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Thread: Terrible cook! page 2

  1. #11
    BeckaSki's Avatar
    BeckaSki is offline Senior Member
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    Primal Fuel
    Quote Originally Posted by ErinF View Post
    ..You could also buy a meat thermometer, they can help in determining whether the meat is thoroughly cooked.
    I love my meat thermometer. I've had enough experiences spending the night with the toilet that I'm paranoid about undercooked poultry and pork. A meat thermometer saves me from having to slice everything open about 37,000 times as it cooks.

    As others have said, follow the directions exactly. It's easy to get confused in the heat of the moment, so read the entre recipie first, then gather up the stuff you need. When a recipie says something like, "1/2 c onions, chopped" it expects those onions to be already chopped when they mention them next. So if you have to stop to chop the onions, it may cause problems. It creates more dishes, but I like to have everything in bowls or dishes in a row on the counter 100% ready to go. I even have little dishes for sauces/spices.

    Lastly, I agree with others who have suggested to turn the heat DOWN. My MIL is a classic case of in a hurry and often serves things that are burnt on the outside and raw/cold in the middle.

  2. #12
    TigerLily's Avatar
    TigerLily is offline Senior Member
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    I feel your pain, OP. I was a wretched cook (I have quite literally burned water and exploded eggs onto the ceiling). But now I'm pretty darn good, if I may toot my horn. But the bad cooking/no cooking thing was also my biggest obstacle when I first became Primal, no doubt about it.

    I learned to cook, at 40, by watching Racheal Ray on The Food Channel. I didn't even know how to cut an onion, but Rachael taught me how.

    First thing I did was buy a crockpot. I had a lot of crock'd meals in the beginning, because that was all I could make and not destroy. I remember quizzing someone here on this board about how to make a curry (easiest thing ever!) ::: blush ::: Fortunately, the woman I asked was gracious and helped me as one would a Kindergartener.

    Then I graduated up to a Dutch oven, and learned to brown meat. LOVE my Dutchie!

    So, yeah:
    1. Watch The Food Channel.
    2. Crockpot.
    3. Move up to a Dutchie once you've got the hang of #2.
    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

  3. #13
    TigerLily's Avatar
    TigerLily is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeckaSki View Post
    Lastly, I agree with others who have suggested to turn the heat DOWN.
    This one is huge. Me not knowing any better and cooking everything at the highest temp. was the root cause behind most of my early disasters. That, and the utter lack of any spices. Now I use the 6 setting (medium high) a lot.

    Another thing I'd recommend is to do all of your prep beforehand rather than trying to multitask once you've got some of the food on the fire. That way you can focus and go slowly.
    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

  4. #14
    TigerLily's Avatar
    TigerLily is offline Senior Member
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    Ann: Here is one of the earliest recipes I made that I recall turned out well. (So proud of myself, I gave some to my neighbors!)

    A Year of Slow Cooking: CrockPot Indian Curry Recipe

    Just omit the chickpeas. The chicken doesn't even need to be defrosted -- you just plop it all in.

    This website is your friend.
    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

  5. #15
    Bissen's Avatar
    Bissen is offline Senior Member
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    Learning by doing. I initially sucked, too, but now I'm dishing up food that even my dad approves! (And he's quite hard to really satisfy :P)
    I'm horribly at following recipes as I often don't have the required ingredients, so I usually just end up making whatever I can think of with what I've got.

    Experiment, find out what works and what doesn't

  6. #16
    tplank's Avatar
    tplank is offline Senior Member
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    +1 on learning by doing.

    Just keep trying.

    Also, go simple. Roasting in the oven can be simple. Veggies cooked thus are simple and wonderful.

    I cook a lot of steak, but always on the grill.

    I'd also ditto the crock pot...hard to go wrong with the crock pot. You might look into the world of sauteeing. Chicken isn't perfect, but chicken tenders sauteed in olive oil are easy to get right. Just use some seasoning you like...maybe lemon pepper, and/or garlic, black pepper and salt.

    Lastly, you could do a primal chili recipie. Chili can be easy and wonderful...and there is lots of room for you to get fancier and figure out what you like.

  7. #17
    duckmama's Avatar
    duckmama is offline Senior Member
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    If you have access to a good public library, see what cookbooks they have that you can borrow. Try some out and see what you like, then you can purchase the ones that appeal to you the most.

    I just borrowed Everyday Paleo from my library, and I plan to ask for it for Christmas. My first impression is that it's full of quick family-friendly things.

    I have both of the primal cookbooks and I like the fast & easy one the best. Being a full-time working mom, I want dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less on weeknights. On weekends, I'm willing to put in more time and effort (sometimes).

    I've also learned a lot from watching cooking shows on Food Network. You will see them cooking things that are definitely not primal, but you can get some good ideas about techniques, seasonings, etc. Some of my favorites are Barefoot Contessa, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, Rachael Ray's 30-minute meals (yeah she's annoying but she has some good ideas) and Guy Fieri's show.

  8. #18
    La.C's Avatar
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    Practice Practice Practice. (And get ready to choke down some less than stellar meals). It takes a while, but once you get good at cooking, it is the most vaulable skill. For cooking technique I highly recomend Cook's Illustrated and Good Eats. Both break cooking technique down for you, and have tried and true test kitchens to get the best results.

    Cooking steak:
    Good Eats Steak your Claim Pt 1
    Good Eats Steak your Claim Pt 2

    Cook's Illustrated pan seared thick cut steaks
    Cook's Illustrated A better way to grill T-Bone
    Last edited by La.C; 11-08-2011 at 10:19 AM.

  9. #19
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    saturnfan is offline Senior Member
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    I, like you, am not a talented chef, but after being primal for almost 3 months, my cooking skills are progressively getting better. My advice to you is, if you truly have limited cooking skills, is cook things that are simple and plain. Here are things you can't fuck up:

    Preheat oven to 350deg, put a piece of salmon on a baking sheet, cook for 15min.

    Preheat oven to 350deg, put four center cut pork chops on a baking sheet, cook for 35min.

    Preheat oven to 275, put a lamb chop on a baking sheet, cook for 40min (should come out well done).

    What about vegetables? At this stage in the game, don't stress over them. Just make salads, or saute in a frying pan for a few minutes.

  10. #20
    Glockin Grok's Avatar
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Search things on youtube... you can learn anything on youtube

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