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moonflower

Give me your best recipe of the year - I'm trying to widen my repertoire

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I hate trying new recipes from the internet.  I feel like I can never really trust it, and it's always something with a million fru-fru ingredients or that you need to freeze and then whisk and then deep fry and then sous vide or something.

What worked absolutely super well this year for you?  What new thing did you learn to cook that you can tell will be a staple going forward?

For me, I learned to bread and fry fish.  We eat a lot of fish and most of it is steamed or roasted, but we love fried fish.  We don't eat eggs or dairy so eating out fried fish is kind of impossible; I finally just learned how to make a vegan batter and fry it.  So easy!

What I do is this: I buy filets of cod.  I thaw them.  I make a batter by dumping oh, 3 cups or so of flour in a bowl, then maybe 1/4 tsp or so of baking soda and 1/2 tbsp or so of baking powder.  (you could also use self-rising instead of this mix). I put in some salt. Then water until it is lumpyish, kind of like banana bread batter, then a splash of some sort of vinegar (or I would use beer if we had it on hand) and then I round it out with water until it's like a thick pancake batter or between cake batter and banana bread batter.  I heat up sunflower oil in my two cast iron pots, about 1" of oil, on med-high.  then when a bit of the batter dropped into the oil fizzes, I coat the filets, which I have sliced a bit thinner - maybe 2" x 1" x 5" total would be ideal but I am very casual about it - in the batter and drop them into the pot with a fork.  When they look sort of brownish but not too brown on the bottom (goldenish on the sides) I flip, cook maybe another couple of minutes, and drain on paper towels and serve with lemon.  I do several batches - the 3 cups of flour will do you about 3 lb of cod, I think.  I cut apart one of the first round of finished filets to make sure they're cooked through.  This gets completely devoured right away.  Not an every day thing but a real treat when we do have it 🙂

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My new faves that I have made multiple times:

This fried Rice recipe, it is the best I've tried!

These General Tso Meatballs, but I double the sauce, cuz, well I love extra sauce on the rice.

This Peruvian green sauce, really, I could eat it on anything, like shrimp, steak, you name it.

This is my new favorite salad, sometimes I add avocado.

Oh, I learned how to velvet meat, important for stir fries and things like philly cheesesteak. Maybe everyone else knew it, but I didn't.

Also I made homemade flat bread for the 1st time. It is really good, but time consuming. If I get organized, I would love to do a giant batch every 2 weeks and freeze.

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The oven roasted chicken schwarma recipe from The NY Times cooking section was a huge hit here.

I also made lots of chicken and vegetable curry using store bought yellow curry paste. I sauté cubed chicken and curry paste in oil for about five minutes until it’s no loner pink on the outside, but not cooked through. Then add one or two cans of coconut milk and maybe some water (depending on the amount of chicken and vegetables) and whatever vegetables we have around, but usually at least potatoes, carrots, onions, and red and green pepppers. Then simmer for about 25 minutes until the vegetables are soft enough and the chicken is cooked through. We like it over brown basmati rice.

Edited by Frances
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So, now that I'm back in the states, I don't have to make my own tortillas (I can buy them with minimal ingredients and preservative-free!!) but I do still swear by green chili chicken https://cookiesandcups.com/instant-pot-salsa-verde-chicken/ or beef brisket https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/instant-pot-barbacoa-beef/ in the InstaPot to make my enchiladas and tamales. I usually add extra spices (oregano, annatto and cilantro) but these are good basics.

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We learned that garlic, green capsicum and a bit of salt mashed together is really tasty when eaten with injera bread. This was a very happy discovery, because green capsicum is rarely a tasty thing.

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I learned that ordering real Salsa Lizano from Amazon and adding about a quarter cup or so to regular ole rice and beans makes it taste like Costa Rican vacation food and everybody in the house likes it!

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I have a new cookbook called The Palestinian Table. I have made the 9 spice mix and used it for the chicken and potatoes and for a lamb and freekah with pine nuts dish. Both were excellent. I made the spiced chicken broth (needed for the freekah dish) and it was the best broth I havd ever had. 

I also love Milk Street's Thai fried rice (free recipe on their website). Can't get panchetta here, unfortunately. 

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And for those of us in America, capsicum, iirc, is what we call "bell pepper".

I don't feel like I've made anything new this year, even though I'm sure I must have.

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The past year I've been leaning heavily on Damn Delicious.  Her recipes seem to use pretty typical (for my US American kitchen, anyway) ingredients, and are easy to follow, reliably good. Since I started working, my husband and son do more food prep, and they find her recipes easy to follow and good to eat.  The Korean beef recipes -  a slow cooker stew, and a meat-and-rice bowl using ground beef - are favorites here. 

I have a few sites I use extensively and tend not to branch out to unfamiliar food blogs anymore. Simply Recipes, Add a Pinch, The Splendid Table, Skinnytaste are all good in my experience. I tend to stay away from food blogs with lots of chit chat and lots of photos. 

 

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I think the best think I added to my repertoire in 2018 was David Chang's Bo Ssam, once I FINALLY got around to trying it. I got the recipe from the Momofuku cookbook, and am not sure what the rules are on copying them here, so I googled and found it on Martha Stewart to post here. 

https://www.marthastewart.com/334288/bo-ssam

Personal notes- make sure you use Diamond Crystal kosher salt. Don't use Morton's Kosher (or if you do cut it back massively), or heaven forbid table salt. Also, I'd cut back the salt level by probably  1/3 the first time, even using DC, unless you really like a lot of salty flavor. I don't make the oysters, cabbage or all of the sauces to accompany- just the ginger scallion sauce and some white rice. Oh and sometimes I'll use Tonkatsu sauce with it. It's just so flipping good though by itself it's insane. 

My kids also went nuts for Tonkatsu pork cutlets this year, but since you don't eat eggs, that's probably not helpful. 

 

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I played in the kitchen quite a bit, but most things didn’t end up in my regular arsenal.  A few that did include Ina Garten’s Lemon Chicken Breast, which is so simple it should not be as tasty as it is, mashed celery root (cook in stock and heavy cream, purée in the food processor and add s&p to taste), and this chocolate chili, which I often serve on top of roasted butternut squash cubes.

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Sweet potatoes. Wash/scrub, and put them in the Instant Pot on the rack. Add 1 cup water. Close the lid and set to manual, 16-18 minutes, depending on size. When it cools, open and serve with butter, cinnamon, brown sugar.

 

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40 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Sweet potatoes. Wash/scrub, and put them in the Instant Pot on the rack. Add 1 cup water. Close the lid and set to manual, 16-18 minutes, depending on size. When it cools, open and serve with butter, cinnamon, brown sugar.

 

LOVE this idea! But I only have a slow cooker, do I still need the water?

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3 hours ago, marbel said:

The past year I've been leaning heavily on Damn Delicious.  Her recipes seem to use pretty typical (for my US American kitchen, anyway) ingredients, and are easy to follow, reliably good. Since I started working, my husband and son do more food prep, and they find her recipes easy to follow and good to eat.  The Korean beef recipes -  a slow cooker stew, and a meat-and-rice bowl using ground beef - are favorites here. 

I have a few sites I use extensively and tend not to branch out to unfamiliar food blogs anymore. Simply Recipes, Add a Pinch, The Splendid Table, Skinnytaste are all good in my experience. I tend to stay away from food blogs with lots of chit chat and lots of photos. 

 

 

Oooh, I clicked on this and one of the first photos is vegetable potstickers, which my crew would love.

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I make a lot of recipes from Budget Bytes, and we really enjoyed this last night:

https://www.budgetbytes.com/pork-peanut-dragon-noodles/

(Super spicy! I halved the chili sauce and it was just about right.)

The NY Times Shawarma mentioned above is a go-to in our house! I use chicken breasts. https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017161-oven-roasted-chicken-shawarma

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I eat these for breakfast pretty much every day: https://emilybites.com/2011/10/sausage-egg-cheese-hash-brown-cups.html

These little pizza sliders are one of the few meals everybody in the family will eat: https://www.thecountrycook.net/pizza-sliders/

This is another recipe everyone will eat: https://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipe/parmesan-crusted-tilapia

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1 hour ago, Alicia64 said:

LOVE this idea! But I only have a slow cooker, do I still need the water?

Ooo yes, you're right, in a slow cooker would work too! I would probably do just enough in the bottom so it isn't running dry. The 1 cup specified for an instant pot is so it can build up the proper pressure.

My ds LOVES sweet potatoes, so they're super easy lunches for us and health and cheap too. :smile:

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I wanted to make a sheet pan chicken dinner, so I scoured the internet for ideas and then devised with my own recipe, which is rare for me. It's so good. I gave some leftovers to my dad, and he texted me that "that was awesome!!" and he usually doesn't even say thank you.

6-10 chicken thighs, depending on your family size (skin on and bone in), 2 large parsnips, 1 large sweet onion, several potatoes, several carrots, package of fresh Poultry Mix herbs (which contains rosemary, thyme, and sage).

In one large baggie or bowl, place the chicken. In a second large baggie, put the vegetables, peeled and cut in same-size chunks. Chop up the herbs and add part to each baggie (probably 2/3 with the chicken and 1/3 with the veg). Add salt and enough olive oil to allow you to massage the herbs around on the contents. Marinate for several hours or all day.

Place a sheet pan in the oven while preheating to 400 degrees. When the oven is hot, remove the chicken from the bag and carefully place it skin-size down on the hot pan. Bake for about 20 minutes. Then remove pan from the oven and flip chicken over (careful, it may stick a bit). Add vegetables all around the chicken pieces and return to oven for another 20-25 minutes or until done. For the last few minutes of cooking time, place the pan on the top rack and increase the oven temp to broil, if you would like to make the skin even crispier.

 

I use an oversized sheet pan for this. If you use a regular sized pan, you may need to use two pans. If so, be sure to cook chicken on both pans instead of doing chicken on one and the veg on the other, because the drippings from the chicken are what make the vegetables so yummy.

Edited by Storygirl
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42 minutes ago, Storygirl said:

I wanted to make a sheet pan chicken dinner, so I scoured the internet for ideas and then devised with my own recipe, which is rare for me. It's so good. I gave some leftovers to my dad, and he texted me that "that was awesome!!" and he usually doesn't even say thank you.

6-10 chicken thighs, depending on your family size (skin on and bone in), 2 large parsnips, 1 large sweet onion, several potatoes, several carrots, package of fresh Poultry Mix herbs (which contains rosemary, thyme, and sage).

In one large baggie or bowl, place the chicken. In a second large baggie, put the vegetables, peeled and cut in same-size chunks. Chop up the herbs and add part to each baggie (probably 2/3 with the chicken and 1/3 with the veg). Add salt and enough olive oil to allow you to massage the herbs around on the contents. Marinate for several hours or all day.

Place a sheet pan in the oven while preheating to 400 degrees. When the oven is hot, remove the chicken from the bag and carefully place it skin-size down on the hot pan. Bake for about 20 minutes. Then remove pan from the oven and flip chicken over (careful, it may stick a bit). Add vegetables all around the chicken pieces and return to oven for another 20-25 minutes or until done. For the last few minutes of cooking time, place the pan on the top rack and increase the oven temp to broil, if you would like to make the skin even crispier.

 

I use a oversized sheet pan for this. If you use a regular sized pan, you may need to use two pans. If so, be sure to cook chicken on both pans instead of doing chicken on one and the veg on the other, because the drippings from the chicken are what make the vegetables so yummy.

I've used a recipe very similar to this from ATK- the biggest difference is the poultry mix and they add shallots and garlic. It's soo good. I'm going to try your version with the poultry mix next time I think. Sounds yum! 

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7 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Sweet potatoes. Wash/scrub, and put them in the Instant Pot on the rack. Add 1 cup water. Close the lid and set to manual, 16-18 minutes, depending on size. When it cools, open and serve with butter, cinnamon, brown sugar.

 

THANK you.  My sister is going on a new very restrictive diet and will be using an Instant Pot for speed.

6 hours ago, Alicia64 said:

LOVE this idea! But I only have a slow cooker, do I still need the water?

I'm learning about this all right now, but from what I have read (and done in the past), it seems to me that steaming the sweet potatoes would be closer to what you get from an Instant Pot pressure cook.  It's faster (OBVIOUSLY) than slow cooking.  You'd have to cut the sweet potatoes into smaller chunks than you do with a pressure cooker, but I have steamed sweet potatoes for years, and it doesn't take ALL that long.  :0)  Slow cookers tend to turn things to mush, more than pressure or steam cooking do.  (Personal opinion...  :0).    )

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On 1/2/2019 at 8:40 AM, Selkie said:

I found so many great new recipes this past year, and this one stands out as a favorite. This Thai Curry Brussels Sprout Soup was a huge hit in our house.

https://monkeyandmekitchenadventures.com/thai-curry-brussel-sprout-soup/

This is an old thread, but as it starts cooling off, I'm wanting soups again. I came back to this thread specifically for this recipe. When I made it in January, it was AMAZING! However, because I was the only one who would eat it, it's all I ate for a week. Is it possible to freeze this soup? And how long does red curry paste last? It smells ok, which is what I usually go by rather than the printed date. (The exp date is in 2020, so I'm prob ok.)

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DS was in a cooking class last year. Their textbook was The Food Lab. There are so many great recipes in there with loads of photos and explanations as to how and why they work. Last night I made one of the fried chicken recipes and it’s my new go-to method.

It’s definitely worth checking out from the library if you’re tired of gambling on internet recipes and want to do some next-level cooking. 

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Pampered Chef’s Chocolate Macaroon ‘Pizza’ (dessert) was the Greatest Hit at a huge annual potluck that I attend.  The recipe is on their website.

People loved it so much that when my husband was holding the empty dish while conversing afterwards, in preparation to take it to the car, he was practically mobbed with folks adoring the taste and begging him to get me to bring it again next year, which I will definitely do.  Unfortunately I have only one pizza pan so only 16 servings are possible. I think there’s going to be a fight, LOL.

Edited by Carol in Cal.

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On 1/2/2019 at 11:04 AM, Alicia64 said:

LOVE this idea! But I only have a slow cooker, do I still need the water?

You don't really need the water in a slow cooker.  You can put parchment paper in the bottom/sides of the crock pot to make for an easy clean up.  You can put a little bit of water (maybe 1/4 cup) to make sure your slow cooker doesn't crack from heating without liquid (mine did over several years of making sweet and regular potatoes this way).  Even for fat sweet potatoes, it takes about 5 hours on high or 6-7 on low.  I start them right after breakfast and they are done between lunch and dinner and I put the pot on warm until serving time, Easiest and rather healthy side ever!

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