I'm a pretty accomplished cook, so I can do quite a few things. I can even bake really well now. Pizza dough though...nope. Someone help me with a recipe, video, anything!
 

darkwing

Member
I can't make pizza dough to save my life. As a matter of fact, the last time I did it, it turned out considerably worse than the first time. I'm a pretty accomplished cook, so I can do quite a few things. I can even bake really well now. Pizza dough though...nope. Someone help me with a recipe, video, anything!

there is a pizza thread here somewhere, the dough recipe I got from there is very good, been using it for a few months now
 
Anyone have any advice on preparing broccoli? I need to start eating more veggies and I hear broccoli is one of the healthiest out there. Doesn't have to be the healthiest recipe ever (not going vegan or anything either) but something more minimal would be good. I've avoided veggies in the past because I can't stand the texture in my mouth, it makes my skin crawl. So I'm just looking for something that will get me used to eating it and then I'll transition into healthier recipes.

I have a steamer apparatus that works with my rice cooker.

DISCLAIMER: I have never eaten broccoli before.
Season it with oregano, salt, and pepper when you cook it. Thank me later. ;)
 
  • Baby Plum
  • Tomatoes
  • Unwashed Baby Spinach
  • Almonds
  • Bunched Curly Parsley
  • Lemon Juice
  • Tarragon
  • Chilli Powder
  • Paprika Hot
  • Black Pepper
  • Pepper Red
  • Pecan Nuts
  • Celery
  • Onions Red
  • Walnuts
  • Asparagus
  • Lettuce
  • Basil Flavoured Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Malt Vinegar
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Black Olives
  • Mushrooms Baby Button
  • Broccoli Florets
  • Cucumber Whole
  • Cut Chives
  • Mayonnaise with a Zing of Lemon
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Eggs
 
there is a pizza thread here somewhere, the dough recipe I got from there is very good, been using it for a few months now

Thanks, I'll have to look it up.

  • Unwashed Baby Spinach
  • Almonds
  • Bunched Curly Parsley
  • Lemon Juice
  • Black Pepper
  • Pepper Red
  • Basil Flavoured Olive Oil
  • Garlic

You've got a pretty good pesto right there if you have a food processor and some salt, and that can open doors to lots of ideas.

  • Pecan Nuts

Chop and toast the pecans in butter, then add the rest of the ingredients to it. Take it off the fire and run through a strainer, saving the nuts for something else(great on pancakes with maple syrup). Put in a small container and set aside in the fridge for a really good Pecan Butter you can put on a ton of things.
 

Nelo Ice

Banned
So I need to start learning how to cook since since I want to start working out again but I want to do it the right way with a proper diet and I want to cook myself. I saw the above post about what tools I'll need but there anything else I can use to help me get started? I literally have no experience cooking so I need like step by step recipes, direct links etc since I'm really that lost when it comes to this kind of stuff.
 
One good tip is to make sure you don't overcook your vegetables. A lot of people really cook them until they turn to mush, and end up losing not only taste and texture, but also nutrients.
 

GK86

Homeland Security Fail
What is the secret to cooking chicken? I can make decent meals when dealing with meat, but when it comes to chicken, it's a diaster. Teach me gaf.
 

beat

Member
What is the secret to cooking chicken? I can make decent meals when dealing with meat, but when it comes to chicken, it's a diaster. Teach me gaf.
Don't undercook it, but don't overcook it either. If you are overcooking it, lower the temperature. If you're doing both, definitely lower the temp: the outside is cooking too fast and the center isn't cooking enough.

Brining chicken - or bettet yet, dry-salting it overnight- is super helpful for getting more flavourful and juicier chicken. I'm on my phone right now so I don't remember the ratio I usually use, but it's probably about a teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat. Halve that if you're using table salt. I usually add garlic powder, black pepper, and some dried herbs to the salt rub/brine mix too.
 

GK86

Homeland Security Fail
Don't undercook it, but don't overcook it either. If you are overcooking it, lower the temperature. If you're doing both, definitely lower the temp: the outside is cooking too fast and the center isn't cooking enough.

Brining chicken - or bettet yet, dry-salting it overnight- is super helpful for getting more flavourful and juicier chicken. I'm on my phone right now so I don't remember the ratio I usually use, but it's probably about a teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat. Halve that if you're using table salt. I usually add garlic powder, black pepper, and some dried herbs to the salt rub/brine mix too.

That is the problem im having, overcooked/burned on the outside, and undercooked on the inside.

Will def try that out next time, thanks dude!
 

mt1200

Member
Any good easy, tasty and hot/spicy chinese food recipe gaf?

Please have in mind that I can't get some ingredients.
 

beat

Member
That is the problem im having, overcooked/burned on the outside, and undercooked on the inside.

Will def try that out next time, thanks dude!

One more thing: how are you cooking the chicken? Is it a stir-fry? Are you pan-searing pieces on the bone? Is this a roast whole chicken?

In all cases, there are a few more things you can try. For one, while respecting food safety, you can bring your chicken up to (cool) room temperature before cooking. This takes even more pre-planning, but it's worth it for more even cooking. That recipe says 45 min for a whole chicken; smaller pieces will temper more quickly.

You can also consider applying moist heat to the bird, such as cooking it in a Dutch oven or covering a pan and letting steam do some of the work. (I find you can't really turn pieces too much in the pan because the skin will tear if you flip too early. So another way to apply heat to food in a pan is to steam it, which will lose crispness, but can help cook the other side a bit. I'm just spitballing here, I've never tried that. To be honest, my usual pan method involves par-cooking the pieces in the microwave first.
 

beelzebozo

Jealous Bastard
cool thread. want to be involved, and am subscribed.

love to cook and anticipate america's test kitchen-esque problem solving.
 

GK86

Homeland Security Fail
One more thing: how are you cooking the chicken? Is it a stir-fry? Are you pan-searing pieces on the bone? Is this a roast whole chicken?

In all cases, there are a few more things you can try. For one, while respecting food safety, you can bring your chicken up to (cool) room temperature before cooking. This takes even more pre-planning, but it's worth it for more even cooking. That recipe says 45 min for a whole chicken; smaller pieces will temper more quickly.

You can also consider applying moist heat to the bird, such as cooking it in a Dutch oven or covering a pan and letting steam do some of the work. (I find you can't really turn pieces too much in the pan because the skin will tear if you flip too early. So another way to apply heat to food in a pan is to steam it, which will lose crispness, but can help cook the other side a bit. I'm just spitballing here, I've never tried that. To be honest, my usual pan method involves par-cooking the pieces in the microwave first.

I have tried two methods, stir fry, and frying it. Im usually handling wings/breasts/thighs, never whole chicken. Is it important to make small cuts to the chicken?

I have never done the microwave first, but it sounds interesting. Might have to give that a whir.

Thanks for the advice, you have been very helpful.
 

beat

Member
Hey, I was right! 1 tsp of kosher salt per pound of chicken: http://food.lohudblogs.com/2010/09/22/recipe-dry-brined-chicken/ . (They don't specify, but they probably mean Diamond salt brand. If you use Morton's kosher salt, use 75% (?) of the figure because Morton's is heavier than Diamond's per unit volume.)

As a basic dry "brine", I really like salt, black pepper, garlic, and herbes de Provence, which is a mix of a couple of dried herbs and should be available in any supermarket's spices and herbs section. You can mix it up with any sort of dried herbs, or robust fresh herbs (ex: thyme, rosemary). Whole sprigs of herbs can also be put in the cavity of a roast chicken along with quartered onions or lemons.

The resulting jus from cooking (if any) can be turned into a quick pan sauce too: it may need some acidity (ex: wine, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar), maybe some sugar, maybe even some cayenne pepper or hot sauce. Skim off most of the fat, or put it in a gravy separator and add water if necessary to get the fat up past the separator. Then, put a little in a spoon and taste it to determine what it needs.

Is it important to make small cuts to the chicken?
For parts? I'm not sure that would help anything. Just leave them as parts.
 

LogicStep

Member
I've been learning to cook a few things and I have a question about the last thing I made and decided to ask here instead of making a new thread.

I love tortellini with Alfredo. But just the tortellini and the Alfredo sauce tastes way too plain and I didn't really enjoy it. I really have no clue what I can add to this when I cook it to make it have a better taste. I also added some Parmesan cheese after it was served but that didn't help much.
 

CrankyJay

Banned
I've been learning to cook a few things and I have a question about the last thing I made and decided to ask here instead of making a new thread.

I love tortellini with Alfredo. But just the tortellini and the Alfredo sauce tastes way too plain and I didn't really enjoy it. I really have no clue what I can add to this when I cook it to make it have a better taste. I also added some Parmesan cheese after it was served but that didn't help much.

Sounds like its simply missing some salt/flavor.
 

barbecube

Member
Re:your tortellini - What's in it?

My rule of thumb for filled pasta is, don't put the same thing inside and outside it. If you're going to put it in Alfredo, which is a white dairy sauce, it should have something like spinach or sausage or whatever in it. It'll be more interesting than if it's filled with cheese.

If your sauce tastes boring, try salt. I'm assuming you have a recipe that has all the other stuff described pretty specifically, but most food writers say things like "salt to taste" and when people are learning to cook, they often don't use as much salt as what they're used to tasting.

When you don't have enough salt, it can actually dull other flavors in your food, and it takes a while to identify the taste of "okay but needs salt."

If it's salted okay but tastes bad anyway, your sauce recipe could be bad - any of the following ingredients will mute the taste if there is too much of them: milk, flour, cream, butter. American-style "bechamel with parmesan" Alfredo sauce is a lot less flavorful than Italian-style "butter and parmesan on pasta."
 

darkwing

Member
is there some recipe to cook some baby back ribs without using a slow cooker and a grill? just boiling/pressure cooking and baking
 

LogicStep

Member
Re:your tortellini - What's in it?

My rule of thumb for filled pasta is, don't put the same thing inside and outside it. If you're going to put it in Alfredo, which is a white dairy sauce, it should have something like spinach or sausage or whatever in it. It'll be more interesting than if it's filled with cheese.

If your sauce tastes boring, try salt. I'm assuming you have a recipe that has all the other stuff described pretty specifically, but most food writers say things like "salt to taste" and when people are learning to cook, they often don't use as much salt as what they're used to tasting.

When you don't have enough salt, it can actually dull other flavors in your food, and it takes a while to identify the taste of "okay but needs salt."

If it's salted okay but tastes bad anyway, your sauce recipe could be bad - any of the following ingredients will mute the taste if there is too much of them: milk, flour, cream, butter. American-style "bechamel with parmesan" Alfredo sauce is a lot less flavorful than Italian-style "butter and parmesan on pasta."

Well it has 5 cheeses in it, got it from Costco. The sauce is Ragu brand alfredo (yeah don't go saying there's your problem lol).

I didn't add salt so there could be a problem. What sauce should I use if the inside is cheese? Red sauce?
 

beat

Member
Well it has 5 cheeses in it, got it from Costco. The sauce is Ragu brand alfredo (yeah don't go saying there's your problem lol).

I didn't add salt so there could be a problem. What sauce should I use if the inside is cheese? Red sauce?

If the tortellini and sauce are both name-brand products, you probably don't have to add salt.
 

LogicStep

Member
If the tortellini and sauce are both name-brand products, you probably don't have to add salt.
It still could have used some I think. I will try again now with red sauce instead of alfredo. Hope it turns out better!

Edit: yeah they weren't very good. Red sauce and some parmessan cheese. Maybe it's because they are tri color tortellini? I dunno but I'm about to give up on them.
 

beat

Member
I dunno if cheese tortellini is worth the extra calories. For me, I'd be happier with a regular pasta and sauce.
 

Socreges

Banned
Spices and Herbs


Salt
Parsley
Garlic
Tarragon
Basil
Bay leaf
Dill weed
Ground ginger
Marjoram
Oregano
Black pepper and peppercorn
Hungarian paprika
Rosemary
Thyme
Allspice
Mustard-seed
Chili-powder
Cumin
Coriander-seed
So I want to get a spice rack with many of these. How best to go about this? Right now I've just got a handful, so assume I've got nothing. What's the best way to buy a good, large set, complete with rack? Should I just buy them individually and find a rack separately?

Looking to start cooking a lot more and I figure this will be my first big step. Wish I'd done it sooner.
 

DietRob

i've been begging for over 5 years.
So I want to get a spice rack with many of these. How best to go about this? Right now I've just got a handful, so assume I've got nothing. What's the best way to buy a good, large set, complete with rack? Should I just buy them individually and find a rack separately?

Looking to start cooking a lot more and I figure this will be my first big step. Wish I'd done it sooner.

The quickest and easiest route might be to just buy a rack with spices already in it. Amazon has them for around $20 - $60.
 

Hilbert

Deep into his 30th decade
So I want to get a spice rack with many of these. How best to go about this? Right now I've just got a handful, so assume I've got nothing. What's the best way to buy a good, large set, complete with rack? Should I just buy them individually and find a rack separately?

Looking to start cooking a lot more and I figure this will be my first big step. Wish I'd done it sooner.

I just buy the bottles and store them in a cupboard.

I also have a bunch of small canning jars that I fill with the spices from bulk.

An actual rack is overrated IMO and just takes up counter space.
 

DietRob

i've been begging for over 5 years.
I just buy the bottles and store them in a cupboard.

I also have a bunch of small canning jars that I fill with the spices from bulk.

An actual rack is overrated IMO and just takes up counter space.

I've been wanting to do something like this for ages. Wall mounted magnetic spice rack.

 

Zoe

Member
^ Oh, a friend has something like that except they put them on the side of the fridge.

I've heard that spices lose their potency though, so it might not be good to just buy everything at once...
 

Socreges

Banned
The quickest and easiest route might be to just buy a rack with spices already in it. Amazon has them for around $20 - $60.
Any advice on how to narrow the search options to just those that include spices? Many include the rack and bottles, but no spices.

I just buy the bottles and store them in a cupboard.

I also have a bunch of small canning jars that I fill with the spices from bulk.

An actual rack is overrated IMO and just takes up counter space.
I like this idea...

And I'm thinking now I might actually build a rack that I can stick on my kitchen wall. Convenient and saves space.
 

Hilbert

Deep into his 30th decade
Any advice on how to narrow the search options to just those that include spices? Many include the rack and bottles, but no spices.

I like this idea...

And I'm thinking now I might actually build a rack that I can stick on my kitchen wall. Convenient and saves space.

If you do buy I set, I do recommend just buying the spices separately. You don't know how long they have been sitting in the box. In a grocery store the bulk spices get refilled pretty often.
 

beat

Member
So I want to get a spice rack with many of these. How best to go about this? Right now I've just got a handful, so assume I've got nothing. What's the best way to buy a good, large set, complete with rack? Should I just buy them individually and find a rack separately?

Looking to start cooking a lot more and I figure this will be my first big step. Wish I'd done it sooner.
You only need salt and black pepper. It's nice to have garlic powder.

The rest depend on what you like to cook*, but I would skip basil in favour of growing it (though we've passed the optimal point for growing a new plant this year, in the Northern hemisphere anyways). Basil is a little delicate as a plant; on the other hand, mint, rosemary and thyme are extremely easy to grow -- in fact, you may want to grow those in pots so they don't overwhelm the rest of your garden. But rosemary and thyme take reasonably well to drying and I guess you can buy those if you want; dried mint, basil, parsley -- any delicate herb -- ends up tasting fairly different from the fresh herb.

Alton Brown sez to keep your spices in a drawer or cupboard, away from light as that can speed up their degradation.
 

Iceyburnz

Member
http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/

I love this site for recipes, although I only love to make desserts :). The only problem I have are finding the right ingridients and the measures. As in converting cups into grams and so on :).

http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/

Posting this link again. When I saw this thread, Chef John was the first thing that popped in my head. He makes it very easy to follow his recipes. Well spoken and takes his time and makes jokes as well. And the food comes out pretty close to how his does. Check it out. Its really great
 
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