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-   -   Recipe Help (https://www.englishforum.ch/food-drink/103207-recipe-help.html)

Davidluis 08.01.2011 10:05

Recipe Help
I cook on a level slightly above my 11 yr old nephew. I have been traveling for work for a few years and just never bothered to progress past my university days. But as eating out is considerably more expensive here in Zug, I am going to try and learn to cook a little. So herein lies my questions - anyone have any simple / basic recipes that they would like to share with me?


PS - let the abuse rain down, I know its out there...

08.01.2011 10:45

Re: Recipe Help
Delia Smith is a well known English TV cook and supporter for Norwich City football club. Her website is full of recipes, but the best part is there are no mistakes! She also describes things in great detail offering links to other basic pages. Highly recommended! www.deliaonline.com

If you need a book, I can recommend Good Housekeeping because of all the basic necessary information in it.



gata 08.01.2011 10:56

Re: Recipe Help
I know what you mean. Im in the same level as you

So here is what i cooked yesterday. Took me 30 minutes

Boil some water and cook tagliatelles (thats that flat pasta)
Fry onion, mushrooms and beef
Mix all together
Add fresh cream


NSchulzi 08.01.2011 10:59

Re: Recipe Help
You could learn to cook David, or adopt Plan B - acquire a capable WAG ;)

Nickers 08.01.2011 11:02

Re: Recipe Help
Use this site http://www.bbcgoodfood.com

grumpygrapefruit 08.01.2011 11:09

Re: Recipe Help
Learning to cook is all about experimenting, I have hardly ever followed a recipe in a book.

Start with some simple pasta dishes, cook the pasta, fry some onion, bacon bits, other veggy stuff that looks good at the market, throw in the cooked pasta with some cheese and a dash of olive oil. Quick, healthy and very cheap.

After that experiment with other ingredients, creamy or tomato based sauces, seafood etc. With some success you'll develop confidence and create even better dishes! Then think about joining some cooking classes, Jack on this forum does some entertaining and easy one evening classes in Zurich.

Just remember that cooking should never be a chore, it should be fun and a good way to relax (a glass or 2 of wine also helps!)

gata 08.01.2011 11:51

Re: Recipe Help
There is a webpage that someone very helpfully posted somewhere here before. I looked for it but cant find it. Obviously i need new glasses. But maybe if anyone knows off hand can they post it again? Its a page where you select what kind of ingredients you have at home and suggests recipes.

*repeats to self: bookmarks are there for a reason. use them!*

08.01.2011 11:52

Re: Recipe Help
Buy Larousse Gastronomique. Read it cover to cover, and then put it down, close it and freestyle. That book will give you enough of the basic logic and chemistry to cook well, without being tied to random Delia recipes.

Capacitrix 08.01.2011 12:28

Re: Recipe Help

Originally Posted by gata (Post 1062690)
There is a webpage that someone very helpfully posted somewhere here before.

This one?

I forgot I had it. :msnblush:

claire1978 08.01.2011 12:41

Re: Recipe Help

Buy a slow cooker. You can put anything and everything into the crockpot and put the slowcooker on before you leave for work or day out and when you get home there will be a lovely meal already for you, and your house will be smelling lovely!!

I like to cook stews in mine and whole chickens. If you want any easy receipes for it just ask, as I have plenty.

Bye C :)

Peg A 08.01.2011 13:02

Re: Recipe Help
Ok, easiest thing for me is to start by saying this:
There are certain "staples" to make sure you pretty much always have. With these items, you will always have something to eat - it more depends how complicated YOU want to make it.

So, grocery list:
Sugar, flour, eggs, milk, salt, black pepper.
Onions (I get the sacks of "soup onions"), potatoes, garlic, canned tomatoes.
Pasta, rice, bread crumbs.
Butter (and / or margarine), olive oil, vinegar.

If you make sure you ALWAYS have these items, it is really easy to use a site like the one Capacitrix linked to figure out what you can make, particularly if you make sure to have some meat and (or only) fresh veg on hand all the time also. However, even with only those things you can make some simple soups or pasta... but it would get a bit dull pretty quickly.

The next things I make sure to "always" have are frozen vegetables. Some are better frozen than fresh, such as "baby" peas due to processing time for freeze vs shipping fresh.

Your spice cabinet is a different story - here you want to think about the flavors you like and the type of things you'd like to eat "most often"... I've noticed at Manor (hopefully all of them) they have a spice display with fresh ground spices in some conical sacks - sniff them and see what spices appeal to you. The spice cabinet is easy to stock once you get into cooking as you start to connect the smells and tastes as you cook with the flavors you enjoyed when dining out. Keep going back to those spice and sort out what you have vs what you may want added.

Good luck and happy cooking!

08.01.2011 13:16

Re: Recipe Help
There must be four ways of learning to cook, assuming you know how not to kill yourself:

trial and error: many inedible meals thrown away, good if your are fat

follow a recipe: good if you are organised, cheapest method

take a cookery course: slow progress, you learn one meal a week

Read a good basic cookery book (Note that sometimes US, UK, NZ & Aus, have different measures and cookery terms) so maybe buy one from your home country. If you don't learn the basics, you will never make a good meal.

Delia Smith was ridiculed in Britain by "know it all" journalists. In her basic book she explained how to boil an egg. "Ha!" screamed the idiots, "Everyone can boil an egg" well judge for your self, there are several things to consider, and if you don't know how, when will you find out?

Your fresh lover says to you "I would like a 4 minute egg please" ... so when do you start timing? Do you put the cold egg in the boiling water? How do you you stop it cracking? Do you put the egg in cold water and start timing from the boiling point? Do you serve the egg hot or warm, how to stop it cooking an extra minute? Many pitfalls, and that's just a simple egg!


08.01.2011 13:21

Re: Recipe Help

Originally Posted by economisto (Post 1062691)
Buy Larousse Gastronomique. Read it cover to cover, and then put it down, close it and freestyle. That book will give you enough of the basic logic and chemistry to cook well, without being tied to random Delia recipes.

I have Auguste Escoffier with 2,973 recipes but it doesn't teach you how to cook.

st2lemans 08.01.2011 13:25

Re: Recipe Help

Originally Posted by Ittigen (Post 1062745)
I have Auguste Escoffier with 2,973 recipes but it doesn't teach you how to cook.

I as well ("Ma Cuisine", 1965 edition in English).

Often, it doesn't even give you amounts, just stuff like "poach the chicken"! (does that mean I should steal one?)

"Joy of Cooking" is one to get to get you started. Betti Bossi books are good here if you can read a Swiss language.

Like grumpy, I use cook books more as reference books to get ideas, rather than following specific recipes (though, of course, I do at times).

I taught my kids to cook at an early age by saying "these are ingredients, and this shelves are filled with cook books (in English, German, French, Italian, and Norwegian, and one or two recipes in Rumantsch), get to it!


gata 08.01.2011 13:37

Re: Recipe Help

Originally Posted by Capacitrix (Post 1062717)
This one?

I forgot I had it. :msnblush:

Thanks!! Bookmark now!!

suzybg 08.01.2011 16:05

Re: Recipe Help


You can do an ingredient search as well. And I find the comments/reviews useful - people trying the recipe before you help to fix any problems with the recipe and offer suggestions, substitutions etc.

If you want to cook healthy my favorite recipe blog is


Heidi selects recipes from cookbooks, trys them, modifies them, posts gorgeous pictures,etc. You can search by ingredient on this site as well. I have bought several cookbooks after trying her suggestions - like a try before you buy. She also has her own recipes.

hoslo 08.01.2011 16:13

beans on toast with runny egg for one
1. buy heinz beans can open the can but on low heat cooker.
2. buy toast bread take out of packet into toaster take butter out to smear on toast when ready.
3. buy two eggs put butter in frying pan crack eggs when butter is melted sprinkle salt and pepper on eggs.

coordination should be done that all are ready at the same time

presentation: put buttered toast on plate (make sure plates are pre warmed in the oven). Next put piping hot beans on toast. Then slide the sunny side eggs on top of the beans. Voila Beans on toast (remember one tin of beans can serve two persons).

hope that helps

Meisie 08.01.2011 17:56

Re: Recipe Help
Heat oven to 190 degrees

Red pepper
Yellow Pepper
Garlic cloves
Feta Cheese
Olive oil

Chop all the veggies and cheese into similar sized pieces (around 2cm x 2cm).
Chuck in a baking tray with garlic cloves scattered around (no need to remove their skin or chop them - use about 1 clove per 10cm squared)
Pour some olive oil over - about 1 teaspoon per 5cm squared
Sprinkle with salt (little as the feta is already salty) and pepper

Bake for about 25 min (until veggies start to go dark brown around the edges).

Guest 08.01.2011 17:56

Re: Recipe Help
It depends how you prefer to learn things.

If you prefer to read instructions, go for a book or search for recipes online.

If you prefer to watch and listen, go for videojug, for example:

If you prefer to do it hands-on, get someone to guide you and show you how it's done.

Texaner 08.01.2011 19:30

Re: Recipe Help

Originally Posted by st2lemans (Post 1062747)
...Betti Bossi books are good here if you can read a Swiss language...

FWIW, I found a Betti Bossi book in English. :)

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