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Food Talk
Do you like food? If so, you came to the right off-topic section. Discuss your favorite food topics here!

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Old 11-24-2011, 09:32 PM   #1
RogueStatus37
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Cooking Help

So im 18 years old, a freshman in college, and i live with my parents when im not away at school. My family is very italian so when we get together, its always italian food being made, which i know how to make (anything parm, chicken cutlets, pastas etc...). My father cant even make cereal, so my cooking abilities are way beyond his. My mom is an alright cook, but she doesnt really like to cook. At dinner, my aunt or grandmother cook everything, and at bbq's, my uncles always end up grilling the steaks/burger/bbq.

I love cooking, and i know the basics of cooking, and how to make basic stuff like:

Omlettes
Chicken Cutlets
Burgers
Pasta
Some sauces
Quesadillas
Cooking grilled chicken
Scrambled eggs

and i know the basics of cooking:
Sautee-ing (chopped onions in oil/butter)
Grilling
Frying
Boiling



But i want to learn how to get fancier with my cooking. I want to be able to make full meals. I look around and see people making ribs, roasted chicken, and steaks, and seafood and all that. How would one go about learning how to really cook and make fancier delicious meals like some of the people on here do?
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Last edited by RogueStatus37; 11-24-2011 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:49 AM   #2
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honestly... to make this as simple and fun as possible, watch a crapload of episodes of Good Eats. Alton Brown is the man IMO, and he really knows how to explain the in and outs of how to cook food a certain way, and why.

I love him lol
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:50 PM   #3
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Buy the joy of cooking and find some tasty sounding recipes and just make them. Every recipe you make will build skills.

Also buy a thermopen instant read thermometer and learn how to nail your temps.

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Old 11-26-2011, 12:17 AM   #4
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Old 11-27-2011, 07:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJR4884 View Post
honestly... to make this as simple and fun as possible, watch a crapload of episodes of Good Eats. Alton Brown is the man IMO, and he really knows how to explain the in and outs of how to cook food a certain way, and why.

I love him lol
Food Network?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brew View Post
Buy the joy of cooking and find some tasty sounding recipes and just make them. Every recipe you make will build skills.

Also buy a thermopen instant read thermometer and learn how to nail your temps.

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Any recommended good books, but relatively simple?
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:09 PM   #6
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Any recommended good books, but relatively simple?
The Joy of Cooking is a classic - many would say outdated, but it's really, really thorough and well organized for someone starting out. The index is 70 pages long. The recipes are generally intermediate in complexity. If someone wanted to only buy one cookbook, that's a great one.

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Old 11-28-2011, 12:08 AM   #7
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The Joy of Cooking is a classic - many would say outdated, but it's really, really thorough and well organized for someone starting out. The index is 70 pages long. The recipes are generally intermediate in complexity. If someone wanted to only buy one cookbook, that's a great one.

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Okay cool. Maybe ill ask for it for christmas. Thanks
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JJR4884 View Post
honestly... to make this as simple and fun as possible, watch a crapload of episodes of Good Eats. Alton Brown is the man IMO, and he really knows how to explain the in and outs of how to cook food a certain way, and why.
Alton Brown is great for what he does, but I see him more like a novelty act. I wouldn't recommend him for a beginner because he is so focused on doing things his way.

"How to cook a turkey? Well, you have to go buy a Coleman 27.3 gallon cooler, 2 kilograms of dry ice and aluminum pinking sheers."

No, I definitely wouldn't recommend him to someone looking to get started in cooking. He is pure entertainment. But I think the general recommendation of watching cooking shows is a safe bet.
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:59 PM   #9
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Alton Brown is great for what he does, but I see him more like a novelty act. I wouldn't recommend him for a beginner because he is so focused on doing things his way.

"How to cook a turkey? Well, you have to go buy a Coleman 27.3 gallon cooler, 2 kilograms of dry ice and aluminum pinking sheers."

No, I definitely wouldn't recommend him to someone looking to get started in cooking. He is pure entertainment. But I think the general recommendation of watching cooking shows is a safe bet.
lol... while i do partially agree with you, I think that a good amount of his shows, if not most of them, are very innovative and informative.

he is extremely concentrated on temperatures, cooking times, and explains molecularly what happens. as a beginner, i think it is crucial to know how and why something happens, it makes you understand on such a better level IMO

For example... and yes, its a dump topic but its the quickest one that came to mind. You could season a steak perfectly, cook it perfectly, etc... Good Eats is that show you watch that will tell you to let the steak rest (with an excuse to why) and also to keep it elevated that way the steak doesn't sit in a puddle and kill half your crust. Ever since I saw that episode, I let me steaks rest on a baking rack, or if i only pan sear, i'll get some aluminum foil, crinkle it up, and make a 3 inch "donut" out of it and put the steak on that for a few minutes so the steak stays elevated

Dumb example, but you get my point
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:09 PM   #10
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Anyone else?
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:31 PM   #11
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Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters and Essential Pepin by Jacques Pepin are 2 impressive cookbooks of the classics that I saw recently.

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Anyone else?
So far people have suggested TV shows, books, and just cooking. What other types of suggestions are you looking for?
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Old 12-02-2011, 03:10 PM   #12
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Practice, practice, practice. That's it. Don't shoot for stars when you first start making more complex dishes. You will make bad food, it happens. Find a style that you want and just experiment with it, with flavors, foods, everything. Cook books are good to start, they will give you the basic idea of what spices/seasoning go good together. They will also introduce you to new ingredients. Once you get the knack you can use them to get ideas. Start taking the things you know how to make and change them, do it a different way, anything.

Also, ask questions here. If you see something you like, or want to know how to do something, let us know.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:54 PM   #13
RogueStatus37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ride365 View Post
Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters and Essential Pepin by Jacques Pepin are 2 impressive cookbooks of the classics that I saw recently.



So far people have suggested TV shows, books, and just cooking. What other types of suggestions are you looking for?
I meant as far as specific shows or books.

Quote:
Originally Posted by accolade View Post
Practice, practice, practice. That's it. Don't shoot for stars when you first start making more complex dishes. You will make bad food, it happens. Find a style that you want and just experiment with it, with flavors, foods, everything. Cook books are good to start, they will give you the basic idea of what spices/seasoning go good together. They will also introduce you to new ingredients. Once you get the knack you can use them to get ideas. Start taking the things you know how to make and change them, do it a different way, anything.

Also, ask questions here. If you see something you like, or want to know how to do something, let us know.
I try to do that since I love hand on cooking but we dont have **** for ingredients at my house. Sounds like im going food shopping when i get home.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:41 AM   #14
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thanks, this will come in handy
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:11 PM   #15
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Good eats fo sho!
You can always get the better crocker cookbook and just start making recipes. Thats how I learned how to cook when I was 22!
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