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Cooking in fits and starts.

 
 
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 03:04 pm
If I left everything to cook until dinner time, we would never have anything to eat. I try to grab a half hour here and a half hour there hoping that by dinner time I'll have everything ready to put together quickly.

Today I'm trying a new recipe for gruyere cheese and sweet onion pie.

I knew I wouldn't have a big enough chunk of time to slice and sautee six cups of onion and still put it together and still get a vegetable and entree made at dinner time.

So I sliced and sauteed the onions early this afternoon knowing I can throw the rest of it together in just a few minutes.

But now I'm worried that my onions won't hold up and I'll end up with a soggy mess.

I love recipes that tell me what can be prepared ahead of time but not many recipes do that.

Are there any rules of thumb to help a person determine what can be done ahead of time without runing the dish?

I appreciate your help.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 3,990 • Replies: 68
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Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 03:05 pm
Good question and I have my ears open....
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 03:32 pm
Oh .. how funny..
as we speak, I have a half cooked tofu scrambler on the stove.
I cant have the stove on with Bean up because she can reach the burners and is obsessed with them.
So dinner waits until Daddy gets home for the help.

In doing things as you have described Boom, i bought a small foreman grilll.
in less then 3 minutes I can grill any veggies with no oil, seasonings .. or what have you .. and I can then drop them directly into the rest of the food wich is waiting on the stove.
You can always grill/ sautee onions and freeze them immediatly.
In small baggies, all you have to do then is open it and add them at the very last second before you take the food off the burner.

To keep veggies from going bad, get a steamer.
Most veggies only take 20 minutes in a cheap steamer before they are soft enough to eat.
Yet again.. you can just take them directly from the steamer and add them to the mixture of food.
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 03:35 pm
why dont you use pots and pans like everybody else?
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 03:58 pm
Well for one thing my fits and starts are in better shape than my pots and pans.

I do the same kind of things for quick dishes, shewolf, but like this recipe today -- an hour of prep time, 30 minutes of cooking (and 10 seconds to eat <sigh>)

I can't realistically spend a solid hour putting together a side dish but if I can break it into 30 minute chunks things become more reasonable.
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boomerang
 
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Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 06:00 pm
Hmmm.

Since nobody has any tricks and tips for me yet, and since Bella is interested I will record my completely unscientific findings here:

After sauteeing the onions in butter and olive oil (about 45 minutes, low heat, six cups) and popping them in the fridge while I went to the park, yakked with neighbors and raked leaves I returned to find them still onions had maintained their al dente but the butter/olive oil mixture had congealed a bit.

Since the pie crust has to be prebaked and returned to room temperature before assembling the pie, I took the onions out of the fridge hoping that they too would return to room temperature at about the same time.

Developing.....
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gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 06:15 pm
boomer wrote:
If I left everything to cook until dinner time, we would never have anything to eat. I try to grab a half hour here and a half hour there hoping that by dinner time I'll have everything ready to put together quickly


It is amazing how we seem to live parallel lives. I'm the same way. I'm eating a hot dog right now, but only because of carefully planned stages during the course of the day.

I knew I wanted this hot dog earlier in the day but because of my hectic schedule I had to plan accordingly.

At 11:30 this morning, as I walked through the house to use the bathroom, I stopped in the kitchen and pulled a cooking pot from under the sink and put it on the stove.

Later, around 2:00, I poured water into the pot.

Now, just minutes ago, I turned on the heat and dropped in the hot dog.
And now I am eating it.

But only because it was done the boomer way -- carefully planned stages.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 06:23 pm
We are more than soul-mates, gus. I think we're split-aparts. Really I do.

Hot dogs. Yum.

Can I come to dinner at your house?

Uhhh. wait....

You did pull out the pan before you went to the bathroom and you did wash your hands after.

Right?
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 06:28 pm
boomerang: Mo is eating sweet onion pie with gruyere?

Sorry, I have nothing to contribute, I don't cook in stages,
in fact, if it has more than 4 ingredients, I don't touch
the recipe. I'm the original 5 min. cook http://www.borge.diesal.de/oh.gif
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 06:40 pm
If Mo is presented with a dish often enough he will eventually taste it and sometimes he likes it and most of the time he doesn't.

But I love to cook. Really love to cook. And I miss getting to spend hours preparing something. So I'm adapting. I'm usually starting dinner about noon and stage it out throughout the day.

Tuesdays are usually my grocery shopping days because that's Food Day in the paper and I try to pick a new recipe to try every week.

I'm pathetic.
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 06:45 pm
No, you're not boomerang! I think that's a wonderful
quality to have, and trying new recipes once a week
takes a lot of time and effort - so kudos to you!

I had a horde of girls here before and they all wanted
plain spaghetti with butter and cheese.
Perfect: only 3 ingredients!! Laughing
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gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 06:45 pm
You're not pathetic, boomer.

<pats boomer on head>
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 06:52 pm
Ahhh. I feel so much better now.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 07:20 pm
More from boomerang's test kitchen:

WTF!

The recipe didn't say I needed two pie crusts but apparently the onion blah blah blah mixture makes enough for two pies.

Luckily I bought the two pack of pie shells at the grocery.

(C'mon. I already have to cook over the course of the day. Do you think I've got time to make pie crust too!? No. The answer is "No.".)

So re-preheat, re-poke, re-bake, re-cool, re-fill, second pie crust.

Send e-mail to newpaper asking WTF!

Second pie is going into the freezer so experiment number 2 is already underway.

We shall see just how much of this damn pie can be cooked in advance fercryingoutloud.

Waiting for reply from idiot editor of Food Day. Considering cancellin newspaper subscription.

Developing.....
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 07:21 pm
Cooked ground beef freezes and stores well. You can cook the onion in with the beef for spaghetti sauce and freeze them together.

Boiled hot dogs. Well. . . .
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 07:30 pm
October whatever, 2005.

Debate cooking freezer pie vs. freezing uncooked pie. Decide to precook and freeze the unholy thing.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 07:31 pm
That's a good idea, roger!

I keep an assortment of stocks and sauces in my freezer and that would be a good addition.

Yeah. I can do that.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 07:46 pm
G()&&^@#43 socialist mother(^%*&& media and their "enough pastry for one pie crust" bull&*&)!

This recipe filled TWO crusts nice and easy. Picture perfect. You sorry #$$%*[email protected]

Whatever happened to fact checking you #[email protected]^%$? Huh?

Yeah. They're in the oven you morons.

Bon appitite or whatever.

Losers.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 07:49 pm
Yeah?

Yeah?

Yeah!

We're talking recipe rage here.

Oven mitts at dawn.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 08:18 pm
Haha boomerang, by the time Mr. B is home and dinner
is ready to serve, you're probably standing there with
a huge knife, ready to throw it. Laughing
0 Replies
 
 

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