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28 August 2012

Recipe swap! Share your favorite go-to recipes for everyone. [More:]Inspired by an exchange with fellow mefi member Ardiril, I realized we haven't had a proper recipe swap in some time. Sweet or savory, what's your favorite winner for cooking/baking? You can link or maybe just include in your post? Casserole? Cookies? Special pie? Can mere mortals cook it? New York Sausage, Peppers, and Onions is my go-to for freezing lunches (please forgive VERY old and abandoned blog), and people generally ask for my mom's Matzo Ball soup recipe, but to show off, I'd love to cite the Country Quiche. I'm actually dried up on ideas for lunches and meals lately so I'm excited to see another share for ideas!
Every Xmas, just about, my husband and I make the World's Best Fudge. I got a batch from a friend many years ago, and after downing all of it in one sitting, won the recipe from her clutches. The only catch is that you cannot deviate an iota from the recipe, which is:

Mixture 1
3 cups white granulated sugar
1 stick butter
1 tsp salt (optional, unnec. with salted butter)
1 can EVAPORATED milk

Mixture 2
18 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
18 full sized marshmallows
1 cup chopped nuts (optional, I never use)
2 tsp vanilla

Prepare mixture 2 in separate large bowl and set aside. Combine mixture 1 in saucepan. Bring to boil. Boil exactly 6 minutes, STIRRING CONSTANTLY, and from the bottom. Remove from heat.

Add mixture 2 to saucepan. Stir VIGOROUSLY until marshmallows melt.

Pour into 9 x 12 or so buttered pan. Cool.
posted by bearwife 28 August | 12:47
I made bearwife's fudge when I was in Ohio a couple of Christmases ago. It was amazing.
posted by Senyar 28 August | 13:29
Beer bread. This is a slight alteration of a common recipe; I reduced the sugar and butter and used some white whole wheat flour to make it heartier and wheatier.

You can find a version of the original at epicurious, but the recipe was making the rounds long before the internet. It's one of those super-simple super-fast recipes that gets passed around with some enthusiasm.

beer bread

3 TBS butter
3 cups flour (I use a mixture of white and white whole wheat)
2 1/2 TBS sugar
1 TBS baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or 1 tsp standard table salt
~ 12 ounces beer, room temperature

Preheat oven to 375F. In a loaf pan or 8-inch round, melt half of the butter (1 1/2 TBS). Remove from oven and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add beer all at once, pouring slowly to retain carbonation, and stir it into the flour mixture. Be sure to fold in dry ingredients from the bottom of the bowl. Batter will be lumpy and rough; donít overmix.

Scoop batter into the buttery baking dish and dot the top with remaining 1 1/2 TBS butter.

Bake at 375F for ~30 minutes (for 8-inch round), ~40 minutes (for loaf pan), or until the top is crusty and flecked with dark spots. Between the cracks of the craggy, golden crust, the dough should look damply matte, not wet and shiny.

Let cool a few minutes, then remove loaf from pan and let it sit ten minutes or so before cutting into it. (Cooling for ten minutes allows the quick bread to set and lets you cut neater slices, but I admit I usually hack rough slices off the heel end of the hot bread and serve it right away. Itís crumbly and ugly but irresistably delicious.)

when I'm in a raging hurry, I scoop it into well-buttered muffin tins, which reduces the baking time to 12-15 minutes. Sometimes dinnertime is a runaway train.
posted by Elsa 28 August | 14:00
Well, I've got a blerg up for family recipes, but I seem to be the only one posting.

Anyway, my easy go to's are tortillas and more recently, couscous. Mostly because I'm lazy.

So. Tortillas. I get the mix (that's the way my grandma taught me, dammit!) and throw it in the bread machine on the dough setting (ok, that's me)

Once it's done, or 30 minutes, whichever I feel like doing, I pull 'em out and roll 'em and cook 'em.

One thing I never got until I was older and read about it, was that you don't let the rolling pin go over the edge of a tortilla while you're rolling it. Also, it's good to let the doughballs rest for about 10 minutes after you've divided the dough for rolling. So much easier to roll after that.
posted by lysdexic 28 August | 14:45
It does not get much simpler than my lunchtime burrito recipe. I have eaten hundreds of these over the last 15 years or so.

Mix a can of refried beans with about 1 1/2 cups of salsa.

On a whole wheat tortilla (store brand for me), spread out a thick blob of the beans/salsa mix. Sprinkle on some hot sauce and some chili powder (I use a LOT of both, but whatever your tongue likes). Add some chopped onions. Add some shredded cheddar. Roll it up and nuke it on 50% power for about two minutes. If you're like me and not good at rolling a burrito, eat with a knife and fork.
posted by JanetLand 28 August | 15:26
I've been making this summer berry croustade. Also, this potato salad (page 138) is a staple in my house.
posted by initapplette 28 August | 15:32
I've been making fish a la meuniere a lot lately. For clarified butter, I use ghee from the Indian supermarket.
posted by Senyar 28 August | 15:37
JanetLand, yum. I use the same principle to make the black beans & eggs dish known around the house as huevos con whatnot. So good, so easy, and we always have the ingredients on the shelf.
posted by Elsa 28 August | 15:54
Huevos con whatnot, which sound yummy, remind me of this really good recipe from Jules Clancy of blog:

cumulus spiced eggs
serves 2

These eggs are a simplified version of a dish served at one of my favourite Melbourne restaurants, Cumulus Inc. They bake the eggs in individual cast iron pots but Iíve found cooking on the stove top with a lid on so the top of the eggs steam gives just as good results.

I like to use an Ďarriabataí tomato sauce which has in-built chilli spice. But you could just add your own fresh chilli.

1 jar tomato pasta sauce (about 1 1/2 cups)
1-2 teaspoons ground coriander
4 handfuls baby spinach leaves
4 eggs
small handful soft goats cheese

1. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan. Add sauce and spice and bring to a simmer.

2. Add baby spinach and stir for about a minute, until the sauce has come back up to a simmer.

3. Make 4 indents in the sauce. Crack an egg into each indent.

4. Cover with a lid and gently simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the egg whites are set and the yolks still runny.

5. Season. Crumble over the goats cheese.
posted by bearwife 28 August | 16:00
Carmelized shallots and spinach are the start of many a dish around these parts. Sometimes a sandwich ingredient, sometimes a pasta sauce (made with cream, butter and parm), shallots and spinach end up on my plate at least once a week.

Our other eat all the time you-can-throw-anything-in-it dish is miso soup. The base is always miso paste, hirondashi (bonito flakes, found at any Asian market), sesame oil, soy sauce, tofu, scallions, ginger and garlic, but if I am feeling wild and crazy it can get an onion, mushrooms, carrots, noodles (wheat or rice noodles, yeah, we get buckwild around these parts), some animal based protein, it's a go crazy kinda soup.

All this talk is making me hungry. Time to make dinner!

posted by msali 28 August | 16:16
Obligatory link to brocchiblu!
posted by JanetLand 28 August | 16:22
1) cut up a large onion into coarse chunks.
2) dice or mash some garlic, as much as you like (I use 4-5 large cloves)
3) cut up a bell pepper and some broccoli florets into chunks
4) heat a large flat bottom skillet/paella pan type thing or small stock pot to medium/medium high heat.
5) when the pan is hot, drop in a dollop of ghee or coconut oil.
6) when the oil starts to shimmer, drop in the onions and stir them until they start to get glassy
7) dump in a can of full-fat coconut milk plus 1 cup of chicken stock
8) drop in 3 tablespoons fish sauce - I like this stuff.
9) add a goodly dollop (start with 1 tbsp, then add more if you like) of this stuff
10) stir a bit, then drop in the garlic.
11) dump in some raw shrimp, about a pound or thereabouts. (you can use chicken too but shrimp is tastier and the chicken takes longer to cook)
12) stir a bit, let the shrimp get pinkish; maybe 2 minutes?
13) drop in the bell peppers and broccoli. Stir it round a bit more; maybe an extra 3 minutes tops -when the broccoli turns bright green and the stems start to soften, immediately take it off the heat, lid it and set the table. Done.
14) Serve over rice.
15) NOM.

full disclosure: We use "cauliflower rice" these days as we are now zero-grain, but plain basmati works great too.

This recipe really does take only 20 minutes if you get the ingredients in hand and someone helping prep (chopping stuff)
posted by lonefrontranger 28 August | 19:52
Now that I have my brain back I remember my simplest recipe (thanks, janetland!) Can of beans in a cast iron skillet, right into the convection oven for 10 minutes. Grated cheese on top, maybe some roasted green chilis - and lunch!
posted by lysdexic 28 August | 22:10
Salad -- chopped fake crab, diced avocado, salsa, minced red onion, a bit of mashed garlic, lime juice, olive oil, pepper and salt. I put it on a bed of butter lettuce, but occhiblu recommended wrapping in seaweed, and that sounds like a really good idea. Another possibility is pasta.
posted by Ardiril 28 August | 23:02
I think I may just print this all out, start at the top and just recipe my way down... cookign one every week or so maybe. These are great!

That link to brocchiblu, is that right? It goes to this thread.
posted by eatdonuts 29 August | 12:42
Yes, the link goes right to the recipe.
posted by JanetLand 29 August | 12:46
Ha, I'm making mine right now. Leftover Dinner Soup.

So you went and got a half-chicken with veggies from the deli for lunch last night and you didn't eat the whole thing, so why not take it out for breakfast, eat whatever meat is left (yes cold, chicken is sometimes better cold, shut up) and then dump the bones and uneaten veggies into a large metal stock pot, cover to top with water, add in spices, herbs, salt/pepper, whatever you have on hand, a few past prime onions or celery? why not, you'll be straining it later so don't worry too much. I shove whole sticks of rosemary and semi-crushed garlic in but almost anything works at this stage.

Cover til boil, then reduce to simmer uncovered for ....six hours. until it's really low, you're trying to leech out the delicious bone gelatine. AFter that, strain it into another large soup pot or crock (or dutch oven whatever) and then boil/simmer until it concentrates down to a super flavorful base. Then, store it for later in the fidge or do what I do, throw in some barley and eat it as a filling but light dinner (maybe an omelet on the side?) or use it as a base for chicken soup or veggie soup or whatever. Your tastes will vary. Super thoughtless and easy.
posted by The Whelk 29 August | 13:06

Lightly toast large slices of bread or English muffin slices and set aside on a cookie sheet, allowing to cool some. (Minimum 2 slices bread or 4 e.m. slices for 1 can of tuna)

Fire up the broiler on your oven.

In a large bowl combine as many of the following as possible:

1 can drained tuna
1.5 lg. handfuls shredded colby jack cheese
2 large tablespoons mayonnaise
1 heaping tablespoon grey poupon or other fancy mustard
1 heaping tablespoon horseradish sauce
A healthy sprinkle of black pepper
2 dashes (or more...) red wine (white will do though)
1/4 c. of diced seeded tomato (or more, I don't like tomato)
~1/4 c. chopped/diced onion (red or green are better than white)
1 dash soy sauce, to taste.

Mix with a large spoon. The mixture shouldn't be too dry or too wet. If too wet, add cheese, if dry, add mayo/horseradish/mustard.

Apply tuna mixture to toasts, being careful to completely cover the major surface of the bread to the ends. If serving as a main course, you can heap it on a bit; otherwise just make sure there's a good covering.

Place tuna melts under broiler. Baking times depend on the number of sandwiches being done at once, your oven, the type of bread used, and the thickness of the mixture topping. DO NOT wander away from the oven during this time (even for a couple of minutes)! Start with three minutes and increase the time under the broiler as necessary. Tops of sandwiches should be browned and bubbling as evenly as possible, not too dark. Broiling times for me have been as few as three minutes and as many as 15.

Serve as soon as the toasts are handleable.
posted by koucha 29 August | 17:42
This is my favorite way to cook those boneless skinless chicken breasts:

Put breasts in a casserole dish. Pour on enough Italian dressing ("regular" seems to work better than "light") to just barely cover. Marinate for one or several hours. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for one hour. Toss in a handful of cherry tomatoes at the 10-minutes-to-go mark. Serve over rice or with bread.
posted by JanetLand 30 August | 08:22
My Go-To Comfort Food #1:


Ciabatta buns
Olive oil (extra virgin)
Brie or Camembert cheese

Preparation: Slice the ciabatta buns in half horizontally, add about half a tablespoon (or a full tablespoon) of olive oil to each half, top with some cheese, then add the other half of the bun to the top. Cook in a pre-heated oven until the cheese has melted. Enjoy the yummie calories and forget about the world and the pain it has caused you.
posted by Daniel Charms 30 August | 13:29
Bunny! OMG! || AskMeCha: Problem with using E: for the first time. No, not that kind of E.