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    Even the most klutziest, inept person can fry a thin-cut pork chop. What have you been cooking lately? Show off your culinary skills and give us less kitchen-creative types ideas for our next meals. Bonus points if you give us the recipe/procedure or give us a link to the recipe/cooking show that inspired you.

    I made my first pound cake this week. Turned out pretty good, too, although a touch dry (left it in a few minutes longer than it needed to be). Big Good Eats fan. The recipe came from the show with only a couple adjustments: hand mixer rather than a stand mixer (never again), salted megamart butter rather than the recommended unsalted European artisan butter, and because the butter was salted, I omitted the salt. Topped a slice with some fresh cut strawberries sweetened with sugar and some whipped cream (homemade, not from a can), and called it a most satisfying dessert.

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    I made a Pasta Puttanesca the other day which, if I say so myself, was really good. The ingredients aren't all that cheap and skinning the tomatoes is a bit of a pain, but it's well worth it in flavour, and I say that as a dedicated carnivore. I made a large quantity of it and have the rest for re-heating on a future occasion if I feel the need.
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    I tried making beef fried rice the other day. It turned out pretty well. My flatmate tried a bit and said it was good.

    Edit: Recipe:
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    1. Boil up some rice. Jasmine rice works better than brown rice, although brown rice is healthier. I used jasmine rice. Add about two thirds of a mug of dry rice to a small saucepan. Add a bit less than a mug of water. Heat at low temperature to a boil, then turn it down and let it simmer until the water is all absorbed.
    2. Meanwhile, slice some meat into smallish chunks. Pork, beef, whatever, I guess. Stick that in a largeish bowl. Add some soy sauce, a bit of garlic powder, a dash of chili powder. Mix it up. Let it warm up a bit. Supposedly meat cooks better from room temperature than from fridge temperature.
    3. Chop a carrot into small pieces, and put that in a ceramic bowl. Add about the same amount of frozen peas. Add a few drops of water, not much. Microwave that for a minute or so.
    4. While that's in the microwave, chop an onion, not too finely. Add that to a pan with a drop of canola oil. Add the meat. Turn on low-to-medium heat. Fry that up. Then add it to the veggie bowl for the moment.
    5. Add another drop of oil to the pan and crack in two eggs. (Or one really big egg.) Add some soy sauce and scramble them.
    6. Add the veggies and meat to the set eggs. Turn up the heat. Put the rice on top of that. Add some soy sauce, stir-fry for a minute or two. Serve.


    I looked up a couple of recipes to get the gist of what I was supposed to do, and then I winged it.
    Last edited by noparlpf; 2013-07-06 at 11:44 PM.
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    Beer Bread is delicious and he easiest bread I've ever made. Seriously aside from pre-heating it takes under five minutes to make and clean up, and it's just normal bread so you can toss whatever you like in it like nuts, raisins, cheese, butter, whatever, even chocolate chips and bananas I guess though I haven't tried that. Admittedly it depends on the beer you use with it, but the sheer variety of options makes it a good choice for a tasty and hearty snack.
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    The last bit of interesting cooking I did:

    Main course: barbecue ribs. The ribs were from a six month old pig my father and I raised, slaughtered, and butchered together. This meant that they were very, very tender. I rubbed them down in a spice blend I've worked up, then slow-cooked them in their own juice with a splash of liquid smoke for about four hours. The sauce was store-bought, but flavorful and a perfect complement to the meat, which by this point was falling off the bone.

    Alongside this I served fresh-baked whole wheat bread. Yeast unfortunately, my schedule generally lacks the time and predictability to do sourdough, but still a very nice, crusty loaf.

    For desert I served home-made shortcakes with fresh strawberries and chocolate icecream.



    Oh, and on the fourth Dad and I slaughtered and roasted another pig. Skin-on and whole over charcoal, stuffed with vegetables, for about eight hours. The skin holds the fat in, so the meat slowly tenderizes in a sea of rich pork juices, while the vegetables roast in the body cavity until they melt in the mouth. Turns out if you cook a fig in pig fat for a couple of hours, it turns into this tender, rich, sweet thing that just melts in the mouth.


    In the non-pork based world, I'm probably gonna cook up a beet and apple casserole later this week. That gets spooned on top of my custom beanburgers, topped in a nice Havarti and then drizzled with balsamic.
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    I'm always partial to my sister's quiche recipe--forget all that egg custard stuff, you basically just line an ovenproof dish or tin with pastry, crack half-a-dozen eggs into the middle, cover the whole lot in about half a pound of grated cheese (decent stuff, mind, not some cheapo rubber substitute like you often get), then bung in the oven until cooked. Tastes absolutely gorgeous.

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    I made this, substituting maple bacon cut into small chunks for the bacon bits, for a potluck I did with friends. It was very well received.
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    Our farm share started up so we've been inundated in vegetables. The wife decided she doesn't like leafy greens anymore, so I've been eating salad for lunch and dinner. Even that wasn't enough to kill off all the greens. So I've been making omeletes for breakfast with either lightly sauteed spinach (because it reduces dramatically when sauteed) or scallion and leak. Delicious.
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    Is this an opportunity to shamelessly plug my cooking blog?

    I think it is! (Click my sig banner!)

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    Myself and a friend had fun yesterday putting together a Desi Chana (Chickpea and Potato Curry), with accompanying Ferrar Bataka (Spiced and Buttered Potatoes with Green Chilli and Peanuts) and a Peanut, Coriander and Sesame paste.

    It was delicious.

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    Slice up an onion or two, soak it in teriyaki sauce. Slice up a chicken breast or two and season it with garlic powder, onion powder, and seasoned salt, then pan fry them in a little olive oil. Sautee the onions as well, then throw them together for the last couple minutes for flavor. Add cheese after its done and melt it all together then chow down. Makes for a good sandwich or as a main course with whatever sides you prefer.
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    Anyone have good hamburger recipes? I've been wanting to learn BBQ for a while now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabeki View Post
    Anyone have good hamburger recipes? I've been wanting to learn BBQ for a while now.
    My method:
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    1. Crumble some ground beef into a mixing bowl.
    2. Add chopped onion, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and a bit of oregano.
    3. Mix well by hand.
    4. Let warm to close to room temperature.
    5. Form patties.
    6. Fry/grill. Cook it about two minutes on a side, flip, two minutes, then repeat another minute or two on each side. That depends on thickness, though. I have less experience on the grill than the pan, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabeki View Post
    Anyone have good hamburger recipes? I've been wanting to learn BBQ for a while now.
    The key to a good hamburger lies in the seasoning, and not overcooking. I find anything above medium rare to medium starts to really lose flavor.

    My version:

    • Patty out the burgers. Make 'em as thin as you can without them falling apart. This makes the meat cook faster.
    • Cover both sides generously with a seasoning mix. I use chili powder, black pepper, salt, garlic powder and smoked paprika, but there's a lot of options here.
    • Cook on a grill or in a cast iron skillet until the bottom and sides are browned, then flip and repeat.
    • Spoon some BBQ or buffalo wing sauce on the top, then flip again. If you're grilling, you probably should transfer to a pan at this point to retain the sauce.
    • Cook briefly, then sauce the top and flip again. Add cheese if desired. Cook until the sauce on the bottom has been absorbed.


    If you can avoid overcooking, what you get is a tender, juicy burger permeated with the sauce's flavor. Top with lettuce, pickles, onion and tomato in a toasted bun and serve. You can add bacon as well, but frankly I think it's a waste of the bacon. The burger itself has more than enough flavor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    The key to a good hamburger lies in the seasoning, and not overcooking. I find anything above medium rare to medium starts to really lose flavor.
    The issue there is that ground beef really ought to be cooked through. From Wikipedia: "Minced beef must be cooked to 72 °C (160 °F) to ensure that all bacterial contamination, whether it be endogenous to the product or contaminated after purchasing by the consumer, is killed. Cooked color does not always indicate the beef has reached the required temperature, as beef can brown before reaching 68 °C (155 °F)."
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    Okay, so it is a bit risky, but you can cook a hamburger to medium. You just have to take a few precautions. First, if you can't look into the package, don't bother. Buy your ground beef on foam platters with clear wrap, so you can visually inspect it for "funkiness." Better yet, buy it whole and grind it yourself. Next, cooking environment should be as clean as possible. Your hands should be as clean as possible as well, if not encased in gloves. Take off your jewelry! When you are done cooking the meat, the juices should run clear or almost clear. Do not handle any other food while working with the burgers. Finally, you can cook medium burgers safely at home, but be wary at restaurants. You can't guarantee what's going on in the kitchen is entirely wholesome.
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    Ooh, I love these threads! I've put my usual assortment of soups, stews, and lasagnas on hold for the warm summer months, and have been cooking lighter fair.


    Friday- pan fried loin lamb chops, breaded with parmesan cheese and with stir fried sweet and spicy broccoli and cauliflower on the side.

    Sunday- Baja fish tacos; catfish chunks dipped in beer batter (I make mine with half wheat, half corn meal) and fried in veggie oil. Rolled in a soft tortia shell with raw cabbage and a sauce made from yogurt, sour cream, mayo, cilantro, cumin, wasabi, and tabasco.


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    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    The issue there is that ground beef really ought to be cooked through. From Wikipedia: "Minced beef must be cooked to 72 °C (160 °F) to ensure that all bacterial contamination, whether it be endogenous to the product or contaminated after purchasing by the consumer, is killed. Cooked color does not always indicate the beef has reached the required temperature, as beef can brown before reaching 68 °C (155 °F)."
    Unfortunately, cooking to 160 also succeeds in killing all the flavor and texture, to the point where I might as well eat a sock. Fortunately beef is pretty safe to eat underdone, it isn't like chicken - aka the salmonella special - in that regard. I'll continue to take the minimal risk and enjoy my pink on the inside burgers dripping with delicious, delicious meat juices.

    I remember when I worked in a restaurant, we always laughed our heads off at the fools who ordered their beef well done. Almost as much as the people who ordered rack of lamb anything past medium rare.

    The other thing I remember is that nothing lies about something being done more readily than a meat thermometer. I've had lamb chops temp to 150, and still be bleeding.
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    The way I make my burgers is to season them with my normal mix, seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder and cajun, then I smash the burger up and knead it so the spices arent just a nice coating on the outside, but through the entire burger. It lets the meat absorb all that flavor without giving you a crusty outside from all that powder burning on it.

    *EDIT* I also have yet to get sick or die from an undercooked burger. I grill them till it mostly stops bleeding, then pull it off when its still at least a bit pink in the middle. Cooking it till its all the way grey is just not pleasant.
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    I've been very much into cafe-style soups recently. Tomorrow I have plans for Italian sausage, I've done corn chowder a bunch of times recently and one of my personal staples is split pea (or white beans) and ham. Smoked ribs work even better instead of ham, you just have to boil the ribs with an onion for ~1 hour before adding anything else to get a nice, rich, meaty broth.

    Also, I seem to be addicted to green onions. Right now I put them in everything: cup noodles, tuna salad, liver pate sandwiches, soup...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    The way I make my burgers is to season them with my normal mix, seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder and cajun, then I smash the burger up and knead it so the spices arent just a nice coating on the outside, but through the entire burger. It lets the meat absorb all that flavor without giving you a crusty outside from all that powder burning on it.

    *EDIT* I also have yet to get sick or die from an undercooked burger. I grill them till it mostly stops bleeding, then pull it off when its still at least a bit pink in the middle. Cooking it till its all the way grey is just not pleasant.
    It's no good to just mash the meat and spices all together roughly, or you end up with a dense block of meat. I crumble the ground meat apart and then mix it up. I don't press on it until I form a patty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    I remember when I worked in a restaurant, we always laughed our heads off at the fools who ordered their beef well done. Almost as much as the people who ordered rack of lamb anything past medium rare.
    Speaking as one of those fools, has it ever occurred to you that maybe some people don't LIKE to eat stuff that's dripping with blood? And a well-done piece of beef can be tasty and tender too, so long as the cook knows what they're doing. (I hasten to add that I don't include myself in the category of cooks who know what they're doing, mind you!).

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    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    The issue there is that ground beef really ought to be cooked through. From Wikipedia: "Minced beef must be cooked to 72 °C (160 °F) to ensure that all bacterial contamination, whether it be endogenous to the product or contaminated after purchasing by the consumer, is killed. Cooked color does not always indicate the beef has reached the required temperature, as beef can brown before reaching 68 °C (155 °F)."
    I find that applying Japanese techniques also helps avoid food poisoning - either add wasabi (or any other mustard) or drink strong alcohol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    The issue there is that ground beef really ought to be cooked through. From Wikipedia: "Minced beef must be cooked to 72 °C (160 °F) to ensure that all bacterial contamination, whether it be endogenous to the product or contaminated after purchasing by the consumer, is killed. Cooked color does not always indicate the beef has reached the required temperature, as beef can brown before reaching 68 °C (155 °F)."
    To my knowledge, if your food comes from a modern processing facility that keeps it's standards up, and you keep your food stored in a fridge or freezer until you use it, the chances of getting food poisoning are very VERY low.
    Even for things like pork and chicken, and I've seen people eat ground-beef raw. (albeit in small quantities)

    For anything like wild game or that I ordered outside of the U.S., Europe, and Japan though I probably wouldn't get it less than medium, because quality control may not be as stringent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Speaking as one of those fools, has it ever occurred to you that maybe some people don't LIKE to eat stuff that's dripping with blood?
    The normal answer to that is "those people are wrong" but I get that there's a personal preference involved.

    The kicker for me is the cut of meat used. A rump steak you can grill until it's black and curling at the edges and there'll still be enough flavour remaining. With fillet, the last vestiges of actual flavour leave the building about the time the middle of the steak turns pink.

    I have generally found that if people overcome their squeamishness about eating rarer steaks they come to prefer them, although I realise that's not universal. The same goes for offal a lot of the time, although there are a lot of people who genuinely don't like the texture of kidney or the iron taste of liver, and that's fair enough.
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    I prefer medium rare steak, but a well done steak is still better than a lot of other food out there. The only real crime committed in a steak house is ketchup.
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    Last week I grilled a marinated, rubbed pork tenderloin (marinade had brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, apple sause, fresh sage, olive oil and salt and pepper; rub (pork was covered with Worcester sauce: salt, chilli powder, garlic powder, onion powder). cooked over medium heat for about 45 minutes until interal temp was 145 deg F. Turned out really well and I reduced the left over marinade into a sauce.
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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Speaking as one of those fools, has it ever occurred to you that maybe some people don't LIKE to eat stuff that's dripping with blood? And a well-done piece of beef can be tasty and tender too, so long as the cook knows what they're doing. (I hasten to add that I don't include myself in the category of cooks who know what they're doing, mind you!).
    There is one simple fact that must be appreciated about food service; the customer is the enemy. Particularly when they send back their medium well steak claiming it isn't actually medium well.

    There's also a difference between dripping blood and well done. A medium cut is still pink on the inside, but it certainly isn't bleeding.
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    Brother Oni's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cooking

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    There is one simple fact that must be appreciated about food service; the customer is the enemy. Particularly when they send back their medium well steak claiming it isn't actually medium well.
    There's a clip on youtube where somebody ordered steak tartare then complained it wasn't medium well done.

    This was to chef Gordon Ramsay - it didn't end well.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Cooking

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    There's a clip on youtube where somebody ordered steak tartare then complained it wasn't medium well done.

    This was to chef Gordon Ramsay - it didn't end well.
    As you point out, not only is the customer the enemy, they are also frequently idiots.

    (Except some customers, some customers are awesome. And many are completely acceptable, since they just order things off the menu and don't bitch about them.)
    Happiness yesterday and happiness tomorrow, but never today... It can't be because it's only an illusion after all, and illusions only look real from a distance. We're over, my dreamy lost love, over, and that's the best thing of all, because it's the only thing that makes it good.

    George RR Martin, Dying of the Light, 1977.

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