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Cooking Evolution

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    Cooking Evolution

    After reading RichieB 's post 'A-question-i-had-for-myself-while-eating-tonight', I got to thinking about "the line up" or "the list" of things we have in mind for cooking. We see folks saying that a lot but what does that mean to you? I'm probably 5-6 meals behind where I generally am at any given point in time. Sometimes what's in my over crowded freezer dictates my move or every so often I see a YouTuber do something that resonates with me so I stop and re-create whatever that was.

    Once it makes it to the top of the list, I begin my research. Yea that's right I research whatever it is that I've never cooked or want to know something about. Then I sit down and plan thinking through the steps necessary in my head. I then make a list of essentials from the store that I don't have on hand in the pantry. That will include paring the appropriate sides to accentuate the main offering. Plating (and thus the photography of the dish) is also thought through. What presentation dish am I going to use? What background do I setup in my make shift studio?

    Then I tie a bandana to my forehead and go cook whatever it is. Maybe a cuss word or two along the way but if I'm not exhausted at the end, I haven't achieved my goal. I know, I'm a little off but that's my routine, what's yours??

    #2
    What is your make-shift studio?

    I dunno about you, but I want to get that AR patch so I can put on my AR apron when I am cooking and be reminded of my Pit buddies.

    Comment


    • Troutman
      Troutman commented
      Editing a comment
      Make shift studio is our formal dining room which gets used like 2-3 times a year. It's my defacto photo studio the other 363 days

    • IFindZeroBadCooks
      IFindZeroBadCooks commented
      Editing a comment
      Do you have any special lights or anything for food photo or it is just a well lit room that works ?

    • Troutman
      Troutman commented
      Editing a comment
      I have three commercial style soft box photo lights and my flash attachment. Black table cloth on the dining table is the basic backdrop.

    #3
    I first read that as "I tie a banana to my head and go cook whatever it is"

    Comment


    • jpietrantone
      jpietrantone commented
      Editing a comment
      Hahaha glad I wasn't the only one!

    • Troutman
      Troutman commented
      Editing a comment
      No I smoke the banana and I tie the bandana

    #4
    Honestly I don't have a list of what I want to cook. I guess I'm a little boring and keep going back to the staples. However, I do tweak things a little when I find a new technique that interests me.

    And yes, what I have on hand in the freezer definitely drives the direction of the meal.

    Comment


      #5
      I use Google Keep for many things and I have a note entitled "Dinner Plans" where my list of future cooks is kept. Sometimes the list is long and sometimes there are just a couple of items.

      Comment


        #6
        I generally go down the rabbit hole in researching various cooking styles and the why’s of those cultures, and how they imagined the ingredients, what did the food mean to that culture. Rarely do I look for recipe’s. I look for photo’s of food that I think look amazing, and then take my own approach to it to match my timing, and cooking methods that interest me. I have a few out there that even a few years later I still have not taken on. But, I generally try to engage in various techniques in those. Like, I am sucker for Italian food. So, there are some meals I have not tackled, but, likely I hold those dishes to such high regard, that I will hold back until I have sourced the quality of ingredients that I think they deserve, or that I think they will exhaust me, so I need to come up with the methods and timing so they do not exhaust me. But when it comes to something like Italian, I will research the differences in the regional differences in the meals, what wine or beverage goes with it, how do the multiple courses play out and compliment each other. My wife would say I way over research cooking, or pretty much everything in life. I am an all or nothing person. But I never tie a banana to my head. 😜

        Comment


        • IFindZeroBadCooks
          IFindZeroBadCooks commented
          Editing a comment
          My wife says I over research everything as well. Then again, I do kinda do that for a living too.

        #7
        I have a list of 10-15 meals that I want to make. They get made as time and product availability permit. The list never ends and changes often.

        Comment


        • Troutman
          Troutman commented
          Editing a comment
          …and may that list never end 👍

        #8
        I too have a running list. I have 3 or 4 sites that I frequent daily, obviously this is one of them. From those resources, I cull recipes and put them on the list. What happens is that I too end up going to the regular favorites, but also try to mix in new recipes. I use a software for my daily routine that I have used for many many years. It is actually developed there in Texas (Chaos Software). I use this to manage my day to day and it also holds all my recipes and future recipes to try.

        Comment


        • Richard Chrz
          Richard Chrz commented
          Editing a comment
          You make a good point. Although I go to the internet for photos that I would like to recreate. There are very few sites I trust when I feel I need some guidance. This site of course, beyond that I am.a serious eats fan. I’ve become very skeptical of websites with cooking knowledge. Hence why I like to learn it on my own in all trial and error.

        • DavidNorcross
          DavidNorcross commented
          Editing a comment
          Agree Richard Chrz this is why there is a very short list of sites.

        #9
        Lately my routine has been to leaf through the latest Milk Street issue, say "Yum, that looks good, I wonder if I can find those ingredients at our store" about 4 times, tell my wife "we should make this sometime" about 3 times and show her the page, then put it down, grab a glass of bourbon or rye, and plan tonight's pork chops, tomorrow's ribs, and Friday's brisket. If I'm feeling fancy (for me) throw in a tri tip with home made board sauce. Repeat.

        I do want to broaden my personal horizons, starting with a great curry, then learning baking, but work kicks my butt and I lose motivation when I'm finally home for a few days. Whattyado....

        Comment


        • Troutman
          Troutman commented
          Editing a comment
          To many things to make, too little time to make them!! I too like Milk Street 🤙

        • IFindZeroBadCooks
          IFindZeroBadCooks commented
          Editing a comment
          I didn’t know Milk Street had so many good international recipes. Very cool.

        #10
        For BBQ recipes I use AR (95% of the time) Serious Eats, Malcom Reed, and Jess Pyles. For non-BBQ I use Serious Eats, AR if they have it, and Cook’s Illustrated if it is not insanely complicated. I do think CI complicated things to seek perfection at the expense of the typical home chef sometimes. I will use random bloggers once I have compared 20 different takes on the recipe to be sure it is decent, but I’d prefer to learn more about the food culture than a blogger’s life story.

        I do feel like there is a gap in the market for a AR-style take on ethnic foods, which is probably why I enjoyed Troutman’s taco chronicles so much.

        There are a lot of great meals out there that I have eaten (Russian, Thai, Chinese, Bosnian etc) that could use some quality sites instead of SEO seeking food bloggers.

        Chinese food in particular is not even close to the Americanized version and is far more spicy and flavorful.


        Maybe I need to invest more in cookbooks for ethnic foods instead of the internet?



        Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; October 13, 2021, 06:17 PM.

        Comment


        • Troutman
          Troutman commented
          Editing a comment
          I’m currently planning on a new cooking series. Biggest challenge is adapting it to include bbq techniques.

        #11
        Surprisingly enough, I am not a huge fan of allrecipes. The recipes always seem dumbed down or missing critical ingredients.

        Comment


        • IFindZeroBadCooks
          IFindZeroBadCooks commented
          Editing a comment
          Murdy yep that is pretty much it. I will look at Simple Recipes.

          Dan Deter I do see the comments for the super popular stuff but if the recipe is not very popular, we don’t get the same level of suggested improvements. Then the recipes are bad with no suggested improvements. It’s more of a pain to use versus other sites which have more thoughtful recipes.

        • Dan Deter
          Dan Deter commented
          Editing a comment
          IFindZeroBadCooks oh agreed. We're much more likely to use CI or Southern Living or similar...

        • Murdy
          Murdy commented
          Editing a comment
          IFindZeroBadCooks SimplY Recipes actually: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/

        #12
        Chocolate covered Grilled Spam and Jalapeno chips,
        My memory is such that if I don't right, no wright, make that write down I FourGet
        I remember PBR and Cheese soup.
        Last edited by bbqLuv; October 14, 2021, 09:16 AM.

        Comment


          #13
          ".......I'm a little off....", you're far too modest Steve.

          Comment


            #14
            Agree with an above statement that I too am a boring cook and go back to the staples.
            I am guilty of pigeon hole cooking, same things time and time again.
            I have tried branching out but hit resistance all the time from my wife be picky or wanting her meal on the table not one minute late and/or my kids infatuation with Ubereats and Skipthedishes.
            So I plug away at the same old boring dishes not wanting to up set the apple cart....it is my cross to bear.

            Comment


            • glitchy
              glitchy commented
              Editing a comment
              LOL, I feel for you...your post refreshed in when I hit post on mine below :-)

            #15
            I live among the land of people that are satisfied with calling a sandwich 2 pieces of bread with a little meat between, no cheese, mayo, butter, dressing, etc. I have a high schooler that has never even tried ranch dressing or bbq sauce and absolutely refuses and throws fits when asked to try anything. I love to try new things, so coming up with what to cook is just downright exhausting before even trying to add new recipes to the mix.

            I do watch a lot of Sam The Cooking Guy as many of his recipes at least have a chance that I could make and family would eat (with girls likely leaving out all the accompaniments that actually make the dish good). The problem is he sure seems to do a lot of frying, which I typically steer away from. I try not to fry at home as I figure I get enough fried food elsewhere. Not that I won't heat up some oil on a rare occasion, just don't wish to fry even weekly. I also don't like the mess/smell that lingers when frying inside.

            I also watch things here constantly for ideas and occasionally check out Jess Pryles, Chuds, Kent Rollins, and The Hillbilly Kitchen for ideas. Most of my evolution is so boring though and comes in the same thing over and over just changing rubs to get a different taste...and sometimes just on my own piece of protein to avoid gripes. The girls laugh and roll their eyes when they are going somewhere for the day and I get excited thinking what can I cook with them gone (which has been like twice in the last two years ).
            Last edited by glitchy; October 14, 2021, 08:55 AM.

            Comment


            • Troutman
              Troutman commented
              Editing a comment
              My wife asked me for Troutman"s Country Chicken for the 500th time last night. I took all the ingredients out, told her there they are, have at it. I can't stand cooking the same thing over and over, I get bored too easily. Good news is she cooked it as good as I could have so now maybe I have a sous chef in training !!!

            • glitchy
              glitchy commented
              Editing a comment
              Troutman You might be on to something with the over and over, that’s probably why I’m always looking at different cookers. It gives me (slightly) new ways to make the same old things.

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