DVD Talk Forum

DVD Talk Forum (https://forum.dvdtalk.com/)
-   Other Talk (https://forum.dvdtalk.com/other-talk-9/)
-   -   Cooking 101? (https://forum.dvdtalk.com/other-talk/498293-cooking-101-a.html)

spainlinx0 04-18-07 08:13 AM

Cooking 101?
 
I thought I knew a little about cooking. Apparently a little is all I know. Since moving into my apartment I have been trying to do more cooking, but I find that I am pretty ignorant when it comes to even the basics. (What's flat-leaf parsley and is that different from regular parsley? Is this knife used for meat, or is that one? Am I cleaning this grille pan right?)

Is there a way, other than taking a cooking class, to get a good beginner's course in cooking. I'm looking for an introduction to knives, spices, cooking methods, the different types of pots and pans and the differences between them. You know, basic stuff like that. How long I can store foods, the best way to store them. I guess you guys sort of get the point. I want to approach it as if I have never seen a kitchen before.

Is there a good DVD set that would have this? I don't mind reading a website, but I learn better with video demonstrations. Ideally I would take a class, but right now it's not feasible for me. In the future I might, but I kind of want to take a crash course right now. So, what do you guys suggest?

FantasticVSDoom 04-18-07 08:18 AM

foodtv.com has some stuff (videos and demos) on their site that is good basic info... A really great skill to learn early is how to sharpen knives. Sharp knives are one of the real keys to effecient and good cooking, plus it save you from losing a bodypart.

wendersfan 04-18-07 08:25 AM

<img src = "http://images.amazon.com/images/P/1579122205.01._AA240_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg"></img>

<img src = "http://qpbs.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pPBS3-3395017reg.jpg"></img>

Pepin be the shizznit, yo.

Seriously.

Tracer Bullet 04-18-07 08:38 AM

Watch <i>Good Eats</i> on the Food Network.

Vibiana 04-18-07 08:39 AM

Don't you know anybody that's a good cook? Flatter that person by asking them to teach you a few things about cooking and help you prepare a few simple dishes.

Mrs. Danger 04-18-07 08:42 AM

The best way to learn to cook is to find someone's Gramma, and ask her to show you how.

spainlinx0 04-18-07 10:25 AM

My grandmother can cook, but I was looking for more formal teaching. I will probably ask her to show me some of her better dishes after I get the basics down.

I have also DVR'ed a bunch of shows on the Food Network, I think Good Eats was one of them, and I will be watching them in my free time. However I think I will definitely purchase the DVD Wendersfan suggested unless someone has other video suggestions with reviews as good.

Brian Shannon 04-18-07 01:15 PM

Basic cooking is not that hard. I think alot of people make the mistake of trying to be a master chef at the first go.

I cook alot of thinks from a generic Betty Crocker cookbook, just follow the directions. If in doubt I substitute generic ingredients. I would never think of trying to distinguish types of parsley, I would use the dried stuff in a bottle.

If you want to take a class go for it but just making something good is not that hard.

Hiro11 04-18-07 01:23 PM

Buy a cast-iron pan and season it by cooking a pound of bacon in it. You can basically cook anything in a cast-iron and it's really hard to burn anything in them. Also, they go straight into the oven, work much better than pans that cost ten times as much and basically last forever.

Jazzbutcher 04-18-07 01:32 PM

Cook's Ilustrated Magazine and their cookbook "Best Recipe" and are the way to go.

:up:

Pistol Pete 04-18-07 01:45 PM

Run out and buy the Joy of Cooking cookbook. IMO, this is the best all-around cookbook for basic and intermediate cooking. It is my primary reference in the kitchen.

And, as mentioned above, watch Good Eats. Alton Brown does a good job explaining the how and why of cooking.

I also second using a decent cast iron skillet. It works better and is cheaper than pans costing 10x as much. (I surfaced both of mine with a steel brush on a drill press and some vegetable oil. It is slicker than my non-stick pans.)

CinemaNut 04-18-07 01:48 PM

Theres so many cookbooks from EZ to chef style, along with webistes featuring recipes for nearly anything, its impossible to not know "how to cook"

spainlinx0 04-18-07 02:28 PM

I can make basic stuff, that wasn't really the problem. I was trying to expand a little, but found myself running into problems trying to understand some of the stuff I wasn't familiar with. I felt that a basic introduction would help me learn some stuff that would allow me to build on, and then move into more elaborate dishes.

mndtrp 04-22-07 03:55 AM

I've cooked in resturants and at home since I was 13, and I still can't operate a cast iron skillet well.

Anyway, when you start cooking, the best suggestion I have for people is to get all of your ingredients measured and ready before actually cooking. Measure and put them in individual saucers like the tv show people do. Most new cooks screw something up because they are scrambling for an ingredient they forgot.

As you get better, you'll end up not measuring anything. You'll just eye it, and you'll remember how much a pinch of something adds to taste.

I have picked up a couple of the "...For Dummies" books on different styles of cooking. They have good recipes, and also have a lot of good trivia and info in them.

Trout 04-22-07 08:23 AM


Originally Posted by mndtrp

I have picked up a couple of the "...For Dummies" books on different styles of cooking. They have good recipes, and also have a lot of good trivia and info in them.

You can also try the "Complete idiots guide" also...The best way to get better is to keep cooking.

Nick Danger 04-22-07 08:36 AM

http://elkindjal.free.fr/futurama/pub/pub01.jpg

Bacon 04-22-07 08:37 AM


Originally Posted by Nick Danger

great, now the ads are smaller and on the left side

TomOpus 04-22-07 08:42 AM

Here's another good show to watch on Food Network that deals with basics: How To Boil Water

Bacon 04-22-07 08:43 AM


Originally Posted by TomOpus
Here's another good show to watch on Food Network that deals with basics: How To Boil Water

water in a pot, on high for a few minutes

geez people are retarded

Ky-Fi 04-22-07 08:51 AM


Originally Posted by tdirgins
Cook's Ilustrated Magazine and their cookbook "Best Recipe" and are the way to go.

:up:

http://www.cooksillustrated.com/cpa/...code=NETYA1961

If you want to become a good cook, definitely get a suscription to this magazine, by Christopher Kimball. They stick to pretty standard, traditional cuisine that you would make on a regular basis(not too much artsy-fartsy "roasted guinea hen with citrus mango pesto cilantro creme brulee sauce" stuff). And what they do for a recipe is they try out the 5 or 6 most common variations of a recipe, and determine exactly what methods and ingredients work (and WHY they work), and then come up with a recipe combining the best of all of them. After making an apple pie once for my folks using his pie recipe, my mom (a VERY good cook) permanently switched to his pie crust recipe! They also will compare a lot of commercial products (what is the best supermarket dried pasta brand, or olive oil, etc.) And they review kitchen appliances and gadgets, as well. A bunch of his best magazine recipes are collected in this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Cooks-Bible-Be...7249171&sr=1-1

...and he also has a PBS show called America's Test Kitchen.

The other advice I would give is this: do everything completely from scratch. Don't ever use tomatoes with basil or anything already added, don't ever use any premade mixes or sauces or soup bases or anything where they've already combined ingredients for you---even if they're not completely awful, they will almost certainly lower the quality of whatever you're making. And don't be frightened of salt.

Vibiana 04-22-07 01:44 PM


Originally Posted by Canadian Bacon
water in a pot, on high for a few minutes

geez people are retarded

Actually, there are even secrets to boiling water. ;)

1. Start with COLD water, not hot. You'd think hot water would boil faster, but 'tain't so.

2. Sprinkle a little salt in the water and it will come to a boil sooner.

3. COVER the pan and it will also boil sooner.

You didn't wanna know this, but hey ... :D

X 04-22-07 03:46 PM


Originally Posted by Vibiana
Actually, there are even secrets to boiling water. ;)

1. Start with COLD water, not hot. You'd think hot water would boil faster, but 'tain't so.

This made no sense to me so I tried it. Hot tap water took 3.5 minutes to boil and the same amount of cold tap water in the same pot on the same flame took 8.5 minutes to boil.


Originally Posted by Vibiana
2. Sprinkle a little salt in the water and it will come to a boil sooner.

I didn't try this since it would require more control on the beginning temperature than I wanted to give right now. However salt raises the boiling point of water so there is no good reason why it would boil sooner if the salt is dissolved.


Originally Posted by Vibiana
3. COVER the pan and it will also boil sooner.

I'll go along with this since it would hold in the heat better.

Bushdog 04-22-07 04:57 PM

Yes, with all do respect Vibs, #1 and #2 make no sense.

For #1, the key is getting the heating element hot enough to boil it and the pan itself needs to get hot enough. The virtue to cold water is that hot water from the pipe might leach some minerals and metals, cold is somewhat less likely to do so. That's why it is better to heat cold water than to rely on hot water from pipes.

For #2, there's just no chemical reason this is true. Simply not possible, sorry.

#3 is of course true as it holds the heat in. It is the same reason when making some stews and sauces, etc... they tell you to bring to a boil then cover and reduce to a much lower heat to simmer. The heat is being retained when you shut the lid (with a decent pot) but you're lowering the heat on the bottom reducing the risk of burning the food.

Bushdog 04-22-07 04:59 PM

My online resources

Already mentioned --> www.foodtv.com
My favorite --> www.epicurious.com
A good database --> www.allrecipes.com

For really just starting from scratch, I like the complete idiots guide

Watch the shows on TV when you can, you'll learn a little here and there, and you'll be inspired.

Trout 04-22-07 07:29 PM


Originally Posted by Vibiana
2. Sprinkle a little salt in the water and it will come to a boil sooner.

You only salt the water when you are cooking pasta.

bdshort 04-22-07 07:36 PM

Just putting in another recommendation for Good Eats

Bushdog 04-22-07 08:13 PM


Originally Posted by bdshort
Just putting in another recommendation for Good Eats

Love that show

jw2299 04-22-07 08:52 PM

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.

Bushdog 04-22-07 08:57 PM

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.

killershark 04-23-07 07:56 AM

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/

Vibiana 04-23-07 08:15 AM

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*

;)

spainlinx0 04-30-07 08:38 PM


Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
Watch <i>Good Eats</i> 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.

Numanoid 04-30-07 10:19 PM

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?

crazyronin 05-01-07 05:23 AM

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. http://www.thepirateship.net/phpBB2/...es/kickcan.gif

xmiyux 05-01-07 08:12 AM

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.

Xander 05-01-07 12:31 PM

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. :thumbsup:

And I too, love Good Eats. Though some of his little "skits" can grate from time to time. :)

xmiyux 05-01-07 12:35 PM


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. :thumbsup:

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. :D

Pistol Pete 05-01-07 12:44 PM

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.

melbatoast 05-01-07 01:18 PM

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!

xmiyux 05-01-07 01:22 PM


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.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:10 PM.


Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.