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Thread: The Cooking Thread

  1. #1
    Word Enthusiast Steve's Avatar
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    The Cooking Thread

    I know this seems an odd topic for a thread around here, but fuck, man, I love to cook. It stems from the fact that I got married late and was single for years and eventually got sick of eating ramen and Spaghetti-O's and tuna straight from the can and whatnot, so I decided to teach myself how to throw down on some good shit. I remember back in the day being on AIM with Uncle Joe and when we weren't discussing the highs and lows of Iron Maiden's discography and I wasn't cringing at the pictures of nasty ass naked women he was sending me, we were talking about cooking, trading recipes and shit like a couple of old ladies. 1,000,000BC and I used to do the same, when we weren't arguing over which Corey (Feldman or Haim) could get more for their tooth on eBay.

    I still say Feldman. Though Haim's death may make his more rare or something.

    Anywho, I'm not throwing down gourmet meals or anything, but I really dig making fairly simple but interesting and tasty shit. Tonight, for instance, I'm making a ground turkey, smoked gouda and bacon lasagna. Another of my favorite recipes is Chicken Spaghetti Lasagna, which sounds weird but is basically just lasagna with chicken spaghetti ingredients (essentially replacing spaghetti noodles with lasagna noodles and layering that shit). I call it Chicken Spaghetti Lasagna because to just call it Chicken Lasagna sounds like I've simply replaced the beef with chicken. I also have an incredibly simple but badass red beans and rice variation recipe.

    Anywho, I know I'm not the only cooking enthusiast around here. So what do you guys like to make? Wanna share recipes and shit? Or ignore the hell out of this until it fades away like a bad fart?

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    I'm not bad at cooking. I'm a bit lazy though, so it's only every so often I push the boat out and try something that takes any real effort. Most of the time I go for things that can be done in one pot - curries, chilli, that kind of thing, maybe a stew.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    I bloody love cooking. Genuinely love it. Being vegan, obviously I cook a lot of veggies - one of my favourite dishes is black pepper tofu, which is oringally an Ottolenghi recipe (https://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/black-pepper-tofu-a-shop), but I've taken to making it with more vegetables and less soy sauce and onions than he does, just to mix it up a bit. It's a staple in the house though, and rarely a week goes by without rustling it up with some noodles to eat. The first couple of times I made it I remember being in a blind panic of just getting everything right and it feeling like there were too many moving parts, but after that it all seemed to click into place.

    I guess if you were not keen on tofu and/or desperate for meat, you could replace that with some chicken or turkey.

    Bean burgers are another thing I love making. Real simple, just the frying stuff that takes time to crack properly. I often fry them to crisp up the outsides and then just bang them in the oven for 5/10 minutes to make sure they're warmed through. Oh and pizza - homemade pizza is the shit. Bit of sriracha sauce in the tomato stuff for some nice heat behind everything on top.

    Baking is probably something I actually love more than cooking up main meals. Bread and yeasted doughs especially. I've taken to making a mean cinnamon roll for weekend breakfasts, knock together a dough on Friday night and let it rise overnight, then prep them and cook them Saturday morning. Serve them up with a drizzle of something lemony on top - normally I make a simple glaze, but just recently I've been messing around with more of a buttercream and trying to get that right.

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    No Time To Bleed The Dude's Avatar
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    I can't cook for shit. Haven't got to the point where I'm bored of noodles or a takeaway. I hate cooking for myself in my depressingly small kitchen, and avoid it at all costs.

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    Word Enthusiast Steve's Avatar
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    I think what really got me interested in it again was when I got married. It was almost like I was showing off my skills and shit when I'd throw down on some crab bisque or chicken spaghetti. That kinda faded over the years as the marriage, in general, went to shit, but now that I'm divorced I find that I'm starting to dig it again.

    Made chicken and dumplings tonight using my own recipe. Pretty typical recipe but I use butter flavored crescent roll dough for the dumplings and add in some chicken gravy for thickening and flavor. Always comes out awesome.

    That lasagna I made turned out pretty good, by the by. Easy as shit to make, too. Pretty much just browned the ground turkey, threw in some random seasoning (had an emphasis on the Greek seasoning, specifically, as it complements poultry well), melted a shit load of cheese in it before adding a jar of four cheese alfredo sauce and then just layered it in a pan. Meat mixture, shredded cheese, layer of noodles, repeat until the pan is full. Then top it off with some extra cheese. Took all of about 30 minutes to prepare and about a half hour in the oven. Good stuff.

    I've tried to dig on some vegan stuff, Oli, but just couldn't swing it. I just don't like tofu outside of hot and sour soup, where I basically tolerate it. A bean burger doesn't sound terrible, though I probably wouldn't like it due to a massive fucking love of beef. Still, may give it a go one day just to do it. Don't know if you like something until you try it, you know?

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    I don't really like cooking for myself, either, and will only really cook when there are other people to cook for. If it's just me I'll either heat something up from frozen or, more likely, grab a burger. But I know that I shouldn't. The effect on your health, not just physical but mental health, of eating properly is incredible. I'm not going to say anything as trite as it makes all your problems go away, but it is amazing the effect of decent diet and exercise on things like stress and depression.

    I've been known to try things like bean burgers and what not. My girlfriend doesn't eat meat so I don't really cook too much meat stuff at home, unless she is going to be away when I'll make a big pot of something that I can reheat or whatever. So the bulk of the stuff I actually cook is for the two of us and I'll eat meat when I'm out of the house a lot more. It's probably healthier - as much as I love red meat it's so easy to eat far too much of the stuff.

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    Word Enthusiast Steve's Avatar
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    I've recently stumbled across a ridiculously basic dinner that tastes awesome. Figured I'd give it a share, as it's perfect for either those flying solo or those trying to feed a family on a budget.

    Not sure if this exists outside of the US (though I'd presume that there's some variation in different countries), but the recipe is, quite simply, rice and chicken. To get into specifics...

    1 box of Rice A Roni Chicken & Garlic
    1 box of Rice A Roni Four Cheese
    1 large (12.5oz) can of chunk chicken

    Cook the rice as instructed on the box, dumping in the chicken about 10 minutes into the process. Mix well, wait a bit, then eat it.

    Super simple and fucking delicious. I mean, it's not a fucking gourmet meal or anything, but if you're living on the cheap and want something that actually tastes awesome and only requires a small effort, it's perfect. It comfortably feeds 3-4 adults and could probably easily be stretched between 2 adults and a couple of kids, especially if you microwave some green beans or something as a side. If you're rocking it solo, you could portion it out and probably eat off of it for a couple days.

    This is a dumb "recipe" to share, I suppose, but seriously, I've been making this stuff once a week for about a month and can't get enough of it. Plus it only costs like $5, total. I generally balk at canned meats, but for the sheer simplicity of things, it works really well here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    I'm not bad at cooking. I'm a bit lazy though, so it's only every so often I push the boat out and try something that takes any real effort. Most of the time I go for things that can be done in one pot - curries, chilli, that kind of thing, maybe a stew.
    Yeah, this is basically my level. I can do other stuff too, like the occasional roast, and I sometimes choose a recipe out of a book and follow that. But I consider myself pretty good at one pot stuff.

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    I once came up with something similar to that recipe, Steve, using chicken pieces, frozen peas, and Super Noodles. It was a taste sensation, but not exactly Michelin star territory.

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    Word Enthusiast Steve's Avatar
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    You guys are making me want to make a roast. Or a pot of beans. Here in Texas, being able to throw down a really good pot of beans is an artform.

    Something need not be fancy to be super tasty. That's kinda why I made the thread. I don't expect any of us to be all Gordon Ramsey and shit, but I'm sure that most of us have stumbled onto some random concoction that wound up tasting awesome.

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    Speaking of which, I sometimes make sausage and beans but cook it in the oven, topped with the kind of cheesy mashed potatoes you'd get in a shepherds pie. Damned good if I say so myself.

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    Word Enthusiast Steve's Avatar
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    I may have to try that sometime. Sounds pretty good.

    I've actually never had a shepherd's pie.

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    I thought that you might not. English delicacy and all. It's pretty good when done well. You can also replace the lamb with beef for a cottage pie, which is more to a lot of people's taste.

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    Word Enthusiast Steve's Avatar
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    It's not that uncommon here, just nowhere near as prevalent as there.

    It's weird how cuisine differs so wildly across the world, especially in places with the same general foods available to them, like here and there or even here and Canada. I'd wager that 75% of Americans have no clue what poutine is.

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    Oh, I thought it was rarer than that. Seen American TV make fun of the name quite often so have always assumed it was kind of alien to most Americans.

    We have just had poutine arrive here in the UK but the places that sell it look hipster as fuck. I still fancy giving it a go, mind.

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    Word Enthusiast Steve's Avatar
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    I've yet to try poutine, myself. If so many people love it so much, though, surely it must be pretty good. I'll give it a try one day.

    So, I've recently tried and subsequently fallen in love with Cinnamon Pebbles cereal. I want to try and make something with them but have been struggling with what that something should be. I thought of a Rice Krispies treat style thing, of course, and will likely do that at some point, but previous experience with making similar treats using Cocoa Pebbles tells me that they'll be a bit on the hard side. I'd like to avoid this, as I want to do something for Thanksgiving and some of my older relatives are lacking in the tooth department.

    Any ideas? I'm about to just Google what flavors are most complimentary to cinnamon and maybe wing something.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    I had vegan poutine the other day, on some fries at a vegan diner in Manchester. It was...kind of weird, I'm going to be honest. It was basically just cheesy chips, which I'm guessing is not the idea of poutine at all.

    Those Cinnamon Pebbles sound like they'd be amazing if you used them crushed as the filling in a cinnamon roll or something similar. I did that with Cinnamon Grahams once, and they made a pretty ace, if slighty trashy, breakfast. I also made a milky glaze to go with them. So if you're fancying making some enriched dough treats, that could work. Alternatively, you could make a basic vanilla sponge, then crush them into a frosting or similar for that?

    I made pretzel dogs at the weekend and they were the shit.

  18. #18
    Samuel Plan
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    No idea what poutine is!

    I'm about to get back on a healthier eating regimen, and my DDP Yoga so any vegan or veggie recipes (that are easy and not too involved - I'm a novice!) would be awesome?

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    'Plan, Poutine is a Canadian delicacy. Chips and gravy with cheese curds is how I'd describe it, though I'm sure someone more in the know can offer more detail.



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    Samuel Plan
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    That sounds like an acquired taste...

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    I thought that when I first heard it, but it's so popular the idea of trying it has grown on me. Plus, pretty much everything tastes good on chips.



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    Poutine is great! We have it here too. Been to places where they add diced bacon on top and swap the gravy out for a garlic aioli sauce on top. Not gonna lie, was pretty good, but really unhealthy. I make a mean butter chicken. But I like to eat out. Take the Mrs out probably 3/4 times a week if possible for nice dinners. More of an Aussie and English thing, not sure if it's really big in America, but I love my mashed potato. Love going out for a nice steak dinner, preferably eye fillet, but I've really been falling in love with truffled mashed potato. That shit is amazing.

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    Pretty sure they love their mash, too.

    Not really a fan of garlic aioli unless it's bang on, though. Had some pretty unpleasant ones. Gonna stick with gravy. I live in the North now, it's the only way.



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    Don't know how anyone couldn't love mash!

    That's true. If something has too much garlic in it it ruins it for sure. It's one of those things I love cooking with though cause it smells amazing. I just know England as England! No idea what North and South and West and East mean! Lol

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    I mean it's a whole other thread. For the purposes of this thread, the north means you put gravy on your chips.

    Or curry sauce. Or mushy peas. Or beans. As Peter Kay puts it about a northerner going into a southern chip shop, 'has tha nowt moist?!'



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    Samuel Plan
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    Owt, Prime. Owt. Not nowt. Nowt means nothing. Owt means anything.

    Chips and gravy is magnificent, as is chips and beans. Had an amazing local chippy in my first year of Uni and both those magnificent nectars were to die for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 'Plan View Post
    Owt, Prime. Owt. Not nowt. Nowt means nothing. Owt means anything.
    Your mistake, other than thinking you need to explain this to me, is that it is a statement uttered in exasperation at finding that they have nothing moist - he isn't asking the question, he is outraged that they don't have it. As in

    'No gravy, no curry, no peas, has tha nowt moist?!'



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    Samuel Plan
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    My god, I hate you almost as much as I hate me constantly tripping up around you...

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    I don't know why you do this to yourself. Deep down a part of you had to know I wasn't going to be wrong about it but you just couldn't resist trying. It's like you made your own trap to fall into.

    But I like chips and gravy, and chips and curry sauce, and have developed a taste for mushy peas as I've got older. I like chips and beans but its the least 'treat' of the lot of them, so it's the one I'm least likely to for.



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  30. #30
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    I thought Poutine was basically like chips and gravy with cheese, so it seems I ended up pretty much right about that in the end...

    'Plan - hit your vegan boy up if you need any recipes. As I said up above, you can't go wrong with a bit of Ottolenghi's Black Pepper Tofu. An absolutely staple in my house. Also, as it's winter, roasted squash soup on a cold evening is perfect and absolutely hits the spot. It's pretty much just onions fried off in a smidge of oil, then roasted butternut squash and stock added to them. I like to put a load of garlic in but I like to put a load of garlic into anything so that's not too surprising.

    You also can't go wrong with a good old Bowl of Stuff. Normally I do a grain, a veg, and a bean - so my most recent was a burrito bowl of rice, kidney beans, sweet potato, and some mushrooms, onions, garlic and spinach all fried off together. Squirt of sriracha and you're done. But you can do pretty much anything within those three categories and end up with a nice dinner.

    One other thing I love before I leave you be - Tomato and Red Onion Tarte Tatin. I love it, and it's super simple. Never make puff pastry, just buy it off the shelf, and then it's essentially 'fry some shit, put some pastry on it, bake it.'

  31. #31
    Samuel Plan
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    Cheers Oli! I love my meat too much to go full on vegan forever, but last time I wanted to lose weight it helped. A lot.

    Prime, I don't either. You seem to bring it out in me. I guess I'm more bitter than I realise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    I mean it's a whole other thread. For the purposes of this thread, the north means you put gravy on your chips.

    Or curry sauce. Or mushy peas. Or beans. As Peter Kay puts it about a northerner going into a southern chip shop, 'has tha nowt moist?!'
    Please don't tell me you actually talk like that?

    Quote Originally Posted by 'Plan View Post
    Owt, Prime. Owt. Not nowt. Nowt means nothing. Owt means anything.

    Chips and gravy is magnificent, as is chips and beans. Had an amazing local chippy in my first year of Uni and both those magnificent nectars were to die for.
    Are we talking baked beans here or beans like the vegetable?

    Edit: I have an English girl at work who pours vinegar over her chips. Is that an English thing or just her? Also she loves Worcestershire sauce on everything too. That an English thing as well or just her?
    Last edited by Eddieg2005; 11-28-2017 at 08:21 AM.

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    Real Northerners do. I'm from the Midlands but have moved around so I don't really have much of an accent, though I'll slip into 'owt' and things. But yeah, we're off cooking again with that one. I don't think 'Plan really talks like that despite being a borderline northerner, unless he's cleaned his accent up for the radio.


    I don't understand the second question. I mean, beans are beans not vegetables, but even so, baked beans are as much beans as any other beans, they've just been doused in sauce. So... little help?

    But yeah, I guess they are baked beans, whatever distinction you are making.



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    You may need to start a new thread to explain all this geography to me!

    Agh I've never learnt how to upload photos on to here! Granted it's probably easy, but regardless I tagged you on Twitter. But I was assuming baked beans regardless. Either or that sounds like a weird combo to me to go with chips.

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    I figured it out! Sort of! Lol. Didn't mean to upload it three times. But that's what we call baked beans. Assuming that's what Planny was referring to?

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    Yep.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddieg2005 View Post
    You may need to start a new thread to explain all this geography to me!
    Hey, you start it with your questions, and I'll do my best to answer 'em.

    EDIT: In reply to the edit above, salt and vinegar is pretty standard. I can do French fries but I can't eat proper chips without vinegar unless they're doused in something like curry sauce. Worcestershire sauce is a bit more niche but it's still a thing. I like it on cheese on toast, myself.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 11-28-2017 at 10:55 AM.



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  38. #38
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Baked beans, in a tin, do actually count as one of your five fruit/veg a day. Well, any beans do actually, three heaped tablespoons and you're good.

    I can't understand why anybody wouldn't cover chips in vinegar. It's my one complaint about any fast food place - they just don't do vinegar for chips, and it baffles me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    I can't understand why anybody wouldn't cover chips in vinegar. It's my one complaint about any fast food place - they just don't do vinegar for chips, and it baffles me.
    Oh my brother, testify.

    As the cold weather sets in, I made a stew yesterday. Works pretty well and as long as you don't skimp on your stock or your seasoning it comes out pretty well. I sometimes call it Simon and Garfunkel stew for a joke because the four herbs you use to season it are.... well, I'm sure you can guess. It's basically onions, barley, potatoes and root vegetables all cooked up in a big pot and then served with bread and butter. Ridiculously simple but a good way of getting your veggies in, taking care of a few meals at once, and getting something hearty when the weather turns. I tend to make it without meat and use veg stock but it's flexible enough that you mix that up too, if you prefer - chicken goes in quite well but if you go for lamb or mutton instead you've got something that resembles an Irish stew (though not quite the traditional recipe). No reason you couldn't put beef in instead, if you preferred, and let it cook slowly.

    It's also a pretty good way of hiding any vegetables you don't like.



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  40. #40
    Samuel Plan
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    Well, weekly shop is done and the vegan meals start here. Plenty of veg, rice and beans, as well as that sriracha business I never heard of before.

    If this fails it's on you Oli!

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