Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Time For a Coffee Break! => Topic started by: Bijou on January 29, 2014, 11:29:40 AM

Title: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Bijou on January 29, 2014, 11:29:40 AM
I can't cook beans worth a hoot, but I can cook very good hard boiled eggs, without a hint of the green border that forms around the yolk. 

Here's how I do it:
Place raw, unshelled eggs in pot with cold water (not warm, not hot) to cover by about and inch.
Add a little salt
Place on burner and bring to a boil.  Remove pot of eggs from the heat and cover. Allow them to sit for 15 minutes.
Pour off the hot water and replace it with cold, adding more cold as it warms up. 
Peel and eat.
Now, if anyone can tell me how to successfully peel the darn things, I would be very happy!

Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Ms_Cellany on January 29, 2014, 11:31:26 AM
I can't cook beans worth a hoot, but I can cook very good hard boiled eggs, without a hint of the green border that forms around the yolk. 
...
Now, if anyone can tell me how to successfully peel the darn things, I would be very happy!


Use older eggs; 1-2 weeks old works well.
(As they age, the water evaporates through the shell and the egg pulls away from the shell slightly.)
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: blueyzca01 on January 29, 2014, 11:44:56 AM
Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic.  The time-consuming part is peeling the garlic.

Salt and pepper 4-6 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs and brown them in a little olive oil.  When browned on both sides remove from the pan and add your 40 peeled cloves of garlic and stir them around in the chicken fat for about 30 seconds.  Add 1 cup of white wine and reduce by half.   

Return thighs to the pan, add 1 cup of chicken stock and I usually throw in some sprigs of thyme (dried is fine too).  Place lid on pan and bake for an hour at 350į. 

If too much liquid is still in the pan after an hour, you could either reduce it some more on the stove, or I just remove the lid and bake for another 10 minutes until itís reduced.

This always turns out really great and the garlic gets soft like buttah and is wonderful over rice.
And I do add all 40 cloves, even when itís just DH and me.  I can go through ĺ of the garlic all by myself. 

Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Ms_Cellany on January 29, 2014, 11:48:12 AM
Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic.  The time-consuming part is peeling the garlic.

Allow me to introduce you to NPR's trick for instantly peeling lots of garlic (http://www.npr.org/2011/11/23/142723612/a-time-saving-trick-for-thanksgiving-cooks)
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Nikko-chan on January 29, 2014, 11:49:44 AM
Homemade mac n cheese.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: nayberry on January 29, 2014, 11:58:59 AM
Homemade mac n cheese.

+1  with just a hint of mustard in the cheese sauce :D

my chicken doner kebabs are lovely (the takeaway secret by Kenny Mcgovern) and i make a mean chicken parm with hm marinara but my best is roast beef with all the trimmings, so roast spuds, carrots & parsnips, yorkshires, gravy sprouts :)  followed by apple crumble :D
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: blueyzca01 on January 29, 2014, 12:01:59 PM
Well, I guess I have to go shopping for more kitchen supplies (darn it all).  Thank you Ms. Cellany!
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Ms_Cellany on January 29, 2014, 12:03:35 PM
Well, I guess I have to go shopping for more kitchen supplies (darn it all).  Thank you Ms. Cellany!

We already have metal bowls, but our ovens are broken, so we can't roast chicken.

What I need is a recipe for lots of garlic for stovetop, crockpot, or grill/broil.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 29, 2014, 12:05:46 PM
Things I've just always been good at without ever working at it. I just always seemed to have the knack.

Pie crust. I can make several kinds and all turn out great.
Cakes... in my 40 plus years of baking, I've only had one turn out poorly.
Prime Rib. I think I was too stupid to be concerned the first time I made one and wasn't thinking "I could be screwing up a $100 piece of meat" Instead I was thinking "cool, season it up, but a thermometer in, throw it in the oven and forget about it. How easy is that".
Gravy... brown gravies, white gravies, sausage gravies. I really do not understand why people say they have a problem with it or getting lumps.

Things I practiced till I got really good
Paella... I combined a few different techniques and recipes and now can do a great one.
Chicken and Dumplings
Buttermilk biscuits. I had to really work at it and try tons of different recipes and techniques before I found a method that works for me. My dad would tell a story about how after his mom home delivered her 8th child she had the oldest girl bring her the bowl to make the day's biscuits and they turned out as good as ever. So it drove me a little nuts that the ability wasn't passed down to me.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: ITSJUSTME on January 29, 2014, 12:36:22 PM
I learned to make pie crust and can turn out a very nice pie.

DH likes my chili (he LOVES chili) and once said mine was better than his mom's.  Yay.

I have a great recipe for meatless lasagna with spinach that we both enjoy.

I finally found a recipe for potato salad that I love and learned how to make cole slaw.

And I make baked beans in a bean pot that are always a hit at barbecues, block parties, or wherever I bring them.  (PS I think it's the pot).
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: ITSJUSTME on January 29, 2014, 12:38:42 PM
Bijou, I always pierce the egg at the bottom AND at the top with a little round plastic gizmo that has a pin in it.  Also, after letting the eggs cool in the water I tap them all over until the shell is cracked but don't peel them - let them sit in the water for a bit.  I think the water seeps into the shell making them a bit easier to peel.  But I have my off days sometimes  ;)
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: siamesecat2965 on January 29, 2014, 12:41:04 PM
Not to brag, but I'm a pretty darn good cook!

Some of my specialties:
Lasagna. I gave up and started using the no-bake noodles. Comes out perfect every time!

Beef rouladen: One of my favorite comfort foods, and while takes some time, its quite tasty. 

As mentioned in the other thread: steak. I gave up trying to cook it soley in the frying pan, and sear and bake in the oven

Cookies: I used to make all kinds for the holidays, but due to time constraints i ahven't. But my cookies are delicious!
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Outdoor Girl on January 29, 2014, 12:42:47 PM
I'm a baker.  I love doing it and have only rarely had something not turn out.  It was still edible; it just didn't look as pretty as it should have.  I bring my efforts into work and I've had more than one person ask me why I'm working here.  And I reply that I don't like baker's hours.   ;D

I bake bread, quick breads, scones, tea biscuits, cakes, cookies, pies, do some cake decorating, butter tarts, muffins - if you give me a recipe, I'll probably give it a whirl.  I don't do anything without a recipe.  I might tweak a recipe but I don't generally make up my own.

I do pot roasts and turkeys, with the trimmings including gravy, quite well.  Meatloaf and baked beans, squash soup, turkey soup, pea soup, all good.  Fancier food?  Not so much.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: metallicafan on January 29, 2014, 12:44:41 PM
I am good at lasagne,  chicken or veal parmesan,  meatballs, pasta sauces.
I also seem to have a knack for baking.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Firecat on January 29, 2014, 12:54:26 PM
I'm pretty good at baking in general, but I'm particularly good at pie crust and cookies.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: blue2000 on January 29, 2014, 01:07:51 PM
This thread just reminded me - muffins. Before I had issues with gluten, I used to make muffins all the time, and I got so I could just throw ingredients in a bowl until it looked right, and then bake. I love muffins!

I really need to start baking again...
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Mikayla on January 29, 2014, 01:23:06 PM
Chicken quesadillas.  It's my own recipe and I don't do anything particularly unusual, but they get rave reviews every single time.  It might be partly because I cook a whole chicken in the crockpot for the meat, but I'm not sure.  It just works for some reason.

Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Ms_Cellany on January 29, 2014, 01:29:29 PM
I invented a concoction we call "Schwoop" (pureed Southwestern soup)

Onion, garlic, cooked chicken, 1 can each white & black beans, 1 can crushed tomatoes, stock, chile powder, cumin, oregano, and a bit of rice vinegar.  Puree with immersion blender. Add frozen corn.  Top with grated cheese.

Edited to add tomatoes
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: alkira6 on January 29, 2014, 01:36:16 PM
"Fake" pot roast.

3lbs thick cut sirloin, rinsed well, thrown into a crock pot with garlic, onion, paprika, a smidge of cayenne or crushed red pepper, and coriander.  Top with a couple pats of butter (because, that's why) and leave it alone on low for 6-8 hours.  Fall apart tender with it's own gravy in the bottom.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Bobbie on January 29, 2014, 01:44:58 PM
Chicken Katsu--basically boneless deep fried chicken with bread crumbs.  My kids call it panko chicken because I use panko bread crumbs.  If the kids' friend know I am making it then I have 3+ extra people for dinner.

My husband and I make a smokey mac and cheese with bacon.

Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Margo on January 29, 2014, 01:54:51 PM
Almond macaroons. White is ironic, as I can't stand the taste so I never eat them myself. But when I lived at home I would always be begged to make them if we ever had left over egg whites to use up.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Kariachi on January 29, 2014, 01:57:42 PM
I make a mean chili (especially venison-pork), awesome pork ribs (whole, always whole), and I've had people beg me to make ginger krinkles (two inch balls, not one inch, let them spread together).
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: ladyknight1 on January 29, 2014, 02:57:29 PM
Everything but fondue, my one failure.

I excel at homemade macaroni and cheese, any kind of casserole, soup, stew, chili, roast, bread. I love to cook.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Baby Snakes on January 29, 2014, 03:34:05 PM
After being the family chef for decades, I've turned out to be a pretty good cook  My best dishes are chicken fajita lasagne as well as regular lasagne, beef stew, chicken and noodle casserole, cottage pie, meat pasties.  I used to make my own pastry but now I use prepared pie crusts.  I also make an appetizer that goes in seconds - whole water chestnuts wrapped in bacon with a ketchup-based glaze.  They are the yummiest thing ever!
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: heartmug on January 29, 2014, 03:55:38 PM
Homemade mac n cheese.

+1  with just a hint of mustard in the cheese sauce :D


Dijon mustard.  Yes, I have had many requests for my homemade mac N cheese.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: GratefulMaria on January 29, 2014, 04:01:07 PM
I'm a baker.  I love doing it and have only rarely had something not turn out.  It was still edible; it just didn't look as pretty as it should have.  I bring my efforts into work and I've had more than one person ask me why I'm working here.  And I reply that I don't like baker's hours.   ;D

I bake bread, quick breads, scones, tea biscuits, cakes, cookies, pies, do some cake decorating, butter tarts, muffins - if you give me a recipe, I'll probably give it a whirl.  I don't do anything without a recipe.  I might tweak a recipe but I don't generally make up my own.

I do pot roasts and turkeys, with the trimmings including gravy, quite well.  Meatloaf and baked beans, squash soup, turkey soup, pea soup, all good.  Fancier food?  Not so much.

Same here regarding recipes!

I've had really good luck with All Things Yeast.  Mostly, I think, because I do what I'm told by the recipe then stand back and give the yeast time to do its thing.  It's gotten so I'll bake a new bread product for a special occasion first time out without needing a trial run first.

My other successes -- crock pot meals, soups -- owe their success to that same patience.  And cheese.  I melt cheese on everything.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Thipu1 on January 29, 2014, 04:19:25 PM
Goulash. 

My goulash is a bit unusual.  Perhaps it's because my base recipe came from 'The Annotated Dracula'. 

 I make it with pork instead of beef. It has plenty of paprika, garlic and onion. I add mushrooms and sauerkraut with a little tomato sauce and a touch of cayenne pepper.  The dish is served with buttered noodles and, just before serving, sour cream is stirred into the meat mixture. 

This is our 'Go To' dish when snow is in the forecast. 

I'm also pretty good with soups and stews.  I make a stew with just about every root vegetable known in the northern hemisphere and beef cooked down into shreds. 

Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Library Dragon on January 29, 2014, 04:33:15 PM
I'm a pretty good cook.  I used to write an Italian food page for a popular women's website. 

Bread.  I never use a recipe and my bread machine is a wonderful tool.  I bake it on a stone.  DS's & their friend's favorite is rosemary, crusted with sea salt. 

Risotto.  A friend of BIL in NY called him to ask if I was related because my online recipe was the best he'd ever made. 

Roast Leg of Lamb.  Boneless, I stuff it with a walnut-parsley pesto and have people who swear they hate lamb ask for more.  (Of course you have to start with good lamb.)

Souffles.  Love making them for company.  They are really easy and impress people  :P .
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: 123sandy on January 29, 2014, 04:50:18 PM
Nothing really. There are things I cook that my family enjoy but nothing I'm confident enough to serve to others. It's a shame because I come from a family of good cooks/bakers, it didn't rub off.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: readingchick on January 29, 2014, 05:43:27 PM
I make a mean chili and an even meaner minestrone. The latter is my own recipe, and I've been known to make substitutions if I'm out of one thing or another.....and it always turns out great. Also, cookies and muffins. I think I need to start baking again :)
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: metallicafan on January 29, 2014, 06:20:51 PM
Homemade mac n cheese.

+1  with just a hint of mustard in the cheese sauce :D


Dijon mustard.  Yes, I have had many requests for my homemade mac N cheese.



Would either of you be willing to share the recipe?
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Julian on January 29, 2014, 06:28:25 PM
Pavlova and pavlova rolls.

Custards, gravies, sauces.  (A whisk is your best weapon here)

Choux pastry.

Roast meals.

Cakes, scones (biscuits?) and dampers.  Pancakes / pikelets. 

I'm also a dab hand at 'one off, make it up as you go along, what the heck is left in the fridge, oh dear better use that before it needs to be thrown out' meals.  I made a stir-fry the other night with frozen scallops and salad ingredients, it was delicious.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: #borecore on January 29, 2014, 06:35:07 PM
I'm best at, "What's in the fridge? I'm hungry for something with lots of ____" and then coming up with something out of whatever's around. We don't keep a ton of food on hand, but lots of seasonings and basic baking ingredients, so I can usually whip something up. I used to do a recipe blog.

I make very good cookies, soups, dishes with beans and tofu, and pasta dishes.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: dawnfire on January 29, 2014, 09:01:39 PM
I can't ice cakes. the icing turns our too soft, no matter how much icing sugar i use but on the other hand i can bake great cakes. I have a chilled cheesecake recipe that's to die for
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on January 29, 2014, 09:10:03 PM
I make awesome bbq chicken with homemade sauce, in the slow cooker.  I also make good lasagna and awesome chili.  I'm fortunate; my mother is a fabulous cook and she taught me so much.

I also make really awesome pumpkin pie...or so I'm told.  I'll make it, but I hate pumpkin pie and I won't eat it.  Same with mincemeat tarts and butter tarts.  I'll make em, but I won't eat em.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Bijou on January 29, 2014, 11:12:50 PM
You guys are making me hungry! 
About the eggs, thanks for the tips.  I certainly will try them.  By the time I get done peeling mine, half the whites have been torn away along iwth the shells.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: scotcat60 on January 30, 2014, 05:06:34 AM
I have difficulty getting icing to the right consistency too. It often runs off the cake.

However, I can make a decent toad-in the-hole.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: nayberry on January 30, 2014, 05:33:32 AM
Homemade mac n cheese.

+1  with just a hint of mustard in the cheese sauce :D


Dijon mustard.  Yes, I have had many requests for my homemade mac N cheese.



Would either of you be willing to share the recipe?

more than happy,  i use delia's bechamel sauce recipe, http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/type-of-dish/savoury/classic-white-bechamel-sauce.html ,  and just add some mature cheddar & parmesan (approx 200-300gr of cheddar depending on how strong it is),  and a good heaped teaspoon of mustard, normally dijon but thats just personal preference.

i pre cook my macaroni according to the packet, drain and put in an oven dish, then mix in the sauce.  i top it with a mix of breadcrumbs and a little more grated cheese.  i either grill (broil?) it till the top is crispy, or if eating later i put in the oven for about 25 minutes at 180C
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: poundcake on January 30, 2014, 07:11:50 AM
Another one here who loves cooking, and is pretty good at it, too. I'm pretty adept at various potato-based soups, at any sort of tuna- or egg-salad (capers make things special!), and, my secret favorite, grilled peanut butter/bacon sandwiches.

I have a few signature company dishes I'm good at, like roast poultry with pretty much any sort of wine or cream reduction sauce. I'm baffled when people say that their turkey/chicken came out dry. It's so easy to roast one, and I never baste, either. I also make to-die-for cream cheese stuffing to go with it sometimes.

On the other hand, despite my awesomeness with reduction sauces, I fail at American-style gravy. I have no idea why. Maybe I should just call it "Turkey Reduction Sauce" next Thanksgiving, and it might finally work.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Girlie on January 30, 2014, 02:45:51 PM
The easiest frosting I've found is buttercream made with real butter. The only sugar you have to add is powdered, so it's never grainy. Melted chips of some sort (chocolate, white chocolate, etc.) add a nice flavor.

Although it's pretty fattening and indulgent, everyone loves it when I make it, and there's always plenty left over.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: SamiHami on January 30, 2014, 03:33:04 PM
My Jamaican coworker taught me how to make excellent jerk chicken. I made it the other night and my husband went nuts for it. It is really good but not for the faint of heart-very spicy! Still fine-tuning it, but it is truly wonderful.

I have, after several years of trying, finally mastered the art of cooking a London broil to tender perfection; it practically melts in your mouth.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: workingmum on January 31, 2014, 05:57:06 PM
Chilli prawns. They're a favourite with anyone who has eaten them. You can have them on skewers cokked on the BBQ, fried in a pan and served on a plate with salad, or I put them with linguine a few weeks. ago. Very versatile dish and full of flavour!
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: doodlemor on January 31, 2014, 08:29:59 PM
I think that I do a pretty decent job of bread and other things made of yeast dough.  My grandma showed me how to knead bread when I was young.  Nowadays, I often use the bread machine set on the dough cycle.  I have devised my own recipes for the machine, however, and shared several on ehell. 

I have made whole wheat, different rye breads, potato breads, oatmeal bread, sourdough bread, and so forth in addition to the basic white.  I've made different sorts of sweet rolls, too, and also coffee cakes and kringles.

This week I've made home made breadsticks, pizza, and calzones.  It's nice to have the oven heated up on cold days.  A recipe that calls for 4 cups of flour makes enough that there are some great leftovers, too.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Luci on January 31, 2014, 08:57:21 PM
I can't make a pie crust, and don't really care. I have trouble with toasted sandwiches, but now just make them in my Forman grill, like a panini. I hate coffee, but everyone says they look forward to my coffee. I think I but too many grounds in it.

My lasagna. I put the recipe in the family cook book and still no one can make it like mine and swear I must have a booby trap in it. I really don't understand it, even when I mention the actual brands (Prego for the sauce & everything else generic or house brand).  This has been going on for years. I'm at a loss.

Of course there is our smoked pulled pork bbq, but that we just do and there is no recipe. "Start with 1/2 Open Pit Original, 1/2 catsup, add pickle juice,horseradish mustard, brown sugar, honey." I don't know how to do it really. I just begin, Lucas tastes it and tells me how to tweak. It takes at least 5 hours to smoke the pork, so that may be part of it.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Dazi on February 01, 2014, 06:56:10 AM
I'm one of those freakish cooks that can pretty much make anything that other people find tricky.   I make pie crust, biscuits, scones, and dumplings by hand and only eyeball the ingredients.   Drives one of my friends insane because she can carefully sift and measure everything,  follow the recipe to the letter,  and end up with hockey pucks,  while I get these beautiful delicious fluffiness melt in your mouth creations. About the only thing I am insistent on following measurements on are breads and cakes and that is just because of chemistry.

I'm off the look through the fridge and pantry,  throw some stuff together,  toss in some spices until it  smells right camp. I make spectacular frosting,  my favorite being cream cheese frosting. People beg me to make them lasagna,  chili,  and chicken and dumplings.

If there is something I want to make, but actually don't know how,  I'll  flip through some recipes and mentally compile  what I like and dislike about each one ,  then tweek it on the fly.

I can't make coffee,  but I don't drink it and hate the smell of it,  so there's no loss there.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: cicero on February 01, 2014, 07:14:47 AM
I'm also a pretty accomplished cook, and can usually guess recipes of food i taste, or understand how to change a recipe halfway through (first time i make it) to make it better.

I do great vegan baked beans, lentil soup, chicken soup (any soups, actually).

one of the things that i love putting together are sandwiches - good bread, homemade spreads, roast vegetables, fresh vegetables, and some kind of protein (the protein in this case is jus a vehicle for the spreads and bread 8) )
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Thipu1 on February 02, 2014, 11:01:28 AM
One of the things we're pretty good at is parsing restaurant dishes and replicating them at home.  Many's the time servers thought we might be critics preparing a review.  It certainly got us good service. 
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 02, 2014, 01:06:11 PM
I can't make a pie crust, and don't really care. I have trouble with toasted sandwiches, but now just make them in my Forman grill, like a panini. I hate coffee, but everyone says they look forward to my coffee. I think I but too many grounds in it.

My lasagna. I put the recipe in the family cook book and still no one can make it like mine and swear I must have a booby trap in it. I really don't understand it, even when I mention the actual brands (Prego for the sauce & everything else generic or house brand).  This has been going on for years. I'm at a loss.

Of course there is our smoked pulled pork bbq, but that we just do and there is no recipe. "Start with 1/2 Open Pit Original, 1/2 catsup, add pickle juice,horseradish mustard, brown sugar, honey." I don't know how to do it really. I just begin, Lucas tastes it and tells me how to tweak. It takes at least 5 hours to smoke the pork, so that may be part of it.

I think bakers who bake by feel and look will be more successful. Because humidity in the air and ingredients impact the quality so much, you naturally adjust amounts to get the dough you expect versus relying in exact measurements. But without lots of experience it's hard to develop that sixth sense.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on February 05, 2014, 07:24:11 PM

If there is something I want to make, but actually don't know how,  I'll  flip through some recipes and mentally compile  what I like and dislike about each one ,  then tweek it on the fly.

I do this too, it's exactly how my homemade bbq sauce came to be.  I found some recipes online and just used them as  rough guideline and winged it from there.  I know the ingredients but not the amounts, I just know when it "looks right".
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Psychopoesie on February 06, 2014, 07:05:29 AM

If there is something I want to make, but actually don't know how,  I'll  flip through some recipes and mentally compile  what I like and dislike about each one ,  then tweek it on the fly.

I do this too, it's exactly how my homemade bbq sauce came to be.  I found some recipes online and just used them as  rough guideline and winged it from there.  I know the ingredients but not the amounts, I just know when it "looks right".

I used to have a whole notebook of collected BBQ sauce recipes.  I love to make my own, because most commercial BBQ sauces are way too sweet.  I double the spices and cut the sugar in half, and they're wonderful. 
But this is, by far, my all-time favorite sauce to keep around:
http://whatscookingamerica.net/Pork/SecretSauce.htm

I use it for EVERYTHING.   I'd like to say that it keeps forever, but I have never had it last more than a year.  It goes with everything and *in* everything.  I'm working on my 3rd recipe of it.
Try it, you'll love it.


Curious about the secret sauce - what's special about del monte ketchup? And are red peppers in the recipe chillies or bell peppers (we'd call 'em capsicums)? Guessing chillies or how would the sauce be hot?
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 06, 2014, 07:13:22 AM
Irish soda bread. :)  I once made soda bread muffins to take to an aunt's house, thinking we'd have them for breakfast the first morning we were there.   As soon as aunt knew what they were, she opened the container when more family showed up and between the 12 of us, those muffins didn't make it to the next morning.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: Dr. F. on February 09, 2014, 06:41:12 PM
Bijou, I always pierce the egg at the bottom AND at the top with a little round plastic gizmo that has a pin in it.  Also, after letting the eggs cool in the water I tap them all over until the shell is cracked but don't peel them - let them sit in the water for a bit.  I think the water seeps into the shell making them a bit easier to peel.  But I have my off days sometimes  ;)

Likewise,I peel eggs under a slow stream of cold water. It seems to work well.
Title: Re: S/O the dish you can't master...what you are good at
Post by: lisat on February 14, 2014, 11:24:21 AM

garlic chicken-it is the easiest dish ever.  You take a chicken-cut it into pieces and brown them in olive oil. Take a whole bulb of garlic-coarsely chopped and toss that in there and lightly brown. The magic ingredient is a bottle of beer. Any kind except for lite beer. Pour that over the chicken, cover and cook until the chicken is done. Serve with french fries and that sauce makes it yummy.  One of the families favorite dinner.