What people need to know about cooking....

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by KevinR, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    To stop any thread hijacking I figured I would start a thread on cooking and the kitchen. I am sure that besides myself, there are plenty of people at TPF that are avid foodies or even pros. So any questions you have can probably be answered here.

    I will start with a few comments and questions.

    A good set of knives are essential. Brands like Henkels, Wusthof(my favorite), and some lower priced knives such as Kershaw and Forshner will serve you for many years.

    A cutting board. Not only will it protect your counters but they also protect your knives. I still am a big fan of wood, but alot of people have switched to plastic. Good idea to have a few to eliminate cross contamination.

    What is your favorite cookware? I personnally use the Emeril line made by All-Clad. Same quality and warrenty, but at a lower price.

    What is your essential Item in the Kitchen?

    What is your favorite/crowd pleaser dish to make?

    Any and all questions and comments welcome.
     
  2. bace

    bace TPF Noob!

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    So far I've mastered the chicken ceasar salad.

    Bake the chicken for like 20mins?
    Get those ceasar packs that come with all the ingredients.

    Mix in bowl.
    Serve.

    I'm a chef of sorts.

    Also the pasta dish.

    Boil pasta.
    Warm sauce,
    Serve.
     
  3. bace

    bace TPF Noob!

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    Question.

    What is the BEST way to cook a steak with out a bar-b-q.

    All i have is an oven and a frying pan.
     
  4. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I head for the grill when I have more than 4 to cook for (and it's not a holiday feast that demands I cook something traditional).

    For something laid back, a mess of chicken wings, with my home made potato salad (made with mustard - mmmmmm) and a huge bin of salad and a loaf of bread is usually casual enough for everyone to help themselves. Beer, soda, or even a spicy red zinfandel goes great. Burgers and steaks are okay, too.

    In the summer months I like to bring out a watermelon for dessert. Brad will cut it up on the patio to keep the mess out of the kitchen.

    I have to have sharp knives. I have a small set of Henckel's and few odd Wustoffs floating around.

    I also have to cook with fresh herbs. Easy enough in the summer when I can grow my own, but in the winter I have to plan carefully and make sure I can pick them up at the store in advance. Sometimes they don't have cilantro for my Thai soup. :x
     
  5. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Use the top heating element in your oven as a grill. If it's not a gas flame, though, frankly it's probably not worth it. ;) Outside, over charcoal, is THE best way to cook a steak.

    Anyone else getting hungry....? :lol:
     
  6. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    You could change things up with the pasta with a lemon butter sauce instead of a tomato based sauce.

    1 lemon
    1 small onion
    1 container of chicken stock(the kind that has a top so you can refrigerate)
    1 small container of cream or half and half
    1 bottle of white wine(optional)
    Butter(the real stuff)

    cut onions into small pieces(small dice) heat 3 tbl spoon of butter in pan, once melted, add onions till soft(6-8 min.) add half cup of white wine and cook at a medium to high heat till wine is bubbling for few minutes. Add half cup of chicken stock and wait till that is bubbling for a few minutes. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the sauce(be careful of the seeds) add half a cup of the cream. stir till it seems mixed together. Add your cooked pasta to pan and stir till well coated. Eat and Enjoy

    Things that can also be added is cooked boneless chicken breast, cooked bacon bits, the zest of the lemon you used.

    Really nice alternative to the standard pasta.
     
  7. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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    I LOVE our Emeril pans!!! We got a decent deal on them with a 20% off coupon and even got a few free pans thrown in to boot. A good cutting board and a set of knives are absolutely a must in our house too. We've got a decent set of knives now but I miss my Cutco knives. New knives will definitely be our next household purchase. :mrgreen:

    My crowd pleaser dish??? Honey chicken. It's SOOOO bad for you but it tastes SOOOO good. My kids love it and even though my health concious boyfriend had to close his eyes when I made it, he really liked it too. :greenpbl:

    Chicken breasts, minced garlic, no salt seasoning (basically season to taste) and a stick of butter (not margarine). Throw it all in a pan, cut the butter up and put it on top of the chicken breasts and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Pull the pan out of the oven and pour honey - liberally - over the chicken. Bake another 10 minutes. The honey/butter/chicken juices makes a good topping for mashed potatoes. :goodvibe:
     
  8. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    I like to pan fry to get a good crust on the surface of the steak and finish off in the oven at 350 deg F till the doneness you want. Let the steak rest out of the oven for about 5-10 minutes before cutting into it. The juices will redistribute throughout the steak.

    I will often make a sauce of the pan juices and some bourbon.
     
  9. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    mmmm.....that sounds fabulous!!! All that lemon, goes great with a white wine. :thumbup:

    Pasta is great with plain olive oil, too. I do a thing where I grind up my herbs, cook a tiny bit of garlic, and toss it with pasta and olive oil. It's very simple and wonderful tasting.

    You can dress it up by adding some skinless tomato chunks, or room-temperative small cubes of mozarella. That's good, too.

    Pasta is awesome, incredibly versatile. :thumbup:
     
  10. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Have you done a reduction sauce? We've had fair results, but it's time consuming.
     
  11. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Henckels knives and a Japanese cleaver are my fave cutting tools. I sharpen every knife before using it and I don't put them in the dishwasher.

    As for pots and pans, I have a variety of Chantal, which heat very even and fast, three Viking Stainless Steel (heavy gauge) which I love and a few Calphalon pots.

    As for recipes, I mainly cook Italian, although I have ventured into a few Chinese dishes. However, I have a great Romanian recipe here, made with eggplants:

    2-3 eggplants
    olive oil (1 cup)
    1/2 onion, finely diced
    salt to taste

    Place eggplants on top of the grill and roast, turning around every once in a while until the skin looks charred and black. Remove and set aside for about 10 minutes. Peel eggplanst and discard charred skin. With a Stainless Steel knife cut the stem and discard, we'll only use the soft flesh of the roasted eggplant. Place eggplants in a food processor and process at slow speed, adding olive oil little by little. Add salt and mix well, add onion (optional). Let cool off for a few hours (refrigerate). Serve on crostini or toasted french bread slices. Makes a great appetizer! Beware! Addictive!! :)
     
  12. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    I have quite the list of reduction sauces that I will do. My wife's favorite is the bourbon peppercorn reduction. I like the port reduction. Another I do is a bourbon dijon mustard and honey reduction. All of these I start with a little butter and finely minced shallots. Rum is good alternative to bourbon also.

    It's worth the wait and bbeats the hell out of A-1. :)
     

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