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  1. #1
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Bachelor Cuisine

    All of us guys here either are or were bachelors at some point... so I thought I might post a thread where we can share tips on food.

    I like to keep it pretty healthy, and I shop mostly at Aldi. I don't do cans of ravioli, pizza rolls, etc. I just buy a little bit at a time and keep it cheap but nutritious and healthy.

    That being said, I've discovered a couple new things recently.

    The first is pickling. I buy jars of pickles and peppers, and after I've eaten them I re-stuff the jars with bite size pieces of fresh vegetables. I just recently stuffed a jar of pickle juice with baby carrots, and a jar of pepper juice with cloves of garlic. I think I'm just going to keep re-stuffing them with a rotating range of fresh vegetables, then top them up with new pickle/pepper juice as needed.

    The vegetables also keep much longer this way, and they're much better tasting too.

    I also found that sour cream is a really good sandwich spread. I use it instead of mayonnaise and other spreads and it's extremely tasty.

    I heard that vanilla ice cream makes a really good coffee creamer. Never goes bad like milk, and its already got the sweetener right in it. I suppose one could go fat-free sugar-free frozen yogurt for a lower calorie cup of coffee.

    Anybody else got tips/stories?

    edit: any bachelorette cuisine tips are welcome as well
    Last edited by Ironduke; 06 Apr 18, at 06:40.

  2. #2
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    As a lifelong bachelor (more or less) I feel I should make a contribution. I'll throw in a few quick ones here & do some thinking. While I don't eat as healthily as I should, I get the concept. :-)

    Instead of chips/corn chips to munch with salsa, chop up thick pit a bread and bake in the oven until crisp. Can spray with a bit of oil spray and sprinkle on chili or other powdered spices for added flavor, though this does up the fat content a bit.

    I regularly make lean chicken rissoles with some breadcrumbs coriander, ginger, garlic, chili & spring onions. A kilo of mince will make several dozen, which can be frozen for months. I tend to cook a few each week in a frying pan and put them in my lunchbox for a bit of protein with my salad. (I can dig up a recipe if anyone is keen).

    Buy a good wok - proper carbon steel, NOT non-stick (f**king white people, seriously!). Season as per instructions & you have the perfect device for a quick, healthy meal. The requisite combination of veges and meat (if desired) can be whipped up and cooked in no time. Also good for steaming and, if you don't care about calories, frying. Very healthy (mostly). Oh, and NEVER use soap etc on the wok (f**king white people, seriously!), scrub out, wipe down with kitchen paper & oil on a low heat.

    Will try to think of more.


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  3. #3
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    I've made croutons with dried up bread before. Dice it up into crouton-sized pieces, dip them in ranch dressing, and bake them in the oven.

    I also found that I can cook rice in the microwave in a tupperware. 2 parts water, 1 part white rice for 20 minutes, brown rice, a little more water and 45 minutes. There's no fat so the tupperware doesn't melt or start on fire. I don't do this anymore really, but I'd douse it in Kikkoman soy sauce, which I hear in East Asian cuisine is very looked down upon as a condiment for rice.

    I don't do this any more either, but I used to take boxes of macaroni and cheese, mix in the right amount of water and milk, then stir in a can of tuna. Takes about 10-12 minutes. Maybe a bit longer. No butter/margarine in that recipe, so no melting tupperware.

    I also used to cook up 5-6 eggs at a time, sunny side up, then just go to town with organic whole grain/specialty loafs I got at an upscale grocery after 8pm for half price. Also used to go to town dipping hamburger steak and ham in those egg yolks, before I switched to the bread. The eggs were mostly there for sauce, but I'd choke down the egg whites because they have protein, of course.

    Probably about 70% of my diet used to be meat, eggs, and dairy. I think I'd drink about 4-5 gallons of milk a week, but now I'm down to just 2. I also used to do about 5 lbs of cottage cheese, 2 lbs sour cream, 4 lbs of yogurt, and 2 lbs of hard cheese a week too, on top of about 3 dozen eggs.

    The pickling technique has helped me get more vegetables into my diet though.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 06 Apr 18, at 07:07.

  4. #4
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    I still have the same rice cooker I bought when I was at Uni 30 years ago. Looks a bit battered, but works a treat. Pour in rice & water, turn on & go do something else. :-)

    For those who like potatoes or steamed veges, put chopped up bits of one or the other in a ziplok bag with a little bit of olive oil salt, pepper, fresh rosemary & thyme. Don't peel the spuds. Good veges include string beans, broccoli/broccolini, capsicum, button squash, big bits of mushroom or pretty much anything else firm. I put some chopped onions in with the potatoes & smashed, unpeeled garlic in with both lots. put in a foil tray, cover in foil and into an oven at 180C until done (check at 30 mins for veges & 1 hr for spuds, then at 10 min intervals.

    This is quick, no dishes & can be scaled up or down for number of people. Smells spectacular.


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    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Throw a chopped up onion or two into a pot of water and put it on to boil.
    The amount of water is double the amount of rice you put in once the water is boiling.
    When the rice has almost absorbed all the water, poke 4-6 (per person) long-ish bits of vegetable into it.

    Several advantages.
    First, the onion gives even plain white rice a great taste.
    Second, if you're sticking long-stemmed brocolli into the rice, the stems with cook more than the tops.
    Third, you've got your veggies and starch cooked in one pan, so easy clean-up.
    Fourth, if you're really lazy, throw some leftover chicken or whatever on top of the rice, to steam.
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    I have a "bachelor's cookbook" from the late 1950s. It gushes about those fancy new "deep-frozen potatoes" that are a real staple for any bachelor household.

    Any recipes in it are also mostly about how to prepare meat. Gotta have something with those french fries. If there's any vegetables it's pretty much a tomato sliced in half to place on the meat for some juice.

  7. #7
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post

    First, the onion gives even plain white rice a great taste.
    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
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    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    Throw a chopped up onion or two into a pot of water and put it on to boil.
    The amount of water is double the amount of rice you put in once the water is boiling.
    When the rice has almost absorbed all the water, poke 4-6 (per person) long-ish bits of vegetable into it.

    Several advantages.
    First, the onion gives even plain white rice a great taste.
    Second, if you're sticking long-stemmed brocolli into the rice, the stems with cook more than the tops.
    Third, you've got your veggies and starch cooked in one pan, so easy clean-up.
    Fourth, if you're really lazy, throw some leftover chicken or whatever on top of the rice, to steam.
    Almost sounds like jook which my friends and I would eat at 2:00 am, in Chinatown, after a long night out in San Francisco.

  9. #9
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    I also used to cook up 5-6 eggs at a time, sunny side up, then just go to town with organic whole grain/specialty loafs I got at an upscale grocery after 8pm for half price. Also used to go to town dipping hamburger steak and ham in those egg yolks, before I switched to the bread.
    Next time I go to the steakhouse....

    Waiter: What type of sauce would you like to go with your porterhouse, sir? We have Heinz 57 and A1.
    Me: A hooker of egg yolk, please. Gently heated, not fried.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 23 Apr 18, at 14:30.
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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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  11. #11
    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.
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  12. #12
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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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.

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