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Jonnyboy

basic tasty cooking

Not talking boil and egg here, but really simply ways of turning out top notch dishes.

Any thoughts as to format - maybe a menu with starters, mains and desserts or just a list of simple, yet classy main courses?
tahir

I think good simple main meals (forget the classy) would be an excellent idea.

I really must do one on curries, they can be so simple if you plan it right.
gil

I find the word 'gourmet' very offputting. What does it really mean ?

Makes me think a dish is going to be unduly complicated and involve cream or sauce.

Memories of Graham Kerr, perhaps (The Galloping...., for all you young 'uns)
tahir

gil wrote:
I find the word 'gourmet' very offputting. What does it really mean ?


Yeah
Jonnyboy

It's a working title, I want to convey the impression that it's really tasty, quality food that can be prepared simply. people have the impression that if you can only cook a simple meal you can't turn out something really good.
gil

Top Nosh ? Laughing
tahir

gil wrote:
Top Nosh ? Laughing


That's more my style Laughing
gil

I think this is a great idea, Jonnyboy.

If addressing newbie 'top nosh' cooks, perhaps just mains. One course is enough to start with.
That way we don't have to feel inadequate for wheeling out fruit crumble for pudding yet again

But then, a second article giving a full dinner menu. So once more confident of our skills, we can show off our new talents from starter to cheese.
Jonnyboy

Sounds good, I'll get on it.
tahir

This one has huge potential, could be a series of articles by cooing method, ingredients or style, apart from the courses.
Jonnyboy

Ok, do you maybe want a series of articles based on cooking chicken then beef, pork, etc. first?
judith

gil wrote:
That way we don't have to feel inadequate for wheeling out fruit crumble for pudding yet again


That counts as top nosh in this house!

Nice idea though, JB.
judith

Jonnyboy wrote:
Ok, do you maybe want a series of articles based on cooking chicken then beef, pork, etc. first?


I think so.
How about starting from a single ingredient, say chicken breasts, and then working through a few different approaches of cooking them.
tahir

Jonnyboy wrote:
Ok, do you maybe want a series of articles based on cooking chicken then beef, pork, etc. first?


I think we could use Bingo's as a basis for the "cooking with meat" article, I think we could eaisly split it like this:

meat
poultry
game
fish
shellfish
veggie
soups
indian/curries

What do you think?
sean

Not sure, might doing it by technique be better?
Roasting
Frying
Braising/Stewing
etc.
Jonnyboy

Basic tasty cooking

tahir wrote:
Jonnyboy wrote:
Ok, do you maybe want a series of articles based on cooking chicken then beef, pork, etc. first?


I think we could use Bingo's as a basis for the "cooking with meat" article, I think we could eaisly split it like this:

meat
poultry
game
fish
shellfish
veggie
soups
indian/curries

What do you think?


Good but I think that beef and pork are diverse enough to need articles of their own. Nervous cooks usually have a lack of knowledge of the various cuts and we can help with that.
tahir

judith wrote:
Jonnyboy wrote:
Ok, do you maybe want a series of articles based on cooking chicken then beef, pork, etc. first?


I think so.
How about starting from a single ingredient, say chicken breasts, and then working through a few different approaches of cooking them.


Yeah, but I think we need to focus on things that people might otherwise be scared of. None of the missus' friends would consider using chicken with bone in except as a roast but as we all know thigh is cheaper and tastier than breast.

Likewise stewing steak, every time we do a stew or curry with it peopl comment on how good it is and they're always surprised at the fact it's a ropey old bit of stewing steak.
tahir

Jonnyboy wrote:
Good but I think that beef and pork are diverse enough to need articles of their own. Nervous cooks usually have a lack of knowledge of the various cuts and we can help with that.


Agree
gil

judith wrote:
gil wrote:
That way we don't have to feel inadequate for wheeling out fruit crumble for pudding yet again


That counts as top nosh in this house!.


Well, I'd reckon so too. But I don't know whether it would qualify as 'gourmet'. What would that mean, for example, in a crumble context ?

(I make my crumble topping with a mix of interesting flours such as beremeal or spelt, demerera sugar, spices, and seeds/coarse meals. The fruit would be home-grown. But is that what 'gourmet' means, or would I have to serve it with homemade custard from scratch to qualify ?)
judith

tahir wrote:
Jonnyboy wrote:
Good but I think that beef and pork are diverse enough to need articles of their own. Nervous cooks usually have a lack of knowledge of the various cuts and we can help with that.


Agree


Ditto.
cab

Going through potential lists of articles in my head...

Poultry (chicken, duck)
Beef
Pork
Lamb

White fish
Oily fish

Soups
Stews
Curries (or 'Cooking with spices')
Roasts

Game birds
Vermine (rabbit, pigeon, squirrel)
Shellfish

Game (hare, venison...)

Veggie dishes
Fruit dishes

Pies, flans, etc.
judith

gil wrote:
But is that what 'gourmet' means, or would I have to serve it with homemade custard from scratch to qualify ?)


At the risk of being thrown out of here, I think crumble needs Bird's custard, rather than homemade. Like trifle!
tahir

I think we should discuss this in authors corner, we can then get Bingo or anyone elses input too, maybe some of our target audience too.
judith

Back to Bingo for a moment, his article is ready to go - it just needs a couple of pictures. If anyone has something suitable - stew, risotto, or the like, it can go up tomorrow.
gil

Would it be useful to order it according to cut of meat/area of carcass (i.e. dealing with a whole leg of lamb/beef/pork, or the hoof/foot end of the leg; what to do with the bits in the middle ?)

Or at least to point out that there are similarities so that if you can deal with a leg of lamb, leg of pork will be a doddle too.

BTW, do pot roasts and casseroles count as top nosh techniques ?
judith

gil wrote:
Would it be useful to order it according to cut of meat/area of carcass (i.e. dealing with a whole leg of lamb/beef/pork, or the hoof/foot end of the leg; what to do with the bits in the middle ?)


I like that - it will help to demystify the butcher's counter for those who think meat comes on polystyrene trays.
sean

judith wrote:
gil wrote:
Would it be useful to order it according to cut of meat/area of carcass (i.e. dealing with a whole leg of lamb/beef/pork, or the hoof/foot end of the leg; what to do with the bits in the middle ?)


I like that - it will help to demystify the butcher's counter for those who think meat comes on polystyrene trays.


That's why I think splitting the articles by cooking technique rather than ingredient would be good. Especially if they're to be aimed at nervous beginner cooks.
Jonnyboy

Right, I've dropped the 'gourmet' because I can't be bothered to keep repeating myself Wink

Not sure about dealing with large bone in parts of the carcass, are we in danger of going above our initial target reader?

Agree about moving this.
tahir

judith wrote:
Back to Bingo for a moment, his article is ready to go - it just needs a couple of pictures. If anyone has something suitable - stew, risotto, or the like, it can go up tomorrow.


Brill, do we want to use that as part of this series or is it different?
judith

tahir wrote:
judith wrote:
Back to Bingo for a moment, his article is ready to go - it just needs a couple of pictures. If anyone has something suitable - stew, risotto, or the like, it can go up tomorrow.


Brill, do we want to use that as part of this series or is it different?


I think I would keep it separate.
Jonnyboy

sean wrote:

That's why I think splitting the articles by cooking technique rather than ingredient would be good. Especially if they're to be aimed at nervous beginner cooks.


Yes, but, you've got a chicken breast and you're not sure what to do? - here's 10 recipes where you can choose something that you're comfortable with and get cracking.

People don't usually get out the frying pan and decide on technique before ingredient.

But cross referencing would be a good idea.
sean

Jonnyboy wrote:


People don't usually get out the frying pan and decide on technique before ingredient.

But cross referencing would be a good idea.


People who can cook don't but people who can't/won't cook say things like: "I'd like to do a Sunday roast but I don't know where to begin."
judith

sean wrote:
Jonnyboy wrote:


People don't usually get out the frying pan and decide on technique before ingredient.

But cross referencing would be a good idea.


People who can cook don't but people who can't/won't cook say things like: "I'd like to do a Sunday roast but I don't know where to begin."


I think both of these apply.
It's a big subject area, so I think it would be better just to start somewhere rather than nailing down the categories.
gil

Need to include the prep effort/cooking time element - I might well source dinner ingredients on the basis of how long dinner would take to cook or prepare, and how much time I had available. In the light of how sociable I wanted to be with any guests.

Don't want to over-complicate things.
Have been at dinner parties where the host didn't appear till main course was served.

I'd pan fry for myself or household, but not for guests, who get roasts/casseroles so I can talk to them. Am I mistaken ?
judith

gil wrote:
I'd pan fry for myself or household, but not for guests, who get roasts/casseroles so I can talk to them. Am I mistaken ?


We eat in the kitchen at the mo, so guests get to help or they don't eat Very Happy
cab

These would make excellent collaborative articles. But those collaborative articles rather require that someone takes charge of each one.
RichardW

gil wrote:

BTW, do pot roasts and casseroles count as top nosh techniques ?


Why not restaurants charge a fortune for braised lamb shanks. The big reason top restaurants dont do long slow cooked meals is that customers want it cooked to order but wont wait 3-6 hours for it.......


Justme
Barefoot Andrew

Everything discussed here so far - superb ideas. Definite thumbs up for a collection of fantastic articles.

As a not particularly expert cook myself I'd be more interested in seeing articles categorised by variety of ingredients than cooking method per se.
A.
tahir

Barefoot Andrew wrote:
As a not particularly expert cook myself I'd be more interested in seeing articles categorised by variety of ingredients than cooking method per se.
A.


We need inpuit from non expert cooks to make sure this is relevant to them, so pipe up folks
tahir

Justme wrote:
The big reason top restaurants dont do long slow cooked meals is that customers want it cooked to order but wont wait 3-6 hours for it.......


Yup, so ideal for our purposes.
tahir

Jonnyboy wrote:
Not sure about dealing with large bone in parts of the carcass, are we in danger of going above our initial target reader?


Depends how large we're talking, shoulder of lamb is a triffic and relatively cheap roast.
Jamanda

gil wrote:


BTW, do pot roasts and casseroles count as top nosh techniques ?


Can't get topper than Irish stoo made with Rob's mutton.
hedgewitch

Jamanda's pastry article would be good in this series I think, too.
Jamanda

bingo wrote:
Let me know what photo's you need, I will cook that food and and snap the process. Wink

I spoke to Jonnyboy about this a while ago.

You can turn my Choc Mousse into an article if you want.


Bingo needs to be in on this!
Lindsay

I have a lazy person's lasagne recipe which would probably suit - always turns out well!
tahir

Lindsay wrote:
I have a lazy person's lasagne recipe which would probably suit - always turns out well!


Sounds ideal
BahamaMama

I would love to have more ideas on what to do with cheaper cuts of meat - scrag does not sound appealing.... and oxtail does not look great in the butcher's window but was mind-blowing when casserolled.

I would prefer to buy cheaper cuts of better meat if I knew what to do with them.

And what about game? Bunnies, roadkill etc?
Anura

Where can we see these recipes? I'm not too familiar with finding things on here.
gil

I don't think we ever put an article toegther about this, in the end.
However, have a look in the Articles section under Processing Food for some recipes / techniques.

We also now have the Recipes part of the forum, which can be searched.

And there was a thread quite a while back on 'easy proper home cookery' for beginners, with an emphasis on dishes that would tempt offspring that liked 'junk' or 'processed' food, e.g. making spag bol, pizza, etc from scratch. I think I started it, and it was in 2008 or the back end of 2007 - go into Recipes, Preserving Etc and go back through the pages.

here it is

What did you have in mind / what were you looking for ?
Anura

Nice, unfussy things, there was a programme on the other night with Nigel Slater ? My husband comes home from work late & it's not always easy to think of things to do. He eats most things but I don't really like meat but will eat chicken. He's recently been diagnosed with Diabetes so has to watch his carbs/sugar etc.

I'm also tend to make "Chuckitin" dishes - you don't win a prize for guessing that!

When I've a little more time I'll go through the stages you suggest & have a quick look.

Thanks for your response. It was good to get a nice reply as I received one which was quite curt & cynical - didn't think you got that sort of thing on this forum.
gil

Ah, chicken..
There's an Article by Northern Lad about how to get lots of meals out of one chicken, whihc might be handy.

Is also a 'Vegetarian Xmas' thread with recipes
Pilsbury

Anura wrote:
Nice, unfussy things, there was a programme on the other night with Nigel Slater ? My husband comes home from work late & it's not always easy to think of things to do. He eats most things but I don't really like meat but will eat chicken. He's recently been diagnosed with Diabetes so has to watch his carbs/sugar etc.



we find it really realy helps to sit down on a sunday night and write a menu for the rest of the week and decide who is cooking what, it takes all the effort out of deciding what to eat late at night and means prep can be done in the morning ready for bunging it in a pot later.
stops over spending at the point of shopping and means we go through the freeers to see what we can eat in there, it really makes life easier and it doesnt take that long.
Jamanda

Anura wrote:
Nice, unfussy things, there was a programme on the other night with Nigel Slater ? My husband comes home from work late & it's not always easy to think of things to do. He eats most things but I don't really like meat but will eat chicken. He's recently been diagnosed with Diabetes so has to watch his carbs/sugar etc.

I'm also tend to make "Chuckitin" dishes - you don't win a prize for guessing that!

When I've a little more time I'll go through the stages you suggest & have a quick look.

Thanks for your response. It was good to get a nice reply as I received one which was quite curt & cynical - didn't think you got that sort of thing on this forum.


Here's a link to a few of NS recipes. He is very good - we use his books all the time.

Also there are quite a few of us on here with diabetes (including myself) if you want to discuss that.

Most of us are quite tame, honest.
Anura

Thank you so much Jamanda, I will look that up and also get in touch with you about cooking for diabetes. Nurse has told him there's nothing he can't eat but much smaller quantities. I'd appreciate some advice on the odd pudding etc that doesn't contain a bucket full of sugar.

I must find a good signature!
Jonnyboy

Pilsbury wrote:


we find it really realy helps to sit down on a sunday night and write a menu for the rest of the week and decide who is cooking what, it takes all the effort out of deciding what to eat late at night and means prep can be done in the morning ready for bunging it in a pot later.
stops over spending at the point of shopping and means we go through the freeers to see what we can eat in there, it really makes life easier and it doesnt take that long.


Very important point. Planning ahead has made a huge different to our shopping bills.
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