Many of them appear to be lacking anything saying how many they serve...
That depends on who you're cooking for. SunKitten doesn't go much by the amounts any more - guess how much meat is required for the number of people being fed and then guess how much of the rest of the ingredients are needed to go with that. It's always worked so far, and excess food can be frozen and eaten later.
Kazuhiko really hopes that the practise of describing what a recipe consists of in brackets after the name hasn't extended from the Savoury to the Sweet section...
How to stir things
That is, how to stir a panful of solid things that you're stirring in order to stop them burning. The single biggest mistake people make is to swizzle stuff round and round in the pan. Moving things around the pan isn't the point; you're trying to emulate convection currents. So you should be continuously picking stuff up from the bottom and bringing it to the top. A wooden stirrer is an absolutely dire tool for this purpose. You want something with a reasonably thin edge (so it can pick stuff up from the very bottom rather than leaving a layer to burn on) and a bit of a bend in the handle (so it can carry stuff up). A metal slotted spoon is good. Shove it down the middle until it hits bottom, scrape along to the edge and bring it straight back up; repeat, moving a little way around the pan, until all the food that was on the bottom is at the top.
How to make rice
Long-grain rice: half a mug per person gives a nice student-sized portion. Use double the amount of water by volume, and a pinch of salt. Cover with tight lid and put on maximum heat. Don't leave the kitchen; watch it like a hawk. The second it comes to the boil (but not until it's actually boiling rather than simmering - that is, loud bubbling, steam vigorously coming out), turn the heat down to the absolute minimum amount you can without turning the stove off. Try not to let it boil over but don't worry if it spills a little water; it's better than turning it down too early. DO NOT remove the lid at any point. Leave for ten minutes, turn off the heat, leave to stand for five minutes. When you remove the lid, you'll find the rice is similar to how it would come out of a rice cooker.
Short-grain rice is harder and needs a different proportion of water. Instructions invited.
I find short grain much easier. Use enough water to cover the rice and a bit more - but fairly shallow. Turn on the heat until it starts bubbling. Turn off heat and apply lid. Wait until the water has all gone and serve. This may rely upon an old fashioned electric hob, though. --Vitenka
M-A's tip: To stop rice sticking, add a little oil before cooking.
More specific instructions: Having measured the rice and put it in the pan, drizzle some oil over the top. Swish the pan around / stir the rice until all the rice is coated in oil - you can tell because the rice starts moving together, without grains flying all over the place. Now add the water and continue as above.
Edith prefers to rinse the rice with hot water to wash off the starch which makes it stick.
Vitenka just adds some oil to the water and gives it a swish. --Vitenka
Oooh, will have to try that. Thanks ^^ - MoonShadow, who doesn't like spending lots of time washing the rice before cooking because it alters the correct water/rice proportions
When draining pasta, keep back a few tablespoons' worth of the water. Stir together some egg and grated parmesan, dump that into the pasta along with the water you kept back and stir for a few moments. The egg will cook on the hot pasta. 's nice.
Xarak : I always add a little salt, and more than a little vinegar, to the pasta water. Then, once it's drained, drizzle some olive oil over it. When cooking pasta always use as much water as possible : a kettlefull will do for one person, but any more and you'll need 2.
On the subject of garlic, coriander..
..basil, parsley, dill, black pepper.. (add more here)
The less time these things spend hot, the more of their taste remains (but the finer you need to chop them). Wash well, chop fine and stir in once everything else has cooked.