Hello All

Joined Jan 30, 2003
Stumbled into this web site, from another cooking site. What an incredible site! A little about me outside of my bio. I began cooking out of necessity when I was living in Germany while serving in the Army. I was stationed on remote signal sites that had no "mess sergeant" so we had to cook for ourselves. I would mostly just "wing it" with no rhyme or reason to my madness. I got out of the Army in '89, got a good job, and got some good pots and pans etc. and decided it was time to learn to follow a recipe. Being a bachelor and having a roommate that could not boil water, so I did all the cooking. I was having fun and getting better with my cooking skills. I found a girlfriend who liked to cook for me and my few "skills" soon deterioated, and I found my self mostly grilling and BBQing. About 3 months ago, thanks to a BBQ cookbook, I have found myself with a burning desire to get back in the kitchen. Through the holidays, I brought my "kitchen" back up to snuff, and now I find myself wanting to push my cooking "skills" past the simple recipes I used to do. My New Years resolution was to try new foods, new recipes, and in general finally develope my palate. And that's what brings me here! I am here to learn, have fun, and meet the pros as well as the amatuers, who are no doubt way more experienced than myself.
PS. Oh yeah, the nickname comes from a wizard/druid that I have created and have a few stories I have written around him. The "a's" are pronounced like the "a's" in water.
Joined Aug 29, 2000
Welcome to the Cafe, Shakkalath. We hope you enjoy the many forums here. Don't overlook the great articles and other information at the "mother site", Chef Talk. We're a friendly group of pros and amateurs who like to share and learn from each other.

What kinds of food are you exploring, now that you're moving beyond "bubbacue"? :lips:
Joined Jan 30, 2003
At this point, I am trying to become familiar with different spices what they taste like, and what combinations work together, with different dishes. I am really wanting to start making of the basic sauces, and begin experiementing with those. As for cuisine I think I am still to involved in the basics to choose a direction. It is really hard being stuck deep in the "redneck riveria" and what most people down here call going out dinner consisting of "Olive Garden" and "Outback Steakhouse"! So it's hard to go out to dinner and try different cuisines that are well prepared. The nearest major metro is Houston and that is 3 hours North!
Joined Jan 24, 2003
hello & welcome shakkalath

i bet you did have to learn to cook pretty fast in germany.i once spent two weeks there & nearly starved..im sure there are good dishes but i just couldnt find any...the beer was great though..i
think... what kind of stuff do you like eating , have you been to uk. do you have a texas bbq dish to share

anyways past on the hob
pip pip
Joined Jan 30, 2003
Hey Mike,
Thanks for the welcome. As for Germany, I ate and fell in love with so many things, the 3 years I was there. The last year I was stationed in Goslar, in the Hartz Mountains, and our site (all 6 people!) was partnered with a German Army reserve unit so we Americans got to share a lot of culture back and forth with each other. I fell in love with many dishes, traditional Rouladen, jagermitt, real bratwurst, liverwurst, jagerschnitzel, the list goes on and on. And yes, I most definitely, miss the German Beer. I think I shipped home over 75 different beer bottles that I had tried, to include the original Budvar! Unfortunately in my three years of service I only took one 2 week vacation and that was to the South of me, Southern Germany, Switzerland, Austria. Never made it to England, however I hope to some day. As for a recipe here is a Texas goodie that I found. This recipe comes from a fellow named Jeff Wheeler who is a professional BBQ caterer and BBQ cookoff competitor, his handle is "Bigwheel". and I call this recipe...

Pinto Beans Bigwheel Style

2 lbs. washed pinto beans
1/3 lb. salt pork... or a few strips of bacon..or pork hock
1 onion
2 jalapeno or serrano peppers split
3-4 garlic cloves
1 T. dry mustard
1 T worchestire sauce
3 T. chili powder
1 can extra hot Rotel Tomatoes with Habaneros
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cover beans with 2 inches of water and soak 1 hour. Drain and rinse, and refill pot to same level. Add salt pork and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat and put on the lid. Simmer until nearly done but not quite then add the other stuff. Once you add the tomatoes the beans do not tender up any more. Add water anywhere along the way if the beans get to dry. Veggies can be chopped or pureed. If you don't want the beans to be too hot use only half of the can of Rotel.

To the uninitiated this recipe can be a little hot, I am a chilehead so I like mine "full tilt". This is one great pot of beans though, and you can't have BBQ in Texas without Pintos!

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