The Cooking Thread!!!

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Bartolome

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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.
 

Scaramouche

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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!
 

AEsahaettr

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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.
 

BoundCoder

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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.
 

AEsahaettr

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I can also make a pretty good "grilled" steak (I'll call it bbq when people like AEsahaettr arn't around ;p).

264207.gif
 

Bartolome

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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.
 

BoundCoder

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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.
 

bebehuey

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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.
 

BigKid25

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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?
 

BoundCoder

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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?

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.

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.
 

WildThing121675

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I love to cook! I only started cooking two years ago because the old apartment I had did not have a kitchen and I lived pretty much on canned goods and fast food- not good for you and nor are they worth it!

I make a chicken noodle soup from scratch that is far better than canned soup, I make a homemade mac and cheese that is awesome, a lasagna in my crock pot, homemade pizzas and I make my own egg and cheese sandwiches as well as pancakes wen I want something like that.

I find a sense of satisfaction with creating foods and cooking!

WildThing121675
 

BigKid25

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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.

Yeup, that sounds exactly like my style! Everyone's gotta start somewhere lol.

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.

Usually my go to involves chicken, but you can't beat good ol' steak and taters. A chef friend of mine gave me a great recipe for rosemary potatoes. Really all you do is cut up the potatoes into even chunks (I think he used white potatoes, but I've tried reds and actually liked them better.) Then put them onto a baking tray, drizzle olive oil over them all, throw on some salt and pepper (he says a lot of the flavor comes from the salt, so be aware of that) and some fresh picked rosemary sprinkled on top. The timing and temp was off when I used my crappy oven compared to his industrial one. He told me it could be done on 400 degree for about 15-20 minutes, but I ended up waiting for almost 35-40 minutes doing it that way. I tried it on 425 for about 15-20 minutes and it turned out almost perfect. But again, it depends on your oven, so experiment with it.

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.

The time consumption is my biggest drawback to cooking. I take WAY too long to make most of my really good meals, although most of the time is spent in prep. Wish I had a kitchen helper lol. And I make big batches of just about everything I cook. Being raised in a family with 5 other boys in one house means when my mom would cook, it would be enough for an army because a lot of days she would be too stressed to cook and we would have leftovers. The sausage recipe sounds pretty good though, I'll have to find a good arrabiata sauce to work with it. Can't say I've ever tried the stuff.
 

egor

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Hello Everyone

I love to cook.

I started the Foodie group here and have put most of my signature recipes in the cookbook set up the group agreed too. I/We are always wanting more people to join so we can share our recipes and techniques and all go to food nirvana, and have none stop foodgasiums.

So come give us a look at Foodie group.
 

Dan09

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I love to cook!

...unfortunately, I'm terrible at it! xD

But since there are so many chefs far better than I could ever hope to be, does anyone have any suggestions on what to make with a TON of random cuts of venison? I have it ground, made into summer sausage, chipotle venison bacon, in chunks, in strips, tenderloins, hams...everything.

Problem is...I'm not sure what to do with it.

So far the only moderately successful thing we made was a grilled tenderloin wrapped in bacon.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1390709642.301740.jpg
 

AEsahaettr

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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?

Thank you for asking!

Short Version
Grilling cooks food quickly (minutes) over high, direct or relatively direct heat. You'll usually cook food to the USDA temperature.

Barbecue cooks food slowly (hours) over low temperatures (about 200-250F). It also utilizes smoke and, if we're being purists, charcoal is the only acceptable source of heat. You usually cook barbecue to a final temperature of 200-205F.

Long version

Let's imagine a piece of steak for a moment. You have basically one solid piece of meat with fat marbled, more or less, throughout. If there's any connective tissue it's going to be localized somewhere you can avoid it when eating. Traditionally, you'll toss this on a hot grill that's anywhere between 350-500 depending on your style and desired done-ness. And that's it. You're cooking over direct heat as well so you'll need to flip it once or twice for even cooking. Note that the word barbecue does not appear in any part of this activity- equipment, food, type of gathering, nothing.

Now let's change things up. Here are some spare ribs, uncooked. Compare that to the steak. This meat is filled with connective tissue, it's made up of tons of little muscles instead of on nice big one, the fat is dispersed strangely, etc. If you try to grill this, you're going to have a lot of difficulty. Why? Mainly the all the connective tissue. If you try to grill this, all that connective tissue is going to seize up and will be roughly the texture of vulcanized rubber. Some people will try to do this anyway, and if they like the results it's because they don't know very much about the cuisine. If you ever bite into a rib and see a semi-circle where you sunk your teeth in, someone tried to grill the ribs. Big mistake.

So how do we handle this cut of meat? We're going to change directions. Instead of hot and fast (ie, griling), we're going to go low and slow. You can do this a few ways: baking and braising are options, but barbecue is the direction we're going to go. When you cook ribs in the range of 200-250F, rather than that connective tissue seizing up, it's going to melt. Literally. At the end of a successful barbecue you'll have reduced your pork shoulder to a pile of meat. When you sink a fork into a barbecued pork shoulder, you can twirl it like spaghetti. Compare to grilling. Imagine grilling (high, direct heat) a pork chop to 200F. Hope you like chewing shoe leather.

So what distinguishes barbecue from baking? Barbecue essentially is baking, except that you're using smoke for additional flavor. Some people also get caught up on the notion that you need to use charcoal, but I'm not that much of a purist. Lot of damn fine 'cue comes out of smokers fueled with hardwood, propane, or even electricity. It's the low-and-slow technique and use of smoke that makes barbecue what it is.

It's a misconception that barbecued ribs should fall off the bone. A desirable part of the rib experience is having some chew; falling off the bone is a sign of overcooking. And in competitive barbecue, if you submit ribs that are falling off the bone, you will be docked points. The goal is to have ribs that pull off the bone. Here's a delicious picture of what that looks like.

Hold on a second! So you just went out to dinner at a steakhouse and ordered ribs. They have great texture so you know they were cooked low and slow. But were they barbecued? You taste smoke, but maybe it's liquid smoke (the barbecue equivalent of showing up to prom with an inflatable sex doll). There's a great way to tell. Smoke only penetrates about 1cm or so into meat. When it does, it fixes the myoglobin in the meat, which is a fancy way of saying it will retain the raw color (almost always pink). This creates what we call a smoke ring. If you don't see a pink smoke ring, you've been had. Drop a deuce on the manager's car on your way out in revenge. This is easy to see in cases where you eat the smoked food whole, like sausage and ribs. It can be harder to detect with pulled pork, but it's possible. find a piece of surface meat (it'll have black bark on it, barbecue lingo for crust) and see if it's pink. I'm aware some places will try to hide the missing smoke ring by covering their pulled pork in barbecue sauce. If I'm suspicious, I'll ask for sauce on the side. If my sauce doesn't come on the side, I send my meal back.

Also, whoever smoked that sausage I linked (HAHAHAHAAHhahahahahahaaaaa... I kill me) has no idea what he's doing. That smoke ring is pathetic. My smoke ring in sausage goes all the way through the meat.

- - - Updated - - -

low temperature cooking.

Necessary but not sufficient. Tossing a rack of ribs in the oven at 210F isn't barbecuing. It's baking. Barbecue adds smoke.
 

bebehuey

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did I mention barbecue in my post?

and yes, I'm very well aware of the smoke ring, my back yard features a beautiful homemade brick barbecue that is actually quite good at smoking and slow cooking.
And yes, charcoal (and occasionally some soaked wood chips) are all I use for such affairs. I also refuse to use starter fluid on it either.
 

AEsahaettr

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I'll use starter fluid for grilling- I don't think the food cooks long enough to pick up the flavor. But it gets nowhere near my smoker.

Or it didn't back when I owned a smoker. The friend I sold it to uses lighter fluid. I cry.

- - - Updated - - -

did I mention barbecue in my post?

I assumed you were responding to the question what is barbecue as opposed to grilling.
 
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I love to cook! I do a lot of Asian-esque dishes, like Sesame Chicken, Mandarin Chicken, Chicken Curry, Beef and Broccoli and what not. I'm also really good at making fajitas and tacos.

Sweets-wise, my raspberry cheesecake cookies are famous amongst my friends and family.
 

BigKid25

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Thank you for asking!

Short Version
Grilling cooks food quickly (minutes) over high, direct or relatively direct heat. You'll usually cook food to the USDA temperature.

Barbecue cooks food slowly (hours) over low temperatures (about 200-250F). It also utilizes smoke and, if we're being purists, charcoal is the only acceptable source of heat. You usually cook barbecue to a final temperature of 200-205F.

Long version

Let's imagine a piece of steak for a moment. You have basically one solid piece of meat with fat marbled, more or less, throughout. If there's any connective tissue it's going to be localized somewhere you can avoid it when eating. Traditionally, you'll toss this on a hot grill that's anywhere between 350-500 depending on your style and desired done-ness. And that's it. You're cooking over direct heat as well so you'll need to flip it once or twice for even cooking. Note that the word barbecue does not appear in any part of this activity- equipment, food, type of gathering, nothing.

Now let's change things up. Here are some spare ribs, uncooked. Compare that to the steak. This meat is filled with connective tissue, it's made up of tons of little muscles instead of on nice big one, the fat is dispersed strangely, etc. If you try to grill this, you're going to have a lot of difficulty. Why? Mainly the all the connective tissue. If you try to grill this, all that connective tissue is going to seize up and will be roughly the texture of vulcanized rubber. Some people will try to do this anyway, and if they like the results it's because they don't know very much about the cuisine. If you ever bite into a rib and see a semi-circle where you sunk your teeth in, someone tried to grill the ribs. Big mistake.

So how do we handle this cut of meat? We're going to change directions. Instead of hot and fast (ie, griling), we're going to go low and slow. You can do this a few ways: baking and braising are options, but barbecue is the direction we're going to go. When you cook ribs in the range of 200-250F, rather than that connective tissue seizing up, it's going to melt. Literally. At the end of a successful barbecue you'll have reduced your pork shoulder to a pile of meat. When you sink a fork into a barbecued pork shoulder, you can twirl it like spaghetti. Compare to grilling. Imagine grilling (high, direct heat) a pork chop to 200F. Hope you like chewing shoe leather.

So what distinguishes barbecue from baking? Barbecue essentially is baking, except that you're using smoke for additional flavor. Some people also get caught up on the notion that you need to use charcoal, but I'm not that much of a purist. Lot of damn fine 'cue comes out of smokers fueled with hardwood, propane, or even electricity. It's the low-and-slow technique and use of smoke that makes barbecue what it is.

It's a misconception that barbecued ribs should fall off the bone. A desirable part of the rib experience is having some chew; falling off the bone is a sign of overcooking. And in competitive barbecue, if you submit ribs that are falling off the bone, you will be docked points. The goal is to have ribs that pull off the bone. Here's a delicious picture of what that looks like.

Hold on a second! So you just went out to dinner at a steakhouse and ordered ribs. They have great texture so you know they were cooked low and slow. But were they barbecued? You taste smoke, but maybe it's liquid smoke (the barbecue equivalent of showing up to prom with an inflatable sex doll). There's a great way to tell. Smoke only penetrates about 1cm or so into meat. When it does, it fixes the myoglobin in the meat, which is a fancy way of saying it will retain the raw color (almost always pink). This creates what we call a smoke ring. If you don't see a pink smoke ring, you've been had. Drop a deuce on the manager's car on your way out in revenge. This is easy to see in cases where you eat the smoked food whole, like sausage and ribs. It can be harder to detect with pulled pork, but it's possible. find a piece of surface meat (it'll have black bark on it, barbecue lingo for crust) and see if it's pink. I'm aware some places will try to hide the missing smoke ring by covering their pulled pork in barbecue sauce. If I'm suspicious, I'll ask for sauce on the side. If my sauce doesn't come on the side, I send my meal back.

Also, whoever smoked that sausage I linked (HAHAHAHAAHhahahahahahaaaaa... I kill me) has no idea what he's doing. That smoke ring is pathetic. My smoke ring in sausage goes all the way through the meat.

Wow, that was an awesome description! I very much appreciate the lesson. Thank you!

Now to try some of this stuff out.
 

w0lfpack91

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my mother recently taught me how to make Mexican Enchaladas which this recipe takes 3 days to prepare plus i usually make them in bulk like 200-300 each time depending on how many people eat it. just my self can eat through 200 of them in 3 days. they are flippin amazing. and are not Americanized Mexican Food, its an actually Mexican Recipe, we learned from my aunt after she imagrated from mexico
 
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