13 votes

Do you have a favorite meal to cook?

When I have the time, money, and energy, I like cooking proper meals from scratch (as much as is reasonable, anyway). There's one that I like making more than any other, though, and that I've been making for several years now: pizza. There's nothing quite like a pizza made from freshly rolled dough, a good sauce, and cheese shredded by hand (with none of that cellulose getting in the way), and the smell of the yeast from the dough is wonderful. There's still quite a bit I need to learn to make it better, but I've so far gotten to the point of preferring it over anything you'd get from the popular pizza chains, so I'm pretty confident in what I've managed so far!

What about you? Do you have a favorite? What meal do you consider your "specialty"? Is there anything in particular that keeps bringing you back to it?

36 comments

  1. [7]
    mat
    Link
    One of my go-tos is a Korean dish called bibimbap, which is almost as good to say as it is to eat. Super easy to make, it's basically just a bowl of rice with stuff on top of it. I like to fry the...

    One of my go-tos is a Korean dish called bibimbap, which is almost as good to say as it is to eat.

    Super easy to make, it's basically just a bowl of rice with stuff on top of it. I like to fry the cooked rice a little so there's little bits of crispy rice in there, then top with whatever I have around - some pickles, some vegetables, some meat or fish and of course a nice dose of gochujang (Korean style chilli/garlic paste, an ingredient no cupboard should be without). It's fast and easy to make - you can prep most of it in advance if you need to as well, and it's such good comfort food. A bowl of bibimbap on a winter's evening is wonderful.

    Pizza is a favourite too. Last year I bought a wood fired pizza oven and that was £150 very well spent. Although I don't like pizza sauce, I'm a blanco kind of guy. But a good home-made dough with a few vegetables, some bits of nice cheese and a glug of olive oil - heaven.

    I've recently been dipping my toes into making okonomiyaki, which is going pretty well. Getting the pancakes cooked all the way through without overcooking the outside is a bit fiddly but I'm getting there. I have a good variant on okonokiyaki sauce down though (working around the fact that mirin is very expensive was a challenge)

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      MindsRedMill
      Link Parent
      I was waiting on an Uuni pro but cancelled it for a Roccbox, both great devices'm

      I was waiting on an Uuni pro but cancelled it for a Roccbox, both great devices'm

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        mat
        Link Parent
        I like the Roccbox, a friend of mine has one and I definitely would like one - but in the end the compactness of the Uuni was what tipped the balance for me.

        I like the Roccbox, a friend of mine has one and I definitely would like one - but in the end the compactness of the Uuni was what tipped the balance for me.

        1. MindsRedMill
          Link Parent
          For me it was the gas and reliability/simplicity. I have a toddler and not much free time, I didn't want the leaving curve of temp management with uuni, plus the 3 was just out with bad reviews,...

          For me it was the gas and reliability/simplicity. I have a toddler and not much free time, I didn't want the leaving curve of temp management with uuni, plus the 3 was just out with bad reviews, and the pro was increasingly delayed. The roccbox feels like a polished product. Not that the uuni is bad, not at all, just didn't fit my needs.

          1 vote
    2. [2]
      Skuld
      Link Parent
      Ever made this stuff? It usually raises some eyebrows, but I quite like it: https://mykoreankitchen.com/army-stew-budae-jjigae/

      Ever made this stuff? It usually raises some eyebrows, but I quite like it: https://mykoreankitchen.com/army-stew-budae-jjigae/

      1 vote
      1. mat
        Link Parent
        Hah, no, never heard of that. Sounds.... ...interesting? Next time I've got a tin of Spam, I guess.. :)

        Hah, no, never heard of that. Sounds.... ...interesting?

        Next time I've got a tin of Spam, I guess.. :)

    3. Emerald_Knight
      Link Parent
      Bibimbap and okonomiyaki sound interesting. I haven't heard of them before! Also, I wasn't aware of Uuni or Roccbox until now. I'm definitely going to have to keep them in mind for the future!

      Bibimbap and okonomiyaki sound interesting. I haven't heard of them before!

      Also, I wasn't aware of Uuni or Roccbox until now. I'm definitely going to have to keep them in mind for the future!

  2. [6]
    Halfdeaf
    Link
    I work as a chef so I barely ever have the energy to cook anything elaborate at home. When I do it sauces. I can spend days, weeks, months even years on sauces. Pasta sauces, mayonnaise and mayo...

    I work as a chef so I barely ever have the energy to cook anything elaborate at home. When I do it sauces. I can spend days, weeks, months even years on sauces. Pasta sauces, mayonnaise and mayo based sauces, dipping sauces, BBQ sauces, salsa, bechamel based, hollandaise based, stocks, broths, you name it.

    I never follow or write down any recipes unless it's for work. The fun is never making it the same and experimenting.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      Pykors
      Link Parent
      That's why I prefer cooking to baking. The improvisational energy of figuring out a dish and then adapting it for my circumstances keeps me engaged.

      That's why I prefer cooking to baking. The improvisational energy of figuring out a dish and then adapting it for my circumstances keeps me engaged.

      3 votes
      1. TheAvengingEwok
        Link Parent
        Yes! I love cooking all kinds of stuff, but I'm terrible at being precise and getting measurements right, and thus am terrible at baking. I also like constantly messing around with the stuff I'm...

        Yes! I love cooking all kinds of stuff, but I'm terrible at being precise and getting measurements right, and thus am terrible at baking. I also like constantly messing around with the stuff I'm cooking, so throwing stuff in the oven for it to sit for an hour doesn't work well with me in the first place.

        1 vote
    2. [3]
      Emerald_Knight
      Link Parent
      Sauces are one of those things I really need to get used to making. Someday!

      Sauces are one of those things I really need to get used to making. Someday!

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        Halfdeaf
        Link Parent
        On tip for you. Learn the 5 mother sauces in classic French cooking. You'll be surprised how many sauces you know are based on them.

        On tip for you. Learn the 5 mother sauces in classic French cooking. You'll be surprised how many sauces you know are based on them.

        1 vote
        1. Emerald_Knight
          Link Parent
          Noted. I'm going to read up a little right now just to get some background on them. Thanks for the tip! :)

          Noted. I'm going to read up a little right now just to get some background on them. Thanks for the tip! :)

          1 vote
  3. [4]
    flowersforchance
    Link
    Not really fun, but eggs. There's so much variations on how you make them.

    Not really fun, but eggs. There's so much variations on how you make them.

    4 votes
    1. Halfdeaf
      Link Parent
      Now that is a subject that one can explore for a life time.

      Now that is a subject that one can explore for a life time.

      1 vote
    2. [2]
      compiler
      Link Parent
      Any recipes worth sharing?

      Any recipes worth sharing?

      1. flowersforchance
        Link Parent
        No real recipes, I just wing most of it. I usually have a base of this: -Eggs -Cheese -Salt and Pepper -Tabasco -Various types of salsa Then I just add whatever I have in my kitchen. Potatoes,...

        No real recipes, I just wing most of it. I usually have a base of this:
        -Eggs
        -Cheese
        -Salt and Pepper
        -Tabasco
        -Various types of salsa
        Then I just add whatever I have in my kitchen. Potatoes, peppers, guacamole, mushrooms, etc.
        It looks eh but tastes really good.

  4. TonyTorrance
    Link
    I’ve been super into cooking red meat slow in the oven and then putting a really hard sear on it. I’m going to try this with octopus soon.

    I’ve been super into cooking red meat slow in the oven and then putting a really hard sear on it. I’m going to try this with octopus soon.

    3 votes
  5. [2]
    Savannajeff
    Link
    I became obsessed with Ramen a year ago and have been making it regularly ever since. It's kind of cathartic, preparing the eggs, making the broth over a day, creating the tare and making some...

    I became obsessed with Ramen a year ago and have been making it regularly ever since. It's kind of cathartic, preparing the eggs, making the broth over a day, creating the tare and making some yakiniku or other meat for additional toppings. I'm still yet to make the noodles, because frankly, water and flour is some kind of bullshit incomprehensible magic to me that I just can't get my head around.

    3 votes
    1. SaucedButLeaking
      Link Parent
      I, too, love making a good ramen broth and have started saving bones and vegetable trimmings for just that. Soy-marinated softboiled eggs are the little flair that puts it over the top

      I, too, love making a good ramen broth and have started saving bones and vegetable trimmings for just that. Soy-marinated softboiled eggs are the little flair that puts it over the top

  6. [2]
    smartyhands
    (edited )
    Link
    I go through phases. My latest: Thai pie (as in pizza), re-constructed from the memory of one I had from an awesome pizza place 20 years ago, combined with random intelligence from searching...

    I go through phases. My latest: Thai pie (as in pizza), re-constructed from the memory of one I had from an awesome pizza place 20 years ago, combined with random intelligence from searching online recipes. Due to time constraints, I don't always make my own dough, so I have used flatbread, naan, and bagels as dough, and every one worked wonderfully. The ingredients in the stir-fry can be altered to your taste and availability, the main thing is to have a decently small dice to make it easier to spread. Also they should be added to the pot in order of decreasing firmness. Some of the ingredients are questionable, and should be used in moderation, from my experience - I will list those seperately (but I have tried them all, and they work, kinda). Using sesame oil to stir-fry adds more flavor and authenticity, but is not essential. I usually put a splash in if I'm running low. I do NOT consider the hoisin sauce optional. Go get some. Here goes!

    Chop and stir-fry in oil:
    Broccoli, carrots, onions (any), whole ginger, garlic, your preferred peppers (jalapeno and non-green bell for me), scallions, and a dash of shredded cabbage (any). Edit: cauliflower or any brassica, bok choi.

    Optional - may change flavor/texture/etc., use at your own risk!
    Dash of nuts (any), corn, grated sweet potato, peas, ... use imagination.

    Optional protein (not needed but damn it's good):
    Sliced fried eggs, shredded or sliced chicken/beef/pork...

    The sauce is ... well, I have used several versions. My first few, which were amazing, consisted of about two heaping spoons of peanut butter mixed with a dash of oyster sauce and a dash of hoisin sauce. Later, I have just used peanut butter. I actually prefer to use unsweetened peanut butter, but have used standard peanut butter spread on a bagel, topped with the stir fried veggies, and...

    Topping: I use regular old shredded mozzarella. Drizzle with hoisin sauce, even if you put it in the peanut butter, and basil. Sometimes I top with things for decoration: slivered jalapenos, slivered garlic, nut sprinkles.

    Since my crust is cooked, these will be done on 350F in about 10-15 minutes. With bagels I like to use a lower temp so they do not get hard as a rock, same time. The first time I made this, it was so delicious, that it was literally what I ate for every meal for the next three days. If you try it, just adjust the ingredients to your liking. It should be salty, sweet, and savory, and maybe a little spicy. I have to go make more now...

    Edit - added cauli and bok choi to veg list.

    2 votes
    1. smartyhands
      Link Parent
      I wanted to add that the original pie I had was made with a brown sauce much like a thick oyster sauce, but I thought that doing it that way would be too salty. My next experiments will try...

      I wanted to add that the original pie I had was made with a brown sauce much like a thick oyster sauce, but I thought that doing it that way would be too salty. My next experiments will try altering the sauce to be majority hoisin or oyster, minority peanut. Also, lots of recipes include sprouts, but I would put those on after cooking.

      1 vote
  7. [3]
    MindsRedMill
    Link
    Been enjoying pizza too, see other post I'm about to make.

    Been enjoying pizza too, see other post I'm about to make.

    1 vote
    1. [2]
      Emerald_Knight
      Link Parent
      Just saw it. Not too shabby! Interesting using the asparagus. How was that?

      Just saw it. Not too shabby! Interesting using the asparagus. How was that?

      1. MindsRedMill
        Link Parent
        Really nice actually, I blanched it first as it went with the fresh tomato flavour really well

        Really nice actually, I blanched it first as it went with the fresh tomato flavour really well

        1 vote
  8. vid
    Link
    I love to cook pasta. Which is great, because pasta is cheap and I'm in college. Some of my favorite sauces to make are francese, vodka sauce, and aglio e olio, but I also enjoy pasta with...

    I love to cook pasta. Which is great, because pasta is cheap and I'm in college. Some of my favorite sauces to make are francese, vodka sauce, and aglio e olio, but I also enjoy pasta with butter/olive oil and parmesan cheese if I'm feeling lazy.

    1 vote
  9. Pykors
    Link
    I come from a cooking family and it's one of my top hobbies, so I've had so many favorites over the years. Usually I just pick a dish that interests me and play around with it for a while until I...

    I come from a cooking family and it's one of my top hobbies, so I've had so many favorites over the years. Usually I just pick a dish that interests me and play around with it for a while until I feel I know it inside and out.

    Right now I'm into cacio e pepe! It's a super simple Italian mac n' cheese, and I really appreciate how fast it is to just grate some cheese and toss it into pasta, but it's also a really fun jumping off point for trying little things to change it up a bit. Like adding a bit of butter, or prosciutto, or rosemary, instead of just making the base version.

    1 vote
  10. glass_table_girl
    Link
    When I'm at home, I'll usually make myself a lunch of steamed egg (kind of like chawanmushi) and some other starch. Typically, I'll also make my own dashi broth to flavor it, too. What's not...

    When I'm at home, I'll usually make myself a lunch of steamed egg (kind of like chawanmushi) and some other starch. Typically, I'll also make my own dashi broth to flavor it, too.

    What's not traditional, I guess, is my toppings: Gochujaru, sesame oil and... truffle salt?

    1 vote
  11. MidnightMadness
    Link
    I love this meatloaf. I make a double recipe (so I can freeze half) so it takes forever. But I put on an audiobook and enjoy the flow:...

    I love this meatloaf. I make a double recipe (so I can freeze half) so it takes forever. But I put on an audiobook and enjoy the flow: https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/08/the-food-lab-all-american-meatloaf-excerpt-recipe.html
    I also enjoy a Full English. Makes a great breakfast for dinner: https://www.seriouseats.com/2012/08/guide-to-a-fry-up-full-british-breakfast-what-is-in-ingredients.html

    1 vote
  12. euphoria066
    Link
    I love to make waffles and serve them to people. I love to have people over for breakfast and do big yeasted waffles with macerated berries and whipped cream and bacon and sausages and eggs. My...

    I love to make waffles and serve them to people. I love to have people over for breakfast and do big yeasted waffles with macerated berries and whipped cream and bacon and sausages and eggs. My family is big into breakfasts on holidays, so to me there's a real feeling of celebration with a big breakfast with all the fixin's!

    1 vote
  13. SleepyGary
    (edited )
    Link
    I have a comfort food I'm not sure what it would be called, closest I figure is a casserole. I brown some ground beef, then remove and make a roux from the fat by adding some flour, then turn it...

    I have a comfort food I'm not sure what it would be called, closest I figure is a casserole. I brown some ground beef, then remove and make a roux from the fat by adding some flour, then turn it to a thin gravy by adding stock. I add a can of crushed or diced tomatoes, some tomato sauce, pasta/rice and the beef. Those are generally the only constants, but I then add a combination of spices, beans, corn, peas, hot sauce, garlic, and cheese. Whatever I have on hand and think might work together, to varying degrees of success.

    1 vote
  14. NoCoolUsrrname
    Link
    My best dish is probably enchiladas. It's a pain because it's what I refer to as 'assembly line cooking,' but the result is so good. I saute some onions, garlic and diced, roasted peppers in...

    My best dish is probably enchiladas. It's a pain because it's what I refer to as 'assembly line cooking,' but the result is so good. I saute some onions, garlic and diced, roasted peppers in butter, add a couple of pounds of cubed chicken breasts and brown, then braise in stock for about an hour. Cool, then shred and mix in some fresh suiza sauce, roll in tortillas dunked in the sauce with queso fresca and sprinkle with jack cheese, bake for 30 minutes. Watch everyone attempt to inhale while still way too hot to eat.

    1 vote
  15. Eylops
    Link
    My favourite all time dish would be a good Beef Lasagne. Depending on what I have left over with some peppers or maybe chorizo, if possible with some red wine in the sauce. And it is amazing to...

    My favourite all time dish would be a good Beef Lasagne. Depending on what I have left over with some peppers or maybe chorizo, if possible with some red wine in the sauce. And it is amazing to really prep some meals as a big portion makes 6 meals for me.

    1 vote
  16. endash
    Link
    Dolmas! My specialty is the ones wrapped in fresh grape leaves as they come into season during the summer growing wild. They're one bowl (combine the meat, rice, onions, and spices) and one pot...

    Dolmas! My specialty is the ones wrapped in fresh grape leaves as they come into season during the summer growing wild.

    They're one bowl (combine the meat, rice, onions, and spices) and one pot prep, can be kept with the broth they're boiled in at room temperature with a lid for a day, or refrigerated and microwaved back to temp, have a neat presentation factor that scales up easily, and are delicious and perhaps nutritious considering the leaves eaten incidentally.

    1 vote
  17. [2]
    Boudicasfolly
    Link
    I don’t have a favorite dish, but this one is fun. Make some asparagus (stir fry or bake with garlic/salt/pepper/butter or olive oil). Mix soft butter and yellow miso together in equal parts and...

    I don’t have a favorite dish, but this one is fun.

    Make some asparagus (stir fry or bake with garlic/salt/pepper/butter or olive oil).

    Mix soft butter and yellow miso together in equal parts and put a dollop on the asparagus.

    Then top it off with a poached egg.

    Miso butter and egg yolks blend together to create magic.

    It takes less than 20 minutes including prep and is amazing.