Bachelor-style cooking

Discussion in 'Healthful Living / Natural Treatments' started by InsaneCdn, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Well, my friends... I need some help again.

    You see, I'm not a good cook. I'm a passable cook - but not for teaching somebody else.

    Challenging kid is having to learn to cook for himself.


    Looking for fast-prep, easy-cook, really tasty, and no grill, meat cooking for 1 or 2 hungry men. They are not looking for chili or stew... they want their meat. (they know how to do potatoes and veggies in microwave)

    Pork chops - sirloin, or other
    Any other suggestions for reasonably inexpensive but healthy...
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Crock pot cooking is a great way to cook less expensive cuts of meat. Seasoning can be as simple as salt and pepper or more detailed. Veggies go in at the same time and dinner is ready when you get home. You can be a lousy cook and still have a tasty meal.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    But... I've never had success with crock pot. It always ends up "bland" - which the guys detest.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Seasoning really helps!!
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You two must be real cooks.
    I have tried various things... but it doesn't "taste right".
    I have no idea what goes together... or how to season for slow cooker.
    My mother said... just taste it while you are cooking and adjust. Doesn't work - because MY taste is to prefer bland.

  6. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Fast, good, and cheap?

    Choose 2.

    There's no such thing as fast, good and cheap that I can think of, especially when you're talking about meat. Have you seen the price of beef and pork? You'd think they were feeding the cows and pigs gold. I told the butcher in the grocery store the other day that at the price they're charging you expect the marbling to shimmer!

    BUT, that being said, there are really good crock-pot meals. You don't have to be a good cook...though it helps to not like bland. lol

    Pot-roast is the #1 meat in the crockpot meal. In my opinion, the key to keeping it from being bland is seasoning and the key to not overcooking is to put it in frozen. Yep, frozen. Put the onions, potatoes and carrots on the bottom. Put the still frozen roast on top. Sprinkle with pepper and the contents of a beefy onion soup mix packet. Sometimes I toss in some Italian seasoning or garlic. NO WATER. If you MUST use liquid, put a bit of red wine - no more than 1/2 a cup. You want it to roast, not boil. I've also topped with condensed cream of mushroom soup or golden mushroom...right out of the can, no water unless it's a tiny bit to wash out the can.

    You can make meatloaf in a crockpot. The key there is to wrap it in foil so you can lift it out of the pot. I've never actually done this.

    One of the BEST things I've ever done in a crockpot is Choucroute Garnie - which is a fancy name for sauerkraut with meat. You layer in thick pork chops, brats, ham, as you please, top with sauerkraut mixed with apple slices and onions and maybe some brown sugar, top the whole thing with hard apple cider and let it cook...yummy!

    If you don't want to go crock-pot, I can't really think of easy. I mean, there's the usual hamburgers and hot dogs. Meatloaf takes like an hour to cook in the oven.

    I guess the easiest meat dish I can think of is potatoes and sausage. Simply thinly sliced potatoes, add some onion if you wish, fry them in a skillet until just almost done, add sliced smoked sausage and cook until done.

    I also make a smothered pork chop dish that's quite simple. Lightly bread pork chops in flour and salt and pepper (I like to used seasoned salt in breading) and brown them - or brown them without breading is okay too. Put in a 9x13 pan and mix up a can of cream of mushroom and cream of celery, 1/2 cup milk and pour over the top, cover with foil and bake for 1/2 hour, uncover and bake about 15-20 minutes more. The sauce makes great gravy for mashed potatoes or rice. You can make it with any meat or poultry really...and use the low-fat soups to make it lower calorie.

    We eat more chicken than anything else at home. In the crockpot, chicken cacciatore is probably the easiest and won't be bland. The key is to use dark meat - thighs - at least in part. Simply chicken, peppers, carrots, onions, covered in a spicy spaghetti sauce. Serve over pasta.

    My best suggestion is to go to BEST website ever!
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Well... what I meant by "fast" was... not a heaping pile of prep time. It doesn't matter if it has to sit in the oven for an hour or two. But the guys aren't going to "fuss"... breading, or two-stage prep, or...

    Two-stage prep is my idea of fast... marinade + meat either in the morning or night before, and deal with it when I get home from work. "That's too much work". Actually, it's probably just too much forethought :D

    I've had very mixed results with - enough so that I can't just send the guys looking on their own.
  8. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Really? That shocks me. I've used it for years and have only had one recipe I really didn't like. Reading the comments makes a big difference.

    I guess I have a problem helping much then, while Jabber and I cook quite a bit, we do a lot of soup and pasta and such.
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Really Easy Chicken Legs or Thighs

    You can make a quick seasoning for chicken thighs or legs. It is good: Put say 2 T of garlic powder, not salt, 2 teaspoons onion powder, maybe 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne or more to taste, and 1 teaspoon salt. If you like cumin add 1 teaspoon of cumin. This is flexible. You can add more or less of these things to taste.

    You have created a spice blend which you can put in a bottle and store. I like spicy so I would use this quantity for 6 thighs.

    Coat each of the chicken pieces with this spice blend. Put in 350 degree oven skin down. After 20 minutes turn over skin side up. Bake for 15 minutes more or to when juices when poked with fork come out clear and the skin is golden.

    Baking chicken is easy. There are recipes on allrecipes for different dry rubs which is what this is which can be made in advance.

    Roast Chicken

    Preheat oven to 450 F

    Rinse and dry including cavity. Salt inside cavity. Rub with oil.
    Put inside cavity an onion and if desired, garlic cloves.
    Put inside cavity some herbs. I like thyme, basil, a little rosemary. I use fresh.
    Sprinkle body of chicken with dried thyme.

    In a roasting pan put chicken breast down.
    After 30 minutes turn over chicken breast up.
    Put a little more thyme on top.
    Lower oven to 325.
    Roast 45 minutes more, approximately until juices run out clear when thigh is poked with a fork and skin is golden brown.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  10. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    I have three adult kids, and this is what I told them:

    When you bring your meat home from the store, separate into serving-sized portions into freezer bags. Add any of a variety of marinades you can purchase at the store (or make yourself) into the bag and seal.

    In the morning before work, pull out the specific amount of meat for tonight's meal and put in the fridge to thaw.

    Throwing the meat in the oven and some veggies in the microwave is super easy to do after working all day, and tastes great and healthy.

    Buy fish and put under the broiler for a few minutes. Boil-in-the-bag rice and microwave veggies. One of my favorite easy, last minute meals. 10 minutes to the table.

    Buy stir fry veggies in a bag (Aldis has these cheap and delicious and comes with sauce). Cut up a piece of chicken from the freezer that has been marinated in chicken broth to put in it.

    It also is an easy way to feed (and impress) a date. A man that cooks!

  11. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Another tip-- get a George Foreman grill for the boys for Christmas.

    My son had one in his college dorm, along with a mini-fridge, and would cook steak or hamburgers with it. He loved it.
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Apple, that is a great idea about putting the marinades with the meat in the freezer, so they marinate while they thaw. I will try that.

    Thank you.

  13. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    How did we forget the bachelor's best friend--Lawry's Seasoning Salt!
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Standard bachelor spice cabinet:
    - seasoned salt
    - lemon pepper
    - salt
    - pepper
    - garlic powder
    - cayenne pepper
    plus bottled barbeque sauce.