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What type of food you like to make the most?

Monica Aug 21, 2007 10:45 AM

For me, it's stew.
First, it's easy to adjust the taste as I can always put more salt or sugar later.
Second, it's relatively easy to make, just put all the ingredients together and let it simmer for hours.
Third, it's so good. All the flavors from different ingredients come together creating a hearty and concentrated taste.
Fourth, you can't over cook. The longer you cook it, the best it tastes..the more flavorful it becomes.
Fifth, Leftovers taste even better tomorrow.
Sixth, I get all cozy and fuzzy eating it...it's the ultimate homecooked meal.
Seventh, I get to use my favorite Le Creuset cast iron pot which I rarely get to use for other purpose.

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  1. JungMann RE: Monica Aug 21, 2007 10:58 AM

    It's usually a roast.
    1) It's absolutely versatile --- whole chicken, pork shoulder, beef rib, lamb leg, duck quarters, whatever you could want.
    2) It's simple --- pop it in the oven, leave it alone for an hour, take it out, enjoy!
    3) It's cheap --- a 5-lb. pork shoulder costs less than $5 and will feed a family of 4 with leftovers to spare.
    4) Leftovers can become something even better: roast chicken salad, roast turkey stew, roasted duck casserole, etc.
    5) It's elegant without being fussy.
    6) I love gravy.

    1. vvvindaloo RE: Monica Aug 21, 2007 12:02 PM

      Pasta. Many many types and many many ways. The next day, I pan-fry the leftovers. Crispy pasta. Many many happy sighs.

      1. t
        tartiflette RE: Monica Aug 21, 2007 12:08 PM

        As much as I love stewing things, I'm ever so slightly more partial to making soups.

        They've got all the goodness of stews when they're chunky and thick, but it doesn't end there!

        You can go cold (smooth vicchissoise or Hungarian cold cherry or a garlicky gazpacho), or you can go exotic (sweet/spicy mulligatawny or salty miso), or smooooooth (velvety cream of tomato or earthy sweet potato)

        If you need to get rid of a bunch of mismatched leftovers or use up odds and ends in the crisper drawer, what better thing to do than make soup? Chicken carcass, the last slice of roast beef, a wilty carrot... it's all fair game.

        And depending on how you spin it, soup could be homey or sophisticated, or anywhere in-between. It's the ultimate food!

        1. s
          swsidejim RE: Monica Aug 21, 2007 12:20 PM

          # 1 BBQ, not grilling, but firing up the smoker on my deck for hours on a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon. I love the ribs, pork shoulder, sausage, and chicken my smoker produces.

          #2 Soups. I love the prep work, and getting to work with my chefs knife. Cream based soups are my favorite. The last 2 weekends saw me produce Cream of Broccoli, and a New England Clam Chowder. Both from scratch, and both turned out great

          #3 Anything with beef as an ingredient, from a beef roast, to some prime grade steaks(T-Bones, Ribeyeyes, etc), to some skirt steak arrachera for some tacos. Beef hits the spot for me.

          3 Replies
          1. re: swsidejim
            e
            ekammin RE: swsidejim Aug 21, 2007 12:27 PM

            Asian, mainly Chinese, using my15 year old wok and as many authentic ingredients as I can find. Fortunaterly, in Toronto, with its large Chinese community and many Asian supermarkets, that's not hard.

            1. re: ekammin
              s
              swsidejim RE: ekammin Aug 21, 2007 12:32 PM

              Do woks get more "seasoned" with age like a smoker, or a cast iron pan?

              1. re: swsidejim
                l
                luniz RE: swsidejim Aug 29, 2007 03:04 PM

                mine does. It would make an umbrella taste good.

                Which, to answer the OP...anything, especially veggies, over high heat in the wok, or pan seared fish.

          2. arizonagirl RE: Monica Aug 21, 2007 12:28 PM

            Anything Italian! especially pasta

            www.foodhuntersguide.blogspot.com

            1. Megiac RE: Monica Aug 21, 2007 12:35 PM

              I am also a pasta girl. Homemade or from the box, I love it all!

              1. c
                cookingschool RE: Monica Aug 21, 2007 12:36 PM

                Stocks. I love making stocks. Especially in the Fall and Winter. Nothing like a simmering pot of stock on the back of the stove. I simmer even chicken stock for several hours. It's a happy day when the freezer has been restocked with stock!

                1. Will Owen RE: Monica Aug 21, 2007 01:28 PM

                  I think what I enjoy most are my own "Quickfire Challenges," those times when I look to see what's in the fridge and the pantry and then start inventing dinner. The other night, when Mrs. O was out of town and I was on deadline, I'd planned to make mac'n'cheese for supper along with something or other made from a fist-sized chunk of brined pork loin I had. The next time I looked up from the computer it was after 8, and I was starving. So I sliced the pork into cutlets and floured them, put a pot on to cook some angel hair, sautéed the pork, poured in a can of Hatch tomatoes and green chiles, let that cook and thicken, then dumped in the cooked angel hair. Supper! And it was really good. That's what I call fun.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Will Owen
                    h
                    hollyeve RE: Will Owen Aug 23, 2007 08:19 AM

                    This is my favorite way to cook, too! Particularly Saturday and Sunday lunch. I never plan those meals, just use up whatever is in the refrigerator and pantry. It is never anything complicated, typically a grain based salad or sandwiches or maybe a casserole.

                  2. HungryRubia RE: Monica Aug 21, 2007 01:33 PM

                    I love making roast chicken. I have a fool-proof technique that ensures moist evenly cooked meat. I vary the ingredients based on mood and availability. Sometimes it's lemon/garlic/thyme. Other times it can be rosemary and sometimes just salt/pepper/paprika.
                    I love that we can pick at it all week and also make chicken salad from the left-overs.
                    I also enjoy making log simmering/braising dishes like stew and osso bucco.
                    As you can see, I very much prefer cold weather cooking.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: HungryRubia
                      rcallner RE: HungryRubia Aug 22, 2007 08:14 AM

                      Can you share your sure fire technique?

                      1. re: rcallner
                        HungryRubia RE: rcallner Aug 22, 2007 09:12 AM

                        Sure! I got it from the Best Recipe and I heat the oven to 450 deg and place my roasting pan with the v-rack in the oven for 15 minutes. I then place my chicken wing side down in the roaster and leave for 15 minutes, then switch it with the other wing down for another 15. Then I lower to 325 and cook it breast side up until done. At this point I insert my digital thermometer. The final cooking time will vary depending on the size of the bird.

                        1. re: HungryRubia
                          rcallner RE: HungryRubia Aug 22, 2007 09:36 PM

                          Rockin, Rubia! Thanks - I'll try this soon.

                    2. m
                      missfunkysoul RE: Monica Aug 21, 2007 02:28 PM

                      chicken soup, especially on a cold day. the smells bring me right back to my bubbe's kitchen... just so comforting... plus, it's also an excuse to eat copious amounts of broad egg noodles, which make me VERY happy :)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: missfunkysoul
                        Monica RE: missfunkysoul Aug 22, 2007 07:44 AM

                        How do you make your chicken soup? Do you simmer the whole chicken for hours with vege?

                        1. re: Monica
                          m
                          missfunkysoul RE: Monica Aug 29, 2007 02:41 PM

                          i do leave the chicken in... it's how my grandmother always did it and so it's how i do it, too. when the soup is done, the chicken is perfect for one of my other favorite things in the world - chicken salad! :)

                      2. e
                        etowernyc RE: Monica Aug 21, 2007 03:02 PM

                        i cook this all the time, a simple pasta recipe that transcends the simple combination of ingredients.
                        farfalle with: very thinly sliced red peppers broiled (don't be afraid of burning them a little, stirring, burning again!), quartered marinated artichoke hearts (drain the oil), chopped fresh basil, chicken (chopped, tossed in bread crumbs, sauteed in veg oil), a lot of good grated parmesan, fresh ground pepper.
                        you'll be surprised at how good it is! i didn't give exact amounts because it doesn't matter much, but don't stint on the basil or the parm, and maybe use less pasta than you think you might need, it's really the rest of the ingredients that make it great!

                        1. 4
                          4Snisl RE: Monica Aug 21, 2007 05:26 PM

                          Eggs....there such a simple pleasure in making the supremely tender omelet, lusciously creamy scrambled eggs, an unctuous serving of Eggs Benedict.....

                          The ultimate pleasure for me? Having a perfectly runny sunny-side up egg release from a (finally!) well-seasoned cast iron skillet.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: 4Snisl
                            macca RE: 4Snisl Aug 23, 2007 12:36 PM

                            Love sunny side up eggs- and I always need some toast for dipping.

                            1. re: 4Snisl
                              mariacarmen RE: 4Snisl Sep 10, 2007 02:02 PM

                              eggs on rice - the best! little green habanero hot sauce, or some salsa . . . mmmmm.

                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                HungryRubia RE: mariacarmen Sep 10, 2007 06:46 PM

                                That is my Mother's favorite leftover! Except she covers it in ketchup....yuk!

                            2. jinet12 RE: Monica Aug 21, 2007 06:34 PM

                              I assume that you mean the ones I enjoy making, rather than ones that I do all of the time...As a cook, I derive pleasure from making soup and chili...You can add things for hours, and it is sort of a creative feeling endeavor...For that reason, I also love to make a meatloaf...There is also, though I rarely do it, something very satisfying about cakes (especially when you get to decorate it), and pastry making...Last but not least, I love making appetizer "tortes", ones that are layered and pretty with different colors, and become "showcases" at parties...

                              1. gini RE: Monica Aug 22, 2007 08:30 AM

                                Soup or stew. They're both easy, require a good amount of knife work, can be left alone, and aren't temperamental. Then again, neither at this point is a challenge to me and I probably make either or both at least once a week when it's cooler out.

                                1. egbluesuede RE: Monica Aug 22, 2007 08:58 AM

                                  Usually I would say the grill.....but I'm on a big breakfast food kick lately. Not just for breakfast either!

                                  1. rayrayray RE: Monica Aug 22, 2007 09:13 AM

                                    without question its a holiday meal for a crowd. some of you may asky why, why, WHY??? most of my friends dread these meals
                                    a) i know how to roast a turkey properly
                                    b) i know i make the best stuffing....just basic, no nuts, no sausage, no mushrooms...just delicious bread stuffing goodness w/ my own grown summer savoury (and i make lots so there are tonnes of leftovers)
                                    c) i love serving my family and friends a great meal during the holidays.....gives me the warm and fuzzy feeling

                                    1. h
                                      huruta RE: Monica Aug 22, 2007 09:52 AM

                                      pizza in the winter....at least once a week
                                      grilled meat in summer....more than once a week with red wine (always)
                                      anything mediterranean

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: huruta
                                        b
                                        bigjimbray RE: huruta Aug 22, 2007 05:54 PM

                                        I agree with rayrayray; I love making the holiday meal, everybody out of the kitchen.
                                        and come back in 4 hrs. I like cooking the turkey either way, deep fry or baked, and
                                        I have to make stuffing when I fix turkey. I love the holiday meal from start to finish.

                                      2. l
                                        lexpatti RE: Monica Aug 22, 2007 06:16 PM

                                        Seafood, love seafood. It's beautiful. I love how it looks, smells, tastes, everything about it. All seafood. I love cookbooks about seafood. Shrimp is prob. my favorite but really everything. Shellfish is top but close behind is fish of all kind. I like it all ways, raw too. I even love underwater shows like the old Jaque Cousteau.

                                        1. vorpal RE: Monica Aug 23, 2007 05:37 AM

                                          Thai, virtually all the time. I generally eat it at least six or seven meals a week. There's so much delightful variation in the cuisine and once you've properly learned how to do it at home, it's cheap and the results are far better than at restaurants. Nothing like a homemade panaeng from your own freshly ground curry paste!

                                          With the exception of rice noodle dishes, much of it tastes even better the next day.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: vorpal
                                            Monica RE: vorpal Aug 23, 2007 08:03 AM

                                            wow, that's pretty amazing. I love Thai food but after looking at a list of ingredients it requires to make one thai dish got me all scared.
                                            can you share a recipe or two? I'd love to try at home!

                                            1. re: Monica
                                              vorpal RE: Monica Aug 23, 2007 12:39 PM

                                              Absolutely! I'm very happy to help, and I love it when other people take an interest in Thai food. I tend to like to complicate things in my recipes in the name of experimentation and taste; I don't know where you are, but unless you have access to an Asian grocer, some of the ingredients might be difficult / impossible to find. If that's the case or if you want to make something easier, I highly recommend the "Simply Thai" cookbook by Wandee Young and Byron Ayanoglu. It's based on the recipes of one of Toronto's better Thai restaurants. The ingredient lists are short, generally easy to find, and have amazing results - it's the cookbook that really got me into making my own Thai food (which rapidly became necessary when I saw my student loans creeping higher and higher to support my rampaging basil and chili addiction :D).

                                              Here are some links to some of my dishes. Note that my plating / photography skills really suck, so please disregard the pictures as much as possible :-).

                                              Pad Thai:
                                              http://ironchefseb.livejournal.com/55...

                                              Pad Ki Mow (Thai Drunken Noodles):
                                              http://ironchefseb.livejournal.com/11...

                                              Panaeng Curry:
                                              http://ironchefseb.livejournal.com/10...

                                              Gai Ta Krai (Chicken with Lemongrass):
                                              http://ironchefseb.livejournal.com/12...
                                              (This one should be easy to find all ingredients if you have lemongrass available... you can substitute as necessary: white sugar for palm sugar and white wine for rice wine if it is unavailable.

                                              )

                                              I have more, but those are my favourites! Hope you enjoy / they're useful to you!

                                              1. re: vorpal
                                                Monica RE: vorpal Aug 24, 2007 07:28 AM

                                                Great!! thanks so much. I work in NYC and live in NJ so I don't think finding ingredients is a problem for me..=) I really love pad thai and I can't wait until I make it at home.

                                            2. re: vorpal
                                              egbluesuede RE: vorpal Aug 23, 2007 09:01 AM

                                              I'm also curious about your homemade panaeng. do you need to be near an asian grocer for most of the ingredients? I love thai but stick close to Phad Thai at home

                                              1. re: egbluesuede
                                                vorpal RE: egbluesuede Aug 23, 2007 12:32 PM

                                                Here's a link to my homemade panaeng recipe! Please note that while it tastes amazing, my photography / plating skills really, really suck. Combine that with the poor lighting in my house and a bad camera, and my pictures always look awful - not even sure why I include them.

                                                http://ironchefseb.livejournal.com/10...

                                                I live in Toronto, so I have amazing access to Thai ingredients. You can probably find most ingredients in a grocery store, but certain ones might be hard, like Thai basil, shrimp paste, galangal, and lime leaves. You probably could make substitutions for all of these (except the basil... not sure what you would do there).

                                                In case you're also curious, here's my own pad thai recipe, which I've worked on for years and turns out really nicely:

                                                http://ironchefseb.livejournal.com/55...

                                                How do you make yours?

                                                1. re: egbluesuede
                                                  Megiac RE: egbluesuede Aug 29, 2007 03:36 PM

                                                  There are a couple of websites that sell the harder to find Thai ingredients. Try www.templeofthai.com

                                              2. a
                                                Avalondaughter RE: Monica Aug 23, 2007 12:36 PM

                                                Spaghetti and meatballs. It's always hearty and filling and who doesn't like it?

                                                Roast chicken. It's easy and there is nothing more fun than ripping apart a chicken carcass with your hands.

                                                Cakes. I love baking.

                                                1. revsharkie RE: Monica Aug 29, 2007 02:58 PM

                                                  Breakfast-type stuff. Biscuits and gravy. Pancakes. Strata. That kind of thing.

                                                  1. CHEFBUCK RE: Monica Aug 29, 2007 03:02 PM

                                                    For me it is stew. What is fun is making Brunswick stew here in VIrginia. It takes all day. We just sit around the cauldren and stir with a stick out side over an open fire. This is what we would do every Labor day at my wifes home town near Brunswick VA.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: CHEFBUCK
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                                                      lucyis RE: CHEFBUCK Aug 29, 2007 03:53 PM

                                                      I agree with several posters..my favorite thing to cook is soup. Soup is very forgiving, hard to mess up. I like thick hearty soups best of all, such as split pea, and vegetable barley combos. In the cold months I love baking a bread to go along with the soup. It feels so homey and helps me fantasize that we are self-sustaining even though we live five minutes from a store in any direction.

                                                    2. m
                                                      mordacity RE: Monica Aug 30, 2007 12:12 PM

                                                      Grilling. It's easy, it's healthy, it works for almost anything, and I love that slightly charred flavor.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: mordacity
                                                        m
                                                        MysticYoYo RE: mordacity Sep 8, 2007 06:20 AM

                                                        Soup!

                                                        Curried Pumpkin, West African Peanut, Split Pea...

                                                        1. re: MysticYoYo
                                                          jinet12 RE: MysticYoYo Sep 9, 2007 07:53 AM

                                                          Hmm..could you share your recipe for West African Peanut?

                                                      2. Morganna RE: Monica Sep 9, 2007 05:10 AM

                                                        Roast beef and yorkshire pudding. Love yorkshire pudding. I had to come up with a low fat, low carb version of it, and it turned out really good, as well. So now we can have it occasionally. :)

                                                        After that it's roast chicken with potatoes and onions roasted under the chicken in the pan.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Morganna
                                                          rabaja RE: Morganna Sep 9, 2007 06:10 PM

                                                          Low fat yorkshire pudding??? Please share your recipe, I am amazed that such a thing could exist!

                                                          1. re: rabaja
                                                            Morganna RE: rabaja Sep 10, 2007 05:28 AM

                                                            All I did was take the basic yorkshire pudding recipe which is:
                                                            1 cup all purpose flour
                                                            1 cup milk
                                                            salt
                                                            2 eggs
                                                            2 tbsp beef dripping (plus 1/4 cup left in the roasting pan)

                                                            Replace the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour, the eggs with egg substitutes, and use skim milk (edit: the nutritional info I have below is using 2% milk, not skim). Instead of beef dripping in the batter, I used strong beef broth made from a high quality soup base, and left out the salt. I also used around four tablespoons, instead of two, because whole wheat flour needs more liquid in general. I mix this up in advance and store it in the fridge for at least an hour. Instead of using that much pan dripping in the bottom, I pour off all the fat I can then deglaze the roasting pan with more of the beef broth made from high quality base. Then I heat that up to the high temp the recipe requires, pour in my batter, and bake.

                                                            Whole wheat flour has about half the carbs of white flour, and the skim milk, egg substitute and beef base combination make this -very- low fat.

                                                            The approximate nutritional information for the basic recipe of 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk, two eggs is (this is for the -entire- recipe, divide it by the number of portions you serve):

                                                            calories 557.00
                                                            fat 7.20 saturated fat 3.40
                                                            cholesterol 20.00
                                                            carbs 92.10 fiber 14.60
                                                            protein 36.40

                                                            I haven't accounted for the beef base in this because I didn't measure it well when I did this calculation a few months ago, but my beef base doesn't have much fat in it at all. (edit: Of course there's some fat in the deglazed pan, but honestly, with 7.2 grams of fat in the WHOLE recipe, you've got some wiggle room.)

                                                        2. j
                                                          Jacey RE: Monica Sep 9, 2007 06:23 PM

                                                          I love making omletes and fritatas.

                                                          Eggplant: I love roasting, stir frying it, grilling it and getting creative with this wonder veggie.

                                                          1. Richard 16 RE: Monica Sep 10, 2007 09:23 PM

                                                            Chirashi or Kansai - style (bara) sushi.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Richard 16
                                                              potterstreet RE: Richard 16 Sep 11, 2007 02:01 PM

                                                              hands down favorite is a long cooking bolognese sauce that i start early and then make fresh fettucine to accompany it in the interim.

                                                              roast chicken is a homey dish for me, will never get enough of it and have done it a bunch of different ways. recently tried ina garten's recipe which calls for it to be plated on top of homemade croutons. it is ribstickingly delicious and was a huge hit with the gang.

                                                              i have also been working on perfecting my homemade pho. the rich beef stock which takes forever to make is really rewarding in terms of accomplishment and taste.

                                                              i also love whipping up a bunch of tapas.

                                                            2. scubadoo97 RE: Monica Sep 11, 2007 03:50 PM

                                                              I most enjoy making things that are better than the sum of their parts. Tough cuts of meat that are transformed into the sublime. Curries and bean dishes that take simple ingredients and transform them into something wonderful. This gives me the most pleasure.

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