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what is the single best recipe you have ever made ?

If someone asked you to make your best of the best. What would it be ? I'm looking for any recipes that will just be your "go to recipes" that everyone loves. Thanks, looking foward to the diversity.

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    1. You're asking which of my kids I love best . . .

      1. I make my spicy grilled pork tenderloin. It marinade all day and then grilled.

        1 pork tenderloin 12 oz (I usually make 2 and just double the ingredients below)
        1/3 cup soy
        10 nice size garlic cloves minced
        1 teaspoon cumin
        1 teaspoon dried mustard or dijon will work
        3 tablespoons brown sugar
        1 teaspoon paprika
        3 tablespoons of cilantro or if you dislike cilantro, parsley will work

        Just put all the ingredients in a baggie and mix well, add the pork loin, seal, shake to make sure the pork is covered well. Let marinade all day and then grill. An outdoor grill work best for this. Serve medium, still lightly pink and moist.

        I usually serve this with my grilled squash and onions with my chili vinaigrette, grilled tomato halves with gorgonzola cheese and my grilled sweet potato planks

        This is a top request for my catering. It is so easy. As the pork rest I grill up the rest and serve.

        1. Came up with this 9 -10 years ago, still my favorite. http://www.chow.com/recipes/14325

          1. swwet and sour meatballs

            2 lbs of grnd meat
            1 small onion chopped
            1 egg
            1/2 C Bread crumbs
            2 tsp water

            cook in oven on 350 for about 30 min

            meanwhile make suace

            1 btl of chili sauce
            1 btl of Grape Jelly
            1 TBL lemon juice
            2 TBL Brown sugar

            mix together in the pan you are going to heat it up in. and throw done meatballs in sauce asnd keep warm till serve....

            Everyone requests this.

            2 Replies
            1. re: drewb123

              Drew -- By "chili sauce", do you mean the ketchup-y kind?

            2. Lemon Herbed Shrimp. This is an appetizer recipe that I pulled years ago from the Chicago Tribune's year-end 10-best recipe column. It is a very easy, make ahead dish that never fails to please dinner guests. I make it with dried herbs but fresh ones could of course be substituted (increasing the amount because of the greater intensity of the dried herbs).

              Lemon herbed shrimp.

              ½ cup olive oil
              1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced into discs
              1 medium onion, chopped fine
              2 red, orange, or yellow sweet peppers, julienned
              6 whole, peeled cloves garlic
              1-1/2 lbs. medium size shrimp, peeled
              juice of two lemons (about ¼ cup)
              ¼ tsp. dried thyme
              ½ tsp. dried oregano
              1 baguette

              1.Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat.
              2.Add jalapeno peppers, sweet peppers, garlic, and onions, cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
              3.Meanwhile boil shrimp until just done, about 2 minutes from boil.
              4.Drain shrimp and place in bowl for marinating. Toss shrimp with lemon juice to coat thoroughly. Add pepper mixture and mix completely.
              5.Set aside for a few hours or overnight (if more than a few hours, refrigerate).
              6.Remove cloves of garlic, add some dried thyme & oregano, and mix. Add some kosher salt and ground fresh pepper, taste, and adjust seasonings.
              7.Serve on toasted baguette slices. (These can be just toaster dry in a toaster. There is a lot of olive oil from the marinade that will soak in once the shrimp topping is added.)

              This is not finger food. Too messy. Must use fork & usually knife.

              1 Reply
              1. re: masha

                thank you.........sounds delicious

              2. Ribs. But I'm not sharing the recipe. :P

                6 Replies
                1. re: Pylon

                  What kind of attitude is that????

                  To the rest: here's how I make ribs. Get good quality baby back, cut so will fit in 9X13 pan, rub in a good barbeque rub or just S & P and paprika. Wrap in foil, put in pan and roast at 225 for 5 hours -- meat falls off the bone. You can pour on some homemade barbeque sauce but if you can find Everett & Jones (hot) barbeque sauce, pour some on and put back in oven for a while.

                  1. re: walker

                    We do a reverse of that --- 450 for 1 hour. They're completely done and then we put them on the grill with a little non-q sauce to just crisp 'em up. PS: Sitter not avail so won't be coming down for a while :(

                    1. re: c oliver

                      I put a dry rub on the baby back ribs and smoke them at 250F in my Weber Smokey Mountain cooker (WSM) with hickory smoke for about 4 or 5 hours until the meat is fall of the bone tender. I serve it with a home made BBQ sauce.

                      1. re: Antilope

                        Care to elaborate on your BBQ sauce?

                        1. re: walker

                          It's just a simple ketchup/vinegar BBQ sauce. If I smoke meats, I leave out the liquid smoke from the BBQ sauce. If I'm making BBQ sauce to use for slow cooker pulled pork, I use the liquid smoke to add some smoke flavor.


                      2. re: c oliver

                        We cook alike, I do 350-400 depending on the oven and the amount of ribs. done in 1-1/2 hrs, put and grill and a bit a sauce just to get a taste. Heaven. Thx CO

                  2. America's test kitchen has an amazing brined, butterflied and grilled chicken that all you need to serve with it is napkins! I no longer subscribe to the site/magazine so I can't copy and paste it. Sorry.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                      What is the title of that chicken recipe in ATK?

                      1. re: shaebones

                        Thanks to Bayoucook I remembered the name: Chicken alla Diavola. I'll try to find it in my files of printed out recipes.

                        1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                          I'll go there and try to copy and paste it here, Tracy. It is one of my MAIN recipes!

                          1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                            CI's Chicken Alla Diavola
                            Serves 3 to 4.
                            Published July 1, 2003.

                            Instead of two bricks and a rimmed baking sheet, you can use a heavy cast-iron skillet loaded with several cans or a large stockpot partially filled with water. Be careful when removing the pan from the oven, as the handle(s) will be hot.


                            Chicken and Brine
                            2 medium heads garlic
                            3 bay leaves, crumbled
                            1/2 cup table salt
                            1 whole chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds), butterflied and pounded (see illustrations below)
                            1 teaspoon vegetable oil

                            Garlic-Pepper Oil
                            4 medium cloves garlic , pressed through garlic press or minced (about 4 teaspoons)
                            2 teaspoons ground black pepper
                            2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
                            1/4 cup olive oil
                            1 lemon cut into wedges, for serving


                            1. TO BRINE THE CHICKEN: Combine garlic heads, bay leaves, and salt in gallon-size zipper-lock bag; press out air and seal bag. Using rubber mallet or meat pounder, pound mixture until garlic cloves are crushed; transfer mixture to large container or stockpot and stir in 2 quarts cold water until salt is dissolved. Immerse chicken in brine and refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 2 hours.

                            2. FOR THE GARLIC-PEPPER OIL: While chicken is brining, heat garlic, black pepper, pepper flakes, and oil in small saucepan over medium heat until garlic is fragrant and sizzling and mixture registers about 200 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, about 40 minutes. Measure 2 tablespoons garlic-pepper oil into 2 small bowls and set aside.

                            3. TO FLAVOR THE CHICKEN: Remove chicken from brine and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. After brining, slip fingers underneath skin of breasts and legs to loosen. Rub 2 tablespoons infused oil under skin.

                            4. TO COOK THE CHICKEN: Adjust oven rack to lowest position; heat oven to 450 degrees. Heat vegetable oil in heavy-bottomed, ovenproof, nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. Swirl skillet to coat evenly with oil. Place chicken, skin side down, in hot pan and reduce heat to medium. Place weight (see note above) on top of chicken and cook, checking every 5 minutes, until evenly browned, about 25 minutes. (After 20 minutes, chicken should be fairly crisp and golden; if not, turn heat up to medium-high and continue to cook until well browned.)

                            5. Remove weight from chicken and, using tongs, carefully transfer chicken, skin side up, to clean plate. Pour off any accumulated fat in skillet. Place chicken back in skillet, skin side up. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to cutting board and let rest 10 to 15 minutes. Cut chicken into serving pieces, drizzle with remaining infused oil, and serve with lemon wedges.

                      2. My chicken soup:

                        1. Start with a whole chicken and remove the legs, thighs, and wings (use them for something else entirely) so all that's left is the skin-on body, with breast, back, neck, etc.
                        2. Brown the body in the pot with a little olive oil, turning it occasionally so it browns all over. Maybe add some onion to the oil around the chicken.
                        3. After you've browned everything you can of the skin, add your water and carrots, potato/rice/beans, whatever you want/have.
                        4. When your veggies are cooked, add salt and spices if you like (until it tastes good--you know the drill), and take it off the heat.
                        5. Fish the chicken out of the pot and peel all the good pieces off the bones and throw them back in the soup. It's messy but fun in a visceral way.
                        6. Once you've eaten what you want, put the pot in the fridge overnight.
                        7. The next day, scoop the solid rendered fat off the top with a spoon and put it aside for another use. Removing it keeps the soup from tasting greasy--to me it leaves a more "pure" chicken flavor.

                        This obviously isn't rocket science or very creative, but I'm a throw-stuff-together cook, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't, and this soup always turns out well. It's easy and completely flexible because browning the chicken contributes so much flavor that you don't really need anything else other than salt (though carrots and onions add a lot), and of course it's great to make for someone sick. I don't make a lot of stock myself, but I do make a good chicken soup.

                        On another note entirely, this is my first post. I've been lurking for months and think I know what I'm doing on these boards, but I'm actually a little nervous I'll ask an oft-discussed question or use a cooking term incorrectly and incur the wrath of the experienced chowhounds!

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: pickledginger

                          Nah, don't be nervous. First of all, you could always do a search by typing in the subject and read what's been said already. I know there are some really experienced cooks on this site, but I figure life is for sharing, when I need their input I think they are probably happy to be helpful. In the knitting community, we say there are NO stupid questions. So ask or comment about whatever, there's always someone to help. I've been reading chowhound a long time and really, am always struck by the friendly spirit of the site.

                          1. re: pickledginger

                            If you want to see wrath, check out this mornings Alice Waters' thread or Caroline1's salting steak research thread. (Having big problems with my computer today or I'd post the links themselves.) I find asking for advice doesn't cause venom spewing :) Welcome, pickle dinger.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              LOL- it's pickled ginger :)
                              Welcome aboard!

                              1. re: salsailsa

                                Oh, I know. I was teasing him/her that that's how I first saw the screen name :)

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  It made me laugh- you're right about the AWs' thread.....

                              2. re: c oliver

                                Ooh, I love wrath when it's not directed at me! I'll be looking at those threads post-haste.

                                I'm female, but I may have to go around saying I was being clever by choosing a name that could be read both "straight" and...well, the other is straight too ;)

                            2. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                              This is the perfect roast chicken and it cooks the same way for a chicken up to 3 3/4 lbs.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: serious

                                This is also my "go to" roast chicken recipe and agree that it turns out perfect, although a little smokey

                                1. re: sdv231

                                  regulate the temperature down to about 425. this should help the smokiness in the kitchen.

                                  1. re: jfood

                                    Or place some sliced potatoes underneath to soak up the fat causing the smoke.

                                    1. re: alwayscooking

                                      Thanks, I'll try the temperature lowering and potatoes..maybe I should just cook that chicken in other people's kitchens.

                                2. re: serious

                                  this is the best roast chicken ever. Crispy skin, juicy meat. I place it in a cast iron skillet directly in the covered gas grill at the correct temperature- perefec!!!!!

                                3. In their apple cookbook, Browning and Silva have a recipe for a Roman pork stew with apples by the gladiator turned cookbook writer Apicius. They substitute Nam Pla and anchovy for the garum of the original. I don't know if it is the best recipe I ever made, but I never saw anything eaten with such enthusiasm. But it is labor intensive, and I don't make it often.

                                  Another is to stuff a deboned lamb shoulder with tapenade and herbs and braise it slowly with red wine.

                                  As for "go to" recipes, roast chicken or any chicken braise is nice. I often brown chicken parts, then saute finely sliced onions in the same pan adding a bit of garlic toward the end. I deglaze the pan with white wine or sherry, I lay out the chicken and the onion mix in a Dutch oven or, for a large crowd, in a large baking pan and put a generous sprinkling of freshy ground pepper on it. I put some strips of ham and dried fruit in with it--usually apricots, though sour cherries are nice when I can get them--and herbs (whatever grabs you). Then I add the reduced wine from the saute pan and enough chicken stock for the braise, cover it tightly, and cook in a 350 oven for about 45 minutes. I vary this depending on what I have. A little ginger and some orange or lemon zest is nice. Sometimes I put in ground coriander seed. Really, I have no recipe. I just know that braised chicken and roasted chicken always are easy and go over well.

                                  1. Penne with vodka sauce. I'd claim it as such because I ate it in a restaurant and replicated it at home without a recipe back in '94. An old friend of mine just asked me for the recipe a couple of months ago after not even eating my dish for 15 years! ;)

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                      I make penne with a fresh tomato, a cream vodka sauce, herbs, calamata olives and seared scallops. I forgot about that. Another all time favorite. Thanks for reminding me, haven't made it in a while.

                                      1. re: kchurchill5

                                        mmmmm - is there a recipe or should I just try it on my own? Sounds too good to not try and we love seared scallops!

                                        1. re: bayoucook

                                          Can we get the recipes!?!?!? I love vodka sauce!

                                      1. Cook's Illustrated Grilled Chicken alla Diavolo - which I think is the same recipe mentioned here as a Test Kitchen recipe (same thing). Go to cooksillustrated.com and put in grilled chicken alla diavolo - we make it at least once a month.

                                        EDIT: sorry, it's diavola not diavolo............................Don't think you can get the recipe unless you join. I've been a member for years and years and find it well worth the 20.00 a year...

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: bayoucook

                                          Thank you. I have it made for a about 2 years so I couldn't remember the name.

                                        2. Osso Bucco, it's outstandingly ,lick your plate clean good.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                            Not my fave, but definitely up there!!

                                          2. Well, since I was taught as a teenager, from my future MIL, it would be my lasagna. Her sauce/gravy recipe has lots of meat for flavor. I also mash a few meatballs and sausage for a layer, and saute portobello mushrooms to put in it now. Everyone says it's exceptional, so I will have to say this dish is my best......

                                            BTW, she will be 96 on March 24th! And I am very far from a teenager now, lol!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: mcel215

                                              I was going to say, the first time I have anyone over, I do a pot of meatballs, sausage and braciole, with some type of homemade pasta (manicotti or cannelloni are pretty easy and impressive) and I am amazed when guests tell me they haven't had this kind of meal since Nonna passed on. What a shame!! Although we don't do it every Sunday ourselves anymore...

                                            2. I would be embarrased to say how many of these we have eaten on summer nights on the back deck with friends. Good stiff margaritas on the rocks too.


                                              1. My brisket. I have been fine tuning it for years and it is great.

                                                1. The best recipe BY FAR that I have ever made : Almond Crusted Duck Breasts
                                                  I followed the recipe to a "T" - and the result was absolutely sublime!!
                                                  The best duck I have ever had EVER.

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: NellyNel

                                                    I'm salivating. That looks/sounds incredible!

                                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                                      Katty - it was really amazing!
                                                      And pretty easy too...the almond crust became nice and toasty, the duck was cooked perfectly, and the sauce was delicious!
                                                      I had to go to like 10 shops to find the white port but it was worth seeking it out.

                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                        I was taught (very) long ago to make the BEST Linguine in Clam Sauce by my Papa Steve ... I use fresh clams ( when I can get them, but canned works too) olive oil, fresh parsley, garlic, white wine, parmesan cheese, a pinch of chilies flakes and then topped with toasted bread crumbs that have been toasted in real godforsaken BUTTER!! And more fresh parlsey. The bread crumbs make it!

                                                        I enjoy eating it as much as I enjoy cooking it! And it makes me think of my Papa everytime I do!

                                                        1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                                                          When a recipe makes you think of the person who gave it to you, that is the ultimate bonus to me.

                                                          1. re: coll

                                                            Papa Steve used to throw the the Linguine on the wall and he use to say if it stick it was ready...some times I still do that just for the memory :)

                                                            1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                                                              I've heard that saying more than once, although I've never actually tried It. If I ever do, now I'll think of Papa Steve!

                                                    2. I can't really choose ONE dish that would be the single best I've ever made, but this one ranks right up there with the best of them. It's veal scallops in a wild mushroom-Dijon mustard cream sauce. It's unbelievably easy, and works equally well with thin-sliced chicken or turkey scallops. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: CindyJ

                                                        I've made a similar dish to this, not using wild mushrooms, but the Dijon sauce is a wonderful, I agree. And yes it works very well with chicken!

                                                      2. Wow - very hard to choose. I think the top of my list this year is the recipe for fire roasted chicken enchiladas we came up with last Fall. My mouth waters just thinking about them...

                                                        1. I love threads like this, always so many good ideas. I sure like Julia Child's "Beef and Onions Braised in Beer". For dessert a Tres Leches Cake. I use one from All Recipes, the one by by "Monica".

                                                          1. As usual, I lean towards the sweet. Emily Luccheti's caramel-chocolate tart is my go-to, hands-down favorite dessert.

                                                            I make good savory dishes, but nothing that seems remarkable to me. My savory meals are more practical than desserts, which may be the reason nothing stands out...

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: cyberroo

                                                              I'm always trying new recipes, so it's hard to pick.

                                                              I think I'd go with Roasted veggie lasagna.

                                                              1. re: salsailsa

                                                                I make a penne layered with roasted veggies and ricotta and fresh mozz. The sauce is just a rich stock and herbs. In between each layer is a layer of bread crumbs which make a nice base for the pasta. I use eggplant, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, squash, peppers, etc. Anything fresh. I is a great dish.

                                                                Haven't done the lasagna, bet it would be good.

                                                            2. Thanks for all the great sugestions

                                                              1. One of my man's favorites is seafood pasta -- linguine served with seared scallops and shrimp in a white wine-olive oil-butter sauce. This sounds much fattier than it really is. Of course, there are shallots, garlic, crushed red pepper, and fresh herbs -- often scallion, or parsley, or basil, or all of the above. It's fast, simple, and delish.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: lilmomma

                                                                    The dish works well with long pasta shapes such as linguine or spaghetti, but you can also use farfalle.

                                                                    For two, sear 6 sea scallops in EVOO over very high heat, turning to brown both sides. Remove from pan (I actually use a very large wok for this so I can toss the pasta in it later) and turn down to medium high. Add a minced scallion, minced garlic & red pepper flakes. About 3-4 minutes before the pasta is done, throw in about 6 jumbo shrimp and toss around. You don't want the shrimp to overcook.

                                                                    Splash in some nice white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, and a pat of butter. You should have a nice beurre blanc sauce. Add scallops to reheat. Add pasta. Toss. Inhale. :-D

                                                                1. Probably duck with this terrific blackberry sauce, recipe from Epicurious:

                                                                  If we were talking desserts, there's this pedestrian cake that is so good. No it isn't all fancy and difficult, it just tastes great.

                                                                  Too Much Chocolate cake

                                                                  I used the mini-chip substitution described by reviewer 1 and ALL the diet modifications mentioned in review 3 (used a low-sugar devil's food mix also). Others liked that a lot and said it wasn't that different from the full-fat version done exactly to the original recipe. Both have a nice, deep, not-overly-sweet chocolate taste.

                                                                  Did mine in a bundt pan. It didn't need icing. Best heated for about 20 seconds in the microwave, can drizzle with Kahlua and optionally top with dollop of whipped cream.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Cinnamon

                                                                    Oh, that blackberry sauce is SOOOOOO good.

                                                                  2. as "alwayscooking" said, that's like asking to choose your favorite child ;)

                                                                    but i do have a few dishes that people always flip over and request on a regular basis.

                                                                    Wasabi-Sesame Crusted Tuna is a terrific main:

                                                                    and for an appetizer/starter or cocktail party snack, my Black Bean Dip:

                                                                    1. I do these wonderful braised lamb shanks.I season the shanks with cavenders Greek season and brown in a skillet, then add to a dutch oven 1 cup fresh lemmon juice 3 cups of chicken broth 3 heads of chopped garlic 1 cup of dry white wine 1/2 stick of butter and about 1 cup of fresh oregano. I let the shanks cook in the ovenon 250 for about four hours. When they are so tender they fall off the bone they are ready. I then use the left over stock that I strain to cook a pan of rice or my family love it with Isralie cous cous.

                                                                      1. Someone always asks for the recipe every time I make Suzanne Lucques' Sunday Suppers brined pork chops or Mario Batali's Timpano. Caveat: Mario's timpano recipe is quite convoluted, and his bread proportions do not work, so I've had to rework them.

                                                                        1. Zuni Cafe's Mock Porchetta-hands down the most-requested recipe I've ever served.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. Ina Garten's chicken with 40 cloves of garlic.

                                                                            any time I'm hosting a dinner party for a new group, I make this. almost everyone I've served it to raves about it -- I found something transsexual strippers and evangelical Christans can agree on!


                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: rllevy

                                                                              that sounds like an interesting dinner party '-D

                                                                            2. Found this recipe on Chowhound years ago and is still one of my very favorite ones.

                                                                              Spaghetti with fresh tomatoes and Brie

                                                                              ½ lb spaghetti (or linguini)
                                                                              1 or 1 ½ lbs of cherry tomatoes on the vine (or any really sweet tomatoes)*
                                                                              garlic (as much or as little as you like)*
                                                                              a nice chunk of double-cream Brie* (use softer brie, because it’ll melt better)
                                                                              1cup olive oil*
                                                                              fresh basil
                                                                              * All ingredients are adjustable to your taste: you can put more or less, it won’t make this dish any worse.

                                                                              If the tomatoes are small cut them in half (if bigger, cut them in 4 or more) and sauté quickly (no more than 2 mins) in some olive oil. Put them in a deep bowl, add freshly squeezed garlic (use garlic press), chopped fresh basil, olive oil and torn up Brie (I like to put the Brie in the freezer first and then cut off the crusts for a creamier sauce, but it’s fine to leave the crusts on). Add salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste. Let the mixture marinate at room temp while you boil the pasta. When pasta is ready, put it into the bowl with the marinating sauce and stir to coat.

                                                                              P.S. I usually put the sauce directly into warm individual plates. It’s just a little easier to serve this way.

                                                                              1. Now that the warmer weather is here, I have a second dish to add.

                                                                                Ina Garten's Herbed, Grilled Shrimp. This recipe knocked my socks off last summer!