jjhunter: Drawing of human J.J. in red and brown inks with steampunk goggle glasses (red J.J. inked)
[personal profile] jjhunter
I'm trying to figure out my menu for a small dinner party I'm hosting tomorrow (7 people total), where two of the guests will be showing up late. If I'm planning on serving a light appetizer of basil, mozzarella, and tomato on thinly sliced + toasted french bread while we wait, and peach-blueberry crumble for desert, what kinds of dishes would people recommend for the actual dinner? Keep in mind that a.) the weather will be warm, b.) all my guests are omnivores (i.e. eat meat & have no dietary restrictions), and c.) I'd like to showcase the lovely fresh herbs I have growing on the back porch (mint, thyme, basil, rosemary). Also, I have access to good produce & other ingredients at the local grocery store.

(Help me, obi-[community profile] boilingwater-kenobi!)

ETA: Okay, I'm all set for my menu - thank you all for your various suggestions! The ones I'm not using tonight I plan on trying out in the next two weeks or so.
lassarina: (Crabby Ghis)
[personal profile] lassarina
This beef roast serves a lot, freezes very well, and requires a whopping three ingredients. It does take a while to cook, but it's 99% passive cooking. And it's really hard to mess up.

Specialized Equipment: You'll need a roasting rack. If you haven't got one, you can improvise (as I did today when I realized mine had gone astray a couple of apartments ago) with forks--they must be 100% metal, and you put them upside-down (so the curving tines hold the meat up) next to each other--four will do for a roast this size.

4-6 lb. beef rump roast
1 envelope instant onion soup mix
2-4 10.75 oz. cans cream of mushroom soup*

*In the US, Campbell's sells a 26-oz. "Family Size" can of mushroom soup that will suit most roasts.

simple to make in oven or crock pot )
jd: (Default)
[personal profile] jd
This is a several-in-one recipe mix-and-match thing, but it's real easy to make. We got it from some Kraft "food&family program guide" club thing [personal profile] ryan signed up for in years past.

Anyway! It goes like this:

The base recipe calls for:
a 14.5-oz can of undrained diced tomatoes
8 oz uncooked pasta
a large skillet and a pasta pot
A pound of meat (or vegetarian substitute)
About 2 cups or so of vegetables
Half a cup of salad dressing for marinade/sauce
A cup of shredded cheese (for topping)

The suggested meats are:
meats )

Suggested vegetables to stir in are:
vegetables )

The suggested dressing-cheese pairings are:
tasty )

I know all that sounds complicated but they're all just options - feel free to use whatever you want.

So now that you've picked one of each, make the pasta like normal. Cook the meat with 2 Tbsp of dressing in a large skillet for 5 minutes or until it's browned on both sides (turn after 3 min if you need to). Stir in the can of diced tomatoes, vegetables, and the rest of the dressing. [If you're doing beans instead of meat, just throw it all in together here.] Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, simmer for 10 minutes until the meat is cooked. Serve over pasta and top with cheese; let it sit so the cheese can melt. Serves roughly 4, more if you add lots of vegetables.

Pro tip: if you use ground beef, don't pair it with ranch salad dressing. It still tastes good, but comes out looking like gray sludge.
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
(that should not, by any rights, have turned out as well as they did.)

I have been trying to use up the "things from the fridge" because I hate wasting food but also never get around to actually cooking them. These turned out not just filling, nutritious and (reasonably) yummy, but also looked really pretty, so I share the instructions!

Tropical Peanut Rice )

...am I the only one who has, um, quite a few favorite recipes built around leftover white rice from takeout? The key is to leave the rice in the fridge, in its original paper container, for a few days to a week, until the rice is about half-dried out, and then when you reheat it, put it in a covered bowl with something liquid and flavorful to rehydrate the rice, and nuke until there's no standing liquid left. The thing is, I *cannot* get rice from scratch to come out as well using the microwave, so I am tempted to order extra takeout rice just to have some for leftovers.

Cheesy Potato Soup )

Lemon Creamsicle )

...this is why I never offer to share what I cook.
ar: A pale, dark-haired woman in a red hood. (pd - like little red riding hood)
[personal profile] ar
Hi everyone! I'm new to this comm, and I've got a question. I need to make something for dinner tonight, and I have no idea what--except that I've got six chicken thighs (about 2 pounds) of chicken thighs in my freezer, and I'd really like to try cooking them.

I've never worked with chicken thighs before, only breasts, so I don't even know where to begin. They're not deboned, nor probably deskinned (I can't recall, off the top of my head), and while I can remove the bones and skin, I'd rather not go to all that work today. Does anyone have a reasonably easy (I'm feeling pretty lazy today), flavourful recipe they could recommend? I'd appreciate it so much. ♥
sibyllevance: (Default)
[personal profile] sibyllevance
Hello everybody!
I posted this on my journal yesterday but thought maybe others could benefit from what I've found. I'm 21 and up till October, I lived with my parents, who cook in bulk for all of us so I never had any opportunity to cook for myself. In October I moved to the UK (where I still am) to finish my Master's degree and here I live in a huge house with a huge kitchen that I share with lovely housemates.
Cooking is a challenge to me - I don't enjoy it at all (it's very lonely to go in there and chop and feel hot for hours each week) but I dearly love eating and I can't afford to go out more than once in a while so cooking is nonetheless a necessity.
I've found that since I've had to prepare my own meals, I'm constantly thinking about what I'm going to eat, when I'll have to prepare the food or buy it. It's exhausting, to be honest, but sometimes it's actually rewarding. The following recipes are recipes that worked well for me this year and that I would like to make again.

Mango Chicken Curry - Exact recipe but I substituted the heavy cream with light coconut milk, which by the way I could drink on its own with a bit of sugar if nobody was watching me.
Morrocan Aubergine and Chickpeas Salad - Exact recipe. I think adding grilled lamb meatballs to it might make it a complete omnivore dish, I haven't tried but I will next time I make it.
Falafel Burgers - Exact recipe but for the tomato salsa, since I wasn't sure what they meant, I used grilled diced tomatoes.
Hummus - Exact recipe. Had that with pita bread and on toasted artisan bread with olive oil and diced tomatoes for breakfast one day.
Fancy Macaroni - Exact recipe, don't skip the goat cheese, it makes a huge difference. Got two other cheeses on discount.

There are also countless other dishes which I didn't use a recipe for (that's far more difficult) but that I thought would taste good and they did. For example thick pasta with lemon and a mushroom sauce (mushrooms, cream and various spices that didn't look too different from the earthy taste of mushrooms). Today I had mint lamb (I put lamb steaks in a zipper bag with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and lots of fresh mint and let it marinate overnight) with couscous and some veggies in it (peppers and sun-dried tomatoes).

These tips also worked for me this year: cooking in bulk and freezing is a great method. Dried herbs are my best friends, so are spices, especially if the dish requires the herbs to be cooked. If it's for a salad or some such, better fresh. Some things are worth buying half-ready to use, like diced chicken breasts, some are not (guacamole in a jar, I'd rather be guacamole-deprived, maybe it's the brand I bought but it had 40% double cream, and it tasted horrible). Some things are totally fine by me and have saved me time (example: rice in the bag, teabags, already-washed salad). Old el Paso is not Mexican food, but their corn tortillas are rather good. I personally buy spices in bulk and throw some of each together instead of using their spices mix, too.

I wish I'd known how to use my oven better sooner this year. I learned last week that I could do all the 'grilling' of the recipes in my oven *sigh* Better late than never, I suppose. Turns out the way you prepare something really changes the ingredient. My whole life I thought I hated aubergines, but grilled aubergines are, I find, to die for.
azurelunatic: Chocolate dessert, captioned No Artificial Shortages  (no artificial shortages)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
First up, this is not a last minute dinner. This is an all-afternoon or all-day dinner. Plan accordingly. When you get a formulation you like, it makes excellent leftovers. This recipe is imprecise, and can be tailored to your personal needs in beef stew. This is how my mother made it, and it's still one of my favorite foods.

Stew beef (not too much fat, cut in bite-sized cubes); you could use chicken but then it would no longer be beef stew -- in a quantity sufficient to let everyone have at least three good chunks in their bowl
a whole mess of potatoes, scrubbed or peeled and cut in chunks; about any kind of potato will do although I have not tried it with sweet potatoes -- about half a large potato per serving but you can fiddle with this.
Vegetable or vegetables of choice (I often use carrots and celery) cut in small pieces -- maybe 1/4 cup per serving but you can fiddle with this as you prefer
Onions in your preferred form (fresh cut in pieces, dried, or onion powder)
Garlic in your preferred form (fresh chopped or pressed, or garlic powder)
Italian seasoning, or as many as you can find/as you actually like of its usual components (bay leaves, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, marjoram, savory, coriander [I personally loathe it], red pepper flakes, parsley)
Oil (optional)
Salt (optional)
Soy sauce (optional)

Serving suggestion: with bread

Read more... )
yvi: Dreamsheep in Germany's national colors (Dreamsheep - Germany)
[personal profile] yvi
So, I used to be a beginning cook. In fact, until one year ago. Since then, I have been learning cooking from my boyfriend and would probably be classified as intermediate.

Still, not cooking much does not mean one can't have tasty things. This is something I just made for myself because it's easy, fast and doesn't leave a mess. Oh, and it's yummy.

Scrambled eggs
with mushrooms and peppers

Difficulty: 2/5 (plain scrambled eggs would be less difficult)
Mess-factor: 2/5
Time needed: 2/5 - about 10-15 minutes

On to the recipe )
azurelunatic: stick figure about to hit potato w/ flaming tennis racket, near jug of gasoline & sack of potatoes (bad idea)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
  1. Accidentally get a kind of rice you loathe! (Some lucky people like all kinds of rice. You may be one of those people. Then again, you may not. Experiment if you don't already know!)
  2. Don't check the rice over for rocks and other unwanted elements! (Despite all the quality control in the world, sometimes these things just happen.)
  3. Don't follow the rice manufacturer's instructions about rinsing! (Less and less rice these days is covered in talc, but if it is, it should be rinsed off. For rice that is not covered in talc, it's up to you. Less rinsing = more sticky. More rinsing = if the rice was nutritionally enhanced, you just rinsed that off.)
  4. Forget the water. (I have never done this. No one I know has ever done this (or at least, won't admit to it, and it's not easy to forget the water when you wash your rice in the pot of the rice cooker). However, this is unlikely to result in good things.)
  5. Put the rice and water in the rice cooker without the pot. (I don't know anyone who has done this either, but it is likely to result in the sorts of problems one gets when one exposes live electricity to water in an uncontrolled environment: tripped breaker, nasty shock, blown fuse, death, a ruined rice cooker, no dinner.)
  6. Forget to plug the rice cooker in. (This is really easy to fix.)
  7. Forget to turn the rice cooker on/to Cook. (Ditto.)
  8. Don't measure your rice or water at all. This way, you'll have no idea what you just did or why it went awry in the way it did.
  9. Ignore the rice manufacturer's instructions about how much rice and water to use, because all kinds of rice are exactly the same.
  10. Put in too much water. (This results in either really sticky rice, or mush, if you've gone way overboard. If you catch it in time, you can fix it by bailing some of the water out.)
  11. Put in too little water. This results in crunchy and possibly burned rice. (If you catch it in time, you can add more water.)
  12. Put in too much rice. (This is distinct from putting in too little water, because you are either going to feed an army by accident, or overflow the rice cooker. Your solution is likely to involve putting the leftovers in the freezer (rice freezes well), with or without bailing some of it out to cook in a second batch if you think you're going to overflow. Remember that rice expands when cooking, possibly more than you think it will. You can always cook another batch.)
  13. Cook too short. (The rice may be either a little too hard and a little too wet, or just the right softness but a little too sticky. This last may mean you put in a little much water too.)
  14. Cook too long. (The rice may dry out (ew), scorch on the bottom (harmless), or burn (ew).)
  15. Get so completely lost in the possibilities in the two-variable problem of time vs. water as applies to rice in the rice cooker that you lose all sense of perspective and begin experimenting with combinations like way too much water and way too long. (When in doubt, go back to the proportions that the rice cooker, the rice package, or some recipe recommended.)
  16. Turn off the rice cooker immediately after it switches from Cook to Warm mode. (This can lead to rice being too sticky and underdone.)
  17. Turn the rice cooker back to Cook after it switches to Warm mode injudiciously, because cooking things at hotter temperatures is always better because it gets them done faster. (It also burns them easier.)
  18. Accidentally leave the lid off while cooking. (This dries out the rice more, and steams up your house.)
  19. Scrape the bottom of the rice cooker pot with something hard and sharp, like a metal spoon. (Everybody wants aluminum scrapings in their rice and a scratched-up rice pot.)
  20. Put too much soy sauce or other seasoning on the rice. (If you're not sure, start with a little and taste.)
  21. Be afraid to make rice. (It's actually pretty easy to make once you get the hang of it.)

Screening anonymous comments on this as fucking spammerbots have found it.
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
[personal profile] cesy
Does anyone have a favourite easy main course, to cook when you're short of spoons for anything fancy? I'd like to learn more things that are nearly as easy as a ready meal, while not being a ready meal.


Boiling water without burning it

November 2014

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