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Old 08-17-2010, 06:16 PM #148
Spartan58 (Banned)
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Externship is over. Back in MI now. That is all.
FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.

Howd it go? Teach me to cajun plz.
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:54 PM #149
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Haha, come to MI and I'll teach you everything I know.
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:15 AM #150
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Haha, come to MI and I'll teach you everything I know.
Meet me halfway?
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Old 08-20-2010, 05:26 PM #151
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Where did you do your extern? I am leaving for mine in 3 weeks
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Old 08-21-2010, 05:07 AM #152
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Muriels Jackson Square in NOLA. Executive Chef worked under Paul Prudhomme @ Commanders Palace back in the day.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:45 AM #153
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Muriels Jackson Square in NOLA. Executive Chef worked under Paul Prudhomme @ Commanders Palace back in the day.
Drop some recipes and insider info on me. Seriously, cajun food is something I would kill to learn.

Also, Im tossing around using a slow cooker or rice cooker to make stuff while im out of the house and can come back to it when its done. I read a big thing on how rice cookers were great for that because they shut off when its done and know when its done or something. Now, you all pro chefs may look down on that but Im a practical kind of guy and after 2 months without a kitchen, the remodel is done and the new kitchen is badass. I mean, if I can throw some chicken and rice with some peas or some other veggies into a thing, turn it on and come back after studying or running errands and eat..that would be sick. But slow cookers are much more versatile...thoughts? Ideas? With how I train, big lifting and whatnot, I need to be able to eat and then have my next meal prepped because I eat every 3 hours or so.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:29 AM #154
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slow cookers are good. and cheap. and versatile. I'm having a hard time seeing a down side to getting one if you have the money.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:50 PM #155
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slow cookers are good. and cheap. and versatile. I'm having a hard time seeing a down side to getting one if you have the money.
Well its more of a slow cooker vs rice cooker. Which one to get. I mean, if I can legit cook a meal and then throw a bunch of stuff together and start studying, come back an hour or two later with a complete meal done, that would be exceptional. Im leaning towards rice cooker since it turns itself off when its done and I dont have to worry about it.

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Old 08-26-2010, 11:15 PM #156
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well the point of a slow cooker is that it's very difficult to overcook things, and you're generally making things where letting it go a little long isn't going to ruin anything. Most slow cooker things (soups, stews, stewed/pulled meats, etc...) will probably call for more than an hour or two, just a heads up.

I really got into throwing a bunch of random vegetables into the slow cooker, going to work/class all day then coming home to a few days worth of great lentil soup/whatever. And short ribs seared and then braised in a beer-based overnight are hard to beat (I was kind of hesitant to cook meat overnight in my efficiency-style apartment, though...smells were a little too intense in the morning).

I don't have any experience cooking anything but rice in a rice cooker, though, so can't really speak to their utility.
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:04 AM #157
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well the point of a slow cooker is that it's very difficult to overcook things, and you're generally making things where letting it go a little long isn't going to ruin anything. Most slow cooker things (soups, stews, stewed/pulled meats, etc...) will probably call for more than an hour or two, just a heads up.

I really got into throwing a bunch of random vegetables into the slow cooker, going to work/class all day then coming home to a few days worth of great lentil soup/whatever. And short ribs seared and then braised in a beer-based overnight are hard to beat (I was kind of hesitant to cook meat overnight in my efficiency-style apartment, though...smells were a little too intense in the morning).

I don't have any experience cooking anything but rice in a rice cooker, though, so can't really speak to their utility.
I was looking at these. Stuck between them

Slow cooker
http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/prod...p?SKU=15868953

rice cooker
http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/prod...p?SKU=17285335

Now I had heard about people loving rice cookers as easy ways to toss meals together but I read this article (weird timing eh) in my paper and was like hmmm.

http://www.statesman.com/life/roger-...type=ynews_rss

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Roger Ebert hasn't had a bite of food in four years.

Thyroid cancer took away the venerable film critic's ability to eat and speak, but it didn't lessen his love of food and, of all things, rice cookers.

In a blog post in 2008, Ebert extolled the virtues of his favorite one-pot cooking device, and the post garnered enough comments and media attention - after all, how does a man who is fed through a tube in his stomach become the unofficial spokesman for a cooking utensil? - that he expanded the online manifesto into a book, "The Pot and How To Use It: The mystery and romance of the rice cooker," ($14.99, Andrews McMeel) which comes out next month, just in time for the shiny newness of back-to-school to have worn off and the routine of many parents and college students scrambling to get dinner on a plate to have officially set in.

Ebert claims that the rice cooker is the only cooking device you really need. For decades, during all those years he was dishing out thumbs-up or thumbs-down with Gene Siskel, he was perfecting the art of cooking just about every kind of food imaginable in a rice cooker: steamed vegetables, soups, fish, oatmeal, grits, risottos, stir-fries, beans, potatoes, eggs, pot roasts, pasta.

He lugged a cooker to the Sundance Film Festival every year to cook meals in his hotel room between screenings, and to this day, even though he can't eat, he still occasionally prepares rice cooker meals for guests who come to his Chicago home for dinner.

I don't share the same love of rice cookers that Ebert does. In a small kitchen like mine, every square foot counts, and for the past two years, I've had my eye on the square foot underneath a rice cooker that my mother-in-law gave us a few years ago.

Like most rice cookers in America, mine has sat unused for almost as long as we've had it. I steamed a few pots of rice when it was new, but quickly realized that it was easier and faster just to keeping making rice on the stove like I always had. The resulting rice wasn't as perfectly al dente or fluffy, but it was good enough. No special measuring cups. No need to remember a new ratio of water to rice. With one pot, one lid and an adjustable heat source, I had complete control over the process.

If I want a one-pot meal, I'll pull out a slow cooker, which, unlike rice cookers, maintains a level of heat until you turn it off. Rice cookers automatically turn off when the all the liquid inside has evaporated or been absorbed by the rice. This causes the temperature inside the cooker to rise above the boiling point, which triggers the machine to turn off.

Ebert and his followers (both philosophically and literally; he has more than 212,000 followers on Twitter and his blog - blogs.suntimes.com/ebert - regularly wins best blog awards), call this the magic of The Pot, because the Pot knows before the cook does when something is ready.

To me, it's maddening. It's hard enough for me to outsmart my kid; I don't need another challenger.

This back-to-school season was going to be the perfect excuse to regift my rice cooker to my college-bound cousin who just last week moved into an apartment for his first year at the University of Texas at San Antonio. (Rice cookers, like nearly every other cooking appliance, aren't allowed in most university residence halls, including those at the University of Texas, Texas State and St. Edward's.)

But then along comes Ebert, a man who has won a Pulitzer Prize for giving out his opinion, encouraging me to give the rice cooker another chance.

I put his book to the test, preparing non-rice dishes like soup, oatmeal, steamed broccoli and even an egg and potato frittata to see what this "mystery and romance" was all about. Turns out, I'm not as smart as my pot. The dishes required as much attention and more time (21/2 hours in the case of the frittata) to complete than if I'd just cooked them on the stove or microwave.

Even though I'm pressed for time and have a small kitchen, I'm not a fix-it-and-forget-it type of cook. I like to be involved in the cooking process, even if it's just sautéeing garlic in a saucepan before making rice, but Ebert didn't write this book for me. "I am thinking of you, student in your dorm room. You, solitary writer, artist, musician, potter, plumber, builder, hermit … You, teenager home alone. You, rabbi, pastor, priest, nun, waitress, community organizer, monk, nurse, starving actor, taxi driver, long-haul driver," he writes. "Think what a treasure the Pot is for Asians who don't have kitchens as big as an indoor skating rink."

For fans of Ebert's writing and deadpan humor, the book is worth reading if only for his health-conscious, Zen-like approach to cooking. "Every recipe is only a suggestion … Change anything or everything in the recipe and cook it your way," he writes. "I mentioned the life-extending benefits of a low-salt, low-fat diet. This is up to you. Throw in salt by the handful if you want to. I don't care. Aunt Mary would get nervous: `Don't you think that's about enough?' "

He offers a number of tips for saving money and time when preparing dishes (see box), but the most valuable for people who are new to cooking or merely burned out is his encouragement that you don't need fancy equipment or ingredients to make a great meal. "I am sure this sounds barbaric, but I have been known to enjoy a can of tomato soup with just some frozen peas added at the last moment."

In fact, on the final day of my rice cooker experiment, just as I was about to pack up my cooker for good and let Ebert and his fans keep their Pot and its mystery, I made the most delicious chicken and rice dish in memory. Tender, fragrant, perfectly cooked and fluffed rice topped with succulent bites of chicken and strips of steamed red bell peppers was good enough to make me want to keep the rice cooker on hand just to make this one infinitely adaptable dish.

Cooking, no matter the vessel or technique, is a necessary and empowering task. Anna Thomas, author of "The Vegetarian Epicure" who is also an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and a friend of Ebert's, isn't quite convinced of the Pot's power either, but she nails it in the book's introduction: "Never mind the Pot. What I hear you saying is this: Cook! Cook to be useful, cook to take care of yourself, cook to be healthier, cook to feed the ones you love, cook to celebrate." Even Ebert encourages readers to push themselves beyond the rice cooker: "A confession: The Pot may be all you need, but it needn't be all you want."

abroyles@statesman.com; 912-2504

Rice cooker tips

* You can cook more than rice in a rice cooker, even though some manufacturers might discourage you to do so in the instruction manual because you have to override the settings that are established to cook brown and white rice. If you're cooking something like pasta or soup and the cooker switches to "off" or "warm," you might have to switch it back to "cook" (or "white rice" or "brown rice") to turn the heating element back on. Depending on your model, you might even have to unplug the cooker and plug it back in to reset it if you've switched back and forth enough times.

* Rice cookers double nicely as vegetable steamers. Just place the cut-up vegetables in the pot and add about a half cup of water. Close the lid, turn the pot on and check back in 10 minutes to see if they are done.

* Frozen peas are a cheap, easy addition to just about any dish you make in a rice cooker because you can mix them at the last minute and let them thaw on the way to the table.

* To get a jump-start on a soup, start with a low-sodium canned soup or instant soup mix (Roger Ebert's favorite is Bean Cuisine). Then you can play around with whatever proteins, vegetables, spices and sauces you have on hand.

* To caramelize onions for a soup, mix diced onions with a little oil in the bottom of the pot, close the lid and turn on the cooker. Every five minutes or so, open the cooker to stir the onions and eventually they will soften and turn brown.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:53 AM #158
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I know people gush over slow cookers, but I personally prefer food roasted or braised in the oven. The only time I use them is if I'm transferring/holding hot foods like soup.
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Old 09-11-2010, 12:28 AM #159
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I know people gush over slow cookers, but I personally prefer food roasted or braised in the oven. The only time I use them is if I'm transferring/holding hot foods like soup.
Its a matter of convenience. I train to a point where Im constantly eating. I cook meals for a family when they are just for myself. Idk, I was just looking for input on the whole debate.
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:31 PM #160
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Quick question since the slow cooker subject was brought up.
cooking for my sons party soon. planning on slow cooking some pork leg/shoulder. Problem is I'm not sure how much to buy. cooking for 35 hungry college kids. Never cooked for this many people before.
Whats a good formula on how to figure out what i need to buy vs what I'll have cooked/per serving?
anything for amount of rice and beans might be helpful too
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:30 AM #161
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How much/portion * portions = how much you'll need. If you plan on 8 oz portions of slow cooked pork (half a pound, which is more than adequate), you'll need roughly 15-20 lbs. of pork, depending on how much "stuff" you intend to add to it (BBQ sauce, canned tomatoes, onions, etc. Rice and beans is another subject. When at the store, look at the box of rice/beans, and it'll say x amount per serving * x amount of servings. If it has 10 servings per box, then buy 4 boxes!
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Old 12-05-2010, 04:49 PM #162
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Jasper, my little brother goes to CIA also. Great school bro, he let me look through some of his books when he comes home occasionally and they really help out.
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:00 PM #163
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:53 PM #164
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October 4th 2010.
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Old 12-07-2010, 06:49 AM #165
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:50 PM #166
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Can anyone give me some ideas on how to work with pasta besides baked and traditional? I eat pasta almost every day, fuisili, penni, rotini, spaghetti, lasagne, etc. But the traditional cream and tomato sauces are getting old. Anyone have a radical spin for me to try?
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:32 AM #167
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I've been digging on Spaghetti al Aglio lately... (Spaghetti with Garlic)

Start your pot of water for the pasta, but use less water than normal so that it becomes thick and cloudy with pasta starch (to be used later on in the sauce). When the pasta is about five minutes from being done, heat some olive oil and butter in a pan until the butter starts to brown. Add a good amount of minced garlic and crushed red pepper and saute until the garlic gets some good color. Add some fresh grated Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup of the pasta water and cook until the sauce thickens. Drain the pasta, toss in the sauce, and finish with some more parm and enjoy!
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:38 AM #168
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That's how I make my garlic and herb sauce. Tastes great for anyone who hasnt tried it. I was looking for something a little more exotic, ways to actually prepare it, not tweak.
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