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  1. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post


    Best thing you could do is ditch the microwave so you have to use your stove/oven, after a while you'd realise how much better it makes food taste.
    Agreed, I don't own a microwave and I love not having the crutch.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

  2. #82
    Oberon
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    It's amazing what one can accomplish with a good electric hotplate and one well-chosen pan.

  3. #83
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    That's been my staple for far too long! That's all I ever do when I get to the grocery store, just buy frozen dinners. It's getting gross and boring. I want freedom!

    Best thing you could do is ditch the microwave so you have to use your stove/oven, after a while you'd realise how much better it makes food taste.
    Very true...but, I must first accustom myself with the stove/oven, to get a good enough handle on it, such that when I do phase out my microwave, I'm not left feeling like I'm on a desserted island with no help in sight.

    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    It's amazing what one can accomplish with a good electric hotplate and one well-chosen pan.
    Tell me more! I'm actually thinking of recipes where you use fresh ingredients, mix in bowl, and, TA-DA! But, I am willing to give hotplate/stove a chance, if it's not too complicated off the bat.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Malia, do you like spicy (as in hot-and-spicy) food?
    I LOVE spicy food!!! I actually add red pepper flakes to a lot of what I personally eat, teehee...

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    Hi,

    I'm going to be preparing lamb something-or-other in the near future. Do you have any suggestions?
    Rogan Josh is the best lamb dish I make. There are a lot of things you can successfully do with lamb, but this is my favorite as it has spicy Indian flavors and the lamb is oh-so tender.


    Rogan Josh - Indian Stew
    ================

    2 lbs lamb or beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
    2 tablespoons paprika
    1 tablespoon ground coriander
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 teaspoon ground cardamom
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    2 1/2 teaspoons salt
    2 onions, chopped
    2 small chili peppers, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
    1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
    1/4 cup water or low sodium broth
    OR 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    1/4 cup oil (vegetable or olive) OR ghee (Indian clarified butter)
    1/4 cup yogurt
    1/2 - 1 cup water or low sodium broth
    1/4 cup cream
    2 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)

    In a large bowl, mix meat cubes, paprika, coriander, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of the salt, until meat is fully coated in the spices. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour, or preferably overnight.

    Place chopped onions, chili peppers, garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in food processor or blender and puree. Add the 1/4 cup water/broth or 2 tablespoons tomato paste and continue pureeing to form a paste.

    Heat oil or ghee in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Working in two or three batches, brown the meat on all sides, removing each batch to a plate as it finishes.

    Add more ghee or oil to the pot (this will most likely not be necessary as there will be excess oil from browning the meat). Add onion puree mixture and saute, stirring constantly, until the mixture cooks down a bit and begins to brown. Add the yogurt bit by bit, stirring and cooking down until all the yogurt has been added.

    Return the meat to the pot and add enough water/broth to make a rich sauce. Bring to a boil and then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Adjust pot lid during the last 45 minutes of cooking in order to allow just a crack of steam to escape the pot.

    Remove from heat and add the garam masala, cream, and cayenne pepper. Taste, and if necessary add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt (or as little/much as necessary) and any additional cayenne, to taste.

    Serve with naan or rice.


    Easy (and tasty) Basmati Pilau

    1/4 cup butter or ghee
    2 cups basmati rice
    2 teaspoons turmeric
    2 bay leaves
    8 green cardamom pods (or 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom)
    8 whole cloves
    1 teaspoon whole fennel seed
    2 teaspoons salt
    3 1/4 cups boiling water

    Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in the rice until it is coated in butter. Stir in spices and salt. Add the boiling water. Cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer on the lowest heat for 15 minutes (do not stir or open the lid in the meantime). Turn off the heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Fluff and serve.

  6. #86
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    Default COOKING SCHOOL: LESSON 1

    If you can make baby steps, there is always hope.

    Let me respond to you, line by line:

    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    ...but, can you give some culinary advice (including therapeutic motivation ) for someone who can't cook (AT ALL!)?
    My limitations:
    - I don't like the stove, nor do I use it, unless it's the last choice (I also don't like oil as it spits out of the pan, as that scares me)

    You just have to start by using the stove. That's it. I'll give you an easy assignment, okay, and once you're comfortable with doing that, we can do another. Soon, it won't scare you at all.

    As far as the oil thing goes, you might be using too much, or turning the heat too high (or sometimes oil just does that and it's unavoidable) but we'll start slow with oil, k?


    - I don't really do oven either as there's a time factor and I lose patience and the food inevitably burns (yes, including a beeping timer, because I'm either listening to music, or, when I get inspired to cook, I'm at the brink of hunger, and I can't WAIT for that kind of cooking{time})

    If you truly want to learn to cook a little, you have to be willing to put in the focus. So that means if you choose to make something I assign you, at first, that is all you're allowed to do!!! Haha... seriously. I'll give you a short assignment, don't worry. But the more you train yourself to focus on cooking WHILE you cook, the better you will get at this sort of thing. Every new cook (and seasoned cook) forgets the timer at some point.

    Also, you're not going to cook on an empty stomach. Always have a healthy snack first, so that you can focus clearly and not let your stomach pains rush you. Yes, chefs are fast but home cooks don't start out that way. You have to take your time at first and you need a contented tummy to do that.


    - because I don't enjoy cooking, at ALL

    It's no fun to do something badly, I know. But if you practice A LITTLE, you'll start getting pretty good, and then it won't be UNFUN anymore. You'll likely begin to enjoy it, and plus there's always the feeling of accomplishment at the end.


    - I don't do/like grocery shopping, esp. if the list has a variety.

    The best thing to do for lists is to organize the items by type so you can get all the same kinds of things at once. I'll help.


    - I can't cook meat, and if I've seen meat pre-cooked, and prepare it, I won't be able to eat it after, and I have an aversion to cleaning meat.

    Well, it's pretty gross. You don't have to cook meat, you know... But if you really like eating it, practice is the only thing that will help you get over that aversion.


    My slight ray of hope:
    - I am familiar with the microwave

    This is not a ray of hope, hon. ;-) The ray of hope I see is that you are asking for help.


    With all these challenges ahead of me, what's a dish you can suggest for an invalid like me, that is not only quick AND easy to make but requires limited ingredients and is healthy/tasty? (and nothing requiring too weird ingredients, nor too sophisticated culinary utensils. I don't do well shopping for vegetables and such - I have bought zucchini when my mom needed cucumbers, and I'm hopeless about the difference between lemon, lime, etc)

    I have noticed that I spend a lot of $$ buying lunch every day because I would rather not make lunch, and I'm a picky eater in that I can't eat the same thing in a row...unless it tastes out-of-this-world awsome. And I don't like grocery shopping.

    Is there hope for me? [OH! eggs, I can do...just not omlette, my eggs are scrambled eggs aspiring to be omlettes...one day]

    Any recipes that could finally infuse an appreciation of cooking for me? (cuz I do love to eat)

    I would be forever grateful to you, as others have tried, and none had made a difference to my apathy to cooking (i believe it lies in the recipe/dish, to get me motivated enough to try my hand at it)
    ================================================== =====

    MALIA:

    Well, I won't pretend this is an easy proposition for me. You're basically saying, I don't want to try but I want good results. I think you need to start smaller than being inspired, that will come. You need a LITTLE practice first.

    Now, I'm going to give you a very easy, remedial assignment. I'm going to give you small steps to follow. Because I'm writing EVERYTHING out, it will seem like lots of steps, but it's really, really, REALLY simple. Please don't be offended by the simplicity.

    Follow each step, one by one, and you CANNOT go wrong. When it is easy for you, let me know.


    4-5-2009 SUNDAY: Assignment --
    PASTA with DOCTORED-UP MARINARA (delicious)

    Utensils/Tools:

    big pot for boiling water
    medium sauce pan (looks like a small but not tiny pot)
    colander (pasta strainer)
    big spoon for stirring sauce (wooden if you have it, metal if you don't)
    2 hot pads or oven mits
    cutting board
    sharp knife for chopping
    trash can

    Grocery List/Instructions:

    BAKING/SPICE AISLE
    1 jar Italian seasoning
    1 can Olive Oil PAM (Non-stick spray)

    PASTA AISLE
    1 pkg. pasta (any kind will do)
    1 jar marinara sauce
    1 small jar pesto sauce

    PRODUCE SECTION
    1 Onion
    Garlic (unpeeled garlic will be in a jar in the refrigerated area nearby the bags of salad and mushrooms)

    CHEESE SECION
    1 small tub Pre-grated Parmesan

    When you get your ingredients home, put the jar of garlic and the tub of cheese in the fridge, and the rest can be put away anywhere you want (NOT chilled).


    Ingredients:

    Pasta of your choice
    one onion (any color)
    2 cloves garlic (buy pre-peeled garlic)
    Non-stick olive oil spray, like PAM Olive Oil Spray
    1 jar marinara sauce (any kind will do -- buy the kind you like the best)
    1/3 small jar pesto sauce
    salt, pepper
    Italian seasoning
    grated parmesan cheese


    1. Take out all your utensils and tools.
    A. Fill your big pot with water 2/3s up to the top, and place on a cold burner of the stove.
    B. Place your medium sauce pan (smaller pot) on another stove burner.
    C. Place your hot pads on the counter near the stove.
    D. Get out your big spoon and put it next to the hot pads.
    E. Make sure your sink is cleared, and place the pasta strainer in it.
    F. Get out your cutting board and a sharp knife, and place them on the counter where you intend to do your cooking prep work.
    G. Get out your trash can, and put it on the floor next to your work area so you can throw things away really easily.

    2. Get out your ingredients.
    A. Place onion and garlic near your cutting board. The bottled sauce, small pesto jar, and oil spray go near the hot pads and spoon (by the stove).
    B. Your salt and pepper, and Italian seasoning, go next to the stove, too.

    3. At your cutting board, chop your onion.
    A. Peel it and throw the peel in the trash. Cut off the pointy end.
    B. Hold your onion so that the fuzzy top knot is facing straight up. Slice the onion in half, right through the fuzzy knot.
    C. You now should have two onion halves. Face them flat side down, so you see two onion "hills".
    D. Eventually, I'll teach you how to properly chop an onion, but it takes practice, so for now, just slice each "hill" in straight slices, until you reach the fuzzy part. Throw that part away. Now hold your straight slices together with one hand and slice the opposite way, making onion cubes. Do the same thing to both hills, and you should have a nice, chopped onion.
    Set it aside (we're going to use it soon).

    4. Chop your garlic.
    A. Take out two cloves of peeled garlic from the jar and place on your cutting board. Put the jar away, back into the fridge.
    B. Using your knife, cut off both front and back edges of garlic, do this to both cloves. Toss the little edges you just removed into the trash.
    C. Slice your garlic thinly. Set aside (we're going to use it soon, too).

    5. Now that your onion and garlic is chopped, leave it where it is and go to the stove. It's time to start cooking.
    A. Turn the burner under your big pot with water on MEDIUM-HIGH.
    B. Now move to your smaller pot. Liberally spray olive oil spray into the bottom inside of your smaller pot.
    C. Turn on the burner under your smaller pot, to MEDIUM.
    D. Wait about 2 minutes.
    E. Now that your smaller pot is warmed up, add JUST THE ONION. You should hear it start to sizzle, but since we used non-stick spray and not a lot of oil, you should not get scorched by any flying oil.
    F. Stir your onion around once or twice using your big spoon; you want the oil spray to coat all the onion.
    G. Now, let the onion cook for a few minutes (about 4-5) until the pieces look slightly see-through and a little golden.
    H. Add your sliced garlic to the pot and stir again so the garlic mixes in with the onions. Cook for about 30 seconds.
    I. Now add the entire jar of bottled marinara sauce, and stir to combine (2 or 3 stirs around the pot).
    J. Add 1/3 pesto sauce into your marinara, and stir to combine (put the rest away in the fridge).
    K. Now add your Italian seasoning. Measure a small mound in the palm of one hand, and sprinkle it over your sauce. Stir once or twice to combine.
    L. Sprinkle a few dashes (or grinds) of black pepper into your sauce.
    M. Taste your sauce, and if not salty enough, add a few dashes of salt and stir to combine.
    N. Turn your sauce heat down to low and allow to cook until your pasta is ready.

    6. Now to cook your pasta.
    A. As soon as your water is boiling, sprinkle in a few dashes of salt. The water should boil faster at this point.
    B. Add about half the package of pasta (set aside the rest for later).
    C. Rinse off your big spoon (you've been using it for your sauce) and stir your pasta once or twice.
    D. Check your pasta in about 8 minutes, by carefully removing one strand or piece and tasting. When it's the consistency you like, use your hot pads to bring the pot over to the sink and drain the pasta in the colander. Be very careful, always pour the water out away from you!
    E. Turn OFF the heat on both burners of the stove (big pot and little pot).

    Serve by placing pasta on the plate, topping with sauce, with some parmesan cheese on top! Enjoy.

  7. #87
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Default THANK YOU!!!

    This may be the first time, I've been touched to such depth by the kindness of a stranger online.

    If only because you took the time and thought to work it out so that it is as easy as can be, for me, I will look forward to cooking this. And, I shall report back (along with my tummy).

    I am almost at the stage of blurting out a marriage proposal towards you!

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    This may be the first time, I've been touched to such depth by the kindness of a stranger online.

    If only because you took the time and thought to work it out so that it is as easy as can be, for me, I will look forward to cooking this. And, I shall report back (along with my tummy).

    I am almost at the stage of blurting out a marriage proposal towards you!
    That is exceptionally sweet. No trouble. That's what this thread is for. I love helping out.

    I should mention, too, that this recipe makes a few servings, so you can save the rest for leftovers if it's just you eating.

    As for the marriage proposal, hehe, sorry but I'm waiting for my ISFJ boyfriend to ask me. The sentiment is completely appreciated, however.

  9. #89
    Dali
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    OMG, it's an ESFJ in ISFP's clothing.

    *screams and runs away*


  10. #90
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by maliafee View Post
    As for the marriage proposal, hehe, sorry but I'm waiting for my ISFJ boyfriend to ask me. The sentiment is completely appreciated, however.
    Show your boyfriend Qre's post, and it may push the process along some.

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