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Old 07-19-2012, 05:03 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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Hello, new here. New to cooking.

Long story short, my mom always spoiled me when it came to food. I never enjoyed cooking, let alone the sight of uncooked meat/chicken. Now I am 26 and have found out that I spend $25/day on food. That's a lot of money and I can't afford that anymore. I dont know how I have been doing that for the past 4 years since I moved out.

When I learn something I want to do it right. I have a ton of recipe books here but I don't know a THING about cooking. Ever since I have been watching Gordon Ramsay on tv including Kitchen Nightmares, Hells Kitchen and my favorite Gordon's Great escapes, I've been very interested in learning how to cook. I like how he seems to know all ingredients as if he were a human wikipedia.

I thought i had found what a complete begginer like me is looking for, but i guess the links no longer exist.

Can someone help me by pointing me to the right direction? I don't want to actually cook just yet. I want to know stuff like what temperature does meet cook, how long should it be left there and basic food/ingredient educational material. I guess I am more than a beginner, I've never cooked anything other than eggs in all my 26 years.

Any suggestions?

Thank You very much in advance.


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Old 07-19-2012, 05:36 PM   #2
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Welcome to D.C.!
This forum right here is one of the best resources.
I would recommend, if you don't already have a copy, The Joy of Cooking.
You can acquire it from Amazon.com
The Joy of Cooking

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Old 07-19-2012, 05:41 PM   #3
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welcome resendiz from manchester uk
I spent a lot of money on booze,birds & fast cars.The rest I just squandered.
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Old 07-20-2012, 12:48 AM   #4
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Welcome, resendiz! I second Hoot's recommendation of The Joy of Cooking. There are usually copies in second hand bookstores as well.

This forum is a wealth of information, there is always someone here to help.
Grandchildren fill the space in your heart you never knew was empty.
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:41 AM   #5
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Welcome to DC.

Practice Random Acts of Kindness ( RAK ) Makes you feel great too
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:01 AM   #6
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learn as much as possible; read as much as posdible. imagine it in great detail.

you'll still need to come back to us when you actually start because it takes real practice. and most oif us, inuding gordon ramsay, are just practicing.

welcome, resendiz.
Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze? Cold comfort for change?
Did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:25 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
learn as much as possible; read as much as posdible. imagine it in great detail.

you'll still need to come back to us when you actually start because it takes real practice. and most oif us, inuding gordon ramsay, are just practicing.

welcome, resendiz.
you're right tom he is practicing...practicing psycho....i dislike that man intensely
IMO resendiz,if you want to follow a chef try marco pierre white.british chef who was the youngest chef ever to gain 3 michelin stars(i also think they are nonsense.mpw handed his back in).he trained ramsay,heston blumenthal,curtis stone & others.ramsay was washing dishes when white was getting his stars.michel roux junior(or any of the roux brothers for that matter) or raymond blanc are also unbelievably good.
well R,you did say "any suggestions"!!
I spent a lot of money on booze,birds & fast cars.The rest I just squandered.
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:23 AM   #8
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Welcome to DC! We've had a number of discussions on cookbooks, learning to cook, understanding the terminology. Here's a link to a recent thread:

Books on fundamentals and understanding food

Your mom is probably one of your greatest resources--ask her to teach you how to make one of your favorite foods that she would make for you. If you can, spend the day in the kitchen with her learning how to cook the dish, taking notes (videoing it you can) and then go home and practice it. You can find a lot of online lessons on YouTube as well. Good luck and cooking is a lifelong adventure.
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:23 AM   #9
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Welcome. Check the books, but also just begin. Start with simple things. They can be very, very good without being elaborate at all. Don't let being a rank beginner make you hesitate to try before you think you've learned enough from books. Here's an example to show how little you need to know technically to produce good food. We're making roast chicken thighs and very delicious and useful chicken stock. No special equipment required.

Buy one of those "family packs" of chicken thighs, about five or six pounds, which works out to 10 to 13 thighs. I cut away the extraneous loose fat, but you don't have to do that. Heat your oven to 400F.

Toss all of them in a big bowl with enough olive oil (or any other vegetable oil), enough that all of them are slick with oil. Add salt and toss, enough salt that you can see some on each thigh.

Lay them all out on a baking sheet. If you don't have one, use the broiler pan from the range. Put them in the oven. You can go anything from an hour to an hour and 20 minutes, depending on how dark or crisp you want them. But turn them over after about 40 minutes. They aren't in any danger of drying out until the longest limits of that time range.

Now you have a bunch of very nice chicken thighs. Set aside a few, maybe six of them, for meals. They keep well in just a zipper bag in the refrigerator.

Cut up some carrots, onions, and celery (green tops and all) into smallish pieces, like an inch or two. Cut the remaining thighs into two parts each. (Or not. It works either way, but I like to expose the bones for this.) Put them all into a large pot. Fill the pot with water, and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer for four or five hours. Salt to taste. (You can also include garlic, herbs, etc., as you wish, but it's okay with just the basics.) After it cools, strain through a strainer into another pot. If you want to further reduce fat, put that pot into the refrigerator for a few hours, and lift or skim the fat off the top. (I leave it in. Chicken fat is GOOD.) If you don't want to leave the skin on the thighs while they cook, take it off, and throw it into the stock pot with the cooked thighs. (What's left behind when you strain it is discarded, although the carrots will have retained a lot of their flavor and are now pretty good carrots cooked in chicken stock.

Now you have several cups of wildly better chicken stock than you can buy in the grocery. You can put it two cups at a time into plastic freezer containers and freeze until you want it. Rice becomes fabulous made with stock. Or it becomes a quick chicken noodle or chicken and rice soup. Or any of a hundred other things.

The point is that nothing in all of that requires any special knowledge. You won't get the cooking time wrong, because neither the oven roasting nor the stock simmering times are critical. The chicken thighs can be heated and eaten as they are, or the meat can be removed for chicken salad or cut up for chicken soup with the stock. Or you can coat them in BBQ or hot wings sauce and put them back into the over to heat. (You can do this whole thing with wings, if wings are your thing. Breast, too, if you just must have white meat, but the stock won't be as flavorful.) There are many, many good things that are just as simple to make. And each of them can teach you something. In this case, that chicken, pork, and beef can be easily oven roasted and that stocks are easy and useful.

Oh, and the whole thing above, and the rice, costs under $10. That's three substantial meals or three modest dinners and three lunches and a few more containers of stock left over.

And to save even more, learn to cut up a chicken and use the parts as above. This is one thing where it will be difficult to read a book description and do it. So go to YouTube for one of the many instructional videos:

If you do that, you'll immediately be ahead of most people.
"Kitchen duty is awarded only to those of manifest excellence..." - The Master, Dogen
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:35 AM   #10
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Hi Resendiz and welcome from Italy.
I passed trough a similar experience and, being Italian, my learning path has been really funny, and I learned a lot of thing about my country, besides food and cooking.
My advice is that you need two friends: the PLEASURE of eating, and the PLEASURE of preparing your food, for you and for your guests. This two guys go hand in hand.
Just take it easy, it's a never ending process. And the way you'll go obviously depends on what kind of people you are: organized or chaotic, lazy or lively...
Have fun!

You eat what you are
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