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Thread: The Cooking Thread!!!

  1. #1

    Default The Cooking Thread!!!

    So who here besides me loves to cook?

    I'm not much of a baker but I learned a lot about cooking from my Dad ("the properties of food," as he calls it) and from experimenting on my own. My dad is an AMAZING cook so his approval means a lot to me. I like to experiment and improvise but I often get a flash of a dish in my head and know exactly what I need to make it work.

    Yesterday I made my first Cajun-style seafood stew. My dad and I ate it for lunch (he works from home) and was really impressed by it. It was a very simple recipe, your basic stew with some spices, frozen seafood, onions, tomatoes, and corn, plus some frozen shellfish (shrimp, calamari rings, etc).

    I have a few other recipes too that are "Bartolome Originals" including one for a peanut-flavored rice noodle stir fry that all my college friends used to ask me to make. I can also make cheesesteaks (I'm a Philadelphian) and I like experimenting with different touches flavor when cooking fish like cod or tilapia. I found that combining herbs with orange slices I could give the fish an interesting, Earthy but tangy flavor.

    Any way, I thought I would make this thread for the benefit of those who'd like to discuss cooking and share recipes or techniques.

  2. #2

    Default

    In addition to the thread you're starting here, there are also sub groups for specific topics. One is for recipes and cooking discussions. The group is called Foodies Take a look!

  3. #3

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    A long time ago I was actually offered admission to the Culinary Institute of America. Turned it down because I (rightly) saw a better future in science.

    I did a lot of baking with my mom growing up but eventually became more of a chef. I don't like to follow a recipe and have an exact result turn out. I like to tinker. Unfortunately, you can't really taste a cake batter and say "hm, needs more baking powder."

    I've been able to make a decent profit for years selling my barbecue. My chili has literally won my ribbons and cash prizes in competition against actual restaurants. Actually, at the last chili cookoff I was in, one of the runners up shook my hand and asked me "where do you cook?". She was really confused when I told her "oh, you know, mostly in my apartment." She seriously thought I must be running a commercial kitchen somewhere- didn't realize that till later. I actually have an offer from a restaurant at the moment that wants to buy my recipe, which I'm mulling over.

    Oh, and anyone who uses the word barbecue to mean grilled food is a terrible, terrible person. New Orleans is also turning me into a savant over proper use of calling food Cajun.

  4. #4

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    Cooking has been a general interest of mine for a while. I make a lot of pasta dishes. I tend to buy the pasta itself fresh, but I make my own sauces. Been looking at making my own pasta as well, but just haven't taken that step.

    I can also make a pretty good "grilled" steak (I'll call it bbq when people like AEsahaettr arn't around ;p). My "big secret" is I have a cast iron pan that I throw on the grill with some chopped up green onions, fresh herbs, rough ground pepper, garlic, and a little oil, and use that to finish the steak.

    Lately I've been experimenting with thai. Specifically trying to make a good red curry chicken dish. I'm still at the only slightly better than the store bought paste mix level.. but like most dishes I try to make, it gets better every time I try.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoundCoder View Post
    I can also make a pretty good "grilled" steak (I'll call it bbq when people like AEsahaettr arn't around ;p).

  6. #6

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    LOL I learned the difference between grilled and barbecued in 5th grade. My dad used to have a smoker that looked like an all-black steampunk R2D2. I remember he used it once to BBQ a huge turkey for Thanksgiving.

  7. #7

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    Kidding aside, I do try to use the correct terminology now, but around here _everyone_ calls it "bbq'ed steak", and actual bbq is rare. It was always called this when I was growing up as well, so it's a hard habit to break.

  8. #8

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    low temperature cooking.

    After seeing the kitchen of one of my favorite restaraunts, I bought a couple of induction burners a couple of years ago that has a pretty good precision temp setting.

    while i did have to replace the grand bulk of my cookware to use em, I've been quite happy with the results.
    (bye bye teflon frying pans, hello cast iron!)

    they're so good that I can set the pan temp precisely anywhere from 100F to 450.
    the perfect soft boiled egg comes along at 151 degrees and half an hour.
    a great long cook homemade marinara comes at 147, stirred slowly over 8 hours or so
    excellent chowders, but for some reason, I always love adding curry to my potato chowder

    My big problem is that while I love food, I'm diabetic and have to really watch what I eat.
    that being said, I generally focus on quality and not quantity.

  9. #9

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    So, allow me to demonstrate my ignorance but... What is it about Barbecue that makes it 'barbecue'. I mean, I've used a barbecue and it has had a grill on it, so before I make a fool of myself can someone please explain where the difference lies?

    I really enjoy cooking and people say I'm a good cook, but really all I do is find a recipe, try it, and experiment with what I think makes it taste better. There's no training at all and everything I've learned has been through experimenting with recipes or getting tips from actual chefs. I try to be as open minded a student as I can be, and so far my food has been consistently improving in quality. But I've found that really the best taste comes from fresh ingredients and the right amount of seasoning. Any other techniques or terminology I'm totally in the dark about.

    So with that in mind, I'm not a creative cook. I simply take a few of my core recipes and continually work on improving them as well as I can. Although I would like to broaden my horizons a bit. What is everyone's go to dish for good taste but simple ingredients/easy assembly?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigKid25 View Post
    So, allow me to demonstrate my ignorance but... What is it about Barbecue that makes it 'barbecue'. I mean, I've used a barbecue and it has had a grill on it, so before I make a fool of myself can someone please explain where the difference lies?
    The only real difference is in temperature and time. Barbecuing is about low temps over long periods of time. Grilling is about high temps over short periods of time.



    Quote Originally Posted by BigKid25 View Post
    So with that in mind, I'm not a creative cook. I simply take a few of my core recipes and continually work on improving them as well as I can. Although I would like to broaden my horizons a bit. What is everyone's go to dish for good taste but simple ingredients/easy assembly?
    I can totally relate to this. Most of my best dishes are the result of years of trial and error, usually starting off with something barely passable (or even a complete failure), and gradually tuned until I get it right. In a lot of cases I start out cheating (i.e. using mostly store bought pre-made components) then gradually replace them with my own.

    As for go-to dishes for quick and easy, I actually throw steak in there a lot. Pick up a nice strip loin, rib-eye, tenderloin, or sirloin from the butcher shop on the way home, fresh and ready to go. Throw some mini potatoes in tinfoil and toss them on the grill while it heats up and I chop up the various things I use at the end (As described in my earlier post). Usually takes about 15-20 or so minutes before I can throw the steak on the grill. Steak is usually done before potatoes, so I let it sit while the potatoes finish cooking (which supposedly lets the juices re-absorb through the meat). Done and eating within about 30 mins.

    Everything else I make tends to take a fair bit of time unfortunately. I tend to make things like tomato sauce in large batches and then use them as the base for pasta dishes when I want something quick. Lot of times I'll fry up a sausage, cut it into slices, then mix up an arrabiata sauce and put it over penne.

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