Pilot Cooks of America

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by AggieMike88, Dec 20, 2022.

  1. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Here at PoA, we have a wonderful assortment of personalities and skill sets.

    Not explored in a while has been cooking. I recall from last threads we have several members who are good home cooks.

    For 2023, one of my resolutions is to do more at home cooking and enjoy healthier and flavorful food. I’m hoping some others might join in on this.

    For this thread, share the following:
    1. the kitchen item (or two) that you cannot do without and the rest of us should have. This can be unique utensils, appliances, gadgets and such. Include brand and model information if you can.
    2. Your favorite recipe that might be called your signature dish. Hopefully something the rest of us have yet to have, or your unique twist on something we know.
    Looking forward to trying some of your favorites.
     
  2. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Sharp, non-serrated knife

    High quality sauté pan with lid.

    A fine bourbon.
     
  3. Mahneuvers

    Mahneuvers Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    My cast iron pans are kitchen workhorses which I use multiple times a day.

    I'm a big fan of homemade, no-cook ice cream which I'm making tonight to go along w/ apple pie. This with blueberry pie is also fantastic:
    1. 4 cups 1/2&1/2
    2. 1 cup sugar
    3. 1 tsp vanilla extract
    4. 1/2 package instant french vanilla pudding
    5. 1 liquid egg (I use Costco's egg whites)
    6. pinch of salt
    I often add cookie dough in the last 5 minutes of churning.

    I used to have a dedicated machine. I now use the KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2022
  4. GaryM

    GaryM Pattern Altitude

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    An instant-read thermometer, essential for hitting the perfect degree of doneness when cooking meat.

    My signature recipes are fast becoming things prepared on the smoker, but a fan favorite that is much quicker and easier to prepare would be Thai Curry.

    Thai Curry, basic recipe for 2-3 people

    Mix half a can of coconut milk with half a can of Maesri curry paste, available in Asian markets, or online. Red is my favorite, but green (slightly hotter), yellow, panang, or masaman are also good; the latter are all slightly less hot. The remainder of the coconut milk and curry can be mixed together and stored in the fridge for up to a few weeks. Half a can of curry paste does make the sauce moderately hot; you can omit some of the curry if desired. For a larger batch, use the full can of curry paste and coconut milk; the dish freezes well.

    Cut up two chicken breasts into bite-sized cubes. Stir fry in oil; adding a bit of sesame oil improves the flavor. Remove from heat when almost cooked through.

    Cut up two onions and two bell peppers into bite-sized squares. Stir fry in oil. (I like to use one green pepper, one red or orange, for color) Adding some sesame oil here also adds to the flavor.

    Add the chicken and the coconut milk/curry mix, and heat the mix through. You can add water if needed to thin the sauce. When almost done, I like to add a handful of unsalted peanuts or cashews.

    Serve over rice.

    Variations:

    The chicken can be replaced with pork, beef, shrimp, scallops, or tofu.

    Additional veggies can include green beans, carrots, mushrooms, baby corn, scallions, potato cubes…almost anything

    Adding torn up cilantro leaves just before serving is a nice touch.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2022
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  5. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    @GaryM … thanks for that one… looks yummy!

    And I have been collecting recipes I could make as a batch, portion into individual meals, and then later heat up with fresh rice (or cooked veggies) for dinner.
     
  6. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I most definitely fall in the category of someone who doesn't need "cooking for dummies".... I need something more basic.

    Like cooking chicken. I just want to know how long and what temperature.

    Just that.

    How long and what temperature.

    and now back to your cooking thread...
     
  7. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    1. Gadget

    I'm going to go with the Zyliss manual can opener. Which, incidentally, has absolutely nothing to do with any signature dishes of mine, which don't include cans. But, I do like my chicken salad and my tuna salad and those both come from cans. I learned about it from here actually, on the POA, recommended years ago. There is a thread on it but I'm too lazy to find it.

    Now, I recently just got a pair of Meater wireless thermometers. I had a very interesting signature dish saving event occur a couple weeks ago. Now these wirelessly measure both internal meat temperature, and oven temperature as well. I was chugging along cooking a prime rib using the 450 sear 250 cook method, and discovered about an hour in to it that the oven temperature abruptly dropped twenty degrees. Of course, I suspected a failure of the thermometer, so I took an oven thermometer from the drawer, put it in there, and it in fact agreed with my thermometer, not the oven thermostat. The oven thermostat failed, not totally but it just went way out of calibration and I had to crank the temperature setpoint to 280 to get close to 250. The thermostat got replaced and all is good again, but if it had not been for that, my prime rib would have not come out very well. (Well meaning good, not well done. I like rare.)

    2. Signature dish

    That's a tough one. I'm going to go with a hand me down pizza recipe. Scratch made dough from white flour, yeast, water, oil and some salt, allowed to rise and pounded down a couple times, split in to two pans. On top of that is a layer of sliced mozzerella, completely covering the crust. That gets topped with about a pound (each) of ground beef, and some canned mushrooms are added, and pizza sauce slathered over that. That gets topped with pepperoni and parmesan, and baked. The whole thing is about an inch and a half thick, and it comes out more like a lasagne than a pizza. The secret is a really thick crust, insulated by the mozzarella, making it kind of unique.

    I rarely make it though. Grilled tri tip, and prime rib, when it is available, are my two go-to dishes.

    And of course...

    Cole slaw.
     
  8. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Yummy. Possible ways to punch it up: Thai basil (not Italian), galangal ginger (not Chinese ginger), nuoc mam.
     
  9. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Rather than learn recipes, my advice would be to learn techniques instead. A few possibilities to brush up on are: sear/deglaze, braising, roulade, tempering (eggs), batters, breads.
     
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  10. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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  11. Van Johnston

    Van Johnston Pattern Altitude

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    Probably not a utensil per se, but conducive to portion control which translates to healthier eating ... a digital kitchen scale.
     
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  12. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route PoA Supporter

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    The first rule of being a good cook is don't be afraid to screw up. Experiment. See what works for the flavors your family likes (and don't be afraid to try to expand their tastes).

    Within the parameters of hygiene, taste what you're cooking. When adding ingredients to a recipe, if you're trying something new, taste as you add to find the right balance for your preferences. After doing this for years, I have a good sense for how to just make up a random recipe based on what I have available and appeals at moment. I usually just browse cookbooks to get ideas and go from there, unless I'm trying a new technique/food or one I haven't done in awhile.

    I don't fret about precisely measuring ingredients unless I'm baking cake or bread.

    Favorite cooking equipment: 1) a quality gas stove with great temperature control (in before California bans them...)
    2) Large All-Clad stainless steel skillet 3) good digital temp probe for meat

    Favorite recent recipe is a Ukrainian tomato sauce, zagarka.
    1-1/2 tbsp olive oil
    1 medium onion, chopped coarsely
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 grated carrot
    1 medium-large garlic clove, minced
    4 tbsp tomato paste
    2 cups chicken broth
    3 tbsp sour cream

    saute the onion to translucent, add the carrot and garlic, some salt and pepper, for a couple minutes, lower heat to medium, add tomato paste and 1/2 cup of broth, continue saute for a couple minutes, add the rest of the broth, stir till well mixed, stir in the sour cream.

    I used it for stuffed pepper recipe, but it would be great with pan-cooked chicken tenders or thin sliced chicken breast too. The chicken broth mixed with sour cream, a little sweetness from the onion and carrot, adds so much to the flavor and mouth feel, even my teenager who doesn't like most cooked vegetables ate every bit of the green pepper.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2022
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  13. rwellner98

    rwellner98 Cleared for Takeoff

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    ^^ that * 1000 ^^

    Cook things, and if it doesn't work just delete the video and order chinese. ;-)

    Here are a few of my favs. And I have more on my website.

    chicken parmasen:

    ----
    coq au vin:

    ----
    North Fox, Chicken Kabobs

    ----
    Ranger, Gyoza

    ----
    Nokai Dome, ribeye
     
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  14. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    Given the proper ingredients I can knock out a quite tasty PB&J ...
     
  15. Dana

    Dana En-Route

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    It's not fine cusine, but one of our family's more requested meals is what we call "Zorbas", named for the Greek pizza place that made them in Syracuse while I went to school there, recreated some years later:

    Get some sub rolls, the softest you can find. Slice them part way through and spread mayonnaise to lightly but completely cover the cut surfaces. Add roast beef, preferably sliced so thin it shreds (other deli meats can be used but we only ever use RB), and mozzarella. Put them in a hot oven until the cheese melts and the mayo covered edges are golden brown. Take them out and add tomato, raw onion, raw green pepper, and shredded lettuce. Top with olive oil and Greek oregano and serve immediately.
     
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  16. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Definitely a utensil. For bread dough, much has been written about how flour weight is more accurate than volume. Also saves cleaning effort if you add 4 oz of liquid straight to the bowl rather than using a 1/2C measuring cup.
     
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  17. flyingron

    flyingron Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I use a scale a lot as well. That and a good set of silicone/rubber spatuas in various size or shapes are my favorite "gimmick."

    I've got a number of signature dishes, including my whole pig (done every Memorial Day weekend) and its attendant sauces. The other famous one is my award-winning "Tempe Tempeh" chili recipe (I won an apron in a charity cookoff in the "other" category once).
     
  18. texasclouds

    texasclouds En-Route

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    TLDR, wife unit just fed me homemade pizza
     
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  19. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Has to be two items because they work together - the sous vide and the grill outside. Between the two of them I’ll never starve.

    sticking with the theme, steak and potato. Steak to medium rare, then dropped on the 700 degree grill for about 30 seconds a side.

    if it’s cheating and delicious, who cares.
     
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  20. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    Crepe pan, tin Madeline baking pan, microplane, not-cheapo mandolin, garlic press, straight-sided seasoned cast iron pans (medium and large), quality dutch oven, quality food processor, Tower garden, large cutting boards, two sets of knifes, steel sheet pans, baking/cooling racks, a couple non-stick pans, a couple saute pans,

    Shop at restaurant supply stores - far, far cheaper than other retail or online sources - very dramatically so.
     
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  21. Tools

    Tools Cleared for Takeoff

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    I feed M&Ms to this:

    992D96F8-E76B-4319-AEE7-5581303FF3C7.jpeg

    And some version of that pops out. I don’t even know how it works…

    BC9FB149-B174-44B3-B2DD-174F2D21B75C.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

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  22. Tools

    Tools Cleared for Takeoff

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    Favoritest kitchen gadget… Brooklyn Copper pots. WOW
     
  23. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    The amount of awe, respect, and gratitude for a spouse summed up in that post is probably missed by most.
     
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  24. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    I am a terrible cook.
    And I have volunteered to cook at rough river this year.

    You've been warned.
     
  25. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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  26. Jim_R

    Jim_R Cleared for Takeoff

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    It's already been mentioned, but good knives kept sharp are essential kitchen gear. More often than not, when I help out in someone else's kitchen, I'm disappointed with the quality and/or condition of their knives.

    I don't know that I have any go-to dishes, but when the weather turns cooler, I love to make gumbo. Chicken and sausage is more affordable, but I love seafood gumbo. Start with fresh fish and shrimp, and make stock from the heads/bones/shells. Get rid of all the solids and reserve the liquid. Make a roux, and get it as dark as you dare without burning. Add in the holy trinity (celery, bell pepper, onion), stir for a few minutes to sweat 'em, then add the stock back in, season, and simmer for about an hour. Check/correct seasoning, then add okra and seafood and cook another few minutes (don't overcook the seafood), and check/correct seasoning again. Serve over rice with toasted buttered French bread.

    For whatever reason, as good as it tastes fresh off the stove, it'll taste even better after melding in the fridge overnight.

    How it starts / how it finishes (that's a 5-gal pot, btw):
    upload_2022-12-20_22-32-51.png upload_2022-12-20_22-34-5.png
     
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  27. Chrisgoesflying

    Chrisgoesflying Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Kitchen gadget: iPhone

    Recipe: Anything BBQ'ed with a side of fried okra and baked beans... Delivered through DoorDash that is.
     
  28. Aviatordoc

    Aviatordoc Pre-Flight

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    Last edited: Dec 21, 2022
  29. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    You need little more than aa set of decent pots and pans and a few utensils to cook. It isn't about gadgets or hardware. Cooking requires technique, wisdom and love.
     
  30. Pi1otguy

    Pi1otguy Pattern Altitude

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    2 items a modern kitchen should have is a rice cooker and an air fryer/pressure cooker (such as a Ninja Foodi). Frees up stove space for other parts of a meal.

    As for a recipe, I'll do a simple but good one. Rice & Peas.
    This is a Jamaican style rice adapted from how my family cooked it to work in a rice cooker. A great rice dish to go with any well seasoned meats.

    Ingredients:
    2 cups rice
    1 can coconut milk (think cans from the international aisle, not the watery kinda sold next to nut milks)
    1 can kidney or red beans (or equivalent freshly cooked beans)
    Salt
    1 -2 pieces of thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
    1/2 tablespoon butter (optional)
    Water

    Steps:
    Lightly wash the rice (1 rinse is good). In your rice cooker add rice, coconut milk, and beans (including the liquid).
    Add water to the just above the 2 cup line on your cooker.
    Salt to taste, then add butter and thyme.

    Cook on white rice setting. After cooking, fluff to evenly distribute beans.
    Enjoy!

    Variations: swap kidney beans for black beans, pigeon peas, or nearly any bean.
     
  31. wilkersk

    wilkersk Pattern Altitude

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    Kitchen gadget: (1) Oxo Good Grips non-stick 12" pan best egg pan out there.
    (2) The internet!

    Recipe: I have no original recipes. I'm not a talented cook. I just love to find good recipes on the internet and copy them.
     
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  32. Domenick

    Domenick Cleared for Takeoff

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  33. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    As much as I like to cook, I don’t really have a signature dish.

    And I’m looking around the kitchen right now to see what I use most often. Other than the coffee maker, it’s probably the 12” nonstick skillet I got from Sam’s Club. I use that so much I usually leave it on the stove after I wash it. It has a silicone grip on the handle that slides off if you want to put the pan in a hot oven.


    Edit: yesterday I made Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon recipe and my Fitbit said I did >10,000 steps. That beef stew recipe keeps you on your feet for quite a while.
     
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  34. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Interesting discussion of pantry staples with a twist.

    The tofu and capers especially

     
  35. RyanB

    RyanB Super Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Not going to lie, but that looks disgusting.
     
  36. Jim_R

    Jim_R Cleared for Takeoff

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    No worries--more for me!
     
  37. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Boeuf Bourguignon.

    Say that five times. Or... once even.
     
  38. wilkersk

    wilkersk Pattern Altitude

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    A good gumbo and a couple of cold Red Stripes. Laissez le bon temps rouler!
     
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  39. Brad W

    Brad W Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I've always liked cooking and baking but have never done a lot of it. No time. Lately I'm on a carnivore diet and I'm getting good practice cooking eggs and cast iron pan steaks. Simple salt and butter, no other seasonings and actually quite good. I'm finding all that other stuff is far too much work and the reason I never found time to cook before!
     
  40. Doug Reid

    Doug Reid Cleared for Takeoff

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    I am especially good at Stauffers microwave dinners...less than 30 minutes for great lasagna, chicken casserole, etc . Back in the day, I cooked for 8 guys at our fire station...home made biscuits and all...that was a long time ago :)

    You guys who really cook have my sincere gratitude and respect.