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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 09-09-2012, 02:13 PM   #1
Ashmont
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Default The Magic of cooking is PLANNING!

Years ago I was told the magic of cooking is planning and reading. Just because it is a recipe which you can read does not mean you need to follow it... But rather as a base!

I was asked about my cooking today about the time involved. I said " It would be easier to go get something prepared but it may or may not be cheaper but it will be fast".

For example here in MO.: It is snowing like gang busters on a Sunday. No where to go! I get out the Chili pot and make five gallons for dinner. Then freeze the rest in portions that can be grabbed out of the freezer for days that we need a quick meal. You could make Ka-Bobs and freeze for later. Soups and pot pies freeze well too! Extra pulled pork, brisket, chicken, ribs ect as well. We even do 5 gallons of real baked tatoes and freeze in family size portions. This is a great grab and go with a bunch of cooked turkey or chicken. Just remember you need time and all the ingriediants on hand so stock up with sales for when these days happen.

Any more ideas please add! These days I am talking about the whole house smells great and reminds me of the days I had at home with mom cooking! A bonus is if you can get the whole family involved.


Find time to plan! Your family will love it!
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Unread 09-09-2012, 02:25 PM   #2
caseydog
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On a related subject, before starting to cook anything, have all your ingredients prepared and ready to grab and use. The French call it mise en place (mees-on-plas). Learning about mise en place improved my cooking more than anything else.

If you have a well stocked freezer and pantry, and you practice mise en place, you can come up with a good meal at any time, without having to go to the store -- and stress free.

I stock up on meats at COSTCO, and vacuum seal meal sized portions for the freezer. I also keep my pantry well stocked. When I am ready to cook, I have a good collection of prep bowls, that I fill with my chopped veggies and other ingredients before I begin to actually cook. Even my spices and herbs are measured out and ready. That way, once I start cooking, I am completely focused on cooking.

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Unread 09-09-2012, 02:27 PM   #3
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I keep my freezer stocked with quart containers of chicken stock which I make out of the carcases from breaking down chickens. Makes for quick soups, cooking liquid for rice, beans etc, as well as a quick sauces for pot pies, finishing sauces for chicken or pork dishes etc. I make about 20qts at a time and that lasts me 2-3 months. The stuff is my magic kitchen elixir.

I find that prepping a batch of enchiladas and freezing before baking works very well. Chili is excellent as well as any soup or stew that I make.
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Unread 09-09-2012, 04:56 PM   #4
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Actually just finished having "Brunswick Stew".It was made from leftover grilled chicken,Alittle pulled pork,a leftover Ribeye,and leftover grilled Brat.I used onions,carrots,celery,and a few small taters.After about 4 hour in the crockpot,I added frozen peas and corn.Some claim Brunswick stew has to have Lima beans but ole'what's'er name and I don't care for them so I don't use them.
Great thing is the leftovers from the stew will freeze well and make a quick dinner.Just whip up a batch o cornbread.
When I started,I had a bowl of meat cut into chunks,a small bowl with the spices measured into it,a couple of measuring cups with sauces,an open can of diced tomatoes (my plants did nothing this year)and two boxes of frozen veegies.I have started a stew without everything but usually just start the meat if I need to run for something,but I always know when I pull the pan out.


n BTW A recipe is a guideline for cooking,but a formula for baking.
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Unread 09-09-2012, 05:05 PM   #5
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I've been cooking a large batch of dry pinto beans for use in my Mexican dishes for almost 24 hours. It will get parted out and frozen for future use.

Next will be a huge batch of home made Mexican style rice from scratch. That'll begin shortly.

Got me some green serranos, japs and lots of other goodies to put in the rice. Nothing better than 3 day old spicy food. Same applies to Italian food for that matter.
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Unread 09-09-2012, 05:08 PM   #6
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I store up all the edges and such off of the meats I cook. I use them to add smoke to stocks and sauces when I don't or haven't smoked any meats. A few chunks of trimmings can really transform a stew or sauce.
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Unread 09-09-2012, 06:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
I store up all the edges and such off of the meats I cook. I use them to add smoke to stocks and sauces when I don't or haven't smoked any meats. A few chunks of trimmings can really transform a stew or sauce.

But dont share this with Landarc! He might get pissed... OOOPs
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Weber Kettle Dabomb
Weber Kettle Justintime
Weber Kettle (Yet to be named by Daughter) Evil Twin Suggested!
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Unread 09-09-2012, 07:03 PM   #8
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Good stuff, Marty!

We have a super small fridge/freezer in our apartment and wind up throwing out more food than we are pleased to admit. It is always a struggle to figure out how to use it before you lose it. I have a whole bunch of garlic and peppers and whatnot I will likely throw in the dehydrator in the next day or so before they turn....Thanks for making me think about what to do with that stuff....
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Unread 09-09-2012, 07:50 PM   #9
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Great suggestions!

I too think that there is a difference between being able to cook and being able to follow a recipe. I think that if you learn the basics (boil, fry, roast, broil, bake, barbecue, braise, steam, etc.) you are miles ahead.

Recipes become spring boards and stepping stones after you learn to actually cook.
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Unread 09-09-2012, 08:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
On a related subject, before starting to cook anything, have all your ingredients prepared and ready to grab and use. The French call it mise en place (mees-on-plas). Learning about mise en place improved my cooking more than anything else.

If you have a well stocked freezer and pantry, and you practice mise en place, you can come up with a good meal at any time, without having to go to the store -- and stress free.

I stock up on meats at COSTCO, and vacuum seal meal sized portions for the freezer. I also keep my pantry well stocked. When I am ready to cook, I have a good collection of prep bowls, that I fill with my chopped veggies and other ingredients before I begin to actually cook. Even my spices and herbs are measured out and ready. That way, once I start cooking, I am completely focused on cooking.

CD
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Unread 09-09-2012, 10:44 PM   #11
Ashmont
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This thread came up as a discussion about cost of food! My inner circle of friends and why I cook at home. One is cost savings! Second is if I am cooking it will be easier to cook more and freeze. (Now I realize that not everyone can do that but if you can it will save you money or time!) If I have the time and nothing better to do on a snowy/Rainy or whateverday. With three kids and two adults going in different direction on a weekday and they can go to the freezer and grab a bowl of chili or a enchilada and have a meal in 5 mins on the way to a softball or football game (that is homemade) is awesome!

Why not! I have been known to make 20lbs of taco meat at one time and freeze it in portions for later use. I will post soon the broccoli cheddar and chunck chicken pot pie! Awesome!
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Proud member of Brethren Weber's for life

(Rescued 7 kettles in 2007, 1 in 2008, 2 in 2009 and 1 in 2010 Three of which I have and 8 that have gone to Brethren. PM me to get on the waiting list)

Weber Kettle Dabomb
Weber Kettle Justintime
Weber Kettle (Yet to be named by Daughter) Evil Twin Suggested!
Weber Kettle Grace
WSM "Winni"
WSM "Dumas"
One Smokey Joe
UDS "Peggy Sue"
http://ashsmoderndayclubhouse.blogspot.com/
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Unread 09-09-2012, 10:50 PM   #12
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Ash, I have a different problem than you. It's just my wife and I and I have never figured out how to cook for just two people. I always end up with a bunch of leftovers. They either get frozen and put to use in something else. Or transformed into lunches for the week like chicken salad when I cook a whole bird or roast beef sandwiches when I do roasts or tri-tips. Regardless, the vacuum sealer has been one of the best purchases I've ever made. I HATE tossing food in the trash, always leaves me feeling guilty.
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Unread 09-10-2012, 08:31 AM   #13
Ashmont
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS2SB View Post
Ash, I have a different problem than you. It's just my wife and I and I have never figured out how to cook for just two people. I always end up with a bunch of leftovers. They either get frozen and put to use in something else. Or transformed into lunches for the week like chicken salad when I cook a whole bird or roast beef sandwiches when I do roasts or tri-tips. Regardless, the vacuum sealer has been one of the best purchases I've ever made. I HATE tossing food in the trash, always leaves me feeling guilty.

You got it right on the nose! For example: You make eight chicken breasts for 2 people. Leftovers for 2 people can be overwhelming.... You eat 2 or three. (Say two) then take the other six (planning mod) dice up for a taco night, dice and vac sac and freeze for later use in pot pies, tacos, chili or even just sammiches. One thing I have learned is vac saking ang freezing for later use is your friend. I do not want to eat chili for a week. Save money and use all you can.....
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Ashmont

Proud member of Brethren Weber's for life

(Rescued 7 kettles in 2007, 1 in 2008, 2 in 2009 and 1 in 2010 Three of which I have and 8 that have gone to Brethren. PM me to get on the waiting list)

Weber Kettle Dabomb
Weber Kettle Justintime
Weber Kettle (Yet to be named by Daughter) Evil Twin Suggested!
Weber Kettle Grace
WSM "Winni"
WSM "Dumas"
One Smokey Joe
UDS "Peggy Sue"
http://ashsmoderndayclubhouse.blogspot.com/
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