"Go to" Recipes
I like to cook so many different things and it got me thinking. Not too many things that I cook over and over.
What are your "go to" recipes, ya know the recipes you love the best and would take to a sick friend or to a BBQ. The kind you don't have to sit and think about what to make, you just know that is the one to make.
For a sick friend or a family in mourning I make my special spaghetti, or my "bone soup" which reallly a chicken/turkey soup that takes all day.
If I am asked to bring a side dish to a BBQ I would talk either smashed red potatoes with Lipton recipe secrets garlic-herb flavoring sprinkled in, or my corn with bacon dish. If I am supposed to bring a meat dish it's Beer-butt chicken!
For pot lucks I have a recipe for a brocolli salad with spanish peanuts, raisins and green onions. Sounds very risky, but I always get rave reviews about it.
I'm happy to share!
Broccoli Salad - 3 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets, 1 cup spanish peanuts, 1 cup raisins, 2-3 chopped green onions (I only use the green/chive part myself).
Toss these together, set aside and make the dressing, which is 1 cup mayo, 1 tblsp sugar, and 1 tblsp vinegar. Put the dressing on at the last minute before serving. You can make each the salad and the dressing searately and then combine when you are ready.
Corn with Bacon - First I fry some chopped bacon in a cast iron pot. (Don't use a non stick because you want those little bits that stick to the bottom.) The amount of bacon depends on how bacon greedy your family is, but I use about 8 pieces for 2 cans of corn. Make sure it is good and crispy.
Then take the bacon out and let it drain on paper towels. If you want the pieces smaller chop them up more when they cool. Drain most of the bacon fat out of the pan leaving just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Keep the pan very warm, not hot, but enough that you will get a sizzle when you put the corn in. Open the corn and drain well. Pour into skillet, add seasonings you like (I like a bit of a cajun seasoning in ours) and stir well to get the bits off the bottom of pan.
When heated thorougly, add the cooked bacon, stir gently and serve.
If you are taking it somewhere else, put the corn in a casserole dish, and put the bacon in some foil. Put foil packet on top of corn. When you get there you can warm in the oven and add the bacon at the last minute.
Potluck- chatputi (curried chickpeas and potatoes) or sweet potato & black bean burritos
Sick friend- Lentil soup (vegan) or traditional chicken soup or spicy asian chicken soup (traditional chicken soup spiked with soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, ginger and finished with fresh chilies and cilantro)
BBQ- a dish I've made more than once (by request) is no-mayo potato salad- warm yukon gold slices tossed with extra virgin olive oil/lemon juice vinaigrette, lemon zest, roasted red peppers, capers, fresh parsley, salt and pepper. Can be served warm, room temp or cold.
I know, I know- I didn't just list one for each setting. It depends on the tastes of the guest/crowd. :) For sick folks, I tend to make the spicy chicken soup unless I know 1.the person can't tolerate spicy food or 2 doesn't eat meat.
For potlucks I tend to make something vegan (that is usually enjoyable to omnivores as well!) only because they tend to have the most limited options at a gathering.
Lately, it's been lasagne with bechamel w/ home made pasta and no knead bread. People are so used the the regular lasagne w/ ricotta and store bought noodles so it's change for them to have the lasagne and having fresh crusty bread. But it changes a lot-- this is just the phase I'm in right now.
Everyone always loves a great hot artichoke/spinach/parmesan dip...and though it is certainly not "gourmet", I always get raves with your basic Chicken with Broccoli casserole...BBQ ribs made in the crockpot is a winner and very, very easy...A really good sour cream potato salad is something that people ask me to make all the time....
Sour Cream Potato Salad: Boil how many potatoes you want to use ( I usually use 5 big ones for 8 people or so), in their jackets, then wait for them to cool a bit, and take off the skin... (Don't let them get cold, peel them while they are still warm)..Then cut them in about 2-3 inch chunks and put them in a large bowl with "Catalina" french dressing ( usually use the whole bottle or most of it)...Toss them in the dressing, and put them in the fridge overnight...Next morning, add chopped onion, ( usually use green), sweet chopped gherkin pickles (not pickle relish), or you could use dill ones if you don't like sweet, and chopped green peppers...Then add equal parts of sour cream and mayo(mixed together)...( not lite, please, after all this IS potato salad! LOL)....I also put in some Tabasco, but we like spicy...Oh and spices, like celery salt, pepper, and paprika, to taste...As far as the amt. of sour cream/mayo, just until it is really creamy...This, after mixed, will be a smooth type potato salad, but even though this is not a really "quick" version of potato salad, it is by far the best that I have tried out of all the ones that I have made...Just have to start the night/day before...Make sure that after you make it, you have enough time to let it sit in the fridge...at least 4-6 hrs....Enjoy!
Grilled Salmon: marinate with 3 Tablespoons of honey, 3 Tablespoons of dijon mustard & 1 Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Good enough for company.
Grilled Swordfish: 1/2 C. of rice vinegar; 1/2 C. of soy (sodium reduced), galic to taste & lots of tarragon. Company worthy too.
I make a cabbage salad that's a perfect potluck; wedding shower or bar-b-que dish. Shred a head of cabbage; 3 grated carrots; 1/2 packet or more of slivered almonds; 2-3 chopped green onions; sesame seeds. Dressing: light evoo; seasoned rice vinegar; salt; pepper; sugar to taste. Don't toss until ready to serve. Top with mandarin oranges & crumbled top ramen. People rave about it!