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Old 12-25-2006, 02:24 AM   #1
Easton's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Chicago
Posts: 66
New to cooking

So, I've got my own apartment now (I'm in college) and I've finally gotten around to do some cooking this winter break. The first meal I made was lemon pepper fish which turned out ok. I think I used too much oils and made the crust a little soggy. Then I made chicken parmeasean a couple of weeks ago, which was a little dry but I'd rather be safe cooking meats.

Tomorrow I plan on making a chicken pasta salad with green peppers, zuchinni, broccoli, and fusilli pasta. I got this dish from a local diner back home so I'm trying to remember all of the ingredients. I'm pretty sure they used some oils, would that be just olive oil?

Any tips on picking out green peppers, zucchinnis, and brocolli?

And how do you grill chicken without an actual bbq grill?

Thanks for your help. Hope this works out OK.


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Old 12-25-2006, 03:45 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,418
Hi Easton, welcome aboard.

As far as the veggies go just look for those that, well, look like they have just been picked. Firm shiny flesh is what you want.

Would have told you not to worry, just buy anything you find until yesterday.

Went to a market that is becoming upscale. Read that as upping the prices without improving the products.

Found jalapenos that had crinkly skin, yech. Smell, looks, and feel, that is all you can go with. Any doubt, go without.

The chicken, you can just broil it. If you want to marinade it go ahead.

Just a few thoughts.

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Old 12-25-2006, 05:35 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galena, IL
Posts: 7,970
Yes, a vegetable pasta salad would probably use olive oil ... or you can get lazy and use a bottled Italian type salad dressing. I don't know where you live, but when shopping for the fresh vegetables, if one doesn't look great, try another. For example if the zucchini looks bad, try crookneck. If the brocolli looks bad, look for cauliflower.

If I'm using boneless, skinless chicken breasts I prefer to cook them in a skillet that has a lid to the oven. Season, brown both sides, then put the lid on and, since I have an electric stove, I turn the burner off. The chicken is cooked by the time I prepare the rest of the meal (the residual heat from the burner and the heavy-bottomed skillet finish the job). One investment that is well worth the expense is a meat thermometer. People tend to overcook chicken and pork in the name of safety. So buy a thermometer and end all doubt. There is no reason to spend your life eating dried out meat.
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