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Old 08-10-2010, 10:35 PM
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trunolimit
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Default How do you cook with peppers and onions?

Do I jut toss them in with what ever I'm cooking or do I wait a bit? I want to add some flavor to my meats and I was thinking about adding some bell peppers and onions but I don't know if I am suppose to wait until the meat cooks a bit then add in the peppers and onions or do I add them in first then cook the meat in with them.

This goes for chicken too. I noticed that my sister and mom add peppers and onions to everything and it smells and taste a lot better than what I make. When my sister cooks the house smells amazing but when I cook it smells bad.
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:43 AM
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It sort of depends on the meat and the cooking method. If you are browning a ground meat you would put it all in together. The same with cooking meat in liquids like a braise.

For a cut of meat cooked in a skillet:

After the meat is done cooking and is off resting cook them in the same pan with a pad of butter and a little olive oil. While the butter is melting scrape the bottom of the pan with a non-metallic instrument to reincorporate the flavor mine left at the bottom of the pan. I usually cook mine until the onions JUST get soft.

If you are using a grill I wrap mine up in some foil with some butter and olive oil.

I don't use a grill pan like Niall (at least not for the kinds of things I would want onions and peppers) so in that case probably cook them in a separate skillet in some butter and olive oil. If the oven is already on for something else you could do the foil trick then too.

If you like mushrooms they are a nice alternative to the peppers. Plus they make it easier to deglaze the pan because they are like sponges and soak up the delicious flavor left behind.

Chicken is a very boring meat so you definitely want to think about a marinade as well.

This is also a good time to think about sauces too but I will stick with this answer for now.
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Old 08-11-2010, 02:27 AM
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I love me some mushrooms. I have a grill skillet. I use it to cook everything.

I took your advice and just tossed everything in with the meat and it turned out ok. The onions cooked a little faster than I anticipated so I turned down the heat but according to the steak cooking episode you need a really hot surface to cook steak so the steak was a weird gray color for a while. So yeah maybe cooking it separately might be a better idea or I could just keep trying until I get the timing of when to add the onions just right.

I need to start cooking with olive oil also because I notice things taste worst with the vegetable oil I am using but man olive oil is so expensive.
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Old 08-11-2010, 01:43 PM
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Shop around a bit for the olive oil and don't be afraid to buy it in larger quantities. Once you start using it, you'll use it more than you think. Also, dispite what Rachel Ray may think, you don't have to use Extra Virgin olive oil for everything.

I'd stay away from the blends, but regular olive oil is just fine for cooking. It's really all we use. That and peanut oil (awesome for stir frying).

As for your original question I'm with ronaldo. It varies a lot depending on what you are cooking. But I think a good general rule of thumb is that if the onions and peppers are going to be placed on top/side after cooking; cook them separately. If they are going to be mixed, such as with ground meat, then dice the onions and peppers finely and mix them in. Even then I personally let the meat brown a little bit before adding. That allows the fat to render out a bit and provide some fat for the veggies to cook in.
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Old 08-11-2010, 02:42 PM
ronaldo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trunolimit View Post
I love me some mushrooms. I have a grill skillet. I use it to cook everything.

I took your advice and just tossed everything in with the meat and it turned out ok. The onions cooked a little faster than I anticipated so I turned down the heat but according to the steak cooking episode you need a really hot surface to cook steak so the steak was a weird gray color for a while. So yeah maybe cooking it separately might be a better idea or I could just keep trying until I get the timing of when to add the onions just right.

I need to start cooking with olive oil also because I notice things taste worst with the vegetable oil I am using but man olive oil is so expensive.

I think you might have misunderstood. By skillet I mean a cast iron frying pan. What I called a grill pan I probably should have called a grill skillet. You really do not want to cook onions and peppers at the same time or at the same temperature as a steak because they will burn at that high of a heat. You definitely want too cook them in a normal frying pan after the steak is done.

On the olive oil buy the cheaper stuff for cooking and buy the more expensive for uncooked applications like salad dressings.

I wish Niall had not been so convincing on the grill skillet. I understand his train of thought that you eat with your eyes too but it leaves so much flavor trapped in those crevices. Maybe he can show everyone a trick on deglazing one of those pans. I have never tried it. I primarily use mine for seafood.
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldo View Post
I think you might have misunderstood. By skillet I mean a cast iron frying pan. What I called a grill pan I probably should have called a grill skillet. You really do not want to cook onions and peppers at the same time or at the same temperature as a steak because they will burn at that high of a heat. You definitely want too cook them in a normal frying pan after the steak is done.

On the olive oil buy the cheaper stuff for cooking and buy the more expensive for uncooked applications like salad dressings.

I wish Niall had not been so convincing on the grill skillet. I understand his train of thought that you eat with your eyes too but it leaves so much flavor trapped in those crevices. Maybe he can show everyone a trick on deglazing one of those pans. I have never tried it. I primarily use mine for seafood.
So that's what those bumps are for, just to add the grill lines? If I'd known that I wouldn't have wasted my money on this pan because those bumps are a bit annoying to clean.
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trunolimit View Post
So that's what those bumps are for, just to add the grill lines? If I'd known that I wouldn't have wasted my money on this pan because those bumps are a bit annoying to clean.
Pretty much. They do allow some of the fat to drain out but they are so shallow that on a flat surface they do very little. I use mine for seafood and sometimes for ham, things I do not care about deglazing a pan and the grill marks make it look nice.

You may already know this but the trick on cleaning it is to pour water on it while it is still very hot. Usually a grill rag at the end of a pair of tongs does most of the heavy lifting. A good brush after it cools enough to handle finishes the job.
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:31 PM
ronaldo
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Oh and btw, when I say seafood I do not mean skin-on filets. However, they make something like a swordfish steak look really nice if the weather doesn't permit outside grilling.
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnvwboy View Post
Shop around a bit for the olive oil and don't be afraid to buy it in larger quantities. Once you start using it, you'll use it more than you think. Also, dispite what Rachel Ray may think, you don't have to use Extra Virgin olive oil for everything.

I'd stay away from the blends, but regular olive oil is just fine for cooking. It's really all we use. That and peanut oil (awesome for stir frying).

As for your original question I'm with ronaldo. It varies a lot depending on what you are cooking. But I think a good general rule of thumb is that if the onions and peppers are going to be placed on top/side after cooking; cook them separately. If they are going to be mixed, such as with ground meat, then dice the onions and peppers finely and mix them in. Even then I personally let the meat brown a little bit before adding. That allows the fat to render out a bit and provide some fat for the veggies to cook in.
Yeah, buy the olive oil. Far as oils, it is not only not so bad for you, but somewhat good for you. Cook with the reg stuff as tnvwboy said. If I don't have Olive oil, I really can't cook.

The extra virgin stuff as Rachel Ray pushes it, should not be for everyday cooking. "EVOO" is best for dressings/emulsions. I use it most with any salad with salt and pepper. A little goes a long way and it is good. My favorite is Baby Spinach, "EVOO" salt and pepper with rare tuna steak sliced and fanned over it. Also a caprise salad. In other words. "EVOO" is for uncooked food.

Far as I know, "EVOO" is from the first press of the olives and they may have a lower smoking point. That makes it bad for cooking.

For the peppers and onions, it is only determined by your tastes and the final plate. Meaning what you are cooking. I like sausage and peppers. Onions very caramelized, Peppers soft. For prep for a bigger dish, like chili, meatloaf, even burgers.....sweat them till they are soft. they will cook more in the process.

Try many things, find what you like.
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