Food

ToastedTruffles

Early Adopter
I've recently been enjoying cooking a certain kind of meal, and that led me to start wondering about what kinds of meals other people tend to like.

What I've been doing is I've been taking a cast iron pan and putting it into my oven to preheat at 350F. While this is happening, I'm marinading a couple of pork chops and preparing some potatoes, carrots, and onions.

The oven usually pre-heats before I'm finished preparing the vegetables, so I put the pork chops onto the pan to do some cooking and hopefully get a bit of a sear on them.

I chop the vegetables up reasonably small, and then toss them in olive oil and salt. Once this is done, I take the pork chops out of the oven and move them on to a plate temporarily. The vegetables are then transferred into the hot pan, and the pork chops are laid on top of them.

The idea is that the pork chops are slowly and thoroughly cooked, and their fats and juices are absorbed by the potatoes and carrots as they cook. Since it's such a big thermal mass, I don't have to worry about taking it out of the oven at a really specific time, and can even leave it in for a while as long as I turn the temperature down a bit.

I've had this a couple of days in a row so far, and so far I've found this to be a very low maintenance one-pan meal that tastes fantastic.

~

Do you have any sorts of meals you like to prepare? Maybe something that's even simpler than this? Maybe something that's a bit more complicated, but is well worth it?
AA

Hopeful Pioneer
>tfw no stove or oven, even a microwave
Besides such non-cookery as cereal I like to make Russian-style sandwiches when I'm peckish. Slice of bread topped with mayonnaise, smoked cheese, cheap sausage and some salami. Hopefully I can get back into cooking, I used to make all sorts of stuff, even lasagna, in a pressure cooker.
Background Pony #1488

𓃗𓂸
I've been really busy so the most complicated meals I make right now are pizza from scratch and "The Poorman's Meal" from the YouTube channel Great Depression Cooking. I've discovered how to bend a can of peas so I can dump them straight into my mouth without even dirtying a fork. I do that most days. I used to make a ton of freezable burritos and stuff half my freezer full of them. Hopefully I'll have time to start doing that again soon.
Soft Lava
Marenheit Contributor - This little pony contributed to the Marenheit fundraiser of 2020
Auti.. Artist -

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Borscht.

Step one. Get Beet. Cut that bitch.

Step two. Boil water till it's hot as fuck.

Step three. Add chicken leg. Raw. With blood over it. Shove that whore in there.

Step four. Say blyat. Loud. So neighbours can her you and tremble in fear as you fucking cook.

Step five. Mix the shit together. Add salts for good luck and swear on Putin's grave you didn't add too much salt to the point of the whole fucking meal becoming unedible salty shit-fuck.

Step six. Watch in awe as your red fucking mess of a soup rises up from the pot right into your fucking mounth, saturated steam filling your kitchen like it's 1945 all over again.

Step seven. Load up your Calashnikov, listen to the russian anthem and fucking eat.
ToastedTruffles

Early Adopter
I've been making bread. I mix up the dough before I go to bed and then cook it in the oven the day afterwards. Bread's a very forgiving kind of recipe, so it almost always turns out well.
skybrook

Making marinara is surprisingly easy, if you start with tomato sauce. It's a lot cheaper and tastier than buying a prepared sauce, and it keeps a long time. You just dump a bunch of garlic, onion and oregano, some chili powder and maybe thyme into it, and leave it on the lowest heat you can, stirring every hour or so. If I had a crock pot, it'd probably be even easier. I also like adding turmeric and tarragon myself, but I don't think that's traditional.

@ToastedTruffles
Bread's a very forgiving kind of recipe, so it almost always turns out well.
I… think… that… depends on your latitude. In colder climates, it's just impossible to get the yeast to rise well. My bread usually comes out tasting like vinegary flour paste, rock hard on the outside, weak on the inside. And it never holds up to being buttered or used in a sandwich.

Oh there's also the fact that I only have the cheap bread flour to work with.

I actually bought a heating mat recently (for sprouting seeds lol) I've been meaning to try it out to see if I can get a better rise in the dough.


@Soft Lava
Step three. Add chicken leg. Raw. With blood over it. Shove that whore in there.
Ooh, I didn't know borscht was supposed to be from chicken stock. Thought that was an Americanization.
ToastedTruffles

Early Adopter
@skybrook
@ToastedTruffles
Bread's a very forgiving kind of recipe, so it almost always turns out well.
I… think… that… depends on your latitude. In colder climates, it's just impossible to get the yeast to rise well. My bread usually comes out tasting like vinegary flour paste, rock hard on the outside, weak on the inside. And it never holds up to being buttered or used in a sandwich.

Oh there's also the fact that I only have the cheap bread flour to work with.

I actually bought a heating mat recently (for sprouting seeds lol) I've been meaning to try it out to see if I can get a better rise in the dough.

If yeast works slowly, then just give it more time to rise. Overnight is plenty. There also might be an issue with using too much yeast, or the yeast not having enough life in it. I've seen videos from a YT channel called the Life of Boris, and I think he did some yeast fermentation by putting the yeast/dough container inside a larger container of warm water to help keep the temp up. Or use baking powder to get a rising effect in your bread.

Are you remembering to add some sort of oil to your bread? Something like olive oil for pizza dough, or shortening or lard for other kinds of bread. If you want a better internal structure, also consider adding a beaten egg or replacing some of the liquid with milk.

Depending on the humidity and other variables, the correct ratio of water and flour is going to be different. Start with your liquid components and then gradually add your solid components to it.

I'd emphasize more frequent, smaller-scale experiments rather than trying to find the "perfect" recipe and making a large loaf of that bread. Best to learn what all the kinds of ingredients do to the bread so that you can mix and match to get the kind of bread dough you want. If you have a smaller loaf, it's also easier to make it disappear with a few mediocre-but-serviceable peanut butter sandwiches. If the bread is really tough and dry, then putting it into a good soup makes it palatable.

I'm just using the normal "all-purpose flour". I hear that the US has to use special bread flour because their normal all-purpose flour is much lower quality than the all-purpose flour that's available in Canada. That's what my cookbook says, at least.
darkdoomer

Site Assistant
Well,
I make pizzas or generally get one for 50 cents from a discount shop just as a base and add ham, egg, cheese. anything goes. It's really not a junk plate despite it being overrated. like "you can't cook, you make pizzas"
YES.
skybrook

@ToastedTruffles

I've added too much oil to my bread before, which of course kills the yeast and makes it flat. And also not enough. Made a lot of pizza dough; nothing that tasted good. Interesting idea on adding milk in place of water. That extra protein…

There also might be an issue with using too much yeast, or the yeast not having enough life in it
I don't think you can use too much yeast, but I have definitely had loaves fail on me because it ran out of available starch to feed all the yeast. Haven't tried a tub of warm water; not sure the heat in that'd last overnight.

As for not enough life, yeah… they have a brand of yeast called "Red Star" around here that is just awful. I've never managed to get it not to collapse into a vinegary mess. The other brands all sell yeast only in these tiny little packets though. I was lucky to find a teeny little jar of "Fleishmann's" brand yeast, and I… really should've been using it instead of getting distracted the last 2 weeks.

Start with your liquid components and then gradually add your solid components to it.
Yeah, I do that. Add more flour in the kneading process than anything. It's kind of hair raising actually because you have to keep going until the dough is just too tacky to rip off the counter, and only then can you add the flour. Dough that's actually pleasant to knead always ends up being too tough to puff up.

I hear that the US has to use special bread flour because their normal all-purpose flour is much lower quality than the all-purpose flour that's available in Canada.
Huh I didn't know that was the reason. Bread flour (they say) has a higher level of gluten, so it makes a tougher dough. You don't want bread flour when you're making brownies, shortbread or cake, because it is supposed to be crumbly and soft. In the US they also sell (way overpriced) "cake flour" that has even less gluten in it.

@darkdoomer

Man, even the pre-shaped pizza doughs are overpriced around here. They market it like you're gonna be a real "Italian" pizza chef or something. Don't even get me started on frozen pizzas.
ToastedTruffles

Early Adopter
@skybrook
If you think one of your problems is the yeast running out of starch, then try adding a teaspoon or more of sugar to the dough. It won't affect the flavour of it all that much, and it might even help the browning on top. I think the purpose of the milk is more for the added fats. Maybe the protein from the milk helps to add structure, like the eggs.


@Soft Lava
That sounds like a sad existence. If you're going to be doing something multiple times a day for nearly every day of your life, it's worth the effort to invest in learning how to make the experience better.
skybrook

I only ever had problems with yeast exhaustion if I left the dough for a day or more, and then I do add flour to it. The thing always seems to go vinegary before it goes sourdoughy though. Anyway thanks for your advice.
Soft Lava
Marenheit Contributor - This little pony contributed to the Marenheit fundraiser of 2020
Auti.. Artist -

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Alright, you rascals. Turns out I have something of value to add to this conversation.

Why do millenials hate Bologna cake? As a millenial, I think it's pretty fine for what it's worth. I mean, it's just a meal that looks like a cake with bologna inside but it's not a cake. What's the big deal? Just because something looks like a sweet dessert doesn't make it a dessert. And, unlike some babanas dipped in ketchup or pineapple pizza, this meal doesn't have anything sugary in its recipe.
ToastedTruffles

Early Adopter
I don't know what that is, but that sounds pretty bad to me. I dislike that idea for the same reason I hated taking a big bite out of mashed potatoes, only to discover that it was some kind of pureed cauliflower instead.
skybrook

Bologna is pretty low quality around here. Poorly spiced, rubbery texture, sold in plastic packages by giant food processing corporations. It's one step away from Scientifically Processed Animal Meat.

To me, bologna cake looks about as appealing as deep fried bacon wrapped eggs: zero fiber, very high fat to protein ratio, not an easy meal to digest. Maybe with a lot of whole grains and vegetables on the side. Plus I like extra sharp 2 years aged cheddar, not… cheeze whiz…
Soft Lava
Marenheit Contributor - This little pony contributed to the Marenheit fundraiser of 2020
Auti.. Artist -

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I am not an expert in american cuisine(or any cuisine in that ragard) but some people say that soup is a drink. I don't fancy those people. Like, Soup is filled with vegetables and meat. Such things strongly rely on chewing to be properly digested. Am I supposed to just pour this potential choking hazard into my mouth without any need to worry about it's contents? Who the hell says that one can drink the soup? Did you hear your mom calling you to drink your soup? If you just take the wet stuff from the soup and cool it down then yeah — it's a drink. But who the hell would do that to a damn meal? People have to show some damn respect!
skybrook

In American cuisine, soup that must be chewed is called "stew." It's a blurry line though, because there's always a ton of vegetables and… well, meat if you're luckier than me, once you get to the bottom of the soup pot.
ToastedTruffles

Early Adopter
I made a couple of really good batches of cookies not long ago. The recipie says that the amount I made should be good for about 2 dozen, but I make 'em big. A well-rounded tablespoon of cookie dough that I use my hands and form into a ball.

Then, I cook them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper Parchment paper makes everything better and let them cook for about 20 minutes. They feel almost raw when I first take them out of the oven, but after they cool down, they're fantastic. Big, slightly-chewy and soft on the middle cookies with chocolate chips and stuff like chopped nuts or toasted, sweetened coconut in them. They kick the ass of any cookies I've ever bought in a store.
skybrook

I haven't heard anything but good things said about my chocolate chip cookies, but it's just the standard Tollhouse recipe with a few tweaks to it, so I don't really get it. I try not to make cookies that often, since they're unhealthy, but then I forget, and the person I live with starts buying boxed cookies, so there's never an opportunity for me to make them myself.
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