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The Cooking Thread

2021 Patriots Season:
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Mon
Dec 6th

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Ian

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Anyone in here cook? I've taken that part over in our house now that my daughter is on her own and my wife has gone back to work. I enjoy doing it and it's been kind of cool getting back into it, but I was thinking about it and figured I'd start a thread for anyone else who falls into this category to post some things and see else what people are making.

Tonight I did boneless pork chops stuffed with spinach and goat cheese. Literally one of the easiest things I've figured out how to make. Just put the goat cheese, spinach, a little bit of oil (and a little bit of salt and pepper) in a food processor. Slice the pork chops down the middle, stuff each one with the mixture, then cook them two minutes a side on med/high heat in a pan to sear them and then in the oven for 14 mins at 375. They came out pretty good. :cool:
 

lancerman

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
I got into baking. Mostly because girls go crazy when I say I can do that.

Ian I'll make you a dope caramel pecan pie if you share the chops
 

Ian

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I got into baking. Mostly because girls go crazy when I say I can do that.

Ian I'll make you a dope caramel pecan pie if you share the chops
That works ;)

And that's cool about your girls. My son is the food critic of the house. So typically if he's impressed with something I made, that usually tells me it must have been pretty good - because he'll definitely tell me if it's not :D
 

lancerman

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
That works ;)

And that's cool about your girls. My son is the food critic of the house. So typically if he's impressed with something I made, that usually tells me it must have been pretty good - because he'll definitely tell me if it's not :D

See you can only do that with guys. If you critique a girls cooking all of a sudden your meal ends up on your face. Bad times
 
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scout

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Started cooking to get away from processed foods. A lot of procrastination, but finally braked bread and came out good. Look at ingredients when I purchase and noticed an undesirable oil in the purchased whole grain bread. Have been making lasagna and eggplant. Pasta will be next.
 
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Ian

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Started cooking to get away from processed foods. A lot of procrastination, but finally braked bread and came out good. Look at ingredients when I purchase and noticed an undesirable oil in the purchased whole grain bread. Have been making lasagna and eggplant. Pasta will be next.
Us too. I also took over primarily to help change the way we were eating because my wife was obviously tired after working all day and we typically took the easy way out with a lot of frozen stuff. You can get away with that when you're younger, but now that we're in our 40s, not so much. ;)

So we both gained weight, her blood pressure and cholesterol were at bad levels, etc. I did a lot of research and just started reading labels on sodium (which man...there's a ton of that in everything), reducing portions, and over the course of a year she lost nearly 60-pounds and I dropped 45 and both of us have much better numbers.

Honestly, we didn't do anything crazy. Just cut out potatoes, ate a lot of chicken and broccoli, that sort of thing. I didn't want to do anything overly different other than just get better about what we were eating and find simple meals that were easy to make.

We still have pasta once a week and I bought small ceramic bowls for a smaller portion size when we do pasta and chicken. I'll do burgers, but it's just a little different. I make us each a slider with a little ceramic thing for a tiny bit of fries, etc. It's actually not that bad.

We also do pork chops...not really a ton of red meat but I'll grab a few steaks once in a while if they're on sale with broccoli.

I make chicken tacos, etc. So it's nothing crazy. I tried to stay with stuff that was fairly normal that we could stick to and it's worked out.

I haven't made fresh pasta yet though...haven't quite gotten that brave. And bread definitely sounds like a good idea. Will have to try that. :cool:
 

scout

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I worked as a Food Service Director in schools. In 2010, USDA drastically changed the lunch menus. A lot of finger pointing at school lunch in regards to obesity, Pffffffffffffff. Anyway, sodium is loaded in freezer items, soup or going out to get fast food. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and non-processed foods. Eat whole grain products and drink 1% milk or less. I'm even more stringent as I don't eat or drink anything that is not nutritional and a vegetarian (although, not hard core vegetarian).
 
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Ian

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I worked as a Food Service Director in schools. In 2010, USDA drastically changed the lunch menus. A lot of finger pointing at school lunch in regards to obesity, Pffffffffffffff. Anyway, sodium is loaded in freezer items, soup or going out to get fast food. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and non-processed foods. Eat whole grain products and drink 1% milk or less. I'm even more stringent as I don't eat or drink anything that is not nutritional and a vegetarian (although, not hard core vegetarian).
Definitely right about the vegetables. When we were really focused on losing weight, we even did the zucchini pasta thing...that's not too bad and helped accelerate the process. Obviously spiraled zucchini in lieu of pasta, we did chicken sausage, some parmesan cheese, no-sodium marinara sauce (I haven't gotten into making my own sauce either), it wasn't bad. Key was cooking it and getting out all the water and then adding the sauce and finishing it by cooking the spiraled zucchini in the sauce for the final few minutes. I gave it to my son one time and put the chicken sausage on top and covered it in sauce, sprinkled parmesan on top and he didn't realize it wasn't pasta until partway through. That was pretty funny.
 
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scout

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I try to buy vegetables using the rainbow method. You want to purchase a variety of colorful vegetables and leafy greens (salads). I grew up on whole milk. Switched to 2% then 1% and now skim. Skim is great for losing weight. It's a matter of acclimation. For example, Dominoes serves pizza in schools. It's called the Smart Slice as it conforms to the regulations of school lunch (less sodium, whole grain, etc). I started eating this at work. One day we had Dominoes delivered at home for my daughter's birthday party. It wasn't Smart Slice and it was terrible (acclimation). Chocolate is a healthy product! As long as it's dark chocolate and contains at least 70% cocoa (I eat 78%).
 
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jmt57

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Due to the hours my wife-to-be works I have taken over all food buying and cooking duties. Any suggestions from the audience would be highly appreciated.

Right now I have been making a lot of chicken dishes (boneless skinless chicken breasts are inexpensive and easy to work with), as well as occasional steaks (when on sale), meatloaf (about the only time I buy hamburger), salmon, shrimp, ham steak. I've been experimenting with pork chops in the crock pot too. All easy dishes that I'm comfortable with taking on that are within my capabilities.

But right now I'm feeling like I want/need to expand my selections. And at the same time eat healthier (some great ideas above, such as the zucchini pasta - we need to cut down on potato & pasta). So thanks much in advance to all for any ideas.
 
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ForThoseAboutToRock

In the Starting Line-Up
no-sodium marinara sauce (I haven't gotten into making my own sauce either), it wasn't bad.

I've learned to make marinara from a pretty hardcore person - it's pretty simple to get a really good product - obviously the sky is the limit for going well beyond really good.

Dice up a yellow onion - throw it in some oil in your favorite sauce pot and melt it down, low and slow. When they're translucent, throw in some finely minced / microplaned garlic - a few cloves, whatever your tastes are, and cook briefly.

Get yourself 2x 28 oz Pastene Kitchen Ready Tomatoes (yellow and blue cans). Dump those in, fill one of those cans maybe 3/4 of the way with water, and dump that in too.

Simmer for a while until the consistency thickens - season with salt / pepper and a bit of sugar, all to taste. The sugar is supposed to mellow the acidic nature of the tomato flavor, though I'm a bit dubious.

You can add other stuff if you like - usually basil is awesome. Oregano would be good. Red pepper flakes. The key, imo, is the Pastene Kitchen Ready - it's like cheating to start with those.
 

jmt57

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Just be careful. Stores will sell fish or steaks when items get older. Stores are good at making steaks look fresh.
Agreed. I have one store not far from me that I can always count on, that has yet to let me down in regards to steaks.

It's funny though that other items from the same place I have been very disappointed with, even within the same (meat) department.
 

Ian

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Made these tonight, one of the favorites here in the Logue Household:


They're really easy, and we do 4 meatballs per person. I also bought a vacuum sealer off of Amazon and the recipe makes close to 30, so I just seal the extras up and put them in the freezer for a quick meal with some pasta on another night. Definitely recommended :)
 

Tony2046

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Due to the hours my wife-to-be works I have taken over all food buying and cooking duties. Any suggestions from the audience would be highly appreciated.

Right now I have been making a lot of chicken dishes (boneless skinless chicken breasts are inexpensive and easy to work with), as well as occasional steaks (when on sale), meatloaf (about the only time I buy hamburger), salmon, shrimp, ham steak. I've been experimenting with pork chops in the crock pot too. All easy dishes that I'm comfortable with taking on that are within my capabilities.

But right now I'm feeling like I want/need to expand my selections. And at the same time eat healthier (some great ideas above, such as the zucchini pasta - we need to cut down on potato & pasta). So thanks much in advance to all for any ideas.


If you want something quick and easy:

A bag of Trader joe's chicken pot stickers.

A bottle of trader joe's Gyoza dipping sauce

Rice of your choice. I prefer jasmine rice cooked in my instapot pressure cooker.

1. I put two cups of rice in my pressure cooker. I the rinse the rice with cold water and then drain as much of the water as I can to remove the excess starch.

Then I add 2.1 cups of water to the pot using the water to rinse any rice stuck to the side of the pot back down to the bottom.

I select the rice function on my pressure cooker which is usually for 12 minutes. I allow the pot to depressurize naturally.

2. Pour the pot stickers into my already boiling steamer for 10 minutes. Make sure to butter up the steamer basket before adding the pot stickers.

Put some rice in a bowl, add five or six pot stickers and add some Gyoza dipping sauce.

Boom shakalaka.

Two cups of rice makes a lot of rice. But I use the excess for fried rice or rice soup on another day.
 

Tony2046

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I'm not an onion guy but one thing I've learned since Covid started is that they really do add good flavor to meat.

I'm still experimenting but adding some virgin olive oil, finely chopped onions, a pinch of basil, garlic salt and pepper to a skillet prior to cooking my steak, ground turkey or whatever really adds some delicious flavor to the meat.

In my opinion the difference between a good lasagna and a bland one is the flavor of the meat. Cooking the meat with some kind of sauteed onions mixture guarantees a lasagna won't be bland.
 

Tony2046

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A quick chicken and rice soup.


Crock pot.

Grab one of those Market Basket rotisserie chickens for five bucks.

A large container of chicken broth.

Mixed frozen vegetables.

1. Fill the crock pot with the entire chicken broth container.

2. Pluck, cut, and shred all of the meat from the rotisserie chicken ( including the skin) and put it into the crock pot with the broth.

3. Add a cup ( or more) of frozen mixed vegetables into the crock pot.

4. Cook on low for a few hours or until desired temp.

5. When ready to eat add in the left over rice from the recipe above. Haha. And let cook for about ten to twenty minutes to allow the rice to absorb some of the rotisserie flavor.

Adding a pinch of salt and pepper to taste helps too.
 

Joker

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Ian...branch out into Italian cuisine. There are a couple of worldwide main groups that are absolutely fantastic treasure troves of recipes, many of them generational and handed down. I've been cooking since I was a teenager and have extensive knowledge of many cuisines from around the world but these Italian recipe pages are a complete delight. Just don't get sucked into the "gravy/sauce" debates...LOL



 

Ian

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Ian...branch out into Italian cuisine. There are a couple of worldwide main groups that are absolutely fantastic treasure troves of recipes, many of them generational and handed down. I've been cooking since I was a teenager and have extensive knowledge of many cuisines from around the world but these Italian recipe pages are a complete delight. Just don't get sucked into the "gravy/sauce" debates...LOL



Just scrolled through a bunch of those and I'll definitely have to look into some of them. I haven't gotten into making my own pasta yet but would definitely like to learn how to do that at some point. But so far, there are quite a few really good recipes I noticed on there and I think it would be fun to try them :cool:
 

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