I have started searching the Contest Winners and got to page 12. Can you help me to speed up the process and come up with suggestions? I am looking for exceptional, unusual and with a wow factor.
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Nancy is a trusted home cook.
Please give an example of a dish that would meet your standards for this collection. Then we'll all have a better idea of what to suggest.
1st apologies for the double answer (done by the site; don't know why).
2nd, I'm with oldunc...what's impressive to me is good ingredients presented well, whether that's cooked, raw or a mix.
If you still want to learn new dishes (admirable), I would select a cuisine you're interested in (not French as it's around you, not Italian you grew up with) and for which you can get about 80% of ingredients near you or by post. Less than that, it's hard to really create those dishes. Then cook a few of that cuisine's signature dishes until you master them, & choose which to put in your permanent rotation.
Then pick another cuisine, rinse & repeat.
This method also produces less waste - you buy special ingredients for the cuisine you're learning & use them in many dishes.
If I were you and doing, say, American cooking, I'd pick one dish from each region and cook that or several from one region...e.g. clam chowder, Philly cheese steak, Southern cornbread, Cajun anything, Tex Mex anything, Alice Waters or Deborah Madison anything (California) and Tom Douglas anything (Seattle/northwest), barbecue (Kansas City). I don't know enough about northern Midwest or plains to recommend a dish or cook from there.
Here is the list of recipes I have saved till page 12. You will not see any Italian as it wouldn't be exceptional for me. American, Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern.....
Nova Salmon and Chips
Lumpia (Filipino Egg Ro...
Cheese and lobster bites
Baked ricotta and smoke...
Pumpkin Rugelach with S...
Grilled Bread with Thym...
Fig and Olive Tapenade
Roasted Cherry Sorbet
Shaved Asparagus and Mi...
Black Pepper Popovers w...
Green Tea Walnuts
Smoked Trout Paté
Carrot, Feta and Mint B...
Coffee-Rubbed Ribeye Roast
Smoked Salmon on Mustar...
Seared Scallops with Sp...
Party Pretzel Bites
Trying to impress people is a poor motivation in any sort of art, and is best left to restaurateurs desperate for customers. Better to just cook stuff you like.
Chops is a trusted home cook.
I love Beef Wellington. http://www.foodnetwork...
Thank you sexy sexyLAMBCHOPx, that is definitely a good one.
Oldunc, I understand what you mean but I find it boring to cook the same things so I like to experiment and impress myself as well as my guests. That is what I like about cooking.
Do you really think it's advisable to experiment on guests? If you find your repertoire boring, it's probably time to work on that, rather than looking for unfamiliar dishes to make under pressure. If you're a good cook, people will recognize it- they're also apt to recognize pretension.
Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.
For those times when you simply must have a perfectly roasted prime rib. We've done this for 4 Christmas dinners and it's perfect every time.
Thank you Susan, I was not familiar with reverse searing and find it very interesting. The article has some very interesting information I was not aware!
It's really interesting and works wonderfully. I do it with grilled steaks now too.
Trena is a trusted source on general cooking.
This is a great idea! Your question made me think of my newest favourite recipe for entertaining guests or serving for Sunday dinner. The sauce is sublime over mashed potatoes. Here's the link:
This looks fabulous. Wine and cognac with dark meat chicken..I'm there!!
Thank you Trena, I love the flavour. Saved!!
Dear Nancy, thank you for taking the time to give me a nice and long feedback. I appreciate your politeness. I started cooking when I was 6 because I always loved it. Given my age I have now more than 40 years experience of testing, trying, experimenting and entertaining. I traveled the world for my career and also lived in USA (Connecticut and Miami). Where ever I go I like to learn about the new culture, new language and especially new cooking traditions. At my dinner parties I serve whatever I just learned and loved: Italian, French, British, American, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Mexican Asian. I am just creating a COLLECTION to get inspired to keep my learning going and serve something special to my family and friends.
As far as Oldunc message I would like to mention a famous phrase from Greg King an American author: “Don’t argue with (rude people) because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
Thanks, Your Guardian Chef, for your nice note.
In return, I give (American expression).
You want to add to your collection - here are two from Miami's Chef Allen, who was part of a 1980s Mango Gang of chefs who put that city's tropical flavors and produce on the map.
One is black bean hummus, attached to this article
Another is his Winter Chutney, which I've never seen on-line, so will post in a few days.
OK, faster than I expected. Chutney with mangoes, pears, apricots & cranberries. Here it is:
Thank you so much Nancy, I will create an open Pinterest board so even personal recipes which are not posted here can be added. I really like to learn from others' experiences.
Here is the link of my open "Pinterest Board" and I am happy for anyone to join in to share their recipes. Send me your details and I will send you an invite.
Fantastic! I was looking for a good Mango Chutney. Thanks
YGC - I say go for it! I share your desire to try something new, something for myself, maybe something that'll be spectacular! I have a few dinner parties a month. Could be just another couple, or up to 12 (in which case I say: sit next to someone you really like, we're snug as sardines tonight!) With nibbles w cocktails, a first course, main, sides, then salad, cheese plate and dessert there is surely room for one or two new ideas, don't you agree! I've even invited friends to"come and be my little guinea pigs" as I try out all new dishes. My fave response, as a guest took a second helping of a dish entirely foreign to him: "this is so delicious, I would marry you sight unseen!!" So have fun - you have a great idea here & btw the nut & pretzel mix for grown ups on this site is great with bubbly to get the evening rolling.
Patricia, thank you so much for your reply. That is exactly how I feel, and why I spend so much time in the kitchen. I can easily spend an entire WE testing and preparing, with the final joy of my husband and my two sons. And if a dish pass their test, which is not always easy, it is ready for my next entertaining. I have already saved the nut & pretzel mix, but I am REALLY curious to know what did you serve to your guest to get such a nice compliment?
It was a few years ago, but it was either Dorie Greenspan's Beef Daube or Ottolenghi's Chicken w Caramelized Onions & Cardamom Rice. ( both can be found online)
I like to cook things that can be made ahead of time so I can enjoy the dinner party myself. This is a great short rib recipe https://food52.com/recipes...
Fully agree, thank you for the sharing.
Here is a great spread I make ahead:
Apricot Mango Chutney Spread
8 oz pkg of softened cream cheese
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup Major Grey's Chutney
1/4 tsp curry powder
Just mix all and refrigerate. Better if made a day ahead.
Serve spread with rice crackers
Thank you, it sounds like a great appetizer
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Well played. You deserve a cookie.
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