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The Single Most Underrated Dish

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Great thread on the most overrated dish:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/901972 .

What's the one food that SHOULD get the love and doesn't?

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  1. Kebabs! Couldn't help myself.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Bkeats

      Funny!

      1. re: sandylc

        Stirring the pot, I see. How appropriate on chowhound.

      2. re: Bkeats

        You confused me. I thought I had read this already :)

      3. Mashed potatoes. No lumps, no skin, no garlic, no Just Add Water.

        1 Reply
        1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

          +1

        2. Creamed Chipped Beef. Good old S.O.S.

          44 Replies
          1. re: PotatoHouse

            One of my favorite things in the world. I'll only eat it maybe twice a year because when I do, I stuff myself simple.

            1. re: Christina D

              It's also expensive! When I was a kid, SOS on toast was a frequent treat because it was so cheap. Found some in Ralphs yesterday and it was almost $6! And I'll swear the jars have gotten smaller too!

              What I love most is that with chunks of boiled egg in it. O yum.

              1. re: Will Owen

                If you get hard-up, Stouffer's frozen version isn't too bad.

              2. re: Christina D

                ...followed by a carbo-induced coma. I know.

              3. re: PotatoHouse

                I'm aching to try this, but have never seen it. Is it in the canned meats section of the grocery store?

                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                  Yes it is, the beef itself is in small glass jars. but you can also find it premade in the frozen section.just look for Stouffer's brand.

                  1. re: PotatoHouse

                    What do you do to the jarred stuff to make it palatable?

                    Also, is the Stouffer's any good?

                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                      yes, the stouffers stuff remind me a lot of the cream chipped beef I grew up with as a Navy kid. it's also a good way to get your first try of it to see if you like it or not.
                      the Armour brand chipped beef in a jar is pretty basic. You rinse the chipped beef to remove some of the pre serving salt, it also helps to rehydrate the meat some, and then you chop it up and put it in a basic white sauce. I'm pretty sure the recipe is on the jar, but if it isn't I just found it at the website.

                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                        Yes, in a pinch. If you buy the beef in a jar, taste it before shredding and adding it to your cream sauce. It can be quite salty and you might want to pour some boiling water over it to leach out some of the salt. Chipped beef also comes in a plastic packet. The brand is Carl Buddig. That is usually refrigerated ( I think). The stuff in a jar is Armour.

                        1. re: Candy

                          I tried the Armour yesterday. I rinsed the stuff in warm water first, and while salty, it was not overpowering because I scarcely salted the bechamel.

                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                            So what did you think? Do you like it? be honest.

                            1. re: PotatoHouse

                              Sure did. I'll definitely eat this again in the future.

                            2. re: Perilagu Khan

                              When my mom would make it when i was a kid, she always made it with those Knorr white sauce packets.

                              1. re: TroyTempest

                                I've never even seen those. Heck, white sauce is so easy to make. Equal parts butter and flour whisked together over a medium fire and then add milk to your desired thickness, stirring over a low flame. Then a little S&P.

                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                  Yeah, I know. My Mom was culinary challenged. She took every shortcut that she could.

                                  1. re: TroyTempest

                                    "My Mom was culinary challenged. She took every shortcut that she could."

                                    My mom wasn't but she still used such convenience items now and then. She cooked for us 7 days a week; who could begrudge her cutting corners when she could? Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                      I tried to keep this at just "recommend" but I'll follow up with "hell yeah."

                                    2. re: TroyTempest

                                      Is your mom Sandra Lee??

                                      :-P

                                      1. re: PotatoHouse

                                        No, she just knew her limitations. She had about 4-5 go to meals that were often repeated.

                                        1. re: TroyTempest

                                          I'm sure it was either lack of time or lack of interest. Anyone who can read can cook. If they have the time or interest.

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            I have to disagree. MOST people can cook, just like most people can sing (decently) and most people can understand an M. Night Shyamalan movie. There are those (like my first ex-wife) who are the exceptions that prove the rule.

                                            1. re: PotatoHouse

                                              Then she wasn't interested.

                                              1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                I'm glad you 2 know my Mom so well. If she were still alive we'd ask her. I think she thought the white sauce too complex, and nobody complained. I mean it's on dried chipped beef for god's sake. How good does it have to be?
                                                FWIW, she also used success rice, and every Lawry's seasoning packet she could get her hands on.

                                                1. re: TroyTempest

                                                  Nothing wrong with Lawry's, man. It's good in pimento cheese, among other things.

                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                    Oh, i dig the seasoned salt. But, if i remember correctly they also had these seasoning packets, like taco seasoning, as well as some others i think, to add to ground beef, etc.

                                                    1. re: TroyTempest

                                                      Yeah, I imagine they did.

                                                      1. re: TroyTempest

                                                        Lawry's seasoned salt on chicken breasts tastes great, lived off that in college and when I worked my first couple of jobs out of college!

                                                        1. re: Bunson

                                                          It has been years but that is what Waffle house would use on the chicken breasts for the seasoning. Great drunk food.

                                                  2. re: PotatoHouse

                                                    "just like most people can sing (decently)"

                                                    Thst is absolutely NOT true.

                                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                                      Sure it is. After I've had enough to drink, I'm a frickin' AWESOME singer!

                                                      1. re: ricepad

                                                        I can play a few different instruments - even been in a band. However, the only chance I have of bein' an awesome singer is when everyone else is the room has had enough to drink (I mean a lot, a real lot).

                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                          At that point, you, too, approach awesomeness.

                                                          1. re: ricepad

                                                            My wife made me soundproof the shower.

                                                            1. re: MGZ

                                                              That's because there's only so much awesomeness she can take at one time. Don't sell yourself short, brah!

                                                      2. re: ttoommyy

                                                        Ready to cry? Here's a sob story!

                                                        When I was a small child, every time I sang my mother laughed at me.

                                                        I stopped singing and developed a mortal fear of anyone hearing me sing!

                                                        Sometimes I wonder if I might have an amazing singing voice, but I will never know.......

                                                        The world has missed out on my beautiful voice!

                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                          Here's a suggestion: Go to a place where you know you're alone and noone can hear you. Record yourself singing. Play it back to yourself. Decide if you have an amazing singing voice or not. If not, destroy the recording.

                                                          1. re: AmyH

                                                            Good idea. I did that in '91. The tape went "Mission Impossible" on me . . . .

                                                            1. re: MGZ

                                                              Killed it dead, huh? My fear, exactly.

                                                            2. re: AmyH

                                                              One potential flaw in your plan is that after having consumed the requisite quantity of drink you may no longer have the ability to operate the recording device.

                                                              1. re: ricepad

                                                                I could polish off a liter of tequila and a six pack and still be able to operate an eight track and play guitar. Even then, however, I can't sing worth a shit.

                                                      3. re: c oliver

                                                        If

                                                2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                  A good cook I know says that the Knorr sauce packets do have a benefit; one can use much less butter or other fat with them.

                                                  1. re: lagatta

                                                    Knorr White Sauce:

                                                    Wheat Flour, Soybean(s) Oil Partially Hydrogenated, Salt, Lactose, Maltodextrin, Potato(es) Starch Modified, Whey Protein Concentrate, Corn Protein Hydrolyzed, Sugar, Corn Starch, Cream, Whey, Onion(s) Powder, Butter Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Sodium Caseinate, Spice(s), Guar Gum, Flavor(s) Natural, Soybean(s) Lecithin, Annatto and, Turmeric (Color(s))

                                                    Seriously? And what's exactly wrong with butter/fat? Especially compared to the chemistry experiment above?

                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                      The good cook isn't me, and finds it more important to limit his butter/fat intake, for medical reasons. It is indeed an impressive "better living through chemistry" list.

                                  2. Grilled Cheese. With humble american cheese.

                                    1. A simple bowl of spaghetti tossed with a good olive oil, Italian parsley, and a handful of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: grampart

                                        I like past al dente pasta with cottage cheese, butter, and pepper.

                                      2. Rice

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: ukjason

                                          Yes. Abso-frickin'-lutely.

                                        2. A perfectly baked potato.

                                          An old thread on the subject:

                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/572075

                                          21 Replies
                                          1. re: MGZ

                                            Wow! 2008! Might be interesting to compare them across time....

                                            1. re: MGZ

                                              +1. Baked potato for me!

                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                Do you have a perfect baked potato method?

                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                  Well, I'm still kinda workin' on it, but a russett potato is the way to start - washed and pricked. I put it in a 300 degree oven for around seventy-five to ninety minutes, depending upon size. Then the oven goes up to 425 for ten to fifteen minutes to crisp the skin. The insides are creamy-fluffy and the skin is solid. The sad thing is, I have only been playin' with this idea for about six or seven months and only have about one potato each month. I have, however, hit the nail on the head three times now with the basic approach I detailed. Potato sizes can vary so much that it's kinda tricky. I squeeze 'em after and hour and a few to figure out when to raise the heat.

                                                  If you try it, let me know how it works?

                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                    Will do, I can't remember what I did last time but it was perfect and I also did it for a fairly longer time that I've read elsewhere which turned out perfect. I also coated with oil and sprinkled with kosher salt.

                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                      We do 425-450 for over an hour. Prick the skin with a fork, rub with oo, liberally sprinkle with salt. That's for the skin not the potato itself. For us, that's the perfect baked potato.

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        I do somewhere in the 400-450 range (depending on potato size and amount of time I have to bake them). Wash, prick, rub with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher or sea salt. Then, bake them directly on the oven rack. Yum! (I put a piece of foil at the bottom of my oven to catch drippings.)

                                                      2. re: MGZ

                                                        It helps with flavor and texture to butter the skin before baking and to get even baking get a potato nail. They are aluminum and go through the potato end to end.

                                                        1. re: Candy

                                                          Never heard of those. I'll try to look for 'em. Have you ever tried the low temp approach to baking a potato?

                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                            I have. The low and slow makes a very creamy, mellow potato.

                                                      3. re: fldhkybnva

                                                        Never tried this with a Russett but I get the same results with small Yukon Gold potato's by pricking them & microwaving them for 2-3 minutes -- enough so the inside gets par cooked. Then I rub them down with oil and roast them for ~15 minutes to crisp up the skin --- makes all of that wet/wrinkled mw disappear into golden crispyness. BTW: I put them on the shelf in my gas grill when I turn it on to pre-heat for the steak or the oven when I'm cooking indoors. Quick & good!

                                                        1. re: Cathy N

                                                          I do that when baking potatoes, too. Really cuts down on the baking time. I often do those last 15 minutes in the toaster oven to save the energy and warmth of heating up the big oven. Or finish them on the grill like you do.

                                                      4. re: MGZ

                                                        Corned beef hash, other than my Southern family I can't convince any of my friends North of the Mason-Dixon line to even go near it. I love the stuff and go to our local diner specifically for it.

                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                          Well made corned beef hash can be glorious!

                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                            Definitely. Made from REAL CB, onions, potatoes, Get plenty of crusties on it.

                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                              Yeah, always keep in mind the crusties. Good point!

                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                Heck, I even like the stuff out of the can. But I dump it on a big stack of paper towels after cooking and roll it up to absorb a lot of grease. I think I save several hundred calories that way, which is good because I cannot stop eating until it's gone.

                                                            2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                              Southern? I thought it was Northern, brought here by Irish immigrants. The best I've ever had was slung by diner cooks in New England.

                                                              I like to fry some canned corned beef hash until it frizzles a bit and then pour beaten eggs over it and turn it into an omelet. My mother used to bake it and then poke holes in it and break an egg into each hole and bake until the eggs were set.

                                                              1. re: Querencia

                                                                I think it is a Northern import but it's quite popular in the south as well.

                                                                1. re: Querencia

                                                                  As a native Northerner, I'm also baffled by the "Southern". But wherever, whenever, however, it has to be crispy!

                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                  I'm a west coaster and corned beef hash is one of my all-time fave breakfast/brunch dishes -- but I'll eat it anytime!

                                                              2. Hot dogs. Spam. Taylor ham. And other assorted "low class" food items made from various parts of our friend the pig. I love 'em all!

                                                                35 Replies
                                                                1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                  I'm with you, totally, if you throw scrapple in there too!

                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                    Absolutley!

                                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                                      +1 on the scrapple

                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                        Hey, I was going to say scrapple!

                                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                                          Another Aye for the scrapple, and I will add neckbones to the Scorned Pig Parts list. Dad brought some home one night and Mom cooked them with sauerkraut, like spareribs. An hour or so later there were, in Marshall, Illinois, five people with grease dripping off their elbows, their hands, and their glistening, happy faces.

                                                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                                                            Ooh, good to know about the neck bones. I've seen them at my Latino market.

                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                              I've used neck bones in my Italian "gravy" and once in some red beans and rice. Great flavor, but picking out all those little bones is a pain in the butt.

                                                                              1. re: grampart

                                                                                Maybe encase them in cheescloth first?

                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                  Cheesecloth! What a great idea!! Kind of a bouquet porque! Thank you very much.

                                                                                  1. re: grampart

                                                                                    Bouquet porque. I like that!

                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                      +1

                                                                        2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                          Mostly agree, especially the pork roll and scrapple, but never, never, never, Spam.

                                                                          1. re: grampart

                                                                            +1. Check out my avatar.

                                                                            1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                              Love it!! Presque Isle, huh? I spent a lifetime one year in Caribou. I keep telling myself I should return one day and see it as a civilian. Probably would be much more enjoyable.

                                                                              1. re: grampart

                                                                                Caribou has definitely changed. They wear shoes, they have jobs now, it's a social hotspot. LOL

                                                                              2. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                I used to be with you guys until I tried Spam Musubi.

                                                                                1. re: JAB

                                                                                  Love musubi but also love it fried in butter and a lot of pepper. Sam F coached me on that one.

                                                                            2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                              Oh Taylor Pork Roll! Just delicious. We lived in NJ during my childhood and it was very cheap. Now live in TX and you would not believe how expensive it is...around $10 a pound! A humble meat in NJ, a delicacy in TX!

                                                                              1. re: AuntieSocial1

                                                                                "Taylor Pork Roll...around $10 a pound! A humble meat in NJ, a delicacy in TX!"

                                                                                That's just crazy!

                                                                                1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                  Crazy, but believable. One time in the late 70's, I was in a bar in South Florida that considered Schaefer a premium beer!

                                                                                  1. re: grampart

                                                                                    "One time in the late 70's, I was in a bar in South Florida that considered Schaefer a premium beer!"

                                                                                    It's not??? :)

                                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                      Only in a can.

                                                                                    2. re: grampart

                                                                                      I prefer Schaefer Hefe Weisen Oatmeal Stout, myownself.

                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                        Methinks we're speaking of different Schaefers.

                                                                                        1. re: grampart

                                                                                          That was sposta be a joke, grampart. I know Schaefer well; Schaefer Light was my dad's brand for the longest.

                                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                            I kinda figured that, but you never know. Thought maybe Schaefer had been revived as a fancy-pants brew.

                                                                                            1. re: grampart

                                                                                              Don't give 'em any ideas.

                                                                                  2. re: AuntieSocial1

                                                                                    I know this sounds blasphemous, but I prefer spam.

                                                                                    1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                      "I know this sounds blasphemous, but I prefer spam."

                                                                                      Over what?

                                                                                      1. re: grampart

                                                                                        over Taylor Ham, pork roll, whatever you want to call it.

                                                                                      2. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                        It is indeed blasphemous, don't let our friend, passadumkeg, hear you say that, I will admit, though, that sometimes, even this Jersey guy prefers crispy scrapple.

                                                                                        As an aside, you gotta love AuntieSocial's screenname, no?

                                                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                                                          duh, I didn't get it the first time.

                                                                                    2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                      Mmm, Spam. :) Chop it up, saute it with some onions, then scramble in some eggs and I'm in heaven.

                                                                                      1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                        Yes!

                                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                          I couldn't resist.

                                                                                           
                                                                                    3. A REALLY good, dense, doughy, New York-style bagel. So many of what are available are simply dressed up rolls.

                                                                                      1. Pork pies or cheese and pickle sandwich.

                                                                                        1. Salisbury steak. I make one with a mushroom sauce slightly tinctured with brandy, and it is good enough to induce arousal in most normal folk. I'm sure linguafood would love it.

                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                            Agree with Salisbury steak. I make a mean one as well. Love this dish!

                                                                                            1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                              While I have no wish to revisit the TV Dinner version of my youth, I still enjoy a good Salisbury steak now and again. The last couple of times I've made it, I did a Marsala mushroom sauce and it makes the dish a tad more special.

                                                                                              1. re: grampart

                                                                                                I've never had Salisbury steak but I now really want to!

                                                                                            2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                              Do you have the recipe for this dish?

                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                Aye. That I do. Time permitting, I'll post it tonight.

                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                  Salisbury Steak wit' Mushroom Sauce

                                                                                                  2 lbs. ground beef
                                                                                                  2 eggs beaten
                                                                                                  1/4 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
                                                                                                  2 t. plus 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
                                                                                                  2 t. salt
                                                                                                  1/2 t. ground mustard
                                                                                                  1/4 t. black pepper
                                                                                                  5 T. butter
                                                                                                  1/2 lb. portabellas diced
                                                                                                  2 shallots minced
                                                                                                  1/4 cup flour
                                                                                                  1/2 cup dry red wine
                                                                                                  14 oz. beef broth

                                                                                                  1. Heat over to 350. Combine beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire, salt, mustard and pepper in a large bowl and mix well. Shape into eight one-inch thick patties and set aside.

                                                                                                  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and melt one tablespoon of the butter. When it foams, add four patties and brown, about three to four minutes per side. Transfer patties to a baking dish. Repeat with remaining patties and transfer to the baking dish. Drain all fat from the pan, but leave any browned bits.

                                                                                                  3. Return the pan to medium heat and melt remaining four tablespoons butter. Add mushrooms and shallots and season with pepper. Cook, stirring rarely, about four minutes.

                                                                                                  4. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir until fully incorporated. Cook, stirring occasionally, about three minutes. Add red wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Slowly pour in broth and stir until smooth. Let mixture come to a boil and cook 13 minutes.

                                                                                                  5. Add remaining one tablespoon of Worcestershire. Pour sauce over patties in the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes.

                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                    Oh wow that sounds so good!

                                                                                                    1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                      'Tis. ;)

                                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                        Have you considered dredging those patties in the flour before browning, maybe only on the bottom sides? May make the texture of the steaks slightly more interesting, but will definitely give more browned bits for the gravy.

                                                                                                        1. re: nosh

                                                                                                          Not a bad idea.

                                                                                                2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                  Oh heck yes to Salisbury steak.

                                                                                                3. Nachos, and as posted above, a baked potato.

                                                                                                  1. Tomato bisque.

                                                                                                    1. Tuna casserole. For me, the ultimate in comfort food and definitely my death row meal. Just give me the whole pot, a fork and a pepper grinder and I'm in heaven (well, maybe not if I'm on death row).

                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Christina D

                                                                                                        That is what I am making tonight for dinner. Love it.

                                                                                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                          Tuna casserole was the first to come to mind for me, too. My mom did a rice version with cream'o mushroom soup and a parmesan crust. Now I saute a ton of onion, carrot, zucchini, maybe a red bell pepper or celery. I make a bunch in a big skillet and then spoon it into a smaller skillet to be topped with cheddar cheese and the grated parmesan/romano to be browned under a broiler. Serve with peas.

                                                                                                          1. re: nosh

                                                                                                            I have to go old school and serve the peas in it instead of with it. Otherwise yum. And sometimes with crushed plain chips or french fried onions on top of the cheese.

                                                                                                            1. re: nosh

                                                                                                              Stouffers tuna casserole is my comfort food

                                                                                                        2. Bluefish
                                                                                                          Chicken liver
                                                                                                          Spaghetti and meatballs
                                                                                                          Goat
                                                                                                          Cheap wine
                                                                                                          Parsnips
                                                                                                          California rolls and other maki-sushi that use avocado

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                            (Quote) Cheap wine (/Quote)

                                                                                                            "viva la cold duck!"

                                                                                                            1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                              I'll drink to that.

                                                                                                            2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                              Cheap DRY wine.

                                                                                                            3. Underrated foods are items which are good but overlooked by others -- whatever reasons they may be.

                                                                                                              Some of the underrated foods are items from Fast Food restaurants, such as:

                                                                                                              Filet O Fish (McDonald)
                                                                                                              Egg McMuffin (McDonald)
                                                                                                              Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich (Chic-fil-A)

                                                                                                              Southern Barbecue Pork. Yes, a lot of people like it, but a lot more do not appreciate it.

                                                                                                              Chinese congee -- inexpensive and yet excellent tasting food which is highly unappreciated by the larger population

                                                                                                              Jerk Pork

                                                                                                              Bibimbap

                                                                                                              Regular fat yogurt -- very few people eat them anymore

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                My kids used to eat the regular fat yogurt until they got into teens. Kids need the fat.

                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                  Oh, barbecue pork. I have to think that those who don't appreciate it just haven't had it done right. I snagged a sample from a caterer at a wedding show last weekend and almost died on the spot. It was heavenly. Probably going to do a whole hog for the wedding!

                                                                                                                  I have a recipe for congee that I've been meaning to try, but other things keep jumping in line. I'll have to get on that.

                                                                                                                  And the yogurt.... It seems hard to even find it any more. I was looking for full-fat to make... chicken tikka masala, I think, and had a hell of a time. (When I finally found it, the power went out for 5 days and I lost it!)

                                                                                                                2. A really fresh egg from a chicken that actually lives outside, as opposed to one living in a long building with a tiny door at each end so that they can call it free range. My only proviso is that it be cooked simply, like boiled or poached, maybe fried.

                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: tim irvine

                                                                                                                    O. M. G --- YES!!!!!! For the last several months I've been buying eggs from pastured chickens. A mobile coop that moves from pasture to pasture with the cows. My breakfast this morning was some reheated rice, a raw egg and some Asian seasonings. I can't remember the CH, maybe JungMann, who recommended this. I pay a relative fortune for them but I'm actually getting something packed with nutrients and cooks up like a dream.

                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                      I like to do this with fresh rice, soy sauce, and a raw egg. So delicious.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Unraveled

                                                                                                                        Just had it again this morning with some sesame oil also. Also recommended was furikake that I want to pick up. I just loved sitting on the sofa with a light quilt over my legs (chilly here this morning), my bowl and my chopsticks. And that hot, gooey deliciousness :)

                                                                                                                  2. A great hot dog (various styles applicable).

                                                                                                                    Meat loaf.

                                                                                                                    Mashed potatoes

                                                                                                                    1. For me its scrambled eggs with cheese, the homemade kind, not the diner kind that comes in one piece. Or roasted veggies, any combo but particularly parsnips and turnips.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: WhatsEatingYou

                                                                                                                        I definitely second the roasted veg, though my personal favorite is broccoli.

                                                                                                                      2. Another vote for chicken livers.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                          Agreed ... homemade pan-fried chickens livers (and gravy) are the food of the gods.

                                                                                                                        2. Grits. Nice, fluffy hominy grits with a little salt added to the boil. No butter, no nothing. All the other stuff that normally goes with is great (butter, gravy, eggs, hot sauce, etc.) but I like 'em just plain.

                                                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                            I've been eating grits for about 65 years and I add plenty of s&p when served and LOADS of butter.

                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                              Yeah, me too. I love grits any kind of way. They go with everything, but there's something sublime about plain grits.

                                                                                                                              Also, a nice pot of pinto beans. They're good plain, but generally must have hot pepper vinegar and cornbread with my beans.

                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                Add a bit more butter, a pinch of salt, and a ton of pepper and it's perfect.

                                                                                                                                1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                  Yep. What *I* said :)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                    I was suggesting piling on more to your excellent suggestions.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                      If anyone tries to tell me they don't like grits, then I KNOW that they haven't had them with enough butter and s&p :) Same with escargots. Do you like butter? Do you like garlic? Done.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                    Most importantly, grits have to be cooked right. Nice and fluffy, not watery or, well...gritty. I want some now.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                                      ...and no instant, please!

                                                                                                                                2. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                                  My entire family loves grits but I have yet to even venture to try them but I think it's a must do!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                    You're such a pure bread 'hound, fd, go try 'em soon. I'm pretty certain you'll be happy.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                      I know, right? I have only recently become an "adventurous" eater. I'm a creature of habit and quite risk-averse so once I find what I like I tend to stick to it like superglue. I also am not the biggest carb lover, so I've missed out on many carb-y things.

                                                                                                                                3. One of those jello, cream concoctions with combinations of fruit or vegetables...
                                                                                                                                  On a serious note, a really good hamburger.

                                                                                                                                  1. Kidneys. Most people hate them because they look like anatomy and smell a bit funky when they've just come from the butchers. But once you slice out the white bits and simmer them in white wine, tomato puree, and onions, with a couple of toulouse sausages and peppercorns, they are luscious delicious heaven. They never fail to be creamy in texture and really rich, plus incredibly good for you and WOW - SO CHEAP.

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Elster

                                                                                                                                      God I love a good kidney dish. I've yet to see them anywhere in American supermarkets. Liver, maybe. Kidneys? No such luck.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Elster

                                                                                                                                        Bloody hell.

                                                                                                                                      2. A good chocolate chip cookie. My personal favorite has oatmeal. There's so many fancy rich desserts out there but hands down, some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies will please me anytime.

                                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                          And for me, a chocolate chip cookie is very overrated. I LOVE cookies and cakes, but given a choice, I will never reach for a chocolate chip cookie. I find these kinds of topics fascinating because they reveal so much about us. "One man's meat..." and all that.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                            The absolute BEST chocolate chip cookies I ever had were some I made from a copycat Levian Bakery recipe. Phenomenal!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                              If they're made to the original Toll House recipe with no added "improvements" and you get to eat them while the chips are still kinda melty, they are a great cookie. Quite possibly my favorite.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                Mom had a bad stroke a few years back and I took care of her for 2 plus years and still had a big appetite and her favorite was Toll House cookies, to the point of I knew that mixture by heart. Miss you mom.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                              Warm just out of the oven chocolate chip cookies with gooey melty chocolate and a lightly crisp outer crust, with a cold glass of milk is tough to beat!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bunson

                                                                                                                                                Love 'em this way, but also really like them frozen straight out of the freezer.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bunson

                                                                                                                                                  Just like the guy who said Budweiser, you said it all.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                  Yes! A good oatmeal cookie. The most underrated of all.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: OhioHound

                                                                                                                                                    Oh, my, a great oatmeal cookie is amazing. And passable for breakfast! Toasted pecans included. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: OhioHound

                                                                                                                                                      I would agree with you there. Sometimes I make my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies sans chocolate chips (usually if I'm out and don't want to go to the store haha). Quite delicious. I've been making the recipe since I was 5 years old so I could make them in my sleep at this point.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Kraft blue box Macaroni and Cheese. My nieces/nephews always get mac and cheese when we go out to eat and I have yet to find any restaurant using fancy pasta and cheese to come remotely close to the crack-like comfort of Kraft mac and cheese.

                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bunson

                                                                                                                                                      Yes. Add a little extra butter and some sour cream. Food of the crack-monkey gods.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                                                        God yes. It must also be eaten straight from the pan in which it was cooked. I like to add a handful of shredded cheddar, too.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Bunson

                                                                                                                                                        I even reduce the butter down to about 2 teaspoons and it's still crack-like in its satisfying properties

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bunson

                                                                                                                                                          I always feel guilty for liking it more than stuff at a restaurants, but it just doesn't compare!

                                                                                                                                                        2. Beef Stroganoff. Nobody makes it anymore, and it's awesome. Good way to use chuck roast, too.

                                                                                                                                                          19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gildeddawn

                                                                                                                                                            I make it.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gildeddawn

                                                                                                                                                              I was underwhelmed on concept alone but recently made it and it's very good.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gildeddawn

                                                                                                                                                                I thought Beef Stroganoff called for tenderloin.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                  It does call for tenderloin but i cannot bring myself to use it in that way so i sub sirloin

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                    Many recipes use beef tenderloin, with the meat cooked quickly. But there are versions that use cheaper cuts. Cook's Illustrated has a recipe using sirloin steak tips or blade steak (tenderized by poking with a fork then marinating in soy sauce) and also a slow-cooker recipe using chuck.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                      Soy sauce would be sacreligious- I'd be on a handcart to hell if I even considered it, I feel certain. CI just lost a lot of cred with me, knowing that they would even consider it.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                        Actually, I find I have 3 CI recipes. The recipes in "The Best International Recipe" and in "Slow Cooker Revolution" don't use soy sauce. The recipe in "The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook" uses 2 tsp soy sauce per 1 1/4 lb beef. It's one of those secret flavorful ingredients most people will never identify.

                                                                                                                                                                        Of course, CI is not the place to go for authentic recipes --- they often present recipes that bear almost no relationship to the originals, but that are nonetheless usually quite good.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                          I am amused by their "the best ever" and "the perfect one" versions, of which there are usually several.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                          I could see a little Worchestershire sauce but soy? Never. CI just has to keep doing the "best" when it's already been done. I dumped them years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                            I use soy sauce in probably most dishes I cook, including stroganoff. So ...

                                                                                                                                                                            It's fantastic umami, lends great depth of flavor. Why not use it instead of some of the salt? Sooo much better, and no one has to know.

                                                                                                                                                                            In fact, I'd like you to forget right now that I ever told you.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                                                                              Agreed. Soy, in modest amounts, adds a background note that is very valuable. It is great in jus for a standing rib roast, for example.

                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm not a fan of tenderloin so I usually use sirloin as well. I also have seen quite a few recipes which use ground beef.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                            Ground beef pretty much turns beef stroganoff into hamburger helper!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                              Shiver :(

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                Yea, I have never used ground meat but it's out there labeled as "stroganoff"

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                  I make Poor Man's Stroganoff using ground beef, serve over biscuits. People go crazy for it! Back in my meat-eating days, I much preferred it to the original.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, if YOU do it, then it must be good!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                              There are so many different ways to make stroganoff. At the top is the one made with cubes of MR steak, whether siroloin or tenderloin, cloaked in a beautiful sauce with mushrooms. In the middle is the braised chuck or shortribs version, which is very comforting. At the bottom is the fake ground beef version, which I refuse to call stroganoff, even if some incarnations might be pretty tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                I grew up making it with ground beef ... and still do. (Maybe ground bison.) If that's how you know the dish, preparing it with steak changes the texture in a way that just doesn't seem right. With ground meat, the sauce penetrates the meat in a different and more complete way.

                                                                                                                                                                            3. I think that sometimes the same basic dish can legitimately be listed in the "overrated" and "underrated" categories.

                                                                                                                                                                              For example, crab cakes (which are already in the "overrated" thread) -- I find most are blah, but the best are wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                              Similarly, I'll mention scallops -- many (especially those treated with tripolyphosphate) are boring, but the best quickly-cooked (e.g. grilled or pan-seared) dry scallops can be wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                                Try dry scallops pan roasted then lightly coated in real maple syrup so they finish with a yummy glaze.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                                                                                  Do you mean the dehydrated ones? Do you hydrate them first with anything?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't think he means dehydrated. You can get scallops whose surface looks wet and those whose surface looks dry. From what I understand, the former have been treated with tripolyphosphate, In any case, the latter (with dry surface) are, IMHO, much better than the former when seared or grilled.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                                      That is correct.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                                  Dry scallops are quite amazing in my book but only with a simple perfect sear. I've had wet scallops just once and the thought of it makes me want to vomit all over again .

                                                                                                                                                                                3. Scapple...cooked properly crispy

                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: johnnyb510

                                                                                                                                                                                    or a really good stuffing with gravy, cooked IN the bird. why don't restaurants do this more?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                                      Fear of lawsuits due to food poisoning caused by cross contamination. I'm not saying their fears are founded, but in this litigious age....

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                                        IMO, stuffing is a distant cousin to dressing. But that's a different thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                          (Not arguing, just my position on the subject)
                                                                                                                                                                                          Same animal, different plumage. Stuffing is cooked inside the bird while dressing is not.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                                                                                            Not arguing either. There's actually a thread on CH about the two. I like dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Creamed chipped beef...buy air dried beef....chop in big slices, fry in butter, cream, worschestershire sauce, sherry..pepper..toasted Eng muffin...and yer off

                                                                                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: johnnyb510

                                                                                                                                                                                        Bah gum, I'm gonna hafta try that!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                          I just tried it. Liked it. Maybe enough to get into the rotation.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: johnnyb510

                                                                                                                                                                                          Isn't that SOS?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                            Same same. Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast or SOS.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes. My mother was far too much of a Southern lady to refer to it as anything other than CCB :)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                How did she react when veterans in her family called it by its military name?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                                                  None would have dared :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                    LOVE IT!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Guess she "outranked" them there!

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Hash, done well it is flavourful, homely and tastes like more. It is so easily made and customised too.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. fresh tofu.

                                                                                                                                                                                              It gets such a bad rap because it's often mistreated. People bad mouth it when they use it as a meat substitute. If you expect crumbled tofu to be the beef in your bolognese then you're destined to be disappointed. The other complaint is that it has no flavor and just tastes like whatever it is cooked in. This is also untrue.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I love it when cubes of tofu are fried with a crisp light exterior giving way to a soft warm custardy center. Tofu is best made fresh daily.

                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: seamunky

                                                                                                                                                                                                Agree that fresh tofu is lovely. I had a source nearby, but they closed down a couple of years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Also hate tofu misused in Western foods, as a meat or cheese substitute.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: seamunky

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fried is how we first got hooked on it. Now we're doing more and more. I knew it was time to get Andrea Nguyen's Asian Tofu coobook when Bob had the choice of beef, port, chicken or tofu at a Thai place recently and he chose tofu!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: seamunky

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love tofu. I like the flavor, texture, everything about it. I am not a vegetarian, I think tofu is best when it's not being camouflaged. But then I like it better than most people do. My preference runs to 'the firmer the better' but I'm open to almost all tofu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: seamunky

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The fresh stuff is infinitely better than the prepackaged ones at the supermarket.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've actually enjoyed it uncooked ("raw") in salads before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I also do a bibimbap of pan-fried tofu strips, egg strips, and soy sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. The Spanish omelette - called a "tortilla" in Spain, nothing else in common with Mexican tortillas except being round and flat. Very plain with potato, or at most a bit of onion, ham, and I'll add a tiny bit of parmesan, though purists wouldn't. A very satisfying dish, and dirt cheap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I totally agree about their excellence.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not sure I'd call them underrated, though--but then again, I do think they kind of get overlooked or forgotten a lot (in the USA at least).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's rare for a non-Spanish themed restaurant to offer one, whereas, say, non-French themed places routinely offer quiche.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. garlic bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                        cheesecake
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Caesar salad
                                                                                                                                                                                                        home made corned beef hash

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh man- my mom's garlic toast recipe is so good- mash some garlic into soft butter, spread on the bread of your choice, add oregano, pepper, parmesan (the green can crap works very well for this, actually), and some sesame seeds on top. put under the broiler until browned. I have to make some tonight now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Home fries. Seriously, why don't they ever offer these as a side dish at steak houses? It's usually just a choice of mashed potatoes, baked potatoes or french fries. I could eat a mountain of home fries cooked at a diner on a well seasoned grill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Atomic76

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've been to a steakhouse or two that offered their versions of homefries. Can't think of one off the top of my head right now though. Love homefries!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Atomic76

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love them as well!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Atomic76

                                                                                                                                                                                                                unfortunately many people confuse hash browns with home fries with tater tots. I vote for hash browns (shredded fried potatoes served usually with eggs at a diner)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I vote for hash browns and home fries but could do without tator tots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love tots as a side for chili dawgs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Duck Hearts, skewered and grilled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: phatchris

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Damn, now I gotta try that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: phatchris

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They are excellent. I'd also add duck livers: I don't mean foie gras - duck liver is plenty rich on its own without gavage. Obviously ordinary duck livers are not as buttery as foie gras (remember, "foie" means liver, even human livers, and has nothing to do with gavage, unless we overindulge in rich food and drink) but they have more flavour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I can get little clear plastic tubs of duck livers, hearts and gizzards for a very cheap price at a nearby Southeast Asian grocery....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you find this dish very "brown", you can always chop some parsley or fresh coriander...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When I had unlimited access to duck livers in Dallas I made a lot of duck liver pate. Wow, was it popular with my friends. And me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There is a restaurant in Chicago (Girl and Goat) that has a menu item "Crispy Duck Tongues". Not sure if that's a jokey metaphor for something else or they really are duck tongues. If the latter, I wonder how many it takes to make a portion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Duck Tongues are exactly what they are. Now, you should know that Duck "White Kidneys" are NOT kidneys, but Duck testicles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They are. They are tiny and have a little bone in them, which makes 'em a royal pain in the ass to eat. I'll take duck liver, heart, *and* "white kidneys" over tongues any damn ol' day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              OK, so as I type this, there are a pair of ducks on my lawn, havin' wandered down from the Lake. If it matters, they are Mallards. The male one is a bit smaller than my cat. I can't figure out why anyone would want to eat duck testicles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I mean, yeah, I'd undoubtedly try 'em if put before me, but those birds ain't real big. Their balls gotta be somethin' around the size of salmon roe?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, it's not like the tongues are all that big.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sometimes, size doesn't matter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lingua, as you know, I'm the kinda stinky 'hound that you can't help but love and yet can't wait to get outta the house every morning. I'm fascinated with flavor in an almost sociopathic way. But, my friend, please tell me, what do duck balls taste like, before I have to go castrate that little fella on my lawn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dude, I haven't a clue. I've never had them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    All *I* said was I'd take duck's balls/kidneys/livers over duck tongues any day. Because I find duck tongues tedious to eat, and not very flavorful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Balls, OTOH -- who knows!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm sure of one thing, I bet you'd try 'em if they were offered.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As to anyone else, what the hell do they taste like? You don't want me out there on the lakefront chasin' that little thing with my axe do ya?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes. Yes, in fact we do. And please.... take pics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've eaten turkey testicles, it was a long time ago, but I have a vague memory that they tasted like popcorn shrimp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BeefeaterRocks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I just can't help but think that they'd be like 8mm ball bearings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Size doesn't matter unless it's too small. ;-) Speaking of duck tongues, of course.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've had duck tongue tacos a couples of times. Quite tasty! I believe the tongues were boned, as there was no crunch that I can recall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: phatchris

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You can have the hearts, I'll take the gizzards. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I got dibs on the livers!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They're all yours. I'll take bothe the hearts and gizzards.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Stewed Okra.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Here's a recipe I found on the internet:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.greektastes.com/bamyes-me-...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              a search will reveal even better recipes on the internet and in good restaurants. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Stewed okra is my all-time favorite food! I just never realized it was underrated.. hmm.. now that I think about it, others always thought my love for okra stewed in a rich, homemade tomato sauce was different. I think it's delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: OhioHound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I would have to say that fried okra in cornmeal is one of my favorite foods, but stewed okra isn't too far behind. Also, lightly blanched whole okra pods are a great addition to vegetable sticks with dip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: OhioHound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I knew a guy who adored stewed okra......but then again he enjoyed pink-eye. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Pig Feet, pickled or cooked with BBQ sauce. Good in Menudo too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: oakowl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yep. That's a good one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Bluefish from the East Coast. Severely Underrated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    three recipes for you:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://goodeatinggoodliving.blogspot....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/blue...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.nba.com/nbafit/psilakis_di...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bluefish is certainly underated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i love it baked or pan fried with mayo and whole grain mustard. such a good fish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For a 20" whole fish, rub 1 part curry powder, 1 part salt, 1 part chili powder inside and out. Baked on preheated 500 degree oven for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and let sit in the oven for 10 minutes. Best tasting fish ever! Works with Mackerels also but reduce cooking time accordingly. Can't wait for my son to go fishing soon off Boston harbor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. boiled smoked ham hocks wiith lots of horseradish. i really love the gelatinous texture of the warm skin mixed with the cold horseradish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Any quick pasta dish that involves canned sardines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. a french omelette

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              broccoli steamed, then cooked with garlic and olive oil

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              american style tacos (i.e. your own blend of seasoning and made at home). can be sooo good compared to what passes for "american style" tacos in a restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              cold sesame noodles- one of my ultimate favorite sichuanese dishes that are pretty much impossible to find outside of NYC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              blintzes/latkes- what passes for these in restaurants is just SAD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Do you ever make those cold sesame noodles at home?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What are "American style tacos" please?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I also love "American style tacos" and have a favorite seasoning blend at home which mimics the store bought packets without all of the unnecessary added parts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But what are they!?!? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To me, "american style" tacos are usually ground beef mixed with seasoning, then put in (Usually) a hard shell and topped with lettuce and tomatoes and cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This is my view as well

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Okay. Like Taco Bell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Which is really your basic Tex-Mex taco that has spread across the fruited plain from sea to shining sea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As locusts will.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now now, Veggo. You just nibble your huitlecoche pupusa off in the corner. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hahaha

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yikes! I didn't know THAT. A good reason to avoid Tex-Mex tacos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They can be delicious when done "right". If you fry good-quality tortillas yourself, use good ground beef and your own seasonings (rather than the envelope), ripe tomatoes, romaine mixed with cilantro, jack cheese, sour cream, and a nice green or red sauce, then you have yourself some pretty darn good American comfort food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, they can be mos' satisfying. Now I don't fry my own tortillas--just use storebought taco shells--but I do season my own beef, shred high-quality x-sharp cheddar, shred some nice i-berg, and dice very ripe Roma tomatoes. Old school La Victoria Salsa Brava completes the ensemble.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yup. And the reason I grew up not liking tacos...and my mom even fried the tortillas herself. When I finally had a legit taqueria taco, I fell in love. I just don't like lettuce and tomato on anything, not just tacos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "To me, "american style" tacos are usually ground beef mixed with seasoning, then put in (Usually) a hard shell and topped with lettuce and tomatoes and cheese."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For example, what you get at Taco Bell. For more "authentic" tacos try the street vendors in Chino CA selling "Street Tacos", usually three soft corn tortillas about the size of a CD laid flat on a paper plate with some DAMN GOOD marinated steak or chicken and Pico de Gaillo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Many of us know about "more authentic" tacos and they are great. But this thread is about "underrated dishes" and we are discussing "American tacos" which someone has declared "underrated." That's the whole point of posting something in this thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    wow, some major vitriol in response to one of my items :).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So I make American style tacos per the following: fry one red onion until soft, add one green pepper (or a fresh poblano if everyone can take the heat), then add one can rinsed drained black eyed peas. add a few tablespoons of ketchup and turn up the heat. season with cumin and oregano and a *smidge* of soy sauce. I fry my own corn tortillas very quickly in olive oil. I don't like the hard shell american style tacos, and those aren't what I grew up eating as "american style tacos" :). My parents both fried theirs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We actually don't put any lettuce and tomato on it, I also dont like that, although I did grow up eating it that way. We usually add a little havarti/cheddar to the tortillas before putting in the filling and some sliced avocado and hot sauce on top. It is a very filling, very comforting meal. I usually eat 3, or 4 if I'm very hungry. My 4 yo eats 2 of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    An alternative that is also way above taco bell is to use ground beef. If you want, you can omit the vegetables as well. I grew up eating it with meat and beans (cooked separately and without the dried spices but with worcestire instead). My parents often served it with sour cream as well. It is extremely delicious, nothing like a Puebla style taco, nor anything like taco bell in terms of the taste. Anyway it's your loss if you don't try it :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No vitriol in the least! I'd never heard the term and it CLEARLY is NOT like Taco Bell. Sounds rather tasty actually. Thanks for replying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Meatloaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Poached Eggs on Toast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chicken and Dumplings

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I'm going to add on the good old BLT! My mom used to make these for me, my brother, and my sister, and you could never eat just one, we'd eat them until our stomachs would explode. Something about the toasty bread, mayo, crisp lettuce, juicy tomato, and crispy smoky bacon that gave the perfect bite. The bread though had to be a certain kind of bread, she got it at one of the local bakeries so it was a more dense/chewy sandwich bread, that after you toasted it had the light and crispy outside and warm chewy inside. And you could pick the broken off bacon scraps at the end for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  24 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bunson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Really? BLTs aren't getting much love? News to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight's menu, with a perfect avocado and tomato. A thrifty treat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Considering the prices of the ingredients, I don't know how thrifty it is, but it sure is good. Just replaced the soil in my planter with a really good mix so am hopeful for some good tomatoes this summer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think the chunk of gouda I ate during the news before supper cost more than the ingredients in the BLTA...I need to examine my cheese budget. Someday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We limit our cheese consumption by cutting off 'appropriate' sizes and putting the rest away. Just found the final quarter of the Winnimere in the back of the fridge. Been there over a month and is wonderfully stinky and gooey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have at least one or two a month. Lots of love here

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: Bunson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i can't wait for tomato season!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah. I step out to check how the plants are comin' along every morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          When that first one gets just ripe, and you bring it in, and you slice it open, and you put a little salt on, and you get that first taste . . . . Christmas morning!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Then you realize, you probably shoulda rinsed it off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Why should you have rinsed it off????

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I live in New Jersey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ha! A NJ joke. Priceless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What exit?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    98

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Why should you have rinsed it off????"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Anyways (as we say in Jersey) even if one lived out in the middle of the USA, what's wrong with washing off a just-picked vegetable? Sometimes they are a bit dirty/dusty just from the elements and natural environment. Not that I am above a little dirt in my food, but if I can prevent it, I try to at least.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am old enough to remember Johnny Carson laughing until he cried while an older lady, who was a regular guest, ate unpeeled, mud-encrusted produce on his show. She would show up with her little basket of veggies and munch away on things like unpeeled onions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My mouth is watering from that comment, and not in a good way. Blech

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If it comes from my garden, I just wipe any dust off with my hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not a bad approach. This topic brings to mind Michael Pollan's article in NY Times last week. A quote:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        'What about increasing our exposure to bacteria? “There’s a case for dirtying up your diet,” Sonnenburg told me. Yet advising people not to thoroughly wash their produce is probably unwise in a world of pesticide residues. “I view it as a cost-benefit analysis,” Sonnenburg wrote in an e-mail. “Increased exposure to environmental microbes likely decreases chance of many Western diseases, but increases pathogen exposure. Certainly the costs go up as scary antibiotic-resistant bacteria become more prevalent.” So wash your hands in situations when pathogens or toxic chemicals are likely present, but maybe not after petting your dog. “In terms of food, I think eating fermented foods is the answer — as opposed to not washing food, unless it is from your garden,” he said.'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/mag...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Good ol' dirt is quite healthy. Added artificial chemicals are not (don't pick me apart here on words, people, you know what I'm talking about).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We take a nutritional supplement that is dirt-based. It's a probiotic; we call it a "dirt pill".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            growing up, we never washed up for lunch if we were given lunch outside while playing. dirt, dogs, snot, blood, etc., all basically remained on our hands after we gave a swift swipe across our pants. actually, now that i've thought about it, that swipe across the pants probably deposited more gunk on our hands than it took off. but here i am, many years later (how dare you ask a woman her age!), no allergies, no asthma, no anti-biotic resistance. i still eat the fruits and veggies as i shop the farmers markets and as i pick them at pick-your-own farms. i purchase and drink raw milk, eat raw oysters, sushi, and will, on occasion, have a bite or two of steak tartar. i do avoid high-fructose, trans-fats, artificial sweeteners, anti-bacterial soaps, etc. throughout my life, i have developed immunities to "bugs" that are now prevalent amongst those who were raised in sterile surroundings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Once i saw my Lab pee on the neighbor's rosemary bush, I started rinsing everything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bob said there's a rule in golf that you never pick any blackberries out on the course that are closer than 3' off the ground. I don't think he was talking about Labs :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I see a stray cat in my neighborhood spray just about everything, everyday - bushes, the snow shovel, patio furniture, my house. Washing fruits and vegetables is probably a good idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hell, I'm good with dirt and germs. It's the car exhaust that I sometimes think about. (But, also, often forget about . . . .)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Good old fashion oat meal cooked plainly in water. Nothing added. Leaves such a clean taste on the palate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Dan Dan Noodles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chengdu Chicken in a close 2nd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. A cheese crisp sprinkled with Tabasco sauce. Simple yet very satisfying dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Dan Dan Noodles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chengdu Chicken is a close 2nd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: adobocaster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Have you got a reliable recipe for the Chengdu Chicken?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Bob Evans store bought mashed potatoes. Perhaps they do contain a few ingredients that your grandmother didn't use and maybe they do fit in the same category as store bought croutons, but they taste good and are very convenient. Personal tastes vary and I'm sure some will say they're no good. Hell, I hear there are those that detest such things as lobster and filet mignon and even kebabs, but for those of us ordinary folks that regularly partake of hotdogs, bologna, Kraft mac & cheese, and TastyKakes, I strongly recommend you give them a try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              EDIT - I've just been informed that we haven't been eating the Bob Evans stuff for quite some time. It seems the Simply Potatoes replaced them when it was discovered that they were tastier and cheaper, especially when on sale for about $2.49. Probably won't make much of a difference to the naysayers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I had to google TastyKakes. Of your list, I occasionally have an Oscar Mayer Angus hot dog but other than that, nope. So I guess I can pass on those mashed potatoes, which btw I frequently make as a last minute dish. Especially good with real cream and good butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love Colonel Sanders' mashed taters and gravy, and I cannot lie. Maybe the best mashed potatoes in the universe, instant thought they undoubtedly are.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I like buying the KFC buttermilk biscuits and their gravy, and just dipping the biscuits into the gravy. Oh man...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bunson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      THIS. The biscuit was always my favorite part. I always made sure I was able to sneak someone else's out of the bucket and then deny it afterwards.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A few years ago, my grandmother who is usually responsible for 90% of Thanksgiving dinner slyly sneaked this into the dinner because she was overwhelmed with all of the other prep and everyone raved about them. She added a good healthy dose of sticks of butter and milk but they were still a great base product.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Probably won't make much of a difference to the naysayers."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nay, Nay, Nay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Caramelized white button mushrooms. This was highlighted on the latest season of Top Chef. Since then, I've been making them at least twice a week and use them instead of croutons in salad. They are the most tasty food on the planet!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: catroast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What we haven't made in ages is 'chunked' mushrooms, sautéed in butter with garlic powder til all caramelized and sprinkle some blue cheese over right at the end.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          no you are missing the point completely, you don't need all that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.bravotv.com/media/imagecac...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          kristen kish won the freaking elimination challenge by simply oven roasting mushrooms and finishing them in a hot pan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wow, that sounds amazing! They have to saute for a while right to get them caramalized?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No, she first roasted them to eliminate the moisture. The recipe is on the top chef website, and there is an instructional video by Michael Voltaggio. In an interview Kristen Kish, explains that in her opinion, white button mushrooms are very much underrated since most people can't cook them like she can! That she won the top chef challenge with such a simple dish is remarkable. I think in the show, she used a grill pan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Voltaggio: http://lifeinaskillet.com/2012/11/mic...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: catroast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If they're not the tastiest food in the room, it sure don't take long to call the roll.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: catroast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I can't get into the white button mushrooms although I love most other mushrooms. Do you have a good prep method, perhaps I could try and learn to love them as well?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Vanilla ice cream.