Category Archives: Resources

A cooking mystery solved! (And a newfound love)

Way back when Marc and I first moved in together, I had a harrowing time trying to cook a chicken-and-lentils dish. I didn’t really know what I was doing, and all sorts of small mistakes added up to a very stressful experience. One of those mistakes (which you can read in my post) was that after undercooking some chicken, I tried to cook it in a second pot, and it wound up sticking to the bottom. For the longest time, I had no idea what I’d done wrong: pot too hot? Or too cold? Or the wrong material? Not enough oil?

Enter rouxbe.

I discovered this site last week, and it’s amazing. It offers professional-quality video cooking lessons. And it’s all on basic stuff that I wish I’d learned. Stuff like knife skills. Or how to properly make sauce. Or choose a cut of meat. Or steam vegetables. Or learn the difference between poaching, simmering, and boiling, and where each one is appropriate.

One of the free sample lessons is on pan frying, and this is where I discovered the answer to the mystery that’s vexed me for a year. The lesson demonstrates how to tell when a stainless-steel pan is the correct temperature for frying, and shows how a too-cool pan results in the food sticking to the bottom. Ta da! Problem solved!

I’m in love with rouxbe and saddened it’s a pay site. When I have money, I’m super-tempted to buy myself a few months’ subscription. Because even the three free lessons I’ve watched have been tremendously helpful.

Interesting Link: Great depression cooking with Clara

Great Depression Cooking is a series of videos featuring Clara, the videographer’s grandmother, cooking meals from the great depression and sharing her stories. Actually quite inspiring.

Resource: Supercook

Supercook is such a fun site! Start entering ingredients you have on-hand, and it’ll give you recipes you can make with them, ranked in order of how many additional ingredients you’d need (none, one, two, etc.). Way nifty. (Though I’m still not sure it’ll actually get me to cook.)