family-cook Profile - Allrecipes.com (13022134)

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family-cook


family-cook
 
Home Town: Lufkin, Texas, USA
Living In: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Member Since: Nov. 2008
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Southern
Hobbies: Camping, Reading Books, Music
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About this Cook
My kitchen gospel is this: everyone should have one company's-coming dish they can make very, very well, even under trying circumstances. That covers office parties and potlucks. I believe in a very short shelf of cookbooks -- Betty Crocker and the Joy Of Cooking, and that does it for me. Learn to improvise after that. Stay away from fads and, face it, you simply cannot low-fat and low-cholesterol every dish on earth. Eat less. If the entree is upscale, serve a simple dessert; if the entree is pedestrian, serve a supreme dessert.
My favorite things to cook
For myself, I'm a bachelor now, I like casseroles and one-dish meals. With close friends, I like a grilled menu and beer in the back yard. For a dinner party: (1) keep it intimate and manageable (six or eight guests) and (2) don't over reach. That is, no more than one complex dish, the rest should be simpler, but with a nicer than norm presentation.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My dad's mother had great recipes, mostly traditional Southern, some from her White House Cookbook, circa 1920s. My dad was a restauranteur and cooked quite well. My mother, an Iowa girl with a German heritage, was great in the kitchen. Food was always a prime interest, and my parents let us kids start in the kitchen early on.
My cooking triumphs
I love to duplicate a favorite restaurant dish at home. Mostly, it's a matter of educating your palate so you are able to taste every ingredient. Knowing techniques and visualizing the process helps too. My most satisfying success was a sweet Bourbon Sauce from Jungle Jim's in Rockford, Ill. The chef wouldn't share his recipe. Now, that's just stingy.
My cooking tragedies
Oi vey! Such mistakes I've made! However, practice makes perfect, they say, and occasionally there's a happy accident. Meantime, just eat your mistakes. I'll never forget Julia Child dropping a dish on the floor whilst trying to turn it out onto a serving platter. My worst errors (When will I ever learn?) have been attempts at an ambitious new recipe with guests on the way. A tried and true favorite is so much smarter.
Recipe Reviews 17 reviews
Crock-Pot(R) Mushrooms
Perfect office potluck because it's easy to transport and keep warm. I like Italian Seasoning packets as a sort of all-purpose go-to for meats, seafood, and veggies... without cream or buttermilk you don't get that readily identifiable "salad dressing" aspect. With this Mushroom recipe, I started with 2 pounds for my group because I figured -- rightly so -- this was the dish where everyone would linger. It was gone first.

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jun. 19, 2013
It's Chili by George!!
This is must-have in your repertoire. George has this same chili recipe posted elsewhere on Allrecipes and a few thousand people have rated and reviewed his recipes. Very reliable. Remember to try popular variants such as chili-mac (or chili spaghetti) and chili size (a knife-and-fork version of a chili-burger).

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 3, 2012
Flatlander Chili
Reliable recipe and worthy of being in your repertoire. Knowing ahead of time that I don't like Kidney beans, I substitute Pintos. Chili without beans is often called "Texas" chili... a misnomer because Texans like beans the way Mungo likes beans. Don't skimp on the chili powder. No, no! But do use a premium chili powder. Your chili dish will never be any better than the chili spices used in it. Morton's Chili Blend, if you can find it, or Schilling. Gephardt's if that's all you can find. And taste it before you decide on the cumin... some chili blends already have cumin in them. Good chili isn't necessarily hot; it is, however, well spiced and flavorful. I'm more inclined toward crushed tomatoes or tomato puree, but out on the cattle drives where chili was invented (to use up less than prime beef scraps) they probably didn't tomatoes at all. It's a very personal dish, but some chuck-wagon cooks were buried beside the trail just because of their chili.

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 3, 2012
 
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Cooking Level: Intermediate
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