Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Time for me to learn to cook

I don't cook. Too many steps, right? You have to collect all the ingredients and get them ready and put them together and then keep your eye on the time and then clean up and then finally you get to eat, assuming you haven't collapsed at the overwhelm from all the steps, right?

Well, uh, cooking is cheaper than not cooking. So I'm going to try-again-to learn to make food that's not macaroni & cheese or a peanut butter sandwich or cheese melted on cold cuts (shush. It's good. They're like cheap h'ors d'ouvre).

If anyone has recipes that aren't too complicated that they'd be willing to share, please pass them along! I've got high protein and calorie needs, so I do eat meat (except shrimp. Deadly allergy is deadly). Right now mac & cheese is my complicatedness limit...more steps than that and I tend to get a bit overwhelmed. And I have kitchen anxiety the way a lot of people have test anxiety (that's a story for another time)...but I have way more anxiety about collapsing from not eating enough. So yeah.

If anyone who has the magic power of cooking can share, pleasepleaseplease!


Anonymous said...

There's a website called Cooking For Engineers that has everything laid out visually. There are charts for timing and photos of each step. Is this helpful?

Allisyn said...

I heartily recommend getting a crock pot: dump all the ingredients in in the morning, turn it on and come home later to delicious food.

BiolArtist said...

If you like fish, baking it with vegetables in a foil packet is easy and keeps your house from smelling fishy.

For each serving, you will need:

1 fish fillet, fresh or thawed, about the size of your hand
1/4 onion or a few green onions, sliced thinly
about a handful of other thinly-sliced or matchstick-cut veggies that cook quickly (not potatoes)
1/2 lemon
herbs, garlic, salt, pepper to taste
1 square of aluminum foil
oil or butter to grease foil
cookie sheet, cake pan, etc. to hold packet(s)
tongs or other utensils to flip packet(s) and of course hot pads
optional, your favorite sauce (dill mustard sauce in a jar is great with this, such as Larrupin sauce or Swedish gravlax sauce from IKEA; honey mustard salad dressing would probably work)

1. Grease the middle of the square of foil. Turn on your oven or toaster oven to 400F.
2. Put half the onions and other veggies in the middle, then the fish, then top with the rest of the veggie slices.
3. Season with herbs, etc. and top with lemon slices, or squeeze lemon on it.
4. Fold the sides of the foil to the middle, then bring the edges together and roll the foil down to seal it. (Google "drugstore wrap" for more info).
5. Repeat if you're making enough for guests or leftovers.
6. Place packet(s) seam side down on cookie sheet or other pan.
7. Bake for about 10 minutes, then turn over carefully and bake 5 more minutes.
8. Carefully unwrap packet (steam will escape) and check fish for doneness (opaque all the way through, just poke with a fork and twist a bit). If it isn't done, rewrap and cook a bit more.

This is basically Boy Scout cookery done indoors. No worrying about stirring or trying to multitask entree and side dish, just assemble and bake.

And now I'm hungry for this, will need to visit 99 Ranch Market for some cheap tilapia.

Anonymous said...

I like to roast an acorn squash and then stuff it with Italian sausage and apples or onions.

Roast the squash. Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, prick some holes with a fork in the flesh, and turn it upside down in a shallow pan with like 1/4" of water. Cook it in the oven at around 350-375 until it's tender.

Saute crumbled Italian sausage and sliced apples (or onions, or shallots, whatever) together in butter or olive oil. Fill the center of your half a squash with this mixture. Season with salt, pepper, cinnamon, or whatever spices suit your fancy.

I love this because it's warm and filling in the winter, high-calorie but still mostly vegetable enough to pass as healthy, and doesn't make hardly any mess to prepare.

Karen said...

Bah. Recipes are hard, even when they sound simple. I need someone to show me how to do something then I can do it. Like cutting an avocado. I watched a sushi person cut an avocado, now it doesn't vex me.

I learned to like kale. Or you can use baby spinach. Or there's also swiss chard.
-- Rip the greens up, throwing out the really thick stalks.
-- Steam for 4 minutes.
-- Squeeze a bit of lemon juice on it and maybe some salt.

I like how simple it is. It's not protein, but it makes a simple pork chop have some greens to accompany it. Or, you could throw it in beans and rice for complete protein. Except beans are magic. I can't tell you how to do those.

Anonymous said...

Risotto. One pan, you can make several meal's worth.

Use Arborio or pudding rice.

Fry rice for a few minutes in a small amount olive oil. Add water or stock (you can buy stock of varying kind from the chill cabinet) a cup at at time and stir as the rice absorbs it. test the rice every so often to see if it's cooked. It should be sloppy in its own glutinous sauce.

Add flavourings - cheesy: I use mozarella, cheddar and Parmesan (the preshredded stuff's fine) and some herbs, pref fresh, but dried will do. Sage and Thyme's a good combo.

Meat - chicken and mushrooms, plus sage/thyme, I've also used takeaway sweet and sour pork as well, with some sweetcorn. Bacon can be good.

Fresh chopped sweet tomatoes, other veges of your choice, and herbs. Chop em up and stir em in.
Usually served with a scattering of parmesan, plus salt and cracked black pepper to taste.

De Chao said...

Hi from another person who doesn't really know how to cook!

I learned how to prepare a dish similar to your cold cuts and melted cheese awhile back.It throws in chips. I crumble up the chips (in a bag, at times) and put it on bottom, put the cheese in the middle, slice up the meat into little bites and maybe put some cheese on top. Warm it up until the cheese melts. I also like the variation with eggs and maybe dip. No, you don't replace anything. You just add. First, get out two eggs. SPRAY YOUR BOWL WITH NON-STICK STUFF! (unless you won't be irritated when it sticks). Crack one over a bowl, and mix it with a fork until the yellow and white swap places, or nearly so. Then, crack the other one over where the white is. This'll go in the microwave for around two minutes, or until it pops. It'll only pop once or twice or not at all in a lower power microwave. if it's a higher power, and it pops before 1 minute, 30 seconds, WATCH IT CAREFULLY. Also, take it out, hit it with your fork a few times to test for hardness. Once you get done, toss on your other meat and cheese, melt the cheese, and pull it out. The egg shouldn't pop, but, once again, be very careful if you have a higher powered microwave. After that, we're all done with the microwave. Then, we put on a bit of dip, and crumble up some chips in a packet. Mix up, enjoy.