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Apr 20, 2008 07:40 PM

I never eat _______ out because nobody makes it right but me.

Just curious, what do you never eat out because nobody makes it right but you? I never eat meatloaf out. I only like mine. Also, I never get meal salads out (dinner salads, side salads yes) or linguini with white clam sauce. What things just don't taste right when anyone makes it except you?


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    1. re: Analisas mom

      It'd be really great if we could get recipes or tips on all of these suggestions. If your version is definitive, perhaps you'd all share with the rest of us?

      1. re: Jacquilynne

        I have posted my mother's recipe for spaghetti (or linguine) alle vongole below. I notice that this dish was mentioned several times as something people hesitate to order out. I agree that it would be very useful to have people's tried and true recipes for dishes that they find are less enjoyable in restaurants.

      2. re: Analisas mom

        Wouldn't have thought of this but Nicoise Salad. What is with the seared tuna nonsense?! When did people lose the taste for dense, flavorful olive oil packed tuna?

          1. re: Analisas mom

            I can only think of one place that I've liked the crab cakes as well as mine and that is Ann Sather's on Clark street in Chicago. At least while Debbie Tunney was there, haven't tried them since.

            1. re: twodales

              I love a great crab cake but can never find one out and I have not made a stellar one (at least not the traditional style) would you share your recipe twodales???

              1. re: lexpatti

                Just saw this. I will try and post one for you soon as I have some time B )

                1. re: lexpatti

                  Robert Duvall's Mother's Crab Cake recipe

                  Serves/Makes: 6

                  1 pound crab meat, jumbo, lump or back-fin
                  2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
                  2 eggs, lightly beaten
                  1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
                  1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
                  1/4 teaspoon salt
                  1/2 small onion, grated
                  1/2 tablespoon mustard powder
                  18 Ritz crackers, crumbled


                  Combine all ingredients except the crackers. Add crackers crumbs in as close to sautéing as possible so that they crab cakes don't get too moist from the other ingredients. Form into patties the size of hamburger patties.

                  Sauté in frying pan over medium-to-high heat in butter, 10 minutes per side. Make sure that it's crispy outside but moist and juicy inside.

                  Rosti Crab Cakes

                  As a great lover of any type of fish cake I have always adored American crab cakes, but somehow the small English crabs seem too rich for them. After some serious tasting comparisons with my husband, scoring out of ten, the following recipe gets top marks. The potato counteracts the richness of the crab more effectively than the usual breadcrumbs, and served with Pickled Limes you complete a marriage made in heaven!

                  Rosti Crab Cakes
                  Serves 2 as main course or 4 as starter
                  8 oz (225 g) mixed prepared crabmeat
                  5 oz (150 g) firm waxy potatoes
                  1 slightly rounded tablespoon capers, drained and chopped (or, if they're very small, left whole)
                  1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
                  1 teaspoon grated lime zest
                  2 spring onions, finely chopped (including the green parts)
                  2 pinches cayenne pepper
                  1 heaped tablespoon chopped fresh coriander or parsley
                  groundnut oil for frying
                  salt and freshly milled black pepper
                  To garnish:
                  lime quarters
                  sprigs of fresh coriander or flat-leaf parsley

                  This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Summer Collection

                  First put the unpeeled potatoes in a saucepan with boiling water and salt, and simmer them for exactly 10 minutes. Meanwhile measure out the rest of the ingredients, except the groundnut oil, into a mixing bowl and mix together thoroughly.

                  When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and as soon as they are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and grate the flesh on the coarse blade of the grater, pushing the potatoes all the way down the length of the grater so that the strips are as long as possible. Now carefully combine the grated potato with the crab mixture, trying not to break up the pieces of potato. Have a flat tray or baking sheet handy, then take rough tablespoons of the mixture and form them into eight little cakes, squeezing and pressing them evenly together – don't worry about any ragged edges: this is precisely what gives the crab cakes their charm when cooked. When the cakes are made, cover them with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours to chill and become firm.

                  To cook, heat 1½ tablespoons of oil in a frying pan, making sure it is very hot, then gently slide in the crab cakes using a spatula. Cook them for 3 minutes on each side, turning the heat down to medium. Don't turn them over until the 3 minutes are up or they will not be firm enough. Remove them to a plate lined with kitchen paper, then transfer them to a warmed serving plate and garnish with lime quarters and coriander or flat-leaf parsley. Serve with Pickled Limes or with Toasted Sweetcorn Salsa.

                  Serves 2

                  Crabby and crusty is what a true crab cake should be, and this one hits the spot perfectly.

                  * 43g tin John West dressed crab, plus 170g jumbo crab meat (Asda Extra Special) or other white crab meat, drained
                  * 2 spring onions
                  * 1 pack (about 25g) fresh coriander
                  * 1 piece jalapeño pepper, from a jar
                  * grated zest of ½ lemon
                  * 1 medium egg, beaten
                  * 3 rounded tablespoons dried breadcrumbs (Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients) or dried ciabatta breadcrumbs (Tesco Ingredients)
                  * a good pinch of cayenne pepper
                  * 1 heaped tablespoon semolina
                  * 1 tablespoon groundnut or other flavourless oil

                  For the red pepper mayonnaise

                  * the equivalent of ½ fresh red pepper (from a jar of roasted peppers)
                  * 1 fat clove garlic, peeled
                  * 2 rounded tablespoons Delouis Fils fresh mayonnaise
                  * a good pinch of cayenne pepper

                  First of all, chop the spring onions, half the coriander (minus any very thick stalks) and the jalapeño in a mini-chopper. Combine these with the rest of the ingredients (except the semolina and oil), season and mix well. After that, divide the mixture into 6 and form it into round patties, squeezing the mixture together firmly. Spoon the semolina on to a plate and coat the crab cakes on all sides.

                  For the mayonnaise, whiz the ingredients together in a mini-chopper and empty it into a dish.

                  To cook the crab cakes, heat the oil in a medium frying-pan till very hot and shimmering, then cook them for about 2 minutes on each side. Serve with the remaining coriander to garnish and a good helping of the mayonnaise.

                  A simple tartar sauce to accompany the crab cakes can be made by mixing mayonnaise, grated onion and lemon juice.

              1. Poached eggs, very hard to fine done well, although I guess there are a COUPLE of places where I live...:)

                1. Steak - I marinate it in soy & garlic powder. Restaurants don't.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: amymsmom

                    I love my own steak too -- i marinade in teriyaki sauce, garlic powder, pepper or sliced fresh chilis, and sliced onions. This is how my mom always made it and nothing compares!

                    1. re: kavikat

                      I don't understand why restaurants think they have to put butter or heavy seasonings or cheese, fer god's sake, on a steak. I enjoy a steak, potato and salad dinner at home much more than most restaurants. I get a steak cooked just the way I like it, I taste the meat and if I want to put ketchup on it, no ones stares. It seem to be very hard to find a decent hamburger out anymore either.

                      1. re: EmJayC

                        I'm with you. I prefer naked steak. If it's properly cooked on a grill and has a good sear, there's no need for saucy stuff.

                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                          Steak is one thing I'd rather have in a steakhouse...they have more heat and can put a good char on it without overcooking it inside....something I can't do. But the exception is skirt steak. I've never enjoyed skirt steak in a restaurant. In large part, I prefer my marinade (orange/grapefruit/pineapple juice, lime juice, minced garlic, Tabasco chipotle sauce, fish sauce, and some sugar. No oil..the steak has enough fat). The other reason is that, unlike other steaks, I prefer my skirt steak medium well. Its too fatty for me to have even medium. At home, I can cook it exactly the way I want it, rather than getting it too rare in a restaurant and having to send it back. Plus, no restaurant has ever had a taste as good as my marinade.