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The American Caliban

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Continuing Education in homph homph homph homph [Aug. 9th, 2006|10:05 pm]
The American Caliban
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[Current Mood |hungry]

I'm not a good cook in any complete sense. I've never been to a cooking school and there are huge gaps in my skills and knowledge. I'm a dilettante; I learn what interests me and get as good as I can at it. There are some things I wanted to master and I did them over and over and over again and got very good. There are some other really basic things I'm no good at. I check something off when I'm consistently successful at it.

This week I hit the target conclusively on marinara sauce, shellfish cookery, and mesquite-smoked meat cooked on a charcoal grill. Those had all been long journeys of improvement, especially the last one.

I recently hit my groove with omelets so they now come out just about perfect every time. The same is true for stir-fried eggplant. About a year ago I got most fish cookery, at least sautéeing, poaching, and baking, to a routine. I can also roast a chicken and get consistent results.

Two years ago I "arrived" with potato salad, stirfried green beans, cornbread, basic curry sauce, pot roast, ginger/molasses carrots, barbecue type sauces, and a slew of salads mostly with garlic or beets or cabbage or all of those in them.

It's time to make another list of things to learn.

[User Picture]From: eyeteeth
2006-08-10 05:24 am (UTC)
Dude I am so going to visit you and you are so going to feed me. TIME FOR MAN CHEESE
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[User Picture]From: gcrumb
2006-08-10 05:34 am (UTC)

Marinara sauce?!

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[User Picture]From: torgo_x
2006-08-10 06:21 am (UTC)


Foods to master and to elaborate, in order of increasing difficulty:
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From: yoscott
2006-08-10 08:03 am (UTC)
Deep Fried Snickers Bars!! Actually if you could figure out how to make the perfectly round deep fried hush puppy, that would be something.

I think you should post your recipe methods on a website.
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From: besskeloid
2006-08-10 12:34 pm (UTC)
"I ain't bin to no cookin' school! I ain't nobody's fool!"
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[User Picture]From: dossy
2006-08-10 12:53 pm (UTC)
I love to grill--I often find myself grilling baby-back ribs with my own dry rub, or grilling asparagus, fennel, zuchini, yellow squash, etc.

One simple recipe I came up with for butternut squash soup ... all amounts are approximate, as I rarely measure anything ...

  • 1 squash, cut in half
  • sprinkle enough brown sugar, cinnamon and anise seed on the cut side of each squash half
  • cover baking tray with aluminum foil, place squashes cut side down on foil
  • bake in oven at 375F until skin is loose and flesh is soft
  • remove from oven, scoop squash flesh out, discard skin
  • puree squash flesh with hand-blender, adding 1/2 pint of heavy cream

This leaves you with a thick and tasty orange soup. I have yet to find someone who didn't love it.
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From: sakkaranoush
2006-08-10 04:33 pm (UTC)
it seems to me that you know how to cook much more than the average person does, and well! you have a certain knack for choosing delicious sounding stuff to prepare.
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