Food chat, tips and recipes


Thunders Kitchen Info 101:

1st Class: Herbs versus Spices: Actually knowing the difference!

We often use the words herb and spice interchangeably. Herbs and spices are obtained from plants. (Salt is neither a spice or a herb it is a mineral.) Herbs and spices are used primarily for adding flavour and aroma to food. Both are best used fresh but can be saved by drying. While there are similarities, there are also subtle differences between herbs and spices.

Herbs are obtained from the leaf (non-woody) plants. They are used for savory purposes in cooking and some have fantastic medicinal value. Herbs often are used in larger amounts than spices. Herbs originated from from temperate climates such as Italy, France and England. Herb also is a word used to define any herbaceous plant that dies down at the end of the growing season and may not refer to it’s culinary value at all.

Spices are obtained from roots,flowers,fruits,seeds or bark. Spices are native to warm tropical climates and can be woody or herbaceous plants. Spices often are more potent and stronger flavour flavored than herbs; as a result, they typically are used in smaller amounts. Some spices are used not only to add taste, but also as a preservative.

Some plants are both herbs and spices. The leaves of Coriandrum Sativum are the source of cilantro(herb) while coriander (spice) is from the plant’s seeds. Dill is another example. The seeds are a spice while dill weed is an herb derived from the plant’s stems and leaves.

Examples of Herbs: Thyme, Sage, Oregano, Parsley, Marjoram, Basil, Chives, Rosemary, Mint

Examples of Spices: Cinnamon - (bark of the cinnamon tree), Ginger (root) Cloves (flower bud) Saffron - stigma(female reproductive part) of saffron crocus, Nutmeg -(seed) Vanilla - undeveloped fruit of an orchid Cumin - (seed)

I teach this (and much more) It is a good starting point for ANYONE wanting to know the difference of a spice from the herb. I hope you enjoyed this tidbit of info, I will will post more similar knowledge updates as I can!

Cheers and much love,



Loved it, I’m not much of a cook, I can do a few dishes but don’t understand the mechanics or ingredients particularly, it’s all trial and error for me. Thanks for taking the time.


Thunders Kitchen Info 102:

Second Class: The Pros and Cons of Stainless versus High Carbon Steel Knife Blades! It is a longer post but the info is solid!

What can I say I am inspired by this forum. Here is something else I teach newcomers to the kitchen and even veterans can appreciate the knowledge in the difference between high carbon steel and stainless steel knives!

When it comes to knife blades, there is a laundry list of metals that can be used. Generally speaking there are two classifications in knife blades, stainless or high carbon steel knife blades. Each has their pros and cons and for the most part, you are just trading the shortcomings of one with the the strength of the other. It all comes down to what you are willing to sacrifice on and what you are hoping to get. But which knife blade is stainless and which one is high carbon?

Stainless Steel: Blades generally have at least 12% chromium which does two things for the blade. This makes the blade able to resist rust and corrosion a lot better than high carbon blades but the downside is that stainless steel is generally softer then high carbon knives. This means that although they are relatively easier to sharpen, they also tend to lose their edge just a tad quicker than hard, high carbon blades. So here are the advantages of stainless steel blades.

Durability: Stainless steel knife blades are generally tougher than high carbon blades. Tougher but not necessarily harder. There is an ongoing debate between the definitions of the two because, for a long time, they have been considered synonyms. Stainless steel blades do not rust, chip or stain easily. Technically speaking, stainless steel can still rust but it resists it a lot better than high carbon knives.

Flavour Presentation: Stainless steel knives do not require any protective or non-stick coating so there is less chance of contaminating your food if you do use the knife for food prep. Stainless steel also tends not to leach off it;s metallic properties onto your food.(remember every time you sharpen your knife wash it and dry it so you don’t get small metallic shavings deposited into your food!)Some discerning pallets sometimes can tell the knife was high carbon as it can sometimes leave a slight metallic taste.

Recyclable: Stainless steel is one of the most recyclable materials today. They are on fact almost everywhere metal is used. This means that if you do happen to wreck your knife, which is quite hard to do with stainless steel, you can always have it recycled. It’s a simple way of helping mother earth.

Appearance: Of course, the biggest pull of stainless steel knives is the fact that they look good for a very long time. Less time used in maintaining the knife gives you more time to do what it is you like with it!!!

High Carbon Steel:

Carbon is the hardest element and knife blades made form high carbon steel is no exception. The strength and hardness of the blade makes it ideal for edge retention which means less time required for edge maintaining the blade but since it does not have a drop of chromium, it has very poor resistance capabilities. This means that you need to thoroughly clean the knife after use and make sure you guard it against moisture before you store it! More commonly used on fixed blade knives, high carbon knife blades are known to last throughout the years. I would bet my bottom dollar you’re grand-daddy’s fixed blade knife is made form some sort of high carbon steel, most likely 1095. There are a lot of professional chefs myself included and survivalists that swear to the quality of high carbon steel blades. Here is a list of advantages of this type of blade.

Sharpness: There is simply no matching the sharpness that high carbon knives deliver. This allows superior precision in cutting and requires a lot less effort making the the knife a lot safer.

Affordable: Of course, many factors can relay the cost of any knife. High carbon steel tend to be more affordable then their stainless steel counterparts. I didn’t use the word cheaper because you might get the wrong idea. High carbon steel are cheaper in price not in quality.

Hardness: High carbon steel blades are a lot harder than stainless steel which makes it a lot more dependable on precision cuts. Most blades for hunting knives are made from high carbon specifically for this reason. One may argue that high carbon rusts way easier making it a poor choose for an outdoor environment but that can be easily resolved by proper knife maintenance.

Edge Retention: Because they are harder, they also tend to hold their crazy sharp edge longer. This means that you do not have to worry about sharpening the knife as often and that you will be able to cut through what is required with less issues. One thing is for sure, you can skin a deer way faster with a carbon steel knife that a stainless steel one.

Conclusion: It will come down to what you want, cost, comfort, style and ease of use. All of these things will factor in to what you do with your knife.

Yeah yeah I get it is way more knife info then most people need but hey I have it so I might as well share it,

Cheers and much love,



The biggest advice I can give in doing anything trial and error related is write down the step(s) of what you are doing. I can not tell you how many times I made an awesome soup and then had no frigging idea on the amounts of what ever I was using to create it. This never allowed me to create the same soup twice which was both a blessing and a curse. For the sake of what ever you hold dear, write down what you are doing especially if you are experimenting! LOL …

This will also let you get to a base set expectation where then having fun fooling around is less painful then trying to remember exactly what you were doing in the first place!


Probably why it took me ten years to perfect my curry, the recipe I posted is the general gist but not my absolute. The amount of times I threw the whole pot away in the early days is ridiculous. If only I had written it down. Experience Vs playing about. It’s always the simple solutions that make the difference.


Left is the recipe I posted, right is a chicken version for my lovely wife who likes it softer. Job done. Enjoy if you so wish. :beers:


My choice.


I am trying to learn Sushi, my first plate, and it was good :slight_smile:


That looks great, what actually is it mate?


I made sushi rice
salamon is the fish, and i struggle with the translation…

Her is where i learned it


I’d like to try and make that. I’ll see if lovely wife or either of the kids want to try it, the presentation is wonderful. They say that the first bite is with the eye. I don’t eat fish so it is going to be risky making it without tasting it. I would love to have the skills though. :yum:


Tip for the rice part…they say use rice wine vinegar.
I have great success with apple cider vinegar.!
Love sushi…!
Looks good @B.F.A


Camping stew…

Or as we call it in my house
Corned beef hash

This will feed about 6 , for around 3£

I tin corned beef
6 large potatoes
1 tin sliced carrots
1 tin of peas or fresh if you prefer
Gravy granules

Peel potatoes Chop up into smallish size pieces using 2 fingers as a guide for size
Place potatoes in pan and
boil in water until they are nice and soft in the center ( not too soft as potatoes will crumble into the stew )

Using a collander drain potatoes from pan , and gently wash starches off them

Place potatoes back in pan add fresh water ( I use boiled water )

Fill to about 2" from the top
Add drained peas from tin
Add carrots from tin

Start to slow boil so a nice low heat

While heating pan back up , open the corned beef tin , and chop up the corned beef into squares ( the corned beef will mix in , but chopping into squares makes it easier to mix in the pan )

Stir every few mins until boiling

Then slowly add gravy granules until the mix is a nice brown colour.

Not too thick not too thin …

There you have it , UK camping meal . Very tasty and extremely filling . Grab your favourite bread to dip in the sauce .

Cheap and cheerful

Also if you don’t like meat use Quorn or if you like sausages cook them as usual add in instead of corned beef…

I use tinned carrots while camping and fresh at home
Please try it’s delicious

One more thing I don’t add any salt , pepper etc as the gravy gives it the flavours needed


Thank you @Plankton I ad this for dinner tonight.


That looks great. I make sushi all the time absolutely love stuffing my face with it. Here are two invaluable resources (i have enjoyed both books immensely) should you want to play more in the sushi world. This book is laid out extremely well and has wonderful incite into the world of sushi cooking. Also this gem is more involved in the artistry of sushi and an all around amazing read. I own both books. I also have Thai cookbooks and many others lol. What is your favorite sushi to make?


I will be posting a few recipes shortly to get the saliva going and put the urge for you to want to get back in the kitchen and cook something elegant but not overly complicated. I have been asked by a community member to provide some recipe ideas for upcoming valentines day. So stay tuned and if you also have recipe ideas for something a little different, or are looking to make something different and are just not sure what, let me know and I will be happy to oblige! I should have something stellar to post for you guys to try very soon… ( I will also include a vegan option for non meat eaters)


Valentines Day for me has always been fun to try and see what I can come up with next. For pasta and seafood lovers here is a fantastic meal to prepare for your loved one on the holidays / Valentines. I was the Head Chef of a steak and seafood restaurant for many years and this was one of my favorite dishes. Easy to make, and absolutely awesome to eat. It s also fairly forgiving for newer cooks in the kitchen.

Also if you dip some strawberries halfway in chocolate, cool them,then thinly slice them and carefully cut out heart shapes you can rim the bowl with them to pop the visual of the dish.

1st Recipe Idea (more Pending) This recipe is exactly how I make mine, although it is fun to play around with different elements. You can add and remove some of the seafood for others options should you wish and there is a component for making your own pasta for those of you bold enough to have at it. I hope you enjoy!

Super Lip Smacking Get Some Action from your Significant other Butter Poached Lobster and Yummy Shrimp with Creamy Tomato Fettuccine Pasta Recipe: (wow that was a mouthful)

Prep Time 1 hour

Cook Time 1 hour

Servings 4 people unless you add more pasta then serves probably your neighbour next door too!!!


Fresh Fettuccine Pasta Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 eggs
  • water

Creamy Tomato Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes crushed by hand
  • ½ cup red wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup fresh basil and parsley chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parmesan grated plus more for serving

Butter Poached Lobster and Shrimp

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 6 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 4 lobster tails meat removed from the shells
  • 12 shrimp peeled + deveined (look this up online it is simple but crucial)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup fresh basil and parsley chopped
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste

Booze of any kind other than the red wine (this has nothing to do with the recipe, but all self respecting cooks drink something while they cook and so shall you too!!! red wine is in the recipe hint hint hint)


To Make the Pasta: (If making your own pasta is way too much of a pain, then drink some booze and go buy some pasta from your local pasta store!! Bwahahahaha!!!) If this stresses you out then skip making the dough from scratch, but if you can, try to make it, as it will be that much more insanely awesome!!!

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the flour and eggs.

  2. Knead the dough until it comes together and forms a ball. If your dough seems too dry, add water, a teaspoon at a time, being careful not to add too much water. If the dough becomes too sticky, just sprinkle in a little extra flour.

  3. Quarter the dough and shape into four disks. Place the disks on a lightly floured board and cover with a damp kitchen towel or place in a gallon size Ziploc bag to keep it from drying out.

  4. Flatten one dough piece at a time, and dust generously with flour, brushing off excess. Set your pasta machine to the widest setting; run the dough through. Fold the dough into thirds like a letter, then run it through again, short end first. Run it through 2 more times, dusting with flour if the dough gets sticky. Return the dough sheet to the floured board, cover with a towel and repeat with the remaining 3 dough disks. Keep any dough you are not working with covered with a damp kitchen towel or in the bag. If you do not ave a machine for cutting pasta then get diggy with a sharp chef knife and slowly cut length wise the pasta want. Take your time. If making your own pasta is way too much of a pain in the rear, drink some booze and go buy some pasta from your local pasta store!! Bwahahahaha!!!

  5. Roll all the dough sheets through the machine again 3-4 more times (machines vary), adjusting the machine up to the next setting each time. I roll my pasta sheets out to the fourth setting.

  6. Now switch to the fettuccine pasta cutter attachment for your stand mixer, and roll each pasta sheet through the machine. Toss the noodles with a little flour to prevent them from sticking to each other and place the noodles in mounds on a flour dusted wood cutting block. Cover the pasta until ready to boil OR leave out for 1-2 days until completely dry and brittle to touch.

To Make the Sauce, Lobster and Finish the Meal

  1. Heat the olive oil and butter over medium-low heat in a large pot. Add the onion, garlic and chili flakes and cook for 5 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant. Watch the garlic carefully; if it burns it will become bitter and you’ll have to start over.

  2. Stir in the tomatoes (crushing them with your hands as you add them), red wine, salt, pepper and heavy cream. Stir to combine and then cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until thickened slightly. Stir in the basil, parsley and parmesan.

  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the fresh cut pasta for 3-4 minutes or until al dente, strain and toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

  4. To cook the lobster, heat 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan or brazier set over medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter at a time until the entire stick has melted. Stir in the white wine and add the garlic, cook 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the garlic is fragrant.

  5. Add the lobster and shrimp. Cook 3 minutes per side. Once the meat is white and cooked throughout, remove from the heat and add the parsley, basil and lemon zest.

  6. Add the fresh pasta to the creamy tomato sauce and toss well to combine. Divide the pasta among pasta bowls and top each with the lobster and shrimp. You may drizzle the remaining butter sauce over the seafood and the pasta if preferred. Garnish with fresh herbs and parmesan

Oh yeah like they always say on cans of soup don’t forget to enjoy (this always cracks me up like I was going to forget)

Tell me how you like it and remember eating is fun, go explore, create, and eat good food!!

Remember I can not be responsible for the massive positive reaction your loved ones will have after eating this meal, be ready for them to want to throw you down on the kitchen floor and have at it with you right then and there. This is okay, it is a burden all of us share… bwhaahahahaha I should write the sexy cook book. Ideas, thoughts?


Now i got hungry… :yum::heart_eyes:


It Looks good to me!


I love eating Filet Mignon. The above recipe is almost exactly how I make mine so thought it worth posting. Easy, relatively quick, and friggin delicious. Enjoy!!!