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Cookin again

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
One thing I do to avoid that onion issue is I often prep a bunch of them and freeze them. I’ve got at least a pound of plain yellows rolled up in a cylindrical “chub” in my freezer right now,

I do the same for other onions, garlic, and things like parsley, peppers and celery, too. Often, I’ll take a few hours and do a whole bunch of veg chopping to get it out of the way all at once.

Not only does it minimize your losses to spoilage, it also cuts the amount of cleaning you have to do, AND it can cut your meal prep time immensely,
Depending on your knife skills, you could possibly use a food processor to cut up onions in bulk this way. I bought two red bell peppers yesterday, and the second recipe is for early next week; I might cut up the second when I'm doing prep today and freeze it. Depends on how much room we have in our little freezer, of course. We've been meaning to buy a chest freezer since we moved into this house almost a year ago, but this is not a good time to try to find such a thing, let alone buy one. With just the two of us, we can get a lot of food into the freezer built into our fridge, though; I think we'll be fine.
 

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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I have a good food processor*, but I don’t use it as often as I should. As clumsy as I can seem with a knife, I prefer them. Gets me necessary practice time, if nothing else. I DID, however, just see some celebrity chef use one of the alternative blades on hers so do some shredded Brussels sprouts. I may have to try some of our other blades. Might not be using my mandolin as much...

For 2 people, a chest freezer is probably overkill...unless you cook big meals like roast suckling pig, or Thanksgiving for 30. Or you want to have an ice-cream stand’s worth of your favorite flavors on hand.




* 2 actually, but that’s another story
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
For 2 people, a chest freezer is probably overkill...unless you cook big meals like roast suckling pig, or Thanksgiving for 30. Or you want to have an ice-cream stand’s worth of your favorite flavors on hand.
We don't use our food processor as often as we should, either.

We were probably going to get about as small a chest freezer as we could find, and then try to run out less often for food. Among other things, there's a meat counter near here that has some large package deals available, and the only to make that worthwhile for the two of us is to freeze the meat.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
You don’t want to go too small, either- they’re just not as energy efficient.

We usually have a few steaks and rib roasts in our freezer, plus some hamburger, homemade hot sausage, a couple pounds of bacon, crab, oysters and shrimp for uncooked proteins stashed away. As mentioned, we also keep some prepped veggies.

Most of the rest is cooked foods, either leftovers, or stuff intentionally cooked in advance to have things on hand that could be quickly reheated or transported. So, for instance, I know I gave a few servings of gumbo, a few containers of red beans, and some cabbage, all ready to thaw & eat.

The trick is making sure you don’t lose things in there. Every once in a while, we find some forgotten slab of wooly mammoth that’s been in there just a tad to long to be palatable...

So if you DO get a freezer, make a plan!

One thing we do is keep most of the raw stuff in one area and the cooked in another, as much as possible. That minimizes the amount of digging around I have to do.

Another thing is we invested in food preservation systems. Ziplock freezer bags are great, but they’re not perfect and they are of limited reusability. So while we still use them, we’ve added 2 things to the kitchen.

1) a vacuum sealer. They really do an excellent job with things like raw steak or veggies you like to cook/eat in large amounts. That lets you take advantage of sales. And since they suck the air out of the container, freezer burn is MUCH less likely.

2) Rubbermaid Brilliance storage containers. Clear, stackable, dishwasher and microwave safe, I use these mostly for storing leftovers. The ONLY downside is I can’t label them like a freezer bag.
 



Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I did fancy grilled cheese sandwiches & tomato basil soup for lunch today. (Good Friday.)

Each person’s sandwich was a unique combo of 3 cheeses, each on a different kind of bread. Dad got American, Swiss and smoked Gouda on white. Mom was served Boursin, Swiss and smoked Gouda on roasted garlic. I had Boursin, American and smoked Gouda on oatnut.

The tomato soup was bought at Market Street yesterday, reheated. I personally added cracked pepper, parsley, chive and radish sprouts to mine. Definitely a winning combination of flavors, IMHO.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Making some low key nachos and going to binge watch season 2 of Star Wars Rebels tonight with my kids. It doesn't always have to be fancy.:) That said, I've seen a staggering number of people with really bad nacho assembly skills. I thought that was a base level human competency, but apparently not.
 

Vael

Adventurer
Made risotto the other night ... I love making risotto in a pressure cooker, I dislike standing over a stovetop that long.
 





Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Making some low key nachos and going to binge watch season 2 of Star Wars Rebels tonight with my kids. It doesn't always have to be fancy.:) That said, I've seen a staggering number of people with really bad nacho assembly skills. I thought that was a base level human competency, but apparently not.
I’ve never actually made nachos, so I have no idea if I would succeed or fail.

A guy I used to know used to take round Tostitos and top them with tomato sauce, pepperoni slices and shredded Mozzerell. A little time in the microwave, and he gas “pizza nachos”.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I’ve never actually made nachos, so I have no idea if I would succeed or fail.

A guy I used to know used to take round Tostitos and top them with tomato sauce, pepperoni slices and shredded Mozzerell. A little time in the microwave, and he gas “pizza nachos”.
A lot if restaurants screw nachos up.

To dry, nasty corn chips, bit stingy on the toppings, not enough sour cream etc.

Dorrito's not the worst option.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
The real trick is to make them tall, not wide. Proper nachos should be built in two layers, with adequate topping content on each layer. The cooking temp need to be moderate, say 350, so that all the cheese melts properly, not just the cheese on the outside. Having enough sauce is also pretty key. Those little plastic cups aren't big enough.

One of my biggest pet peeves is restaurant nachos where the cheese in the middle isn't even remotely melted. Someone who is getting paid to cook should be able to melt cheese, and also know that you can't use the Salamander just because you burnt the first batch and now you're in a hurry.

Nachos and homefries (breakfast potatoes) are my two barometers of kitchen quality. If they can't manage those the kitchen is probably bad all over.
 

Ulfgeir

Adventurer
Another thing they screw up with nachos/tacos on restaurants: They claim to have hot sauces, but it tends to always be glorified Tabasco. Both in taste and lvl of heat. And if Tabasco actually makes it "hotter" then it is something wrong, as that is basically vinegar with chili in.

And another rant for food. Here in Sweden (and the whole Eu), the Best use before-dates on anything bought in stores is in a wrong format. There IS an ISO-standard (ISO 8601) on how to write dates, which is YYYY-MM-DD (note the 4 digits for year). But do they use that on food? Nope. They use DDMMYY, which imo is a dangerous ways of using it, as it can cause ambiguity. If I understand it correctly, the Germans were to blame for this atrocious format. Of course, it could have been worse, they could have used the US format of MMDDYY, which has to be the most absurd way ever.
 
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Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Another thing they screw up with nachos/tacos on restaurants: They claim to have hot sauces, but it tends to always be glorified Tabasco. Both in taste and lvl of heat. And if Tabasco actually makes it "hotter" then it is something wrong, as that is basically vinegar with chili in.
QFT. A lot of hot sauces are indeed just vinegar with some level of capsicum added and they are not tasty. Nor are they hot for the most part, and the ones that are hot still taste like day-old hobo toejam. Blech. Good hot sauce tastes good and adds both heat an flavor to a dish. I tend to make I my own, as I can't just get some from a shop where I live and I don't like to play internet ordering roulette with my hot sauce supply. I have a good supply of different dried peppers, right up to Jolokia and Carolina Reaper, so I do ok for heat. I mostly prefer sweeter sauces with citrus notes when I'm making them myself.
 



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