The Hipster’s Cookbook: Cooking Essentials 101


Cooking a nice meal is so easy once you know how to do it, but the biggest thing that discourages learning how to is not having the right tools available. These first couple of columns are going to concentrate on cooking essentials  – things that if you are interested in cooking something more than eggs and ramen that you need to have in your kitchen.

Cooking Essential #2: A good frying pan

I guarantee most of you have a frying pan. That’s essential college cookware 101. What else are you going to make your hangover hash browns and eggs on Sunday mornings? But I know the state of your college frying pan – the parts that use to be shiny metal are encrusted with grease that, no matter how much scrubbing you do, won’t come off. There’s probably come caked-on substance from who knows where that you’ve seemed to keep off the pan successfully. It’s time to evolve. It’s time to get a real frying pan.

The world of culinary tools is daunting. There are frying pans out there in every type of color, price range, and depth. But for the type of cooking most of us are doing you don’t need a majority of these. I have 3 or 4 different types of pans in my arsenal but I use one of them the most, which is the type you should look in to. A good 10 in. omelet pan is going to run you about $40 BUT it’s a pan you can use for everything – cooking meat, making eggs, sauteing vegetables, frying up some pancakes., and  just about anything else you can imagine. I’ve picked an awesome recipe from Esquire‘s breakfast feature they did a couple of years back that utilities the full potential of your new frying pan. And the best part – only one pan from start to finish. It couldn’t get any easier

Grilled Egg-and-Bacon Sandwich (taken from Esquire)


  • 2 thick slices of bacon (applewood bacon preferred), diced small
  • Black pepper and sea salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 slices whole-wheat or grain bread
  • Sliced cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • – Start off by taking you diced bacon and throwing them in your skillet over medium heat. Crack some fresh black pepper over the bacon.

    – While the bacon is cooking, whisk three large eggs with a tablespoon of sour cream and a quarter cup of water. Take  four slices of bread and top each with sliced cheddar.

    – When the bacon is just about done, strain out the fat and save it for later*.  Add the eggs to the pan with the bacon. Let them almost set before lightly scrambling them with a spoon.

    – When the eggs are about done, divide them onto two slices of the bread. Sprinkle sea salt on the eggs and then cover them with the other two slices of bread and cheese. Wipe down the pan with a dry cloth or paper towel, add some of the bacon fat and a tablespoon of butter to the pan over low heat and place the two sandwiches in the pan.

    – Let the sandwiches ook for about four minutes, until they are golden brown, then flip them over for another four minutes. When the cheese is melted, they’re done.  Makes two sandwiches. Eat them both yourself of save one for your boo.

    * Make sure you put the bacon fat in a glass, because plastic cups will disintegrate before your eyes if you try it. I did it once, and it was messy.