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Do BAs like to cook?

Discussion in 'Beer & Food' started by alysmith4, Mar 11, 2013.

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Do you like to cook?

  1. Yes

    235 vote(s)
    95.1%
  2. No

    12 vote(s)
    4.9%
  1. The photo isn't a requirement! I like hearing the description of the pairing (which not many people really do). It helps educate myself on new ways to pair things.
    alysmith4 likes this.
  2. smakawhat

    smakawhat Poobah (1,060) Maryland Mar 18, 2008

    Ok then!!

    That being said your own palate is your best guide, and nothing is more fun than experimenting on your own finding tastes you like and ones you dont.

    Except maybe beer and cabbage it sort of scares me but now I am intrigued massively... :D
  3. Pinioned

    Pinioned Aficionado (195) Kentucky Dec 16, 2012

    My two favorite things, cooking and drinking beer... Well, the kids make honorable mention in there somewhere too. [​IMG]
    YogiBeer and alysmith4 like this.
  4. Zhiguli

    Zhiguli Aficionado (245) California Jul 12, 2012

    where the eggs at, Pinioned!?
    jRocco2021 likes this.
  5. Pinioned

    Pinioned Aficionado (195) Kentucky Dec 16, 2012

    LOL... I hate that you noticed that. I was kicking myself for forgetting.
    Zhiguli likes this.
  6. Thanks for the tip- I'll definitely give it a shot. I did do a long braise with cabbage and pork shoulder (Chinese style) and it comes out so wonderful in that manner, very mellow and almost sweet on its own. A real nice break between the slaw and pickled dishes. But stewing with beer does have an appeal all its own, so I'll be sure to make it happen.
    alysmith4 likes this.
  7. Zhiguli

    Zhiguli Aficionado (245) California Jul 12, 2012

    only so fresh in my mind because i forgot on my recent attempts too. hehe. sesame oil really kicks it off too btw.
    Pinioned likes this.
  8. Roudy1

    Roudy1 Savant (260) Iowa Sep 29, 2012

    I enjoy cooking but I can't say I'm great at it...

    Where do you guys get your recipes? Cookbooks? Family? I don't come from a family that cooks much. Any general pointers you can give me, i.e. cookbooks, techniques, etc.? I want to make a lot more homemade food and sauces and I feel like going to the internet all of the time is cheating...
  9. Just start cooking regularly. That's step #1. My evolution from below average cook to fairly good (I think) was all about spending time doing research. Here is how I progressed. 1. Watching chopped a lot. They talk a lot about technique and how flavors interact. That got me interested. 2. Seriouseats.com "the food lab" and watching good eats. I like science in cooking and found these to be awesome resources. 3. Youtube for more tricky items / techniques when I wanted to truly learn one or two things spot on

    After you just in general say F-it and start cooking... the best way I have found is to focus on one thing per meal. I would realize that say getting a really good sear on my meat was super important. So I would spend about 30-60 minutes doing research about it then focus on getting that perfect when cooking. This is so key IMO because if you focus on lots of things to learn at once, it will all come out average. Get it spot on then move on to something else. As all of these individual things build up and I now have lots I can do so a whole meal well is much easier. Now I get excited about an ingredient, dish, or flavor... fennel, gravy, pickling stuff... and use that as inspiration to build a meal around that.

    No idea if that helps but that was my process.
    alysmith4 likes this.
  10. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Savant (485) Illinois May 10, 2012

    The internet is just a trillion books... but "on food and cooking " by harold mcgee.
  11. smakawhat

    smakawhat Poobah (1,060) Maryland Mar 18, 2008

    Going on the Internet isn't cheating! reading a recipe online or a book is the same thing, there's just way more stuff out there to get now.
  12. flavirufus

    flavirufus Zealot (75) Illinois Nov 4, 2011

    I deffinalty love to great beer and love to cook. I'm a pastry chef by profession. Been experimenting with beer lately. FBS and BCS gelato. BCS/Valrhona Caramelia truffles. BCS/Manjari souffle. I like the higher abv stouts as you can add them basically directly like a liquor. Cooking beer down and reducing looses a lot of the flavor. They end up tasting pretty good when added to stuff like gelato bases but usually all taste the same and can get very bitter.
    alysmith4 likes this.
  13. Roudy1

    Roudy1 Savant (260) Iowa Sep 29, 2012

    Haha. Ya, I guess cheating isn't the right word. I guess it comes from the people I know who live and die with ideas from Pinterest. I just want to be able to make stuff on my own...I'm assuming that comes with time.
  14. smakawhat

    smakawhat Poobah (1,060) Maryland Mar 18, 2008

    The best advice I have is find foods you like to eat. Find a dish you really like. Maybe it's something you had at a restaurant, or something someone else made for you. It doesn't have to be something fancy. Try to think about making that same dish at home. It doesn't matter if it's something simple. It could be even Mac n Cheese. You might have poured something out of a box right? ok? fine... what if you really love it? What if you could go by some serious sharp cheddar? Learn how to bake it in your oven? Maybe some cream? Thrown in some garlic (I know blasphemy), but learn how to make something like that at home right, getting some boiled elbow pasta and run with it?

    Find out why you like it. Try to make it. Find a recipe and try to duplicate it. Taste it. Why does it work? Why didn't it. Use decent ingredients. Learn why they make your food taste good to you.

    You eat something at a restaurant you really like, maybe something you don't normally make it home. Learn how to make it, for example. Long time ago I am talking when I was a teenager I was obsessed with curry either Indian or Thai. I would make it at home, I practiced, I bought spices, pans, duplicated recipes, worked at it, but it NEVER came close, until maybe 20 years later I released I had to make my own paste for Thai, (which is ALOT of work), and also to remove the dang chicken fat for Indian.

    Cooking is a learning process, but it's fun, and you will make some real good stuff, and you will make some real garbage.

    Start with things that are simple, I am talking REAL simple. More importantly, and I can't stress this enough, cheap ingredients, and things that aren't fresh, DON'T make good food. Italian food is a real good example. Sure you can take canned sauce and throw it in a pan, but if you take fresh ingredients, real tomatoes, real basic ingredients, REAL garlic (DONT BUY the god dam pre jarred chopped of stuff!!) some decent oil, you can make a simple good sauce. I gave Italian as an example because it's easy to make pasta sauce, and the great simplicity about Italian is that it's on freshness and SIMPLE ingredients.

    Or make a steak (if you like meat). Seriously, learn how to cook a piece of meat. For all degrees of done-ness (honestly, don't go above Medium but that's my opinion).

    Take it from there, there's so many avenues and things to explore you can go many directions.

    As a young kid I went to hundreds of ethnic restaurants, ma and pa places, loaded up on tastes and spices, found new things I liked and things I didn't. Then I went home and had at it.

    Find cooks you like to learn from. I grew up on Frugal Gourmet, Martin Yan, and Jacques Pepin. This is WAY before the Food Network, and it's a crying shame how things have changed food wise, but lots great stuff has come since then too.

    Especially beer.
    kojevergas, TongoRad and alysmith4 like this.
  15. Roudy1

    Roudy1 Savant (260) Iowa Sep 29, 2012

  16. It definitely comes with time and experience, but here's another book that might be helpful. Michael Ruhlman's Ratio will give you a great foundation to build upon and start experimenting on your own, and maybe a good confidence boost as well.
    http://www.amazon.com/Ratio-Simple-...3139138&sr=8-1&keywords=michael ruhlman ratio

    Check your local library- they are usually a great place to try out cookbooks before committing to them.
  17. jRocco2021

    jRocco2021 Savant (395) Wisconsin Mar 13, 2010

    I make stuff up just as much as I make stuff from cookbooks and family recipes start with stuff that's easy that you like and just go from there cooking is not that hard you basically just need to learn some basic concepts and expand from there. Once you do something a few times its easy to modify or repeat it with mild consistency.
    alysmith4 likes this.
  18. Definitely not but you have to know your recipes well enough to know when a recipe is legit or not. Especially with the baking recipes.. Sometimes when looking for a recipe ill read 10 before ill decide on one because of bad proportions in the recipe or mixed up steps. I really like a blog called smitten kitchen. The recipes are always flawless and work gorgeously!
    alysmith4 likes this.
  19. smakawhat

    smakawhat Poobah (1,060) Maryland Mar 18, 2008

    Baking I find is so darn hard... it really is chemistry and an art. Keep in mind also there's crazy stuff to keep in mind like making a cake in Denver versus Florida... I mean geez.. :confused:

    My wife I am convinced inherited baking greatness from an old relative. She is extremely patient and meticulous with it and she has made stuff I could never do (it's a patience thing..).
    alysmith4 likes this.
  20. smakawhat

    smakawhat Poobah (1,060) Maryland Mar 18, 2008

    Here's a good example. My wife comes home tonight, and I had some Italian Sausage ready to go with some garlic and Spelt Oat pasta and sauce. She walks in with TWO giant unfrozen pizzas.

    They BARELY fit in my oven vintage (yet extremely effecient) 1960s oven.

    So long story short, I have a bunch of sausage I was ready to cook, but can't cook all of it, and two giant pies.

    It was 2 for 1 and a sale at Whole Foods!!!.... great dear...

    So you improvise. I took a few links and took the casings off and threw the sausage on the pie. The other pie goes to the chest freezer for another day. I did however notice that even at 400F is a fine temp, but my rack was too low. after 6 minutes I smelled char... WHOOPS!!


    [​IMG]
    Founders - All Day IPA and Pizza by imbibehour, on Flickr


    The end result was a top that while cooked, didn't get enough browning and "my desirable melt" and a very blackened crunchy bottom (luckily it wasn't too burnt, you can't see it of course). It was still quite tasty, and of course the sausage was devine. This store bought pie was actually not too bad either...

    But ya see. that's what cooking is all about right there, it's learning. Plus the pie wasn't frozen either. But since I was watching it it all worked out, and my nose knows! ;) The second one will be done differently... that's experiences in the kitchen... My next one will be better!

    If you like pizza. I do. I can't say I love it to make my own often, but maybe you could make dough from scratch... get killer toppings... work a perfect sauce... what kind of pie? Traditional Italian margharita? Some deep dish Chicago? Classic American? I mean it's endless right?

    When you master it.... then you can teach me how to do it. ;)
    alysmith4 likes this.
  21. jRocco2021

    jRocco2021 Savant (395) Wisconsin Mar 13, 2010

    Being able to read a recipe well is very important. I sometimes mix different aspects of recipes when it's something I haven't made a enough times but I know what I want for example taking the crust from one pie recipe and the filing recipe from another.
  22. Pinioned

    Pinioned Aficionado (195) Kentucky Dec 16, 2012

    That, I'll remember! Thx!
  23. lordofthewiens

    lordofthewiens Champion (950) Maine Sep 17, 2005

    Love to cook, love to drink beer!
    alysmith4 likes this.
  24. dieBlume

    dieBlume Savant (280) Virginia Mar 18, 2013

    I LOVE cooking, but also prefer baking. I'm certainly not pro at it, but I really enjoy good food (and good beer with it). I have staple meals that I like to go back to over and over, but I also enjoy trying new things.

    I normally get meal ideas from: FoodGawker, AllRecipies, Pinterest, random Google searches, or cooking with other poor college friends. I'm slowly getting used to just throwing things together and coming out with something good. Also getting better at estimating cooking times, or improvising with what I have. Thankfully the boyfriend is slightly older, so he has more experience with cooking. He's slowly teaching me some of the stuff he knows.
    alysmith4 likes this.
  25. smakawhat

    smakawhat Poobah (1,060) Maryland Mar 18, 2008

    One thing that can force you to cook is to join a Co-op share through a farmers market. You will get items (either meat or veg depending on what kind you join), and often you'll not know what to do with them?

    Often they'll have suggestions on how to cook the items, or even have recipes, or you just find something online so that you know how to say... use sorrel... or prepare an arm roast.. .etc.. Plus it's a good way of buying local and supporting local farms. Sometimes they are good other times it can be a bust, I've had both good and bad.

    It costs a little more but it can be worth it, and nine times out of ten the produce is way better than the regular supermarket.
    alysmith4 likes this.
  26. dieBlume

    dieBlume Savant (280) Virginia Mar 18, 2013

    Sounds like the TV show Chopped. "Here's a basket with some random ass items. Make me something delicious or you're kicked outta the show."

    Whenever I watch the show I'm like "Oh, that's easy! Just do this and this." but when I am presented with random items, I run away as fast as possible. Hahaha.
  27. Yeah, it's totally like Chopped! I get a Green Grocer box delivered every other week, and have to come up with creative ways to use everything. I don't believe I've ever cooked with green cabbage before, and this box forced me to. (Incidentally, it went pretty well with the Korean short ribs I made!)
    dieBlume likes this.
  28. brewmandan

    brewmandan Aficionado (160) Iowa May 10, 2010

    My cooking involves grilling and using the smoker. I don't mind doing meals in the kitchen but I prefer the grill and smoker. Pizza is alot better on the grill than in the oven!
    alysmith4 likes this.
  29. FremontBar

    FremontBar Savant (270) Arizona Feb 1, 2013

    I think your logic is correct, people that seek out and make interesting food probably translate this into drinking beer. I have a friend doesn't like to cook and orders the exact same thing every time he goes to a restaurant, guess what he drinks, Coors Light!
    alysmith4 likes this.
  30. Genuine

    Genuine Savant (415) Connecticut May 7, 2009

    I absolutely love to cook and try new things. I'm usually the one planning out the food items when having a get together with friends. There's nothing better than good food, good company and great beer!
    dieBlume and alysmith4 like this.
  31. alysmith4 likes this.
  32. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poobah (1,005) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    No.

    Just eating.
  33. davelag

    davelag Aficionado (195) California May 22, 2010

    Love barbecuing brisket, ribs, or pulled pork on special occasions.
    alysmith4 likes this.
  34. NickThePyro

    NickThePyro Savant (335) Washington Dec 24, 2012

    I absolutely love to cook. I have been cooking professionally for 6 years now and have a desire to open a restaurant/brewery for a hobby after I retire one day. Anything that requires a refined pallet(Cooking, libations, cigars, etc.) I have been actively engaged in for the pure enjoyment of the crafted use of flavor profiles. Living in Washington I have been lucky enough to have amazing breweries local along with many superb restaurants.
    alysmith4 likes this.
  35. chuckv

    chuckv Savant (300) Pennsylvania Apr 19, 2013

    I love to cook, I did it professionally for 14 years and now I just do it for fun. I use to do the wine food pairings but now (last 6 years) I've been trying to master food to craft beer pairings. I smoke my own bacon with appleword and red peppercorns and I found that great lakes Edmond Fitzgerald goes perfect with it, add some smoked Gouda and well damn you have your self a party!
    alysmith4 likes this.
  36. Yes we do. Some of us even get paid to do it.
    djura and alysmith4 like this.
  37. did it for a living for 10+ yrs when I was young. Now I do it for enjoyment.
    alysmith4 likes this.
  38. Although I like to cook, most of the time I'd rather drink and let someone else cook. And I can attest to the fact that drinking more beer makes food taste better. Putting the two together, if you drink alot, let someone else cook. And don't drink and try to follow a recipe. Especially a complicated one. And oh yeah, if you're going to drink and cook, chop everything up before you have too many. As my 6th grade shop teacher told us, ten fingers to a customer.
  39. The term "restaurant industry" covers everything from Mickey Ds to five-star gourmet establishments and covers everybody from dishwashers to owners. Quite a generalization I would say especially seeing the results of the poll so heavily favoring one side.
    alysmith4 likes this.
  40. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Champion (840) Michigan May 8, 2006


    I really do not see my statement as being as that much of a generalization. I think you will find plenty of people who like to cook that have no interest in good beer, I don't think that is a stretch.

    If we want to further the discussion of the term restaurant industry, lets remove the production line "food" assembly workers and focus on trained culinary professionals. Based on my acquaintances and personal experiences I really do not see a direct correlation between preference for the finer culinary experiences with a preference for better beer. Of course it will happen but I do not think it is a given or even dramatically increases the odds.

    Now let me address the poll. The poll and the thread is not set up in a way to provide an accurate portrait of BAs and the better beer drinking community. The poll only portrays the feelings of those who viewed and voted in the thread. I would imagine a number of BAs who have no interest in cooking would have no interest in even opening this thread let alone contributing to the poll. This is a worthwhile thread and poll but lets be realistic about what it really represents.

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