Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Introductions Are In Order and Step 1


Hi there, my name's Nick, I love to cook, and firmly believe that the world is a better place when as many people as possible like it too. I also like to impress people with said cooking, and believe cooking is one of those things that just make one's quality of life better.

The main point of this blog is to get the average lazy-ass 20/30-something single guy (or gal) to learn the fine art of cooking tasty meals with minimal effort or preparation.

A little bit about my "credentials" to pull off a believable blog on this topic. Basically, I used to work in kitchens many moons ago and learned the basics of food prep and marrying flavours effectively, a skill I've improved upon over the years.

Now, if I had a stainless steel kitchen with acres of counter space, I'd be making Baked Alaska and Beef Wellington nightly. But, in reality, I live in a small 1-bedroom apartment with a kitchen that has no counters (I had to buy a stand-alone kitchen/countertop dealie from IKEA - - just to have a spot to prep.

So, I've had to make due with minimal space. This has allowed me to figure out how to make a little go a long way and how to simplify prepping and cooking. So, I figure if I can cobble together meals that make the ladies swoon (just ask 'em) with an oubliette of a kitchen, anyone can!

Which leads to the other public service aspect of this blog: to convince my fellow males that the way to woman's heart might not be through the stomach, but it could well be through the taste buds. Cook something tasty for a demoiselle; it'll go far in your efforts to entice her to think you're more than just that guy with the haircut. Not to mention the fact that a plate of pasta is a damn sight tastier than Pizza Pops.

Learn to cook for yourself and watch your Epicurean sensibilities expand exponentially, not to mention saving money and having better health (I'll have an entire future post dedicated to exposing how a diet of processed food is unsustainable). So, with that in mind, let's proceed!

Step 1 - Building a Basic Kitchen

OK, depending on where you are in your life, you may or may not have acquired some basic kitchen implements. For kicks, let's say you haven't.

Here's what you need:

- kitchen knife - really, all you need is one decent quality chef's knife. Forget the 25-piece sets (especially if they're that crappy serrated type); just go with a good straight-bladed chef's knife. I used the same 10$ knife for years and it was fine. You also may want to get a sharpening stone/steel, although you can sharpen any knife on the unfinished part at the bottom of a ceramic bowl.

- counter space - if you're like me and don't have any, go to IKEA and get the cart I mentioned earlier.

- dishes - get a basic set of side plates, dinner plates and bowls. GT sells 'em cheap. Get some glasses at the same time! And some utensils are probably helpful too

- cookware - at a minimum, you need a medium saucepan with a handle and lid, a frying pan, a spatula, a set of tongs and a serving spoon. Since we're doing pasta, you might as well invest in some sort of strainer/colander. Or, even better, hit up Canadian Tire for one of these - - and get most of your stuff in one fell swoop. Canadian Tire is, and has always been, your friend.

- cutting board - a board, of wood or plastic, that you cut stuff on.

Next post: Step 2 - Off to the Supermarket!

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