What are your cooking goals this year?

Discussion in 'The Mess Hall' started by Sullybob, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. Sullybob

    Sullybob Contributor

    The title says it all. What area of cooking do you want to improve on or explore?

    I have a couple of goals this year.

    Baking.

    I want to really ramp up my baking, especially bread baking. I'm going to attempt to freeze loaves of my bread and see how it keeps. I also want to make more bread with whole wheat flour or at least white whole wheat.

    I want to start making more cakes, by more I mean some. I haven't made a cake in a long time, its time to start.

    Asian.

    I don't know why but I really have the urge to start making Asian soups. Tomorrow I'm making ramen soup from David Chang's Momofuku. It looks really good. Next up, Pho or some of the spicy Korean soups. There is a Korean/Japanese place down the street from my house. Its a husband and wife place the husband is Japanese and he does the sushi along with I think his son, the wife is Korean and she handles the kitchen with a couple of cooks and she also takes care of the front of the house. The food is good enough that I have thought about begging them for a job in the kitchen.

    Indian food, especially vegetables. I'm intrigued by the spice blends.

    I have also come to the conclusion that I don't cook enough beans. I like them I just don't cook enough of them.


    What about you? What plans or goals do you have? What areas of cookery would you like to explore?
     
  2. Alacrity59

    Alacrity59 Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    If you have a bulk food place near you you can get 7 or 9 or etc. grains to add to your bread. Most whole wheat bread is more white flour than whole wheat as whole wheat does not really have the gluten to hold bread together. I stand to be corrected though. I like breads that involve a little molasses as well.

    On the soup front . . . all I can say is Hot And Sour. . . . my favourite.

    For me my challenge is to develop a variety of go to cold salads. Things using beans, rice, bulgar, with spices. Egg and potato salads I have some under my belt . . . cole slaw . . . yeah I do some real good ones. . . so looking out for different things.

    Mike
     
  3. I agree on the baking. I feel kind of stupid buying bread at the store. I want to come up with a solid wheat sandwich loaf.

    I also want to start making dry cured sausages. Specifically salami.
     
  4. Sullybob

    Sullybob Contributor

    I have some recipes that call for the addition of wheat gluten. I have made two loaves with white whole wheat and the addition of wheat gluten. It came out pretty good but it was a lean dough and I would like to develop a reliable whole wheat sandwich loaf. I'll have to read up on some of the other grains for bread making.

    This past week I made the no knead bread recipe from the back of the King Arthur whole wheat flour bag. It had molasses and orange juice.

    I have a couple of cold salads that I do too but I also need to expand that area of my cooking.


    Dry cured sausage is on my future list of things to do. This year I may try home cured bacon.
     
  5. i am sure you have seen this, but I mention this in case you haven't. The book "artisan bread in 5 minutes" gets very good reviews... my wife and I have sporadic spurts of nonstop bread making, with a couple of different biga's sitting in the fridge. It was a lot of fun to have fresh bread.

    I think i am going to work on some homemade bacon soon.
     
  6. Build a bigger smokehouse to accomodate 20 lbs of jerky and 4, 5lb slabs of porkbelly bacon:)
     
  7. Just purchased a 19" wok for the outdoor burner to be purchased in the near future. So.... to become Proficient in the ways of the wok!
     
  8. Bought this book last year & have only cooked 1 recipe from it. My aim is to:

    try many more of these recipes over this coming year
    get a decent set of knives
    try cooking rissoto for the 1st time
    get my pizzas upto a really good standard
    Bake a really good plain white bread loaf

    [​IMG]
     
  9. We just got this book. We've made the basic recipe for about a year now and we plan to explore the alternative versions this year.

    Yes. We plan to bake bread to save money and eat healthier. I'd like to have a small loaf with dinner a few times a week. The book mentioned above REALLY shows you how to have fresh bread every day.
     
  10. BBQ BBQ & MORE BBQ!!!

    Last year was the first time for pulled pork for me, which I feel I've got a pretty good handle on now.

    This year I want to take on the brisket:biggrin1:

    Plus I just got a new cooker which I MUST learn so.... practice practice practice (i.e. BBQ BBQ BBQ):biggrin1:

    I'm bbqing a bacon wrapped pork loin right now on my new cooker.
     
  11. SiBurning

    SiBurning Steward Contributor

    To learn something about meal planning and do more cooking of full meals on a more daily basis. I've spent too much time on cooking elaborate and long cooking dishes, and it's not at all appropriate to daily cooking.
     
  12. beginish

    beginish Moderator

    To try and make Japanese-inspired bento lunches a few times a week for my wife and me. The sandwiches are all played out (except for Spivey's 700, of course).
     
  13. Smoking for the first time, that's pretty much all, and hopefully not mess it up the first time, lol

    Actually some more recipes for us to cook for dinner, not sure what but anything that's nice.
     
  14. David Chang's book is a fantastic book. I've made 4-5 recipes and they've all been excellent.
     
  15. My wife and I subscribe to a CSA for our produce. My goal is to use all of it each week, which can be a challenge. My strategy is to pick up our "share" on Friday, take an inventory, create a cooking plan (menu) based on that, and then buy just the necessary proteins. That way we eat our veggies and fruit, minimize waste and eat less meat.
    My other goal is to have a nutrient-dense fruit smoothies for breakfast 5 days a week.
     
  16. Sullybob

    Sullybob Contributor


    I have that book and just bought their second book two weeks ago. I have made a lot of bread out of the first book and I plan on making a lot of bread out of the second book. In face I have already made 4 loafs of bread from it.

    At heart I'm a cook, not a baker and their books allow me to bake and have excellent results.


    Nice.



    I would hate to tell you how many cookbooks I have that I haven't cooked a single recipe from. Some of the books I haven't cooked out of have given me great food inspiration.


    It's my go to bread book. Its super easy and pretty much fool proof. The white sandwich loaf is what we make our sandwiches with. The sticky buns that I made are from that book. Now that I have their second book I'm starting to make more whole wheat bread.


    I feel you on that. I really like to spend some time in the kitchen but some days it just isn't worth it or I just don't have the time. We could start a thread about what or how we cook when we are pressed for time or just plain to tired to do an elaborate meal.

    If you haven' t made the ginger scallion sauce you really owe it yourself to make and try it on some noodles. I'm not a big ginger fan I wasn't sure how I would like it. After reading about it in the book and all of his comments about it I knew I had to make it. His line about "you need this in your life" is spot on. I can't believe how good this sauce is.

    What is a CSA?
     
  17. SiBurning

    SiBurning Steward Contributor

    Done.
    [thread=184662]Share your secrets for quick weeknight meal preparation[/thread]
     
  18. I plan to focus more on French cuisine this year. Last year was Italian and Mediterranean. Eventually, I want to make really good croissants.
     
  19. My dad and I recently bought a nice smoker. I want to concentrate on the art of Low and Slow BBQ. We have thus far had some amazing chicken, really good turkey, fantastic ribs, and great gravy drippings. We have had some awful fish, so the goal is an obvious one. :oops:
     

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