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    #31
    I was surprised I've never seen this thread before, just found it on search. I was wondering if anyone else here likes to cook too.

    I cook almost everyday, mostly without a set recipe, although that's harder to do when baking. Most of the time, once I see a dish from a casual restaurant, I can make it at home, tasting just as good. Plus I know exactly what is in my food, and its usually healthier. Although, I'm terrible at cooking steak to the right temperature, so I don't do it.

    My best home dishes are (all from scratch):
    1. Pizza Marguerite - tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil
    2. Macaroni and cheese
    3. Chicken curry with basmati rice
    4. Cheesecake factory cheesecake
    5. Cinnabon rolls
    6. Fried rice - peas, spinach or cabbage, carrots, green onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, cilantro
    7. Spinach and cheese quiche, sometimes with asparagus
    8. Chipotle chicken burritos- chicken, lime/olive oil rice, homemade beans, tomatoes salsa, cheese, lettuce, sour cream

    Sounds unhealthy, but it's not every week, and I make a salad and roasted vegetables often.

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      #32
      I like to cook as well, though I don't have time as often as I would like. Most of my recipes come from Cooks Illustrated or Mark Bittman. For example, I make drop biscuits every Thanksgiving using a recipe I pulled from Cooks Illustrated. It's always a hit. I also make exceptionally good burgers, but that's mostly a matter of having a really great butcher nearby who sells a ground beef mix that is simply incredible. On that note, I think it was Alice Waters who said that cooking well is mostly a matter of shopping well. I totally agree with that.

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        #33
        Originally posted by Shomas View Post
        I like to cook as well, though I don't have time as often as I would like. Most of my recipes come from Cooks Illustrated or Mark Bittman. For example, I make drop biscuits every Thanksgiving using a recipe I pulled from Cooks Illustrated. It's always a hit.
        Cooks Illustrated is the sh!t.

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          #34
          Originally posted by LCDR View Post
          I'm terrible at cooking steak to the right temperature, so I don't do it.
          I should get delivery of my Anova immersion circulator this week, so hopefully this will be a thing of the past for me (although I seldom cook steaks).

          I agree with your overall philosophy [MENTION=10240]LCDR[/MENTION]. I'm an avid home cook. I cook lots of vegetables. I cook less healthy things too, but I think that's a good thing. I think if people were forced to marked the unhealthy things they eat rather than buying them or getting them at restaurants, we'd be a lot healthier in general.

          I've made apple pie from scratch a few times in the last month (as a ramp-up to and for Thanksgiving).

          I like cooking from online recipes I find once I shop for ingredients that look good, although I will also plan for meals as well.

          I like Cooks Illustrated. I also really like Serious Eats (online site from a CI alum).

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            #35
            I love cooking, I grew up in a vegetarian household so whenever I go back home I try to pick up more vegetarian recipes. Being south asian most of my recipes wind up being from that region or the middle east (think: lots of kebabs, dals, curries, etc.). I make restaurant-worthy chicken tikka masala entirely from scratch and the few times I've been motivated to make shrimp and peas green "thai" curry from scratch it's been a big hit (quotation marks because I don't use galangal and often can't find kefir leaves). Haven't gotten the knack (or itch, really) for baking, but I'd love to start baking my own breads as I'm not a huge cake/sweets guy (or at least, I try not to be).

            Most of my recipes start out on food blogs and evolve from there per my tastes. One of my favorites is Smitten Kitchen, and this recipe for a chicken fajita marinade has become a standby: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/...icken-fajitas/ and is what's for dinner tonight. (Really, smoked paprika makes almost anything better) As a med student it's hard for me to cook more than 3 times a week (kudos to my classmates who have a fresh, warm dinner for an entire family ready every night, y'all are superstars) so I cook in large batches and split things up for the week's lunches and dinners.

            I agree w/ redbeardedmike about working backward from the ingredients - aside from having a few easy, go-to recipes, I try to stick with what looks good and what's in season and then go from there. This can be challenging for new cooks. Having a pantry stocked with a variety of fresh spices, stocks, dried peppers, panko, etc so I'm not always running out for that one random thing I'm missing has helped a lot. though it's easier when many of your dishes draw from one region. Wish I had a green thumb, every summer I mean to start a little pot or two of herbs on my balcony!

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              #36
              Made this quiche today for dinner (forgot to take the picture before we ate it). The crust was homemade, but came out a little soggy in the center even though I pre-baked it. Inside has cheese, asparagus, tomato, red pepper, and fresh parsley, eggs, cream, and seasoning.



              Had it with a salad: romaine lettuce, tomato, avocado, parsley, asparagus, red peppers, with lime vinaigrette.
              [MENTION=2492]LosRockets[/MENTION], I have been wanting to make pad thai, but the ingredients seem hard to find, especially the right kind of noodles. [MENTION=3269]Shomas[/MENTION], mind sharing the biscuit recipe?

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                #37
                It's here: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2...ts-recipe.html

                The buttermilk/butter mixture is a really slick move for distributing little butter nodules throughout the dough without having to cut it in - which is a pain in the ass. I recommend throwing a little bacon grease into the recipe as well.

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                  #38
                  Thanks. I might try it with cheddar cheese and parsley, and try to make it like the biscuits that Red Lobster gives out. I'll probably use milk with lemon juice instead of buttermilk.

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                    #39
                    Sounds funny but does anybody have a good standby lasagna recipe that's not terribly involved (like making a bechamel)

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                      #40
                      I can give you my family recipe, which is pretty good, and involves no par-boiling. Let me look it up.
                      Ben

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                        #41
                        Here it is:

                        Ingredients:
                        1# ground beef (alternatively or in addition, an equivalent amount of your preferred vegetable, like broccoli or eggplant)
                        Fresh chopped garlic
                        Parsley
                        Basil
                        Grated parmesan or romano cheese
                        Shredded mozzarella
                        One large or two small containers ricotta cheese (16 oz I think?)
                        Eggs
                        Dried mint leaf
                        Large jar or two small jars of your preferred tomato sauce (at least 3 cups worth)
                        Lasagna noodles

                        Directions:
                        In a large frying pan, brown and crumble the ground beef with 1-2 gloves fresh chopped garlic (or 1.5 T of garlic powder), a small handful of fresh parsley and basil (or 1 T dried parsley and 1 t dried basil), and salt and pepper. Alternatively or in addition, sautee or roast your favorite firm vegetable (I prefer broccoli) with the same seasonings. Set aside.

                        In a mixing bowl, mix ricotta, 2 large eggs, 1/4 C grated parmesan/romano, and 1/2 C shredded mozzarella. Add one clove of chopped garlic or 1/2 t garlic powder. Pour 1/2 - 1 t dried mint leaf into your hand, rub your hands together to crush the leaves, and add to the ricotta. Mix well. Set aside.

                        Use a heavy-duty 9x13 inch pan with deep sides. Mix 3 generous cups of tomato sauce with no more than 1 C water (the extra water helps cook the noodles without par-boiling). Pour a layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Cover with noodles. On top of the noodles, evenly spread the ground beef and/or veggies, reserving a small amount to sprinkle on top at the end. Pour enough watered-down sauce over the beef/veggies so that they are slightly covered. Cover with noodles. On top, evenly spread the ricotta mixture with a spatula. Cover with noodles.

                        Spread any crumbles of leftover beef or veggies on top. Generously cover with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella evenly on top, approximately 2 C. Then sprinkle grated parmesan/romano on top of that.

                        (For ease of reference, the layers from bottom to top are: Sauce -> Noodles -> Beef/Veggies -> Sauce -> Noodles -> Ricotta -> Noodles -> Beef/Veggies -> Sauce -> Mozzarella -> Parmesan/romano.)

                        Cover the pan with tin foil. Bake 1.5 hrs at 325┬░F. For the last 10 or 15 minutes, remove the foil to let the cheese brown. Remove from oven, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes before serving.

                        This makes a ton of food but the leftovers are great.
                        Last edited by LesserBlackDog; December 2, 2014, 10:59 PM.
                        Ben

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                          #42
                          Thanks so much for taking the trouble to pull it up and share! It looks like my recipe wasn't far off, apart from the mint leaf. I think I screwed up by not using enough pasta sauce, which I've since rectified by smothering the leftovers with. When I get through the pasta sauce added on top the beef still tastes sort of... I don't wanna say flavorless, just, watered down. I may try adding more seasoning or browning it a bit more next time. I'll try adding some broccoli next time, I had some diced carrot and onion mixed in this go around.

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                            #43
                            Definitely don't skimp on seasoning. I generously season the beef/veggies and err on the side of going overboard with the parmesan/romano to give that nice salty kick to the rest of the layers. I accidentally forgot to properly season when making this once, and it turned out a bit bland.
                            Ben

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                              #44
                              Originally posted by LosRockets View Post
                              One of my favorites is Smitten Kitchen, and this recipe for a chicken fajita marinade has become a standby: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/...icken-fajitas/ and is what's for dinner tonight.
                              ... Wish I had a green thumb, every summer I mean to start a little pot or two of herbs on my balcony!
                              I second the recommendation of Smitten Kitchen. We cook a lot of her recipes, from both the blog and her book, in my house. Her oatmeal pancakes are just delicious and both of my kids (including the maddeningly and arbitrarily picky 5-year-old) love them. I've never seen either of my kids put away food like they put those pancakes away - and somehow they seem healthier than regular old wheat flour and buttermilk pancakes (which they probably aren't, but I'm holding onto the fantasy). Living in NYC, my wife and I see a fair number of celebrities on the street, the train, what have you, and we're both usually pretty cool about it. The only time I've ever seen my wife be star-struck in such a situation was one day a few years ago as we were walking off the Brooklyn Bridge on the Manhattan side and we walked by Deb, the proprietress of Smitten Kitchen. We walked by what looked to me to be any other couple out for a walk with a baby in a stroller and my wife started furiously elbowing me in the side while quickly stage-whispering "omigoddoyouknowhothatis?!" It was cute, if a little weird.

                              I also wish I could grow an edible garden. Years ago, when I lived in Oakland, I had a huge garden with tomatoes, squashes, beans, onions, radishes, cucumbers, greens, herbs, corn, flowers, etc. It thrived and it was always really nice to be able to shop in my yard. When I moved to New York, I tried the old "tomato plant in a pot on the fire escape" move. Turns out that I didn't actually have a green thumb; I had just planted my garden in a climate that didn't allow me to screw plants up.

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                                #45
                                Made this today:



                                Spinach salad with tomato, carrot, cucumber, red onion, walnuts, cranberries, and lime vinagrette
                                Chicken curry
                                Jasmine rice with lime and olive oil
                                Yoghurt with cucumber, red onion, and parsley

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