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Thread: Bachelor Cuisine

  1. #31
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    1. Use chicken thighs. So much more flavor for your buck.

    2. Crock Pot is stupid easy way to cook some simple but good food. Sear any meat, chuck in some veggies, broth and any spice combo you can think of and you are eating well in about 4 hours.

    3. Learn how to grill. Seriously, grilling is a great way to maximize flavors. NOTHING gets cooked well done! And I'm talking veggies too. Grilled romaine lettuce with some balsamic vinegar & evoo with salt in pepper is great! I grill year round in all kinds of weather.

    4. Get a good selection of spices. Don't go cheap. Look at firms like Penzey's. Great selection and its fresh. Also get rid of old spices. If its a year old dump it.

    5. Agree on cast iron...gotta have. Good, sharp knives. Must have. Clean properly and know how to sharpen them. Also use good cutting boards, measuring cups & spoons. I admit I eyeball most nowadays as I know what I like but if you are backing you need exact.

    Cooking is art; baking is science.

    6. When it comes to coffee I just want it black and hot. Currently use a Keurig as my wife and I each like a different blend...really convenient. I mostly drink Dunkin Donuts. I also have cut back to 2 cups in the AM and that's it.

    7. New favorite easy dinner....buffalo chicken burgers. 1 pound ground chicken, 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, 3 shallots chopped, 2 cloves garlic chopped. 1/3 cup wing sauce. Mix with your hands (need to keep hands wet with water or chicken will stick) and form into patties. Grill med high until centers reach 160 F. Flip once during cooking. Sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles and let melt. Serve on burger bun with ranch dressing and/or more wing sauce.
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  2. #32
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Chicken thighs are so much better than breast. I barely eat chicken breast at now. Maybe for chicken parm, or cut up to go into stir-fry. That's about it.

    If you want to thicken up a liquid, the quickest option is to hit it with a slurry: mix cornstrach and cold water separately (start with a tbsp of cornstrach), and throw it right in the liquid. That should thicken it up. Good for those crock-pot dishes, since the liquids tend not to reduce much.

    Good knives: definitely get a good chef's knife. The best you can afford. It keeps the edge longer! I've got a Wusthof classic that's around $200, but I haven't even needed to sharpen it. The crappy set from macy's still cuts, but I have to sharpen it once a month to keep an edge.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  3. #33
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    Grill carrots. Huge ones sliced thin and basted with olive oil.
    Eggplant, too, but it takes a bit more prep.
    Slice 1/4" thick slabs and lay on paper towel.
    Salt and let sit for 30 minutes.
    Then, baste and BBQ.


    = = = =

    You’ll never need more than one cutting board, if you’re a vegan.
    If you eat beef, lamb, pork, chicken, duck, turkey, fish or anything else that isn’t vegetable matter, you’ll need more than one cutting board.
    Simple hygiene.

    = = = =

    Wait five.
    Don’t take that beautiful steak straight off the bar-b-que or grill pan and start sawing away.
    Let it rest. Give it a break, and let the juice get reabsorbed into the meat.

    = = = =

    Decant.
    If you’re drinking white wine or something really, really old, don’t. Otherwise, decant. Pouring a $5 bottle of hearty red into a decanter four hours before you drink it will easily double the value of the wine. If it’s kind of rough, decant in the morning for dinner. If you don’t have a decanter, pour one glass of wine and leave the remainder of the wine in the bottle for several hours. Several.
    Not so much for pinots, though.
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

  4. #34
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    What does a decanter actually do? I have one, but have never used it.

    +1 on eggplant recommendation. Underrated vegetable.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

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    With a decanter, your can pour just a quart or so out of the gallon bottle!

  6. #36
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    Good knives: definitely get a good chef's knife.
    The bachelor's version: I got a Leatherman. It has smooth, serrated, and tooth blades. I use it for everything, including culinary purposes, breaking down boxes, etc.. Just got wipe it down with a little rubbing alcohol afterward to avoid cross-contamination.

    The fold-out scissors is used for everything you can imagine doing with scissors, including food preparation.

    My most recent recipe: two slices of bread, smothered with half a can of baked beans in tomato sauce, Kraft cheese, 2 minutes in the microwave on a paper plate, douse it in hot sauce, eat up.

    Pro bachelor tip: drink lots of water to wash all that extra sodium and MSG out of your body, to avoid kidney stones and high blood pressure.

    This is also critical if you also have an uber dairy-centric diet*, as excess calcium can also cause stones.

    *not my fault dairy in MN is so cheap. A gallon of milk costs less than a 20 oz. bottled water
    Last edited by Ironduke; 24 Apr 18, at 04:57.
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  7. #37
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    What does a decanter actually do? I have one, but have never used it.

    +1 on eggplant recommendation. Underrated vegetable.
    Decanting adds more air, which opens up the wine (increasing flavor) and reduces the tongue-drying effects of excess tannins.
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    Decanting adds more air, which opens up the wine (increasing flavor) and reduces the tongue-drying effects of excess tannins.
    Also helps if you get headaches from the tanins. Suffered for years. Learned the decanting trick about 4 years ago and now no problem.
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  9. #39
    Senior Contributor Triple C's Avatar
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    Wine needs to be in contact with oxygen for flavor. Traditionally, you should, before taking the libations, pop the cork and leave the bottle for 15-30 min. "in room temperature." But that old recommendation was written when wine was consumed only by aristocrats in drafty castles. You probably want to leave the wine in your decanter at a chilled room for 15 minutes, have a tasting, wait for another 15, repeat and compare. Once the stuff becomes delicious, have at it! Serious winos would jog notes for the best breathing time for each vintage, but that's wholly unnecessary in the spirit of the thread...
    All those who are merciful with the cruel will come to be cruel to the merciful.
    -Talmud Kohelet Rabbah, 7:16.

  10. #40
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    This thread needs pictures.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    1. Use chicken thighs. So much more flavor for your buck.

    2. Crock Pot is stupid easy way to cook some simple but good food. Sear any meat, chuck in some veggies, broth and any spice combo you can think of and you are eating well in about 4 hours.

    3. Learn how to grill. Seriously, grilling is a great way to maximize flavors. NOTHING gets cooked well done! And I'm talking veggies too. Grilled romaine lettuce with some balsamic vinegar & evoo with salt in pepper is great! I grill year round in all kinds of weather.

    4. Get a good selection of spices. Don't go cheap. Look at firms like Penzey's. Great selection and its fresh. Also get rid of old spices. If its a year old dump it.

    5. Agree on cast iron...gotta have. Good, sharp knives. Must have. Clean properly and know how to sharpen them. Also use good cutting boards, measuring cups & spoons. I admit I eyeball most nowadays as I know what I like but if you are backing you need exact.

    Cooking is art; baking is science.

    6. When it comes to coffee I just want it black and hot. Currently use a Keurig as my wife and I each like a different blend...really convenient. I mostly drink Dunkin Donuts. I also have cut back to 2 cups in the AM and that's it.

    7. New favorite easy dinner....buffalo chicken burgers. 1 pound ground chicken, 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, 3 shallots chopped, 2 cloves garlic chopped. 1/3 cup wing sauce. Mix with your hands (need to keep hands wet with water or chicken will stick) and form into patties. Grill med high until centers reach 160 F. Flip once during cooking. Sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles and let melt. Serve on burger bun with ranch dressing and/or more wing sauce.
    #1. Any meat, should be cooked with the bone. Bone (marrow) adds flavor like no other.
    #2. Crock Pot is an awesome invention and makes life way easy and food great.
    #3. Love fades, grilling is forever.

    Cooking is art; baking is science.

    Overall, top post and very good tips.

    If you want to butcher your own animals/birds, you need to get your own butchers knife. Gone are the days of slaughtering goats, but I try my hands on free range chicken from time to time. The reason: shops usually throw away the head, feet etc. Makes great soup. Neck and backbone too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    Pro bachelor tip: drink lots of water to wash all that extra sodium and MSG out of your body, to avoid kidney stones and high blood pressure.

    This is also critical if you also have an uber dairy-centric diet*, as excess calcium can also cause stones.

    *not my fault dairy in MN is so cheap. A gallon of milk costs less than a 20 oz. bottled water
    Great tip. I drink close to 4 litres of water everyday. Keeps me hydrated and fit.
    In college I learnt how to finish off a 660ml bottle of strong beer in one shot, i.e, no glass nothing. Open the tip, put the bottle between the lips, and guzzle all down. Tip: Practice with a litre of water everyday, for a week.
    Last edited by Oracle; 24 Apr 18, at 18:37.

  12. #42
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    This thread needs pictures.
    Incoming.

    Recipe:

    Aldi's Whole Wheat Bread: 2 slices
    Tomato Sauce: 4 oz
    Pork and Beans: 1/2 can
    Hot Sauce: Several generous dollops
    2 slices of bologna
    1 slice of American process cheese, torn into chunks for a lower calorie option (instead of two slices, helps keep the recipe low-fat/low-cholesterol)

    Plus: the recommended amount of daily vegetables a la the Bachelor's Food Pyramid: 1 pickled baby carrot.



    edit: just finished eating it. now i got to drink a litre of water to wash out the sodium/MSG
    Last edited by Ironduke; 24 Apr 18, at 19:03.
    What I don't want to see is the Bills winning a Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen.

  13. #43
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    #1. Any meat, should be cooked with the bone. Bone (marrow) adds flavor like no other.
    Flavor boost, but for certain cuts and cooking styles it really screws up with getting an even done-ness. I pretty much need to abandon bone-in rib chops because I like to fry em fast on weekdays, which means running the risk of the parts closest to the bone being a bit underdone. Fine for me, not so fine for my wife.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    Flavor boost, but for certain cuts and cooking styles it really screws up with getting an even done-ness. I pretty much need to abandon bone-in rib chops because I like to fry em fast on weekdays, which means running the risk of the parts closest to the bone being a bit underdone. Fine for me, not so fine for my wife.
    I'm assuming the meat to be either lamb/pork, and you marinate it with pepper/salt, and maybe a little oil, and then shallow fry it?

    Since time is a constraint, you need to do the marination a couple of hours before you cook. Which is to say, if you want them for dinner, marinate the meat in the morning and then go out for work. Having said that there are 2 ways to marinate them:

    #1. Use a little curd in the marination and keep it in the fridge, take them out when you want to fry them.
    #2. Use raw papaya paste for the marination and keep it in the fridge.

    While I use the #1 step for all meat types (except beef) with Indian spices for marination, plus a little oil, the #2 step is for meat with a lot of connective tissue, such as beef or carabeef. Raw papaya paste tenderizes the connective tissues, so after you cook the meat, they don't taste like rubber and reduces the work that the teeth has to do. Don't overdo the papaya paste, it will kill your meat, and try it out on a weekend. You'll get used to it in no time.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    Am I the only guy in the world that thinks plain White rice, has a perfect clean taste all by itself?

    Love going to the rice cooker and grabbing a big spoon of it right after its done. Also munching on the rice at the bottom of the cooker that gets crisp and crunchy
    Yes. Most of us need gravy alongwith it, unless it's sticky rice or basmati rice. There should either be flavor or scent to eat white rice by itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    Depends on the type of rice. I got a 20 lb bag of jasmine rice once, and it did have that perfect clean taste.

    Those bags that you get for 99 cents a pound at the grocery though - they just don't have anything going on in the taste department unless it's used in a recipe or is used with flavoring/condiments.
    Correct. Which is why I use normal rice to make Bachelors Chicken/Mutton Biryani in a pressure cooker. Restaurants though use Basmati and a heavy mix of spices.

    Rice and Americans don't gel well, do they? Some of you must have worked in Asia.

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