Author Topic: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"  (Read 2407 times)

lexde

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Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« on: November 22, 2019, 01:05:47 PM »
What are your favorite meals/recipes that will satisfy even the toughest critics?

I just moved into a kitchen I can actually cook in now, and would love to host date nights/dinners at my place rather than going out to eat all the time. I am a fairly good cook, and would really like to start directing my date nights into at-home meals.

What are some of your go-to meals that are on the fancier side/restaurant quality but made at home on the cheap?

Some of my current recipes in rotation:
  • Champagne-asparagus risotto (asparagus is frozen from TJ's so it does not go to waste!)
  • Steak and garlic-whipped potatoes
  • Bolognase
  • Carbonara
  • Cacio e Pepe
  • Tacos/Fajitas
  • Spatchcock Chicken

BrightFIRE

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2019, 02:55:39 PM »
I don't have a regular rotation. I tend to try something new each time.

Past successful dinner party dishes include:
https://www.davidlebovitz.com/wine-harvesters-chicken-recipe/
Julia Child's Beef Bourgignon
https://smittenkitchen.com/2009/01/mushroom-bourguignon/ - for vegetarians

Also, if you do brunches, the best I ever did was a make-your-own waffle brunch. I made an overnight batter in a 8C measuring cup so that it could be poured directly into the waffle maker. I had a bunch of different toppings available and friends brought OJ, coffee and champagne.

honeybbq

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2019, 03:00:12 PM »
Chicken with sun dried tomatoes, capers, and artichokes:

https://juliasalbum.com/mediterranean-chicken-sun-dried-tomatoes-artichokes/

I have this at least once a month. I usually serve with some green beans and a salad. Takes 30 minutes start to finish for the whole meal.

If you want to glam it up a bit, add 1/2 cup white wine before reintroducing the chicken, boil most away, then add cream to make a wine and cream sauce.

meghan88

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2019, 05:03:39 PM »
I like make-ahead things, especially something like a boeuf bourguignon or coq au vin or other stew that can be made the night before, and is usually even better the next day.  Ditto for a soup such as vichyssoise - make the day before, and add the milk or cream when you reheat it.  Focus on quality ingredients.

For dessert, I make an apple crisp:  put fresh apple slices into a baking dish, sprinkle with a tiny bit of lemon juice to stop the apples from going brown, then top with a mixture of roughly equal parts of oat bran, flour, butter/oil, sugar to taste (we don't use much), a sprinkle of cinnamon, and enough water to make a very thick paste that can be flattened by hand into patches to apply as a top crust.  I do all this before people show up, and toss it in the oven when the stew/soup is reheating.  Takes about 45 minutes to an hour to bake at 350.  Serve warm with ice cream or gelato, or on its own.

The Silver Palate cookbooks were a great inspiration.

IMO, the best dinner parties are the ones that don't involve a lot of last-minute prep, leaving you free to actually enjoy yourself.

tthree

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2019, 05:16:52 PM »
Is Indian "foodie"?  If so, you must make the following:
https://twosleevers.com/instant-pot-butter-chicken/
https://www.budgetbytes.com/naan/


OtherJen

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2019, 05:22:00 PM »
This is such a fun thread with loads of good meal ideas here!

If you need dessert ideas, I recommend this cake as an impressive and delicious dessert appropriate for fall parties: https://www.finecooking.com/recipe/brown-butter-pumpkin-layer-cake. Iíve made it for multiple holiday parties and itís never failed. Iíve used canned pumpkin out of laziness, with success. All ingredients except the pepitas and candied ginger for the topping can be purchased at Aldi, and those could be replaced with extra pecans and a sprinkling of dried ginger.

jeninco

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2019, 07:46:37 PM »
Nearly everything at Smitten Kitchen (smittenkitchen.com) is good, and a number of things on the website (and in the cookbook!) are really fantastic. We're coming up on Hannukah, and we'll be having latkes (our own recipe: we like them crunchier then most) and the smitten kitchen brisket, along with some vegetables.

A lot of what we make is inspired by what's in season (aka what's on sale in our little local grocery store chain). That helps keep it local and seasonal and relatively inexpensive.

However, tomorrow (at my BIL's request) we're having roast cornish game hens, a northern-italian-style dish of potatoes, olive oil, garlic, and lots of kale, some salad or another, and roasted squash. He's bringing the pie...

NotJen

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2019, 09:12:48 PM »
Nearly everything at Smitten Kitchen (smittenkitchen.com) is good, and a number of things on the website (and in the cookbook!) are really fantastic. We're coming up on Hannukah, and we'll be having latkes (our own recipe: we like them crunchier then most) and the smitten kitchen brisket, along with some vegetables.
Seconded!

I looooove her brisket.  I wasnít sure if it was Ďfoodieí since it uses ketchup, but that sauce is sooo goood.

I mostly cook with whole, fresh ingredients, but I prefer simple preparation, so Iím not sure if my favorites are fancy enough.

I really enjoy the Pioneer Womanís Sunday Night Stew (use red wine to deglaze) : https://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/sunday-night-stew/

And her ĎFavorite Pizzaí is my go-to when itís eggplant season (I make a different pizza crust) : https://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/my-favorite-pizza/

Simple, but this pork tenderloin gets rave reviews (but maybe itís just good pork from a local source?) : https://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/how-cook-pork-tenderloin-without-recipe-article/amp

Trifele

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2019, 04:00:29 AM »
Thanks for the stew recipe @NotJen!  That looks delicious.  We don't eat birds, so I'm always on the lookout for a good Thanksgiving dinner idea -- that looks like a winner.

Hirondelle

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2019, 01:10:35 PM »
Not sure if it counts as 'fancy' and from your list it seems like we go to very different restaurants but one of my favs are home made fresh spring rolls. They work with almost every single food restriction as they're (optionally) vegan, gluten free, nut free and well, every-major-allergy free. It's a great appetizer or side dish, but I've also just eaten them for breakfast or lunch. They're always a HUGE hit among my friends and finished first on the office Christmas potluck.

How I usually make them:
- Tapioca paper (you can use rice paper but I find the tapioca fold nicer)
- Thin rice noodles, cooked
- Thin slices of cucumber, carrot and bell pepper approximately the length you want the spring roll to be (about 3-4 inches)
- Some lettuce (I usually opt for iceberg or 'regular' lettuce as it's fresh/crispy/neutral)
- Some spring onions
- Fresh mint and (the only controversial ingredient) coriander. If you're a coriander hater you can leave it out or replace with parsly.

Serve with Vietnamese fish sauce (Nuoc Cham/Nuoc Mam), peanut sauce or even soy sauce for the less adventerous eaters.

I'm pretty big on Asian food so I have a variety of other recipes, but this one has never received a complaint (or well, from one major carnivore friend that 'it would be even better if you put in some meat')

OtherJen

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2019, 03:53:46 PM »
Not sure if it counts as 'fancy' and from your list it seems like we go to very different restaurants but one of my favs are home made fresh spring rolls. They work with almost every single food restriction as they're (optionally) vegan, gluten free, nut free and well, every-major-allergy free. It's a great appetizer or side dish, but I've also just eaten them for breakfast or lunch. They're always a HUGE hit among my friends and finished first on the office Christmas potluck.

How I usually make them:
- Tapioca paper (you can use rice paper but I find the tapioca fold nicer)
- Thin rice noodles, cooked
- Thin slices of cucumber, carrot and bell pepper approximately the length you want the spring roll to be (about 3-4 inches)
- Some lettuce (I usually opt for iceberg or 'regular' lettuce as it's fresh/crispy/neutral)
- Some spring onions
- Fresh mint and (the only controversial ingredient) coriander. If you're a coriander hater you can leave it out or replace with parsly.

Serve with Vietnamese fish sauce (Nuoc Cham/Nuoc Mam), peanut sauce or even soy sauce for the less adventerous eaters.

I'm pretty big on Asian food so I have a variety of other recipes, but this one has never received a complaint (or well, from one major carnivore friend that 'it would be even better if you put in some meat')

Mmm, yes! My friendís mom always makes these for family parties and puts shrimp in half and only veggies in the other half. That way, everyone is happy. :-)

OtherJen

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2019, 04:04:49 PM »
NotJenís mention of Pioneer Woman reminded me that she has a rather delicious chicken pot pie recipe. I like to add a handful of chopped mushrooms and a minced clove or two of garlic, and use dry sherry as the white wine because mushrooms+sherry+butter+garlic = magic. Last time I made this filling, I topped it with Smitten Kitchenís pie crust recipe (aka ďlidĒ in the recipe). I highly recommend this combination.

minimustache1985

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2019, 08:45:39 PM »
My favorite thing to make when we are having another couple over is tri-tip steak, for just the two of us itís too big a cut of meat, but with guests any leftovers are good for at most a few days of sandwiches which is perfect.  I season it with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, then sear in a cast iron pan on the stovetop for 4 minutes.  Flip and immediately transfer to a 400 F oven for 20-25 minutes depending on thickness (I personally target an internal temp of 135 F), then let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

I prep potatoes and whatever else ahead so I can either have them in the oven before starting the tri tip or have them ready (ie mashed) beforehand.

Hirondelle

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2019, 02:15:44 AM »
Not sure if it counts as 'fancy' and from your list it seems like we go to very different restaurants but one of my favs are home made fresh spring rolls. They work with almost every single food restriction as they're (optionally) vegan, gluten free, nut free and well, every-major-allergy free. It's a great appetizer or side dish, but I've also just eaten them for breakfast or lunch. They're always a HUGE hit among my friends and finished first on the office Christmas potluck.

How I usually make them:
- Tapioca paper (you can use rice paper but I find the tapioca fold nicer)
- Thin rice noodles, cooked
- Thin slices of cucumber, carrot and bell pepper approximately the length you want the spring roll to be (about 3-4 inches)
- Some lettuce (I usually opt for iceberg or 'regular' lettuce as it's fresh/crispy/neutral)
- Some spring onions
- Fresh mint and (the only controversial ingredient) coriander. If you're a coriander hater you can leave it out or replace with parsly.

Serve with Vietnamese fish sauce (Nuoc Cham/Nuoc Mam), peanut sauce or even soy sauce for the less adventerous eaters.

I'm pretty big on Asian food so I have a variety of other recipes, but this one has never received a complaint (or well, from one major carnivore friend that 'it would be even better if you put in some meat')

Mmm, yes! My friendís mom always makes these for family parties and puts shrimp in half and only veggies in the other half. That way, everyone is happy. :-)

Yes! Everything I wrote + shrimp is indeed the standard recipe. However I personally don't like shrimp so I've never made them like that. I've had them with some other sorts of fish when in the Mekong Delta and that was very yummy! No clue what type of fish it was and what preparation went into cooking it though.

Ynari

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2019, 06:37:48 PM »
I recommend The Flavor Thesaurus. It's not a recipe book, it's just an index of flavors that go well together (with an occasional roughly-written recipe thrown in).  It'll help you break out from recipes and get more creative in cooking.

Maenad

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2019, 10:25:24 AM »
Risotto alla Milanese - there's a million good recipes out there (I use this one: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-perfect-15-minute-risotto-in-a-pressure-cooker-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-195071).

The secrets are:
1. Use good saffron. It isn't cheap, but you don't use much (3 stamens per serving is all that's needed),
2. Use homemade chicken stock, and
3. Use a good parmigiano-reggiano.

One of the local grocery chains here does an annual sale of good parm-reg for only $10/pound, and we make homemade stock a couple times a year (pressure can it), so it's one of my favorite fancy recipes.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2019, 02:23:03 PM »
This recipe for tandoori chicken has become the top favorite in our house:

https://dinnerthendessert.com/tandoori-chicken/

I use chicken thighs rather than legs (more meat), double the spices (I leave out the food coloring) and halve the yogurt, marinate for at least 24 hours, and spend quite a bit of time scraping the marinade off so that you don't end up with them soaking in liquid.

Throw a sheet pan in the oven for 5-10 minutes, then add about 1 tbsp of coconut oil to the screaming hot pan and let it slither around to cover.  Put the thighs on the pan bumpy side down and roast for 30 minutes on the lowest rack.  Use a spatula to flip them over and return to the oven to cook for another 20-30 minutes.

I just made these tonight and they were a hit - apart from my youngest kid who doesn't eat anything.  Anyway, it was yummy.  I also made a yoghurt raita and basmati rice.

socaso

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2019, 11:13:09 AM »
I am majorly geeking out over a cookbook I just checked out of the library "Vegetables Unleashed." It has some serious foodie recipes and everything is vegetable based. I was pleasantly surprised that many of the recipes have a handful of ingredients and fairly simple preparation but the ideas are inventive. I have already asked for a copy for Christmas. I think there are quite a few recipes in there that would be very inexpensive to make.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2019, 05:49:55 PM »
This Thanksgiving I made a gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake that was TO DIE FOR! I cobbled together a few different recipes and it turned out so delicious I made sure to write down what I did. If you donít have to be gluten free just substitute regular ginger snaps and regular flour. Make it the day before as it needs to be refrigerated for a few hours.

It was a giant hit. If you like cheesecake, invest in a 9 inch springform pan.

Mix 3 x 8 oz cream cheese (softened at room temp) with
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tbsp all-purpose gluten free flour
Beat until smooth low to medium with electric mixer
Add 1/2 cup sour cream, mix
Add three large eggs ( mixing one at a time) and 1 tsp vanilla extract
Add 15 oz plain pumpkin purťe

Crust:
7 oz package gluten free ginger snaps, crushed
1/3 cup walnuts, ground up (optional)
1/2 stick butter (4 tbsp) melted
Mix ingredients and pat into bottom of buttered 9 inch  springform pan (make sure you grease the pan and cover the outside bottom and bottom edges with foil in case of leakage)

Pour filling into pan on top of crust
Place on a baking sheet in 325 degree oven
(You can place a flat roasting pan with 1-1/2 inches water on the shelf below or place it in a water bath - I had good luck with just putting the roaster on the shelf below. You can also do without but the cheesecake is more likely to crack).

Bake at 325 in preheated oven for 70-80 minutes, until mostly set. Turn off oven and open oven door slightly, and leave in oven for 45 minutes. Then let cool on counter and refrigerate, covered, overnight  or at least 4 hours. Decorate with walnut halves or candied walnuts if desired and serve with whipped cream.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2019, 05:53:02 PM by frugaldrummer »

OtherJen

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2019, 06:16:26 PM »
I'm going to contribute yet another pumpkin recipe, but I'm super excited about finally learning how to make pie crust. This was a rather delightful classic pumpkin pie. (My MIL is on a restricted diet and has to watch carbs. She scooped out and ate every tiny morsel of the pie filling from her serving.)

I think the generous dose of spice (definitely add the optional black pepper) and letting the filling rest overnight before baking really helped.

https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/pumpkin-pie-recipe

Also, @frugaldrummer , that cheesecake sounds so good. Are you GF out of necessity? (I am.) We should start a GF baking journal. :)

Trifele

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Re: Meals/Recipes for "Foodies"
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2019, 02:05:34 AM »
I mostly cook with whole, fresh ingredients, but I prefer simple preparation, so Iím not sure if my favorites are fancy enough.

I really enjoy the Pioneer Womanís Sunday Night Stew (use red wine to deglaze) : https://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/sunday-night-stew/

I fixed this stew on Thanksgiving, and it was a hit.  DeeLISHious -- thanks @NotJen!.  It was excellent reheated the next day as well, though I didn't get much -- the leftovers were popular and didn't last long.