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Thread: Holy smokes! Cooking for idiots? page

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    tutti's Avatar
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    Holy smokes! Cooking for idiots?

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    I was wondering if you guys have any resources for the complete novice cook. I'm coming across great recipes here and elsewhere, but they usually don't break it down into as much detail as I need. Until now, the most cooking I've really done is maybe... grilled cheese, or pressing start on the microwave.

    I tried to make something simple tonight... I took some coconut oil, put my stove on medium heat (it's a gas stove), and used an aluminum pan I have. I put in the boneless/skinless chicken breasts I bought, and my entire apartment was filled with smoke in seconds, and I got some oil spit burns to boot! Is this something unique to coconut oil?

    ...I'm supposed to be making some scrambled eggs tomorrow morning... better start reading up!

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    Grokarella's Avatar
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    Hi tutti! It sounds like the oil was too hot. I would try it at a lower temperature I really enjoy cooking, but since I had been a vegetarian for so long, I'm a total meat cooking novice!

    Scrambled eggs are much easier Use a low heat, good scrambled eggs take time! This is a great scrambled egg recipe, if you do dairy (I don't add the cheese, but I do add the sour cream): The Lady's Perfect Scrambled Eggs Recipe : Paula Deen : Food Network. It doesn't say how long to cook the eggs, but it normally takes me up to 10 minutes.
    Jennifer, 28 years old
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  3. #3
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    One thing that might help is to look up videos on youtube about foods you'd like to create. This way, you can see each step and hear warnings about common mistakes. One video I follow for making the best, creamiest scrambled eggs I've ever had is this one: ‪Perfect Scrambled Eggs Breakfast‬‏ - YouTube

    My husband also recently downloaded Jamie Oliver's app (free) and it has pictures for nearly every step of each recipe, so that might help out. I know Julia Child was known for explaining things well, so perhaps you could buy one of her cookbooks?

    Good luck!

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    Mike in Virginia's Avatar
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    Cooking is a lot of trial and error....and mostly error. Just stick with it. Find recipes that sound good, and try them. You will learn from experience what works. That's how I did it, and now I am able to do stove top cooking, as well as oven, wok, charcoal grill, and crock pot. Not everything has turned out well, but I've improved a lot. You can too, as long as you realize that it takes some experience to get it right, and that it's ok if something doesn't turn out perfect.
    Live your life and love your life. It's the only one you get.

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    PatrickF's Avatar
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    This site has nice video explanations of many cooking topics:
    http://rouxbe.com/free-cooking-school-classes
    Last edited by PatrickF; 08-09-2011 at 12:06 PM.

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    Make sure oil goes into a COLD pan and THEN heat it up. Or it will explode in your face.
    I'm a paleo foodie, come check out my recipes: http://strangekitty.ca/

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    belinda's Avatar
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    And don't put a smoking hot pan of oil under a faucet. Ever! If you have an oil fire, put a big saucepan lid or another fry pan over the top of it, then turn the stove off.
    Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread17722.html

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    tutti's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the tips and suggestions. I started watching videos on youtube (great idea). So many recipes say "what" to do, but not "how" to do it, probably because these are things normal people just know!

    I thought it would be better to wait until the pan was hot and then add the oil... boy was I wrong!!!

  9. #9
    Mike in Virginia's Avatar
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    Another idea, tutti: one of my best starting points was a basic cookbook, Betty Crocker's Cooking Basics. It has a lot of how to stuff.

    Good luck with your cooking endeavors.
    Live your life and love your life. It's the only one you get.

  10. #10
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    jhc
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    Another thing, you said "aluminum pan" which brings to mind an extremely cheap, thin frying pan (there's one in particular I remember my parents taking on camping trips when I was a child, it was more like a tin can with a handle than a pan).

    I have never cooked with gas as it isn't particularly prevalent in western Canada, but I have a hunch that if you do so it is particularly important to use heavy steel or cast iron cookware, otherwise you are going to just incinerate everything you try and cook. Heavy, thick-bottomed cookware is useful because it slows the rate at which the pan (and the food in it) heats.

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