Author Topic: College Cookery  (Read 2874 times)

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Offline Landrav

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College Cookery
« on: July 22, 2007, 12:04:43 am »
This fall I'm going to be living away from home for the first time.  I have an apartment that I'll be sharing with some guys, but for the most part I will be on my own with regard to food.  I have seriously never "cooked" anything in my life.  I could probably make Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving look like an episode with Emeril (that chef on TV...BAM!)

Since I'm trying to move away from processed foods...and I don't want to burn the ol' paws every other mealtime...what are some suggested dishes for someone just learning to prepare real meals?  (Omnivorous, no special requirements/allergies if that makes a difference.)
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Offline Lobar

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College Cookery
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2007, 05:45:20 am »
If you'll be getting cable in your apartment, watch Good Eats on the Food Network. It's both entertaining and the best culinary education you'll get while sitting on the couch.  Take notes, focusing more on the technique than the ingredients.  There's really only seven basic cooking techniques that you'll use for the vast majority of things you can make, so learning them is a lot more important than whether or not you should put a little oregano in a specific dish.

Ignore, however, anything that comes out of Rachael Ray's dumb mouth. D:

Also, for buying kitchen equipment, break out the phone book and look up the nearest restaurant supply; most of them are open to the public.  Restaurant supply equipment is durable, no-frills and relatively inexpensive, whereas equipment at chain stores is either shoddy and worthless or fancy and overpriced.  Also, resist fancy kitchen gadgets such as George Foreman grills, electric can openers, fajita makers, Showtime Rotisserie ovens, and the like.  They are absolutely pointless and don't do the job as well as you can.

Finally, learn to salt to taste.  Get a box of kosher salt, add a pinch of salt at the beginning of cooking, then taste it at the end of cooking.  Keep adding salt and tasting until it tastes like it would be too salty if you added any more salt.  It makes a huge difference.
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Offline Landrav

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College Cookery
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2007, 12:43:07 am »
Thanks, Lobar.  I'll see if I can get that.

Anyone else have suggestions?
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Offline Edward Vulpes

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College Cookery
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2007, 08:59:44 pm »
Just did a bit of spelunking in these threads and I came across this. Landrav, what I would personally recommend for you is a book entitled Betty Crocker's Cooking Basics. It is a very good introduction to the subject for one who knows little to nothing about cookery, as you said yourself, and it lists all the sorts of things that most cooks take for granted, such as proper approximate temperatures for various foods.

Although this advice is quite belated, I do hope that it helps.
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Offline Landrav

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College Cookery
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2007, 09:33:51 pm »
Thanks, Edward!

I should report that since I've moved in, I have had cheese pizza, soup and salad, and waffles.  (I was gone the past three days, so don't worry about my eating habits!)  So I'm not starving, but I really want to eat healthy and not gain too much weight.
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Offline CiceroKit

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Re: College Cookery
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2008, 04:34:00 pm »
I know that the college stand-by, for a long time, has been ramen. I went through a semester of tech school and three and a half years of university without ever making the stuff. My preference for quick and healthy meals has relied on keeping fresh fruit on hand (bananas, apples and oranges at the very least), flour tortillas, shredded cheese, canned chili beans, canned hominy (the whole kernal variety--looks like large white kernals of corn), canned refried beans, bags of salads, salsa and cous cous (you can get single serving cups in various flavors made by Fantastic Foods). For someone out on their own, these are good things to keep on hand. It doesn't take long to throw together a bean burrito or heat some chili beans mixed with hominy (tastes better than it sounds) and is inexpensive. Many of these things cost less than ramen and are so much more satisfying. The cous cous and salad is really great when you need a quick meal between classes. In 3-5 minutes, you have your meal. It is good to experiment as you become more comfortable with cooking. I know that living arrangements while at college can be such that you may not have all the amenities at your disposal, which is why it can be good to keep it simple at first.

For some free simple recipes, you can sign up at http://kraftfoods.com/kf to receive free cookbooks through the mail or recipes via email. The Betty Crocker and Campbells soup Web sites offer similar services. Many organic food distributers offer free recipes as well. One of my faves is found at the Muir Glen Web site: http://muirglen.com/Recipes/default.aspx

Hope this helps.
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Offline Serathano

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Re: College Cookery
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2008, 06:00:17 pm »
dude, i could eay spaghetti 7 days a week and be fine with it. so dont listen to me when i tell you that making spaghetti is easy and should be eaten with every meal. it is easy though, sauce, pasta, mix them together. also, jsut hang around the kitchen alot before you leave and watch you mom and help her make dinner every night, that will help a ton.
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Offline Juno

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Re: College Cookery
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2008, 02:22:42 pm »
Ramen noodles and pizza. there lol. nah actully ramen can be fun to cook with cause there is so much you can do with it. leave it crunchy and mix it into a salad, fry it in oil, eat it right out  of the bag lol.
Actully Edward made a good segestion about invsting in cooking books, the one he suggested if pretty good to my mom has a copy of it.
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