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Can't Cook, Would Cook (but I can't)

(17 Posts)
MyUsernameIsInvalid Wed 19-Apr-17 15:19:10

Ok, so I can't cook at all. (Bloke btw so I don't mind people judging me).
I know how pretty much everything works in the kitchen but have no idea how to make a meal other than making things the kettle, toaster and microwave can.

Now my OH is ill, and I really want to look after her and make her a meal. Now I know I won't immediately be able to make a 3course gormet Gordan Ramsay Masterchef Nigella Lawson Michellin starred meal. But I'm hoping that someone in the next 2hours can give me a meal to make that is straight forward and, I dunno how to word, looks like it was alot harder to make than it actually is.

I know I'm asking a lot here, and I appreciate the words of advise or any other comment for that matter.

I've always wanted to cook, but I never had the time to teach myself and was never shown growing up which has left me quite annoyed now it would really come in handy.

Thanks in advance.

4merlyknownasSHD Wed 19-Apr-17 16:46:44

You could do worse than go on to Delia Online

AtleastitsnotMonday Wed 19-Apr-17 22:31:37

Give us a few dishes you oh enjoys and we may be able to suggest the simplist to start with and how to do it.

Blondie1984 Thu 20-Apr-17 00:19:10

If your OH is ill then I'm sure the last thing they want is anything too elaborate ...
The BBC Good Food website is really good - all the recipes are given a difficulty rating so you will be able to find something on there that you feel comfortable with AND that meets you/your OH's tastes

MyUsernameIsInvalid Thu 20-Apr-17 09:28:54

Thanks for the links 4merlyknown and Blondie

AtleastitsnotMonday - We both like pasta dishes, risottos, mediterranean stuff. I've gone on a few websites other than what's suggested and I find them a chore. So thanks for the advice so far.

NoSquirrels Thu 20-Apr-17 09:34:12

Jamie Oliver is your friend. Lots of pasta dishes that are simple, or fancy salads, or Med influenced meals, and clear instructions. Chicken wrapped in Parma ham looks fancy but isn't. Look on his website, there will be simple recipes!

NoSquirrels Thu 20-Apr-17 09:38:17

Try his chicken tray bake, or chicken, leek and pea pasta. Both "super easy" to cook - sorry, can't link in phone but search his website and those are the recipe names.

TressiliansStone Thu 20-Apr-17 09:41:03

Second what others are saying about Delia, Jamie and BBC Online.

And also about the not-too-elaborate.

You want to cosset her as she's not well, and honestly something simple that comes out OK and hasn't left you frazzled is your best bet. The last thing she needs right now is the additional burden of having to pretend she likes something a bit dodgy, while you're so distracted you don't get on with the OTHER useful household stuff.

amistillsexy Thu 20-Apr-17 09:42:31

Hi, myusernameisinvalid . A very easy mediteranian meal you could try is a rated ratatouille ('roasted rat' in our house😂) .
It's very simple to make, just cut up some red onion, courgette, aubergine and red peppers into chunks (about 1 inches, but don't go getting the ruler out - bite size is what you're aiming for).
Drizzle some oil onto a roasting dish, then put all the veg into it, sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and some rosemary or thyme (or both), fresh or dried. Then drizzle some more oil and mix the lot together so the oil coats everything.
Roast for about 40 minutes, stirring a couple of times so it doesnt burn. Then add a tin of tomatoes an stir those in. You could also add some butter beans and/or feta cheese chunks at this point. Pop back into the oven for 10 or 15 minutes whilst you make some rice or cous cous, or bulgur wheat is good with this (cook it like rice, but add a chicken or veg stick melt or cube into the cooking water for extra taste).
Serve topped with blobs of creme fraiche, sour cream or even just plain yoghurt, maybe a sprinkling of cheddar cheese or chunks of feta. Some pitta bread or French stick to mop up the's delicious cold for lunch the next day too.

MrsChopper Thu 20-Apr-17 09:48:36

You could also check out youtube for video instructions. Search for Foodtube to look up Jamie Oliver's recipes. Can also recommend Donal Skehan and Sorted Food on there.

A one pot pasta dish might be a good start for you.

NotCitrus Thu 20-Apr-17 09:49:18

Hi there - I suggest thinking in terms of food groups and then trying variations. So if you start with Pasta And Stuff, you follow instructions on the pasta packet, remembering to turn the heat down once the water is boiling again after putting the pasta in.

Then figure out some veg and meat to go with. Simplest might be some frozen peas plus some frozen prawns, fry them all in a pan until heated through, add spoonful of creme fraiche, serve with pasta. Or use a bit of pesto or a tomatoey pasta sauce instead.

Variations: slice any vegetable, cook in microwave for 4 minutes, fry in a couple tablespoons oil until a bit brown. You can chop bacon small and fry that first, adding veg when it starts to get cooked-looking.

I know a few chaps who have taught themselves to cook just by getting an ingredient at a time and following instructions on the packet. A roast meal with a small piece of meat will take about 1 to 2 hours in the oven, which gives you plenty of time to figure out how to cook some potatoes (don't bother peeling! boiled is a doddle, mashing easy enough, roast requires a bit of organisation), carrots and frozen peas.

Keep it simple. Pasta with just pesto from a jar, some frozen veg, and a boil-in-the bag piece of fish is wonderful. If you avoid burning stuff, it's pretty hard to make an inedible meal, just likely to be a bit bland - which can be fixed with Worcester sauce, soy or chili sauce, etc.

Hope your OH feels better soon and don't be over-ambitious and leave loads of washing up for her!

AtleastitsnotMonday Thu 20-Apr-17 14:03:57

I think if I were in your situation I would also think about some of the 'cheat' ingredients. I'm thinking ready chopped veg, maybe a ready made cheese, ready made pastry etc. Just make life a little bit easier for you yourself.
A really simple pasta dish could be cooked pasta with a tomato, garlic onion and herb sauce.
Cook pasta as per instructions on pack.
In a pan heat a teaspoon of olive oil and fry off a chopped red onion and two cloves of crushed garlic. (You can by a jar of ready crushed garlic called very Lazy garlic so you could use that instead if easier)
You could also add chopped chilli here if you like things spicy. once the onion softens add a tin of chopped tomatoes, a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and some chopped basil (or you could use a dried mixed Italian herb). Then allow the sauce to reduce down until it thickens a bit. Drain the pasta then add to the pan of sauce. Give it stir, season well and dish up. Add grated Parmesan.
Serve with a salad or garlic bread.
You could add any number things to the sauce, mushrooms, bacon, chorizo, peppers, what ever you fancy really.
Turn it into a pasta bake by putting in a dish topping with cheese and breadcrumbs and pop into the oven for 25 mins.

Ollivander84 Thu 20-Apr-17 14:31:14

This beef stew is probably going to take too long but save it for another day as its really really good and easy. I prefer to add some chopped mushrooms to it as well. It tastes like you've spent hours on it but really it's just been in the oven wink

Chicken noodle soup

Jamie Oliver cottage pie

Ollivander84 Thu 20-Apr-17 14:35:35

Forgot this one

Whathaveilost Thu 20-Apr-17 14:39:10

You've some good advice here.
The Jamie Oliver Pass it in book is really good.
One tip though, what ever receipe you do read it all the way through BEFORE you do anything. Just have a quick run through so you know what to expect.

mateysmum Thu 20-Apr-17 14:46:05

Half the battle is organisation. Read the recipe, make sure you have all the kit and ingredients - if it needs something fancy schmancy it's probably time to find another recipe.
Get everything out before you start cooking then you won't be caught out 1/2 way through.
You can do a lot worse that a home made spag bol. Loads of recipes online.
Or bung salmon fillets in a hot oven for 10mins. Flake the fish, add to pasta with some pesto/cream/creme fraiche whatever you have, some parmesan and that's it. You could fry a bit of garlic/mushrooms and add or a few cherry tomatoes thrown in go really well.
Don't be afraid to use jar sauces. Some are pretty good and make a tasty quick meal.
Good luck.

FreeButtonBee Thu 20-Apr-17 14:50:36

I really rate Nigel Slater's older books for simple food and learning to cook. The 30 min cook and appetite are my favourites. Appetite gives variations on a theme which is great for using stuff up or giving you more confidence to tweak to make something more to your taste.

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