Do you enjoy Cooking anything?

There are few things I actually enjoy cooking, and most of them involve milk and cereal and nothing else. Yes, I am a bachelor. I don’t know how to cook much.

There’s one thing, deep-fried ravioli! Mmm, not very complicated and very unique as far as I’m concerned. Take some pre-cooked ravioli, dip in flour, dip in egg, dip in bread crumbs, then fry carefully.

Do you have any dishes that are simple but relatively uncommon? Something you just get excited about when you’re going to cook it? I’m not particularly interested in big party dishes…

Imagine you own a fancy restaurant in Manhattan, and you’re making dinner for two of your best friends late at night after the place is closed and everyone else has been kicked out… that’s the mood we’re going for, if you can picture it. Cook me something special but uncomplicated.

In order to keep interest in this thread, let’s stay away from drawn-out and detailed recipes. It should be simple enough to be taught in less than 4 sentences.

Okay…Open package of cream cheese or Neufchâtel (“lowfat cream cheese”). Put on plate. Pour on jarred mango chutney. Smear on water crackers and eat.

Everyone thinks it’s fancy expensive soft French cheese of some sort. And it’s super yummy.

Delicious chicken in four drawn-out sentences, plus one extra: Mix flour, pressed or minced garlic, black pepper, salt, and a little lemon juice to make a sort of sticky flour mess. Toss bone-in skin-on chicken thighs to coat, and let them hang out in the flour while the pan heats up and you cut up potatoes into about 1 inch cubes. Put the chicken in to fry skin side down, toss the potatos with the remaining flour, and after the skin side of the chicken is golden-brown turn it over and add the potatos to the pan. Once everything’s looking nice and brown, add chicken broth about half-way up the side of the meat (or less) and cook with a lid on until the chicken is done.

To make it really exciting, you can set the chicken and starch off on a covered platter to stay warm and turn the chicken broth that’s left in the pan into fancier gravy with a little milk or cream.

I wouldn’t say this recipe is one that I love to make the way that I love to make chocolate chip cookies (the recipe on the back of the bag plus enough flour to make it not at all sticky) or my cribbed-from-Baking-With-Julia-for-my-8th-grade-American-history-project fruit galette, but that’s more because I like to make desserts more than I like to make main dishes.

The galette, anyway: The hardest part for the galette is cutting 7 tablespoons of butter into 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup cornmeal mixed with 1 tsp each salt and sugar. The rest is stirring in 1/3 c of cold water and 3 tablespoons of sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt, then dividing it in two pieces and chilling it while you prepare 3 cups of apples, berries, pears, or other pie fruits- and by prepare I mean wash everything and cut up the bigger stuff, unless it’s rhubarb, in which case you should soak it in sugar overnight. Then you roll out each dough half into a rough circle (1/4 inch thick or so), mound the fruit in the middle, fold up the dough edges over but not totally covering the fruit, dot with sugar and butter, and bake in a 350-450 degree oven until brown and delicious.

(During the summer between eighth and ninth grade, I spent most of my time baking those galettes (mostly blackberry and pear) and reading almost all of Tom Robbins’ books. I had an extremely twisted worldview but could make a galette in my sleep when school finally started.)

One in a similar vein to WhyNot’s Neufchatel and mango chutney- take one brick of cream cheese. Cover with tiny shrimp. Smother in cocktail sauce. Serve with a variety of crackers. You could totally class this up if you wanted- mild goat cheese and homemade cocktail sauce- but I would never give up the classic.

My fall-back recipe is pasta carbanara: fry up some cut up bacon (4 slices), and retain a couple tablespoons of the grease in the pan with the bacon bits. Mix in some freshly cooked linguine (12 oz dry), and while the pasta is still hot, pour in a mixture of eggs (4), freshly grated parmesan cheese (recipe calls for 1/2 cup but I usually put in more), a little ground pepper, and chopped parsley (1/4 cup fresh). Stir it all together until it’s all creamy and the eggs are cooked from the heat of the pasta/bacon and serve hot. Simple and yummy.

Quesadillas are my fall back of choice. I throw some butter, garlic, and black pepper in a pan and top with one tortilla and a lot of cheese. Then I cover the pan and wait for the cheese to melt. Once the cheese is melted, I top with another tortilla and flip it all over to brown the second tortilla. Mmmm…butter and garlic and cheese. It’s a great late night snack.

Please join. We like twisted world views here and I like Tom Robbins.

Grilled salmon with lemon-pepper and rosemary. Coat with olive oil, and grill outside for about 10 minutes. Broccoli with butter sauce (melted butter and garlic), and boxed wild rice mix. Totally easy and yummy.

Puttanesca, or, as we call it, “ho sauce.”

Throw a good bit of olive oil in a pan. When it’s warmish, add in a few nice anchovies and a couple cloves of garlic, minced. Saute until the anchovies dissolve. Add two cans of diced tomatoes. Meanwhile, boil some water for the spaghetti noodles.

After about 15 minutes or so, throw the noodles in the boiling water to cook. Once the noodles are done, drain them. Throw a large handful of sliced, pitted Kalamata olives into the sauce, along with a good handful of capers (they’re in a jar in the fridge, behind the hijinks). Add about a tablespoon of fresh oregano. Give it a stir to warm it up. Pour over spaghetti, serve.

And yes, I enjoy cooking almost everything, if I’ve had enough time to shop and that job thing they make me do during the day wasn’t too crazy.

A can of coconut milk, mixed with a squeesed lime, chopped fresh ginger and a couple of chopped fresh chilis (if you dont like it too hot, remove the seeds). Bring to a boil. Add chopped chicken filet and a pinch of salt, and let simmer for 10 minutes.

If you want to give it the little extra, add a splash of white wine and some lemon grass.

I love making, with the right kitchen:

Rotis (Indian flatbread)
I can make some mean cheese blintzes - yum!
Also an omelette - I can make them perfect with almost any ingredient.
And Gruyere mac & cheese.

Erm…that’s about it.

Gruyere mac and cheese? Damn crazy… so crazy it just might work!

(Hi! I’m Daniel, and I forget to log my wife out before posting!)

Dangit! Oh, well. She does it to me, too.

My all-time favorite comfort food, in four sentences:
-Boil up some spaghetti in salted water and drain it.
-Put about a quarter-cup (maybe a little less) olive oil in the pan, and heat it up.
-Add about ten cloves of crushed garlic, and saute until it’s just barely beginning to turn golden.
-Return the spaghetti to the pan and stir it around.

That’s the basic idea; everything else (buttloads of parmesan, salt, pepper, herbs, diced tomatoes, etc.) is frippery on top of the perfect comfort food.

Daniel

It would be hard for me to come up with a list of things I didn’t like to cook…

Yum yum. The only thing I would add is hot pepper flakes/peperoncino. (I’m not sure if it’s required, but I’ve never had a puttanseca that didn’t have a spicy kick to it.)

If you’re in a real rush and happen to have it around, tapenade is a time-saving substitute for the olive/capers/anchovies/garlic mix.

My simple contribution would be something like a seared tuna steak (always classy and easy as hell to make) or fennel-and-black pepper encrusted pork loin. Oh, and chicken paprikash with homemade noodles works well, too. (Cook lard & onions until translucent. Add paprika. Add chicken. Cover. Cook until chicken is done. Add sour cream and flour to thicken. Season with salt. Servie with homemade noodles (flour, egg, water).

Well, I love cooking pulled pork - but that doesn’t satisfy the quickness part.

The morning after, though, I love “Cowboy Eggs Benedict.”

Heat a cast-iron frying pan with some oil; preheat oven; add cornbread batter (from the little blue box); finish in the oven for about 15 minutes.* (Test by quickly and lightly pressing on the bread - it should mostly bounce back not not feel wet.)

When you pull the cornbread from the oven, boil some water (with a splash of white wine vinegar) in a frying pan; add one egg per person, cover, remove from heat, and let sit for 7 minutes.

Heat left over pulled pork.

Slice bread, add pulled pork, one poached egg, and some of the sauce.

*If you’ve got the time - make the cornbread by rendering some chopped bacon in the pan and adding a couple dollops of sour cream and some chopped jalepenos do the batter - yummmmm!

I make my a bit different. Use a large tortilla(flour) spread cream cheese(or Borsin if you have it) on on half, Heat pan with knob of butter melted, put tortilla in flat, but quickly put grated pepper jack or cheddar or both in the half top of the cc. Close to half moon shape. Grill both sides until brown. Flip onto plate, top with salsa. YUM.

Try adding some chopped wild mushrooms to that quesadilla… :smiley:

I make eggs. Fairly well cooked, just a little browned without going too far. That’s about it.

I love to cook desserts!

I just made some awesome zuccini bread the other day and I’ll be making more with all the summer squash we are picking. I had never made it before and it turned out perfect…nice and moist and very flavorful. The only bad thing was having to turn on the oven in the middle of 100 degree temps.

I also love making cakes with home made frosting, cookies, cream pies, home made ice cream…Yum! I really don’t make them very often though because the rest of the family doesn’t have the same bottomless sweet tooth that I do, but that’s my favorite thing to cook.

Saute chopped garlic, sliced red peppers, and (thawed) frozen seafood bits. [Seafood bits can be replaced with other, more complicated, protein substances, or left out altogether, if desired.]

Sprinkle on cajun seasoning (the black stuff).

Dip in peanut sauce to eat.