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Old 05-09-2013, 10:58 PM   #11
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: usa
Posts: 2,223
Here's a few things that will really help you build some cooking skills:
Watch lots of How To Cook This Youtube videos.

Do some searches on "basic cooking skills", follow links and search on
results to read up on them. Also on cooking terms and words.
It is hard to saute something if you don't know what it means.

Read recipes, lots of them, and do some research on things you find
that you don't understand... like "chiffonade the basil...."

Remember that aside from a few things like boiling and frying,
you don't need that stove burner cranked up to High, unless you
like burned food.

Get a food thermometer, and dont be afraid to use it on meats to
determine when it's cooked as you want. Overcooked is dry and chewy...

Don't be afraid to try a recipe, as has been advised, the only way to learn
is to make mistakes. Even the best chefs burn things, add too much salt
or otherwise ruin a dish every now and then.

If it's edible, it's perfect! ;)


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Old 05-09-2013, 11:12 PM   #12
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: My mountain
Posts: 19,485
perfectiin requires good eyebrows, i'm tellin' ya...

ok, just kidding.

the fool ain't no fool. good advice there.

he must do the lickin eyebrow thing, or maybe the huff on nails, then wipe on shirt before grilling...

Spring is finally here! I got so excited that I wet my plants...
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:45 AM   #13
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 9,334
Cooking is a vast subject. There are so many techniques, so many ways to pair foods to compliment each other, to present beautiful dishes, not to mention maintaining balanced nutrition. Fortunately, the same techniques for cooking a perfect turkey are similar, or the same for cooking a perfect pork roast. And steaming is steaming, whether your using it to cook asparagus, or zucchini.

As was said by others, the best way to learn is to do. And don't assume that because someone posts it, that it's gospel. There are a great many people who cook certain ways, because that's the way their grandmother did it, even if it's not the best technique.

On the other hand, re0-inventing the wheel takes a lifetime, when it comes to cooking. My best advice is to use recipes, and techniques obtained from others as a starting point. Then, make things. Experiment. Take note of what's happening with each thing you try. Your skills, and knowledge base will grow exponentially. Soon, you will be cooking with the best of them, no matter who "them" is. Most importantly, look at cooking as a hobby, something to enjoy. Good food is certainly more pleasant to eat. But the process can be uplifting, and can nurture you as you treat it as a science, and an art.

My favorite aspects of cooking are seeing someone really enjoying things that they didn't think they'd like. I've known people who swear that they dislike and won't eat salmon, for instance. And then I had them over and prepared it in a certain way, and they loved it. I also love it when I get to serve my family their favorites. It makes me feel good to give something good to my family and friends.

You have a desire to learn. So pick out something you want to learn how to make, and ask us how to make it. You might get ten different answers, with each person swearing their version is tried and true. And each of them will be. There is rarely only one way to do anything. Often, it comes down to personal taste. But the techniques will be valid. And you get to pick the one that appeals most to you.

Welcome do DC, a place where everyone wants to be helpful, and everyone is friendly, and like my buddy BuckyTom (BT for short) needs to be taken with a grain of salt, or maybe even two grains of salt. I know that I often enjoy a little tongue-in-cheek conversation, and have been labeled more than a little whacky, at times. We try not to take ourselves too seriously around here. We leave our ego's behind before we crossing the DC threshold. Have fun, and again, welcome.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:01 PM   #14
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Near Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,216
Well, you're going to make mistakes. How many you actually make in practice depends a lot on what sort of guy you are. If you're a methodical, scientific sort, you'll read a recipe and will go online and research terms and methods mentioned in the recipe that you're not sure of. And you won't make so many of the potential mistakes. (Except occasionally when the person who explained that method left out a critical point.)

You will learn a great deal if your inquiry threshold is real low. for instance, when it says to brown the pieces of beef, don't assume that's simple. Read up, and you'll discover one of the most important things you can learn and one that lots of people don't understand, leaving them to wonder why the meat always sticks.

And don't think everything has to be elaborate to be a significant learning experience. Some executive chefs have used as their audition for new chefs the challenge of just making an omelet. And there's a good bit to learn about making a simple green salad.

The good news is that the mistakes will rarely be so bad that the food is ruined.
"Kitchen duty is awarded only to those of manifest excellence..." - The Master, Dogen
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:05 PM   #15
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: California's Big Valley
Posts: 810
You have to just jump in and do it. If you make a mistake, so be it. Mistakes are just new recipes and not all new recipes are big hits. My gravy story has to do with my mother-in-law visiting. I made a pot roast with gravy and to make sure she knew I was a perfect cook, I strained every last lump out and presented it at the table in a gravy boat. My husband her son, poured it over his mashed potatoes, looked up with a quizzical look on his face and asked "Where are the dumplings?" He's been having dumpling gravy for over 50 years and likes it.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:53 PM   #16
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Location: Ring of fire. So. Calif.
Posts: 2,120
Aspire to be at the level I'm at after decades, firehouse cook newb.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:10 PM   #17
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Location: Ottawa Valley, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,023
Finger tips grow back. Thank God.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:16 PM   #18
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: My mountain
Posts: 19,485
they sure do.

just check out my eyebrows...

just kidding, sty.

i hope you're willing to learn, same as all of us.
Spring is finally here! I got so excited that I wet my plants...
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:43 AM   #19
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: cardiff
Posts: 5
Wow what a welcome, have been on numerous 'net forums over many years, but never had a welcome like this!

Glad to be here and i'm gonna give myself a 2wk deadline to try my chicken lasagne dish on an unsuspecting family

Help with creating a Chicken Lasagna
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:55 PM   #20
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Posts: 24,379
Originally Posted by styeffo69 View Post
Wow what a welcome, have been on numerous 'net forums over many years, but never had a welcome like this!

Glad to be here and i'm gonna give myself a 2wk deadline to try my chicken lasagne dish on an unsuspecting family

Help with creating a Chicken Lasagna
We are known to be a rather strange and very friendly bunch here! Enjoy!

She who dies with the most toys, wins.
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