How well can you cook?

[B]How well can you cook?

The task[/B]
Prepare a 3 course family meal to serve 4 people.
You can cook whatever you like, but there should be a starter, main course, and sweet.

Lets hear your ideas.

4 boxes of kraft dinner with weiners and chocoate syrup on it.

For the gourmet on the run …

Starter: bag of chips (Tostito’s Hint of Lime) and some salsa.
Main Course: Pizza (loaded, lots of meat)
Sweets: ice cream (m/b Klondike bars)

If you wann go a little crazy, load the pizza with grated parmesan cheese, tabasco, and dried pepper flakes. Requires plenty of napkins and a cold, tasty beverage at your side ( reclining Lazy-Boy optional - tho recommended ). Haha. :slight_smile:

I can see the girls are gonna win this one easy :stuck_out_tongue:
Prove me wrong guys? :slight_smile:

This is a typical girls thread :stuck_out_tongue:
My ex was always angry at me because I was never hungry when she cooked… Guess why? :Z

Ah, food my favorite subject.

For a meat entre: First a little appetzer, maybe a tomato brushetta or a capri salad (a slice of ripe red tomato on a slice of fresh mozzarella and a fresh spig of basil on a slice of toasted Italian bread rubbed with fresh garlic and dribbled with extra virgin olive oil.
Steak appizaiola, a nice rare ribeye steak smothered in a spicy puttanesca sauce (olives, capers, crushed red pepper, green peppers)
side dish: Capellini (angel hair pasta) with garlic and olive oil. Finely chop a couple anchovies (don’t worry, you won’t taste then, they will completely dissolve in the hot oil) add a pinch of crushed red pepper and a ton of garlic. Sautee 'til barey golden. Add the cooked pasta and serve with grated parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of fresh flat leaf parsley.
Add as ceaser’s salad and don’t forget the red wine.
With an ice cream dish for desert. Coffee and Grand Marnier

Now for a seafood dinner: Start with clams on the half shell with a squeeze of lemon and a dash of your favorite hot sauce. (Do not smother it with kethcup and horseradish!)
Shrimp Scampi with plently of garlic (maybe add some artichoke hearts to it if you want) on angel hair pasta. It’s simple, sautee the garlic in butter and extra virgin olive oil until barely golden. Add the shrimp. When they are a little pink, squeeze half a lemon (not too much) and a splash of the white wine you will be drinking. Cook for maybe a minute to cook off the alchohol (add the artichoke hearts just to heat up if desired) and sprinkle with a bit of chopped parsley. Serve immediately on the pasta with a little grated cheese.
Have with a nice meslcun or ceasar salad.
Tirimisu for desert with coffee and cognac and a cigar.

Are the women still winning? :stuck_out_tongue:

And yes, I can and have made these dishes and more. You may have figured out that I’m Italian, actually Italian-American Bronx born, but I can make anything pretty much if I have a good recipe. I find cooking very relaxing and the rewards are immediate and delicious.

I’m impressed ricoman, very impressed :clap:

I sure hope you are proven wrong Dee! Haven’t you noticed that most professional cooks are male? :stuck_out_tongue:

A fairly simple, Italian-style course:

Starter: Button mushroom Soup

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 onion (small, chopped finely)
  • 1 small piece of garlic (chopped)
  • 450 gr of button mushrooms (chopped)
  • 500 ml of vegetable stock
  • parsley (a very small amount, finely chopped)
  • salt, pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan, then gently fry the onion and garlic until the onion becomes transparent. Add the button mushrooms and fry very gently until they are soft. Add the stock and keep it around boiling temp. for 30 minutes (there propably is a word for it, but my cooking-English is limited). Remove the pan from the heat. Add salt & pepper to season. Add some parsley, heat it up again and serve.

Main course: Green risotto

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped finely)
  • 350 g arborio rice (or some other thick-grained rice)
  • 1 courgette (sliced into pieces)
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock
  • 50 gr of pine nuts
  • 1 small piece of garlic (chopped)
  • 400 gr of wild spinach (whole leaves)
  • Italian seasoning
  • 50 gr of “grano padano” cheese (grated)
  • salt, pepper

Heat the oil in a pan with a thick bottom, then gently fry the onion until it becomes transparent. Add the rice and the courgette and fry until all of the rice grains have become “shiny” (or something…). Add 250 ml of the stock and let it boil gently, while stirring. Each time the stock has evaporated, add some more, until the risotto is creamy and soft (approx. 25 minutes).
While preparing the risotto, take a wok and and roast the nuts shortly. Then, take them out of the wok and put them aside. Add the garlic and the spinach to the wok and let the leaves of spinach become small (in 5 minutes). Remove the wok from the heat and season. When the rice is ok, add the spinach and heat it all for an additional minute. Serve, sprinkeled with the cheese and the nuts.

Have some salad (perhaps a Ceasar salad?) and a Rosé wine with it. I myself like a dry Rosé.

As for desert, I never put much effort into it, so I don’t have any great ideas about this. But I think some (Italian) ice should fit well into the whole course. Followed by some coffee.

Although the course suggests otherwise, I’m not Italian like Ricoman. :slight_smile: But I do like cooking Italian (and courses from other countries), since the Dutch kitchen is, IMO, far from spectaculair and not much fun when you like cooking as a hobby.

BTW, you might say that cooking also is my dayjob, since that’s what I do most of the day as an organic chemist. Same procedures, totally different ingredients. :wink:


I was going to say four BigMac Value Meals and four vanilla cones-

Is there a prize for last place-eh?


Thanks Dee, too bad you’re in Scotland, I’d have you over for dinner. Maybe a nice veal scallopine with a Marsala mushroom sauce and wild mushroom risotto. :flower:

Nice job T-cp. I’m a big fan of risotto, I’ll have to try your recipe some time. :iagree:

Lol … this thread crax me up …

I’d be up for some Big Mac value meals and some Macaroni dinners … but, kurb, you can have my portion of the chocolate syrup. Nasty, nasty. :frowning:

Sorry, Dee … I know you’re pretty serious about the topic. There’s such an incredibly stark (Grand Canyon -like) contrast b/t the ‘real’ chef’s here and the drive thru order givers, I can’t help but laughing. :slight_smile:

I do enjoy cooking but am an absolute novice. I can’t say that I’ve ever used risotto or ever had the notion of describing my meal preparation in the ways that some have so eloquently done. My cooking gets about as complex as a chicken stirfry. I do enjoy it, but it’s not exactly what would call for an expensive wine accompanying it.

So, I’ll save myself the embarrassment and stick to dial by number foods for my recipe posts in this thread.

“Bon appetit!! Happy Cooking!!” - Julia Child & (that french dude) … lol.

I can cook, but hardly do it. Too much work.

The amount of food will not be a problem, but 3 courses …? :slight_smile: Lessee

For starters salmon crackers. Just a slice of salmon on a bit of bread or cracker. Gives me time to cook the stuff for the main course.

One of my favourite main courses is rice. Rice can be combined with practically any sort of meat, as long as it’s chopped in tiny bits. So how about some cooked rice, chopped ham and a sweet sauce. Add some usual ( or unusual, but when experimenting never ever use too much of it) herbs.

Finish with a fruit cocktail. Easy, light and tasty. I’ll buy some apples, oranges and a watermelon from the market. Chop it to pieces and prepare four glasses full of fruit. Add whipcream and presto.

The rest of the watermelon will be used to make punch. I learned this “trick” a couple of weeks ago. Just chop off a piece of the watermelon, empty it a little and fill the inside with lots of booze such as vodka. Makes excellent punch :slight_smile:

I used to love to cook like that but the wife wouldn’t have it (when I got married). It was a long slow process, but she beat me and most meals are microwave now. I guess my downfall was trying to make her help with the meals (don’t ever try to make a woman do anything, in the long run, they will win).
My thoughts though (having not cooked a good meal in who knows how long)
This one is hard to cook. I swear though, the best thing that I have ever eaten was salmon with holandaise sauce. I ate it at a resteraunt in salt lake city years back(not a five star resturant, but still a good one, 50$ plus per person for the main dish), and it was totally esquisite.
First trick is getting the fish cooked right. Anyone can cook fish, but most cannot cook it right (I used to be able to sometimes). With salmon, you have about a 30-60 second window (baking) where the fish is cooked right and thinner parts might have to be protected with foil. I always prefered baking but thier are lots of ways to cook it. When the gluten (If I am not mistaken, it’s been a long time) breaks down, the layers of the fish seperate and the sections of the fish firm. You want to catch it just when that happens. Trick is, with salmon (a firmer fish), the surface start to seem firm and seperate, when the center is still not cooked enough). If you diasect it it is easy to see, if thier is pinkish red in the middle, it’s undercooked, if the layers are hard and seperate easily, it’s overcooked (they should be soft but starting to firm, if they have started to firm, residual heat will finish the cooking).
God I miss cooking good meals…
The hollandaise sause though, is another story. Being my favorite sauce, I tried to cook it many times (hundreds if not thousands of times over the years). I often bought packets of it cause they tasted alright and mine sucked. I finally got it down though. I can now make a half ass hollandaise sauce. I have to admit, a good recipie is the hardest part. I can now make a traditional sauce, based on butter or margerine and egg yolks that is exelent for texture and consistancy (still working on the flavour though). Don’t mix the two though!!! That my experience though. You can use an unsalted premium margerine for it, or butter (I always prefer unsalted buter), but when I have tried to mix the two, it has been disasterious for the flavor!!!

If you can manage to cook the fish well, salmon and packet hollandaise (one of the major brands that includes butter in the making of it, not just water) can be a very nice main course. Traditional holandaise is a VERY fatty heavy sauce so a dryer grain side like rice dish works well. Pasta dishes tend to be too heavy to complement a hollandaise dish and anyway, rice goes well with fish.
A fresh cooked bread serves well next to it. Something light that will not interfere with the main dish.
And of course, a vegetable dish (my weak point cause I hate vegatables). My wife loves them though so I have cooked them for her a few times (have no idea if they taste good). A simple task would be to use a beef/onion broth (like the lipton packet stuff) to boil some brocily (I refuse to spell it right, it stinks when you cook it, it stinks when you eat it and it makes your breath stink)(can you tell I dont like it). Add a third of a stick of butter or margerine to the water too. Use bullion if you like, but try the bullion. Wylers (one of the big brands) is just ok at best. Encore beef broth powder (cheapass 48 cent per container spices) actually tastes beter. If the broth from the bullion doesn’t taste flavourfull, the vegatables wont.
Last thing, butter or margerine for cooking. Always use unsalted, and salt the dish to taste. Salted can ruin the suttle flavors of a good dish and unsalted doesen’t contain as much water which is beter for cooking. Also, butter and margerine are not interchangable, the have distinctly diffrent flavors. your dish will taste like what you used (though some dishes come out wonderfull with margerine).
I’m sure that didn’t help but I used up some bordom typing it so read it if you like.

Hmmm … starters …

I’d go with garlic or herb bread with bruschetta ( as above)

Main course … Skewers with prawns, chicken, capsicum, tomato & onion, grilled … with a light chilli or curry sauce, all atop a bed of jasmin rice.

Desert … hmmm … ice cream with real melted chocolate (with a touch of milk to aid pouring) over the top, sprinkled with a touch of strawberry quik. :wink:

4 slices of bread lightly toasted and buttered smothered in beans followed by a cup of tea and a chocky biscuit :clap:

2 people have mentioned capsicum, what is this? Is this a European item or is there another name for it?

My guess, hot pepper.

Yep, capsicum is a pepper. Greek by origin i think.

Capsicum is latin by origin, and is referred to scientific name of the plant’s genre.

Not sure about my translation, but should be what americans call “red hot pepper” (without chili :stuck_out_tongue: ).

Commonly known as chilli peppers. Central and South American by origin.

Unless you mean the band called Red Hot Capsicum, they are from California. :wink: :stuck_out_tongue: