Your Best Main Dishes
- Hank Hanover Mar 2, 2013 07:27 PM
I would like to hear about your absolutely favorite dishes.
Here are the guidelines:
The flavor is primo! You and your family look forward to it.
Prep and active cooking time not to exceed 90 minutes. Unattended cooking time doesn't count.
Required cooking skill should be no higher than intermediate.
It has to be a main dish, not a side dish, not a dessert.
It would be wonderful if you could include a link to a recipe or the recipe but not mandatory.
I have 5 or 6:
BBQ Pork Tenderloin
a Porterhouse or Ribeye steak
I have others but none that live up to these.
Do you have some you can share?
Here it is...caveat being I start here but then tweak with seasonings depending on my mood:
2 lbs round steak, cut into finger sized strips
6 tbsp flour
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 tbsp cooking oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 - 4 oz can mushrooms
2 Tbsp worstershire
1 TGIF p
1 can tomato soup
1 cup sour cream
Also, to taste: red wine, balsamic vinegar, white pepper, garlic, and more black pepper and worstershire, those these are deviations from my mom's recipe.
Dredge sliced eat tin flour, salt, and pepper mixture. Brown in oil. Add onion and brown. Add mushrooms with liquid, worstershire sauce, and tomato soup. Simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours over low heat or until meat is tender. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Check to make sure it doesn't burn. :-). Just before serving, stir in sour cream and continue cooking until hot. Sere over brown rice or egg noodles.
Variations: I have a vegetarian husband so will substitute Morningstar beef crumbles for the round steak and skip the dredging in flour. Another variation is to use ground round and skid
Pasta puttanesca/grilled eggplant puttanesca
Chicken, pork or veal piccata or saltimbocca
Steak au poivre
skirt steak in red wine reduction
Pork and green chili stew (easy cheating version)
Rack of lamb injected with orange liqueur
Quick meat sauce for pasta seasoned with fennel, nutmeg, and pepper
No links but if any sound good I will reply with recipe.
In a frying pan heat a good bit of olive oil with minced or crushed garlic. Don't burn the garlic. Brush 1/2 inch slices of eggplant. Grill them. In what oil remains sweat minced onion. Add several diced tomatoes, pips and all, bits of olive (I usually have pitted kalamata olives around), capers, red pepper flakes, and white wine. As soon as it is hot, layer eggplant with sauce, adding small slices of mozzarella here and there. Everything is already hot. Grate a little Romano and shred one fresh bail on top. Reheats even better.
Stew, usually done with cubed loin roast. Brown floured cubes in oil, add a can of Green chili enchilada sauce, a little broth, and whatever else trips your trigger, like a can of corn. add seasonings like cumin or more chilies to taste.
Both of these are about 15 minutes of prep time.
Corned Beef with mustard/brown sugar glaze.
Marinated grilled flank steak.
Pesto stuffed chicken rolls...sometimes made with pepperoni instead of pesto.
Shrimp...scampi, grilled, any which way.
I don't have a ton in my repertoire as I haven't been regularly cooking for very long, but this Chicken stuffed with Pesto and Cheese is my SO's absolute favorite. I just use seasoned breadcrumbs instead of the almond meal in the recipe. I like it because it's easy and made with things I always have on hand. http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2005/04/...
This is the recipe that I use. The rolls are browned a bit in a pan before they are baked. I never use toothpicks either. I buy thin sliced chicken cutlets and they hold together pretty well when I saute them.
And I don't add the red pepper...that would be a deal breaker for my husband and son.
Curried chicken (Sri Lankan)
Spicy fried chicken
Spicy deep fried squid (Yummo! even the nephew who hates squid loves this!)
Deer/goat/lamb/beef stroganoff (I'm meat agnostic)
Crispy fried salmon
Seer fish (also called batang) in spicy tamarind curry (Sri Lankan)
Fried spicy seer fish (also Sri Lankan)
Roast spicy chicken (Indian)
Peppered meat curry (Sri Lankan)
Mustard meat curry (Sri Lankan)
The main theme here is, of course, spicy.
Thanks for the link, LMA. It looks like a great blog, and I can already see myself getting lost in it for a couple hours! Just a heads up, I'm having trouble getting several of the pages to load (mustard curry chicken, any of the pages aside from page 1). Sad! I'll check back later when hopefully it's resolved.
Ah, that's not good.
We*just* changed hosts and he husband, a major geek, had to make all sorts of changes to server settings, and some things weren't working, but he thought he got all the problems resolved. I'll go through things a bit later (I'm still not quite awake) and figure out what's going on.
Thanks for the heads up. And please, let me know if there are any specific recipes you're looking for. :)
Chicken braised in tomato, tarragon, leeks... A recipe I learned at cooking school, and a winter favorite: http://www.inomthings.com/?p=3204
Buta-kimchi (pork and kimchi stir fry), which I supplement with Chinese chives. Husband wants this at least once a month.
Ginger pork chops. After I pan fry thick cut chops, I deglaze the pan with a mixture of soy sauce, sake, mirin, honey, and grated ginger. Reduce until it lacquer coats the chops, and serve with shredded cabbage and rice.
Pizza. I start the night before I intend to serve it: I ferment the poolish overnight, then make the dough and retard-ferment in the fridge during the day. Simple tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella, some slapped basil to finish.
I have a few that are good but I want to work on them to make them a little better. If I am lucky I can elevate them into that upper tier.
I've had rack of lamb before and it was very very good. I could work on that but with the expense, it would be more of a special occasion dish.
re: Hank Hanover
Along with stirfry, risotto and jambalaya, I definitely want to work on the following dishes to see if I can get them up to the level of the ones i listed in the original posting.
Rack of Pork
I'd like to develop a stuffed chicken cutlet but I have to find a stuffing that doesn't include cheese or at least only mozzarella.....E.F. Mama don't eat cheese except for mozzarella.
re: Hank Hanover
Here's a stuffed chicken recipe for you. I brine b/s chicken breasts with salt, sugar, Italian herbs (fresh rosemary and thyme, bay leaves, dried basil and oregano, and crushed fennel), cut them into cutlets, pound them thin, and roll them with sliced mozzarella and turkey pepperoni. Secure with toothpicks. Place on a baking sheet, brush with melted butter or olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and your choice of dried herbs. Bake at 375F until the chicken is cooked through, then serve topped with spicy marinara (remove the toothpicks before serving).
I think they took about 25 minutes, but I can't quite remember, and it depends on how big your breasts are (I halved mine lengthwise for the cutlets). Once juices run clear, you're good! They also continue cooking a little while they sit a few minutes to let the molten-hot contents firm up. I think I got the idea from juliejulez, but she breads hers. Turkey pepperoni is used because it's less greasy than regular :)
Perfect, that sounds good. I'd like to try this recipe with pesto and pine nuts sometime, too. You know, when pine nuts aren't $30/lb.!
ETA: This is neither here nor there, but if you have any leftover chicken, it looks very nice sliced thinly and served cold as part of a cheese/charcuterie plate :)
re: Hank Hanover
Very quick and easy to cook. Prep is the annoying part, but while the mussels soak I do all my prep and make the salad and get the bread in the oven to warm up. Then it's beard ripping time! I wish I could enlist someone to do that for me.
And a side note on the recipe, I've had to go dairy-free recently, and it's also good subbing olive oil for the butter, but butter, of course, is best.
I make a few things over and over, and they're mostly my evolved versions of family meals my mother made - true test of time :) These are not very gourmand-ish, but they taste good.
Pork chops baked with rice - Short-grain brown rice, in a casserole, topped with sliced canned or fresh tomatoes, sliced green peppers, chopped onion and pork chops. Cover with 50/50 broth and milk. Bake in a moderate to slow oven.
sausage with eggs and green pepper, stuffed into pita bread and eaten as sandwiches - sunday night supper.
Stuffed meatballs: make bread stuffing, I usually use something premade like pepperidge farm. Ground beef or lamb, made into a thin patty and then wrapped around a loose ball of stuffing. Bake in a mushroom cream gravy with lots of (thawed) frozen green beans in it. I sometimes make the cream sauce but Campbell's works. MMM. One pot meal.
Green chile pork or chicken - pork country style ribs or chicken thighs, cover with canned hatch chiles, chopped, a little broth but don't submerge in liquid, cover and cook in a slow oven till falling off the bone. Slightly thicken the chile sauce with some flour. Recombine with shredded meat. Makes great burritos.
Well, my 11 year old is going thru a picky phase right now so I only listed those meals that are guaranteed to get him to the table these days!
Chicken stuffed with spinach and gorgonzola in white wine sauce
Lamb burgers with feta and mint
Crispy oven fried chicken
Traditional spaghetti and meatballs
New England boiled dinner
Make your own burritos/soft tacos
A good steak on the grill
Carrot ginger soup
Whoa. All of them? Alright... here's a selection :-)
- low & slow-roasted pork shoulder
- yuvetsi (my man's dish)
- pretty much all of my pasta dishes (a rare meal in our household, so I make it count) -- bolognese, wild mushroom sauce, carbonara, *real* alfredo, orecchiette with ham & peas, mushroom lasagna, seafood pasta, etc. etc.
- roast leg of lamb
- chicken piccata
- grilled whole trout
- Viennese-style schnitzel (kosher chicken breasts, not veal)
I eat a very simple plant based diet now. I cook meats and seafood when my adult children visit...I cook for them and I still do huge holiday meals.
Home made pizzas
Home made baguettes
Spaghetti and meat sauce
Big chunky pork adobo
Rare sirloin steaks
Crispy baked potatoes
Prime rib roast
Chicken with herb dumplings
my godmother's lasagna
short rib chili
fish and zucchini "chips"
my grandmother's "company dinner" - beef tenderloin, creamed spinach and scalloped potatoes.
Alright, I'll go. Some of our favorites include:
-Updated family recipe for beef vegetable soup
-Sweet Italian sausage and fennel ragout w/ white wine
-Herbed chicken pot pie
-Lemony roast chicken w/ Moroccan-spiced pan vegetables and olives
-Herbed sweet potato/pumpkin ravioli w/ brown butter and sage
-Israeli couscous salad w/ pesto, aged cheese, and spring veggies
-Ma po tofu
-Smitten Kitchen's turkey meatballs, made with ground chicken
-Pulled pork (my hubby usually is in charge of this)
-Mexican tacos w/ crock pot mojo pulled pork (we crisp this up under the broiler and call it "carnitas")
-Seared shrimp w/ leek and pastis pan sauce
-Chow's "Spanishy" couscous/quinoa w/ sherried shrimp http://www.chow.com/recipes/29671-spa...
-Summer corn bisque w/ Cajun shrimp
I recently went gluten free, so some of these recipes will require modification the next time I make them!
Bolognese I kind of hacked together after looking at Hazan, etc. I do the milk and white wine thing, don't add bacon/proscuitto, and add a bit more in the way of tomatoes and herbs than most recipes call for. Maybe it's not Bolognese anymore, but we sure like it.
Dad's Updated Beef Vegetable Soup:
(For a large pot of soup, 8-10 servings)
-1.75 to 2 lb. well-trimmed beef stew meat (chuck), cut into bite-sized pieces
-salt and pepper to taste
-2-3 tbsp. oil
-1 lg. yellow onion, finely chopped
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-2 bay leaves
-2 boxes beef broth (8 c.)
-1 regular can stewed tomatoes, including juice, crushed
-1 regular can of diced tomatoes, including juice
-2 tsp. beef base or 1 beef bullion cube
-good splash ea. Worcestershire and soy sauce
-1/4 tsp. toasted onion powder, optional
-1 tsp. fresh minced rosemary, or a good pinch of dried crushed rosemary
-1/4 tsp. dried thyme
-1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
-1/2 tsp. seasoned salt or Penzey's Forward! (saltless spice mix)
-4 stalks celery, diced
-3-4 lg. carrots, peeled and diced
-3 small white potatoes, cubed, or equivalent amount of rutabaga (~1.5-2 c.)
-2 c. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-in. lengths
-1 c. frozen green peas, thawed
-1 c. corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
-1/4 tsp. ground allspice (more to taste)
1. Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper and sear in batches in medium-hot oil in a large soup pot or enameled cast iron. Remove to a bowl. If the brown crusty bits seem like they're starting to burn, deglaze the pot with a little broth, scrape up the bits with a wooden spoon, and pour the fond into the bowl with the meat.
2. Heat a little more oil in the same pot and saute the onions until lightly brown. Add a touch more oil and saute the minced garlic until golden. Turn down the heat to low. Add the bay leaves, 2 boxes of broth, both kinds of tomatoes, the seared meat and its juices, the Worcestershire and soy sauces, beef base, onion powder, seasoned salt, and herbs. Cover and simmer on very low heat for 1.5-2 hrs., or until meat is tender. Add lots of ground black pepper and salt to taste.
3. Add the allspice, chopped carrots, potatoes/rutabaga, and celery and simmer until the vegetables are just tender. Add the green beans and cook 10-15 min. until tender. Leave the pot on the burner but turn off the heat and add the peas and corn. Cover and let sit at least 5 min. Heat through, taste for seasoning, remove the bay leaves, and serve.
Your Dad's soup looks great - thanks so much for the recipe. Toasted onion powder is a new ingredient to me. I just looked it up and see that Penzeys sells it. It sounds like a spice with all kinds of potential.
My Bolognese has morphed over the years too - we prefer it with more tomatoes, carrots, celery and onion. Half pork, half beef, plus some pancetta. The white wine and the milk are essential.
Ah, right, pancetta, of course, not proscuitto. I knew that was wrong when I typed it, but couldn't think of the alternative!
I like the toasted onion powder quite a bit. It's great in rubs and for adding another layer of flavors to soups, sauces, and braises.
p.s. my dad's version of this soup uses mostly canned vegetables, and he skips the pre-braising of the beef, which I think is essential to get it spoon-tender! And I just use a lot more herbs in my cooking in general than he does. But I loved his soup as a teen, hence the "update."
For the corn soup, I'm sorry, I don't have a full recipe, just a paraphrase of my method:
When I have really good, fresh, sweet summer corn, I like to cut the (raw) kernels off the cobs, roast the cobs in the oven (sprinkling with a touch of sugar if needed to caramelize), then simmer the cobs in homemade chicken broth. Separately, I sweat some onion, shallot, and a little bit of celery in butter in a pot, then add the broth, 3/4 of the kernels, and simmer until the corn is just tender, remove the bay leaf, then puree until smooth. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper, heat through, and garnish with a small amount of raw kernels in each bowl.
I've served it topped w/ shrimp cooked shrimp 'n grits style (butter, thyme, a little Old Bay, garlic, cayenne, sherry). I think I once also made cornbread croutons fried in butter to serve on top, which were delicious.
This is a toughie. I'm still a fledgling cook, but I think I definitely have a few winners up my sleeve:
Prime rib with horseradish cream sauce
Slow-roasted pork shoulder with oven-crisped skin
Braised oxtails (chuck roast is also a viable substitute, though not as delicious)
No recipe here. I'm experimenting with varying amounts of ingredients/different braising liquids. Turns out nice every time. Slow cooking + tough chunks of beef with loads of melty fat and and gelatin and the like? Yes please.
Very quick and easy dinner we had Saturday night was roasted shrimp and broccoli+cauliflower. I used this recipe http://www.thewednesdaychef.com/the_w... but you could use any spice blend you want. Husband wants me to make it with old bay next time. I roasted lemons with it as well to squeeze on top of the dish.
I'm going to step on LP's question here.... hopefully he won't disagree. 10 minutes would be a maximum. Generally you cook them until they turn pink and then get them off.
I sometimes cook shrimp and just put a skewer them on top of a dish. When I do that i put them under a broiler for 3 minutes each side.
re: Hank Hanover
It depends on the size shrimp you are using. I primarily use 16/20 count. In 10 mins they were all still very juicy, great color (dark pink) and were far from the "Oh-crap-over-cooked-O"-shape. If you are using smaller shrimp, you may want to check at 7mins. YMMV depending on your oven.
PS Hank, I'm a lady!
I think my best main dishes for company are osso bucco, pot roast with dijon mustard and white wine, spare ribs in red sauce, and a slightly complicated chili in the winter, and jerk chicken, a coriander grilled chicken recipe from the Barbecue Bible, pulled pork, and Old Bay spiced shrimp in the summer.
re: Terrie H.
Ok Terrie, one day I'm actually going to make a pot roast that excites me, so far, they elude me except for a standard easy version I make without much enthusiasm.
"pot roast with dijon mustard and white wine,"
please post and if you don't mind, please be precise.
I'm kinda thick ;:-/ ................need a pot roast to knock my husband and the kids' socks off. TIA
re: iL Divo
Sorry, Divo, I just saw your request. This is generally how I do it. It's from Patricia Wells' At Home in Provence.
I always use chuck, and don't use the whole bottle of wine and evaporate, as she instructs. Instead, I use about 2 cups, and just bring to a boil (more sauce that way); and increase the mustard to about 3 tablespoons. I also use those petit diced tomatoes and drain the juice, as I prefer it less tomatoey and more winey. Lastly, I always add a few tablespoons of capers.
I hope that gives you an idea. Would like to know how you like it if you get a chance to make it.
My most requested recipes...
Sausage, grits, and cheese casserole
Crab/Crawfish (Low Country(?)) Boil
Deep Fried Catfish/Specks/Bluegill fillets
Also my wife now has me making choucroute garnie platters for our big gatherings.
When I read your query the first thing that popped into my mind was chicken with soy sauce, garlic, and pineapple. Even picky-eater children like it and it's quick and easy. Anoint chicken pieces generously with soy sauce and garlic powder. Pour a can of crushed pineapple over. Sprinkle on some more soy sauce and garlic powder. Bake. Serve with rice.
happy to pine.......
I'll do some next week and at that time, I'll take a photo and post.
husband likes this the best.
his mom an excellent cook, simple flavors nothing fancy.
me, I'm not simple in my ingredients so this for me is very easy and very delicious.
I like to do thighs&breasts best, bone in.
this is also how I do a whole clucker.
rinse and pat dry chicken.
combine butter and olive oil rub into/onto all parts of chicken. mix kosher salt/confetti peppercorn/tiny bit poultry seasoning together then from way high up sprinkle on all parts of chicken, top and bottom.
place on rack over sheet pan with sides.
start at preheated oven 425° bake 1/3 time on that heat, then reduce to 375° and finish. (use thermometer)
very crisp top < hubby's favorite, and very moist chicken.
I do it probably 3 times a month and at least once every time we're in the motor home on vacation. the leftover meat is wonderful in chicken salads or vegetable chicken barley soup or creamed chicken crepes.
Chicken and Pork cutlets: Saltimbocca; Francese, Piccata and Parmigianino
Chicken Milanese w/ chopped salad
Sausage, peppers, onions and mushrooms
Fake “sausage”, peppers, onions and mushrooms – made with pork tenderloin and Penzey’s Italian sausage seasoning
Pan-roasted bone-in pork chops and NY strips with roasted green beans and cinnamon sweet potato fries
CI’s penne alla vodka http://urbandrivel.blogspot.com/2007/...
Lidia’s Scampi alla Buzara http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/jumbo-...
Bolognese(Marcella Hazan’s recipe
)Crespelle with bechamel and tomato sauce
Quiche and butter lettuce salad w/ Pepin’s mom’s favorite dressing
Sole francese with real French fries
Pappardelle in a tuna & tomato cream sauce http://thesecondpancake.typepad.com/t...
Refried beans with fried eggs and yellow rice
Pan-roasted prosciutto-wrapped halibut in a wine sauce http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ty...
Oh my, I think I've found my new CH food crush. So many good things there. I saw Ina Garten do a spin on (I think) Tyler's halibut recipe in her "Restaurant Rules" episode recently. It looked delicious. Or maybe it was from Bobby Flay. She wrapped seasoned halibut fillets in proscuitto and baked until cooked through, then served with a rosemary butter sauce and roasted root veg.
Very delicious list. Item that I loved most was (in my opinion) the simplest (I love simple and tasty for weeknights) - refried beans/fried egg/yellow rice.
That is always my leftover lunch whenever I have any sort of beans and rice. Well. When I don't switch it up and make an omelet.
Yes! to the refried bean love. It has just made its way back in to the dinner rotation because of Lent. I made a big batch of the beans and rice, froze them in single servings, and just take a couple out of the freezer in the morning so they defrost in time for dinner. Total comfort food.
Black bean chili
Various grilled veggies
Black bean burgers with mango salsa
Chickpea tacos all year round
Lots of great ideas in this thread. Thanks, Hank. (Edit: I was in Austin last week for state basketball tourney. WOW, your city has grown in the 12 years since I've been there.) Here's my list:
Cajun meatloaf (Paul Prudhomme)
Shrimp and andouille jambalaya (same)
Roast chicken - atop root vegetables (Ina Garten)
Spaghetti and meatballs - meatballs with a little gelatin (CI)
Chicken or beef enchiladas - grew up on Tex Mex
Turkey sausage & spinach lasagna (Bon Appetit)
Shrimp pad Thai (CI with lots of tweaks)
Crunchy oven fried fish - usually cod - really simple (CI)
I found a new recipe that was very popular with my family.
It is Unstuffed cabbage Rolls ... The flavor of cabbage rolls without the hassle of stuffing the cabbage.
Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls - HH
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 tablespoon oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small cabbage, chopped
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
2 cups water or mixture of red wine, beef broth & water
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon Worchestershire
1 cup dry rice
¾ cup chopped carrots
1/3 lb chopped mushrooms
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sweat the onions, carrots and mushrooms. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute.
Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until ground beef is no longer pink and veggies are tender.
Add the dry rice, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pepper, and salt. Mix well then add cabbage. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 25 - 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.
Add more liquid if necessary and taste for spice adjustment.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8