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Old 08-24-2005, 06:23 PM   #11
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Wow, a lot of help very quickly!

Well, I guess I should give a little background, as this IS an intro thread, as well as a question thread!

I'm nineteen, and currently taking commercial arts classes at my local community college, after realising four-year liberal-arts colleges weren't quite my style. My father is hugely into cooking, so I've learnt a great deal of cooking skills from him. I work in a pizza kitchen in a local-chain pizzaria in my hometown of Rochester, New York, basically doing prep and mix.

At home, I like to experiment with whatever I can. My favourites to cook are variants on Indian and Thai dishes, being a fan of spicy curries and rice. I'm also pursuing my perfect chai recipe with dogged determination.


Now, to respond to posts!

Michael in FtW; Wow, I feel stupid not even having considered the evaporation/absorption balance. I suppose I still have beginner ideas of "fire heat, cook food!" I'm surprised I haven't just jammed my risotto on a stick over a fire. I'll also take a look at springforms, if I do more cakes and tortes as I seem to be.

Haggis; Thank you, I'll stop using my rinky little saucepan, and see if I have something taller. I know I do, somewhere... IN THE DEPTHS.

Marmalady; Whew! Thanks! I'm really money-conscious, which is odd for someone obsessed with eating stylish. Though, it helps me be a Frugal Chef.

Sandyj; Oh, go on you. *blush* Thank you!

Missvickie; A pressure cooker... interesting! I may try that some time, though the faster the recipe gets done the more stressed out I get, for some reason. And thanks for the recipe, I always LOVE trying new little things, especially when I'm thrusting food at my parents.

Robo410: Wow, that was a load of good advice! I'm not even sure I can address things. I'm sure this is all common-sense stuff, but I don't have a good "cooking mindset" I guess. You've also inspired me to create a paella.

Shunka; Hi! How high are you? Living. I mean.

jennyema; It really does feel like a shackling to me. I'm more a fan of gas, I don't know why, but my friends all have gas ranges, and they always seem to make things come out better for me. Maybe I'm crazy. But you're right, one can make things just as easily on electric, I just don't seem to be able to reason it out! Trial and error, I guess.

Thanks, everyone!
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Old 08-24-2005, 06:29 PM   #12
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Brawnfire, if the cooking bug really bites, consider cullinary school...there are GREAT ones in your state and nearby inicluding JW, CIA, ICE, FCI, just to name the most famous. DOn't think such training is only for chefs to be...you might end up being in one of dozens of food service positions ... just a thought

enjoy
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Old 08-24-2005, 06:29 PM   #13
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Don't be at all ashamed at being money-conscious! We all are; and the better deals we can get on our cookware, the more money we have to spend on the food! Do try scouting out some of those places; and it's a bit of a hump (maybe an hour or so), but there's a huge flea market in Clarence, outside B-flo, on Main St, every weekend. When we lived there, I found some great deals!
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Old 08-24-2005, 06:32 PM   #14
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also, a few good pans can upgrade your cooking more cheaply and faster than a new range or power source. and they should last you forever! same with a good knife and sharpening stone.
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Old 08-24-2005, 10:43 PM   #15
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Brawnfire - you're young and just learning to cook - no need to ever feel stupid because you didn't know something, or how to connect the dots. The only stupid question is the one not asked - and - only when you fail to learn something from your mistakes is it truely a failure.

Around here we're just a big extended family - we're glad to have you join us. And, we're more than glad to help when you have a question or problem.

One thing about the springform pans ... they don't have to be expensive. I got a set of 3 (8", 9", 10") from Walmart or Target, it's been a couple of years so I don't remember which, and think the set was about $8. One thing I would suggest is not pay the extra $$ for so-called "leak proof" pans. America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Illustrated did a review of them not very long ago and found that all of them leaked to one degree or another. A $4 pan wrapped in foil is more leak proof than they were.
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Old 08-25-2005, 02:30 AM   #16
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Goodness you people are sweethearts. It's nice to find a supportive forum! Thanks for all the advice thus far!
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Old 08-25-2005, 01:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo410
also, a few good pans can upgrade your cooking more cheaply and faster than a new range or power source. and they should last you forever! same with a good knife and sharpening stone.
AMEN!

And I think you will find lots of very good and friendly advice here. I sure have!
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Old 08-25-2005, 08:12 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Brawnfire
Goodness you people are sweethearts. It's nice to find a supportive forum! Thanks for all the advice thus far!
You said it!
I do believe you will never find such a caring community full of friends who will help each other at a moment's notice.

Welcome, Brawnfire to our family!
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Old 09-08-2005, 01:01 PM   #19
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hi brawnfire, sorry this post is a little late, but I just joined this forum today!! I have been in Rome, Italy for a little more than 2 and half year, living with an gourmet Italian beau, so I can give you a tip or two for making a kick-a$$ risotto. Well it is true that gas range is better for cooking anything, but don't despair, you can do a fine risotto with electric one just a little patience!! There are several variations that I particularly like, but for a starter let me give you one of the classic risotto recipe, risotto alla milanese.

-1 cup of carnaroli rice (if you can't find it arborio is fine, but carnaroli is the ideal type for making risotto)
-One big onion, finely chopped
-extra virgin olive oil
-1 bayleaf
-half cup of white wine
-500-700ml of hot good quality broth
-1 packet (or just a few strings) of saffran, powdered
-freshly ground parmigiano

In an ample saucepan sautè the onion with plenty of olive oil over middle heat. Add the rice and let the oil coat each morsel of rice well, stirring briskly. When the rice gets semi-transperent add the bayleaf and wine, if necessary raise the heat level, when the wine is almost absorbed (but not burning) start adding the broth one ladleful at a time, adding another ladleful when the previous batch of broth is well absorbed (but the rice should still remain wet), stirring constantly. Repeat the procesure until the rice are cooked "al dente" (firm, not crunchy not mushy)... it should take about somewhere between 20-25minutes more or less, maybe with the electric range it may take a little longer but patiently repeat the procedure in this case, just make sure you prepare enough broth. When it is almost ready, add the saffran to give that wonderful colour and aroma. Cook a few minutes more. Serve hot with plenty of parmigiano to sprinkle upon. The trick to make the wonderful risotto is this "add the broth little by little", instead of letting it cook in the full amount of broth, though it is a little tedious the end result must be tasted to be believed, the each morsel of rice is covered and bursting with its flavour, it is just something else!!

Give it a try with this, then you can modify the recipes with your favourite veggies etc. as you like. You said you like to experiment, that's an excellent attitude for a creative cooking!! You are doing great and hey, I love Indian too, maybe you could share some tips on curry cooking sometime, too!!
Cheers
Licia
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Old 09-08-2005, 02:07 PM   #20
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I love my electric stove and have no problem. I've even made a passable imitation using short-grain (CalRose) rice (when I first moved here arborio wasn't available locally). I use a deep-sided skillet (some manufacturers refer to as a dutch oven, probably because it usually comes with a lid). Is your stock good and hot when you put it in?
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