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Cooking 101?

Old 04-22-07, 07:36 PM
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Just putting in another recommendation for Good Eats
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Old 04-22-07, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bdshort
Just putting in another recommendation for Good Eats
Love that show
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Old 04-22-07, 08:52 PM
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The most important thing that I've done to improve my cooking is to learn to use stainless steel and cast iron pots and pans.

Also don't raise your heat higher than medium when cooking almost anything in a pan. Except perhaps soups, sauces, and such, or when you're stir-frying in a wok.
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Old 04-22-07, 08:57 PM
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Stainless is good as it is non-reactive, but you'll want a copper or aluminum bottom for heat distribution.

And your advice about heat with a pan isn't necessarily true. If you are pan frying, esp. meats, you often want to start at a high heat to get the outsides browned fast while keeping the insides moist and not overcooked.
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Old 04-23-07, 07:56 AM
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Check out cuisine at home magazine. It comes out every 2 months and it has tons photos. They give out a free preview issue at the website (If you're impatient you can also download the same issue in pdf form) .

I've been using this for the last 2 years and I love it. It's basically just what you described, a cooking class without the class. Plus the recipies are amazing, and they go into detail on everything.

http://www.cuisineathome.com/
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Old 04-23-07, 08:15 AM
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My late lamented and sainted mother, may she rest in peace, taught me how to boil water. Now you science wonks are spitting on her grave. *sob*

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Old 04-30-07, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
Watch Good Eats on the Food Network.
This is a great show. I started DVR'ing it since so many people here recommended it, and it is pretty much exactly what I'm looking for. I went to go see if there were complete set DVD's and wow the prices were shocking. I might just buy a DVD burner and start recording them from TV or something.
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Old 04-30-07, 10:19 PM
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I actually got into an argument with a girlfriend's aunt who insisted that cold water boils faster than hot. I mean, seriously, how simple-minded do you have to be to believe that?
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Old 05-01-07, 05:23 AM
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On an interesting note, water that has been boiled once and cooled will boil faster than water that has never boiled, when started from the same temperature..

I said interesting, not useful...


OK, I guess its not that interesting either.
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Old 05-01-07, 08:12 AM
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For cookbooks i highly recommend checking out your public library. I will go and check out 5-10 books at a time and browse through for just tips or a recipe here and there. I sometimes find one good enough to buy but most of the time i get a few tips and happily return them.

The biggest things i did to improve my cooking was to start some pots of culinary herbs and buy a pestle & mortar. Using fresh home-grown herbs whenever i could and if forced to use dried herbs running them through the pestle and mortar made a large difference in my flavor. I'm also vegetarian so doing vegetarian and/or vegan cooking your seasoning is really important because frequently there are less "heavy" flavors in the veggies so delicate seasoning stands out a little more.
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Old 05-01-07, 12:31 PM
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Fresh herbs vs. dried ones make a huge difference. If you don't have a green thumb, you can often find little containers of fresh herbs in the produce section of your grocery store.

And I too, love Good Eats. Though some of his little "skits" can grate from time to time.
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Old 05-01-07, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Xander
Fresh herbs vs. dried ones make a huge difference. If you don't have a green thumb, you can often find little containers of fresh herbs in the produce section of your grocery store.

And I too, love Good Eats. Though some of his little "skits" can grate from time to time.
Growing many of the herbs (basil in particular) is so easy anyone could grow it on a windowsill. Also, if you are forced to used dried grinding them up a little really releases the oils and makes the dried herbs taste a good deal more as well.
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Old 05-01-07, 12:44 PM
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Instead of a mortar and pestle, you can use an electric coffee grinder for grinding dried herbs. Dedicate it to herbs only or your dishes will taste a bit strange.
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Old 05-01-07, 01:18 PM
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X and Bushdog, you're both buzzkills. ;-)

I don't know if you have any Pampered Chef people nearby you but you could go to their website and host a little cooking show. They're pretty fun. You'll learn alot too. Oh, and they have GREAT spices!
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Old 05-01-07, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Pistol Pete
Instead of a mortar and pestle, you can use an electric coffee grinder for grinding dried herbs. Dedicate it to herbs only or your dishes will taste a bit strange.
Very true but there is something pleasantly primal about hand grinding them and being able to see and smell the results. I also normally enlist my 3 year old to "bash" them up. As for cooking shows, i love all the Jamie Oliver DVDs i have netflixed.
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Old 05-01-07, 04:07 PM
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I too love good eats. And Alton's Books are very informative. There is one book that tells you everything you want to know on hardware what you need, don't need, alternatives, and of course recipes. I have learned more from his stuff then anyone else. Except of course just pure experimenting.
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Old 05-01-07, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by tdirgins
Cook's Ilustrated Magazine and their cookbook "Best Recipe" and are the way to go.

Heck yes they are! It is hands down my favorite magazine and my favorite cookbook! They go into detail on every recipie as to why they used this or that ingredient, and there are a bunch of articles about knives, pans, etc...
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Old 05-01-07, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by spainlinx0
This is a great show. I started DVR'ing it since so many people here recommended it, and it is pretty much exactly what I'm looking for. I went to go see if there were complete set DVD's and wow the prices were shocking. I might just buy a DVD burner and start recording them from TV or something.
Actually Target carries this show in 3-disk sets for $20... but I see it on sale from time-to-time for $10

His other books are also very good. One is dedicated to cooking and one is dedicated to baking.

Last edited by C-Mart; 05-01-07 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 05-02-07, 08:20 AM
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Damn, you have to let me know when you see it on sale for 10 then. I haven't seen it on their website.
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Old 06-08-08, 03:09 PM
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Sorry for the bump, but I wanted some Otter advice on which budget cookware set to get (I want to upgrade my crappy nonstick stuff).

Basically I am deciding between the wearever 8 pc set for 50$ or the Chefmate 8 pc set for $40.

The main difference is the skillet is still non-stick in the wearever set, while it is stainless in the Chefmate (I already have a big stainless skillet, so I don't mind having 1 non-stick pan around).

The Wearever stainless is brushed inside and it has lids that allow for straining (it looks like the lids don't have a tight seal because of this.

Does anyone have experience with either of these sets? What are the pro's/con's of a brushed cooking surface?
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Old 06-08-08, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
Watch Good Eats on the Food Network.
Why watch the Food Network when you can watch every single episode on Youtube?
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Old 06-08-08, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by starman9000
Sorry for the bump, but I wanted some Otter advice on which budget cookware set to get (I want to upgrade my crappy nonstick stuff).

Basically I am deciding between the wearever 8 pc set for 50$ or the Chefmate 8 pc set for $40.

The main difference is the skillet is still non-stick in the wearever set, while it is stainless in the Chefmate (I already have a big stainless skillet, so I don't mind having 1 non-stick pan around).

The Wearever stainless is brushed inside and it has lids that allow for straining (it looks like the lids don't have a tight seal because of this.

Does anyone have experience with either of these sets? What are the pro's/con's of a brushed cooking surface?

Anybody have advice? (besides spend a ton and get something better)

Here are the 2 sets:

http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&tag=...Mozilla-search

http://www.amazon.com/Chefmate-8%252...2983532&sr=8-1
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Old 06-09-08, 02:07 AM
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Of the two you have listed, I would go with the Chefmate. This is mostly based on the lids sealing better, as well as I think Chefmate usually gets better reviews.

I've discovered the kick-assness of RSS recipes. A constant update of new recipes to try out, without me having to search them down.

http://feeds.feedburner.com/Bigovencom-RecipeOfTheDay
http://www.landolakes.com/rss/WhatsForDinner.rss
http://feeds.epicurious.com/healthy_recipes?format=xml
http://feeds.feedburner.com/epicurious/BonappetitEditor
http://feeds.epicurious.com/newrecipes?format=xml
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Old 06-09-08, 08:36 PM
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Not a cook at all but I always see this site mentioned for recipes. Some of the things look really good until I read what is in it, but that is why I don't cook. If I read half the recipes I would never eat again.

http://www.tastespotting.com/
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Old 06-10-08, 02:37 PM
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I'm another fan of "Good Eats." And for those that want a book about the science and history of food, this is the one to get:

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