14 votes

What's your go-to special dish for cooking?

Maybe you make it every weekend or just when you've got some caloric budget to burn.

14 comments

  1. Thrabalen
    (edited )
    Link
    I have two, but the second is actually a modification of the first. Both use the Instant Pot, because it's my go-to for dinner. First, macaroni and cheese. Ultra basic comfort food. One 16 ounce...

    I have two, but the second is actually a modification of the first. Both use the Instant Pot, because it's my go-to for dinner.

    First, macaroni and cheese. Ultra basic comfort food. One 16 ounce box of macaroni (I'm partial to elbows and shells), 1 can of evaporated milk, 16 ounces (4 cups) of shredded cheese, 1/2 stick of butter. Put the butter and the macaroni into the Instant Pot with 40 ounces of water, set for a 4-minute manual cook. Quick release at the end of that cook, then add the can of milk and stir well. Let that sit for 60 seconds, then switch it to saute. After that, add the cheese (about a cup at a time, stirring after every add until the cheese is completely melted into the sauce.)

    The second is taco casserole. This one I save for special occasions (or when I'm feeling down, because that never lasts through a meal of this.)
    First, brown a pound of ground meat (beef, turkey, whatever you like. You could even make it vegetarian by using a plant-based alternative.) Drain that, add a packet of taco seasoning, then when that's done set the mixture aside. Make the macaroni and cheese as outlined above, using either a cheddar or taco blend, but add two cans of tomatoes (or tomato and chile blend) and the taco mixture just before you add the cheese. After it's done, you add the taco mixture to it, along with a large bag of tortilla chips (to give it that taco shell taste, and also a little extra flavoring, depending on what kind of tortilla chips), crushed (I like to open the bag just a little bit to let air escape than mangle it with my hands for a minute or so). Let that sit in the Instant Pot, covered, for about ten minutes to let the chips soften, and you're done. (Edited because I put a step in the wrong place.)

    6 votes
  2. teaearlgraycold
    Link
    For me it's definitely pan pizza. It takes a day of prep to let the dough ferment, but all that means is I need to do 10 minutes of prep the night before I want to eat the pizza. I pretty much...

    For me it's definitely pan pizza. It takes a day of prep to let the dough ferment, but all that means is I need to do 10 minutes of prep the night before I want to eat the pizza. I pretty much follow the recipe from Binging with Babish, but I prefer to cut the dough into 3rds and roll it for a thinner crust. It's always delicious and takes very little time. Plus pizza has endless options for toppings and sauces.

    4 votes
  3. MimicSquid
    Link
    Special because I have eaten it every morning for months and am not sick of it yet: 1/2 cup stewed dark greens, whatever's in season, stewed in large batches and frozen in silicone muffin tins so...

    Special because I have eaten it every morning for months and am not sick of it yet:

    • 1/2 cup stewed dark greens, whatever's in season, stewed in large batches and frozen in silicone muffin tins so I can just thaw a puck.
    • 1/2 cup black beans, well seasoned, also cooked in bulk, frozen, and stored as pucks.
    • 2 fried eggs.
    • 1/2 veggie sausage.
    • 2 tablespoons sour cream or avocado, depending on availability.

    Unlike most things I've tried, it's really stuck as a good breakfast. It takes a couple of minutes to microwave the greens and beans, and only about that long to fry the eggs and heat/crisp the sausage. It means that breakfast is always easy enough to make when I'm hungry and in a rush, so I more consistently eat breakfast as opposed to just kinda snacking as I get peckish.

    4 votes
  4. [2]
    WendigoTulpa
    Link
    A relatively quick dish I've recently figured out and really enjoy is a sort of vegetarian mix of egg drop soup and chicken noodle soup. First I put oil in a pot and brown some chopped onions and...

    A relatively quick dish I've recently figured out and really enjoy is a sort of vegetarian mix of egg drop soup and chicken noodle soup.

    First I put oil in a pot and brown some chopped onions and carrots in it. After a bit I fill it with water and let the veggies boil until they're soft. I add some Better Than Bouillon brand "No chicken" bouillon.

    Then I make a shitty and VERY thick roux using a little oil and Kentucky Kernel Seasoned Flour. This is important, as using regular flour will make it suck. You can use any mix used for fry batters, but I chose this one since it didn't have any animal fat in the ingredients. I dump the roux in the boiling water and reel back from the explosion.

    I let that boil and thicken a bit longer and then just drop an egg in and stir it up. The yolk gives the soup a nice color, while the egg white cooks in tiny little whispy pieces that will feel like noodles when you eat it. I suppose you could add actual noodles if you wanted, but I don't.

    Very satisfying meal.

    4 votes
    1. acdw
      Link Parent
      Okay, this I will have to try! Love egg drop soup, but I have a strong feeling that the Chinese place I order from uses Chicken broth. (not that I blame them, of course) Thanks!

      Okay, this I will have to try! Love egg drop soup, but I have a strong feeling that the Chinese place I order from uses Chicken broth.
      (not that I blame them, of course)

      Thanks!

      1 vote
  5. Akir
    Link
    I haven't done special cooking in a long time, but now that you brought it up I am really killing to make a good steak. The secret is to cook it sous-vide and then dry it out and throw it on a...

    I haven't done special cooking in a long time, but now that you brought it up I am really killing to make a good steak.

    The secret is to cook it sous-vide and then dry it out and throw it on a burn-the-house-down hot cast iron pan to give it that delicious sear. Then make a quick roux, mix it with the drippings (and maybe red wine or sake) to make a simple gravy, and combine with lots of fresh cracked pepper and serve.

    If you have a half-decent palate, you would serve it with grilled asparagus. But because my beloved does not, it's probably going to be served with home-made mashed potatoes with more cream, butter, and salt than he would be comfortable knowing is in there.

    My ideal desert pairing would probably be a custard tart, but realistically I will have ate too much for this to be reasonable or even desirable.

    The key to this meal is that it's actually crazy simple. Sous-vide means I don't have to mess with it most of the time, and you can skip a lot of work with the mashed potatoes by pressure cooking them and throwing them in a ricer without even peeling it. Most of the time when I prep steak, I just skip the sauce step - most of the flavor is still in the steak - and just cover it with pepper at the end. And even if the ideal desert pairing was real, it would have been bought from a local bakery instead of letting me butcher it.

    4 votes
  6. AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    Brisket. When in the mood to smoke a brisket I'll invite friends over and pick up a whole prime packer brisket and smoke it for 22-26 hours depending on it's size. Heavenly.

    Brisket.

    When in the mood to smoke a brisket I'll invite friends over and pick up a whole prime packer brisket and smoke it for 22-26 hours depending on it's size. Heavenly.

    3 votes
  7. acdw
    Link
    For comfort food, I love boxed mac and cheese with (vegan) hot dogs. So yummy with hot sauce! I've been getting really into stir fries now too. Very quick, easy, nutritious, and delicious. Kind of...

    For comfort food, I love boxed mac and cheese with (vegan) hot dogs. So yummy with hot sauce!

    I've been getting really into stir fries now too. Very quick, easy, nutritious, and delicious. Kind of just chop up whatever and fry it with rice, maybe an egg. Hot sauce, of course. Yum!

    2 votes
  8. joplin
    Link
    Nachos! I use whatever I have on hand. Sometimes vegetarian, sometimes not. Meat can be shredded chicken, ground beef, turkey, etc. (I had lobster nachos once on vacation!) I usually have...

    Nachos! I use whatever I have on hand. Sometimes vegetarian, sometimes not. Meat can be shredded chicken, ground beef, turkey, etc. (I had lobster nachos once on vacation!) I usually have mozzarella and cheddar cheese on hand. If I have rice, I'll add that. Any other veggies that are already prepared - corn, spinach, whatever. If I have an avocado I'll either cut it up and put it on after microwaving them, or I'll actually make guacamole if we have all the ingredients. (Our lime tree barely produces any limes, so I sometimes substitute lemon because our lemon tree is an overachiever.) Takes about 5 minutes to put together, and 1-2 minutes in the microwave on high. We usually have salsa, which goes on after cooking.

    2 votes
  9. PancakeSquire
    Link
    I make this fagioli like soup, except without pasta and instead has kale and beans. Super savory and dense. Always hits the spot and I make a huge pot so I can eat it over several days.

    I make this fagioli like soup, except without pasta and instead has kale and beans. Super savory and dense. Always hits the spot and I make a huge pot so I can eat it over several days.

    2 votes
  10. paranoid_transdroid
    Link
    0ne 0f my fav0urite dishes that s0 far I haven't seen any0ne d0 it my way is gluten free eggplant milanesa (I think this is called schnitzel in English-speaking c0untries? I d0n't kn0w(. S0...

    0ne 0f my fav0urite dishes that s0 far I haven't seen any0ne d0 it my way is gluten free eggplant milanesa (I think this is called schnitzel in English-speaking c0untries? I d0n't kn0w(.

    S0 basically y0u cut an eggplant in large vertical pieces, then y0u beat s0me eggs (depends 0n the amount 0f milanesas y0u want t0 d0(, spice the eggs, immerse the eggplant pieces 0n the egg and after that y0u use c0rnmeal which is super super cheap in c0mparis0n with bread based substitutes, then y0u fry it, and that's it. Y0u can 0bvi0usly add it s0me m0re, like s0me cheese t0ppings 0r m0re vegetables.

    1 vote
  11. [3]
    frostycakes
    Link
    I love making a quick carbonara-- granted, like the lazy American I am, I just use chopped up bacon instead of gunaciale or pancetta (but no, I'm not some savage who puts peas or something in...

    I love making a quick carbonara-- granted, like the lazy American I am, I just use chopped up bacon instead of gunaciale or pancetta (but no, I'm not some savage who puts peas or something in theirs, or who uses shit "Parmesan" out of a can, I grate it myself), but it's still delicious, pretty quick, and ends up making a couple meals' worth/enough to feed 3-4 people . Plus I usually always have the ingredients, which I can't say for either pre-made pasta sauce or tomatoes (fresh or canned).

    Somehow haven't gotten sick of it over the years, and I haven't had any complaints from those I've made it for.

    1. [2]
      teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      Do you make the pasta yourself?

      Do you make the pasta yourself?

      1. frostycakes
        Link Parent
        I have once when I was making it as a date night dinner, but it's usually dried pasta if I'm just making it quickly. That was also one of the few times where I got actual pancetta to make it as...

        I have once when I was making it as a date night dinner, but it's usually dried pasta if I'm just making it quickly. That was also one of the few times where I got actual pancetta to make it as well, fwiw.

        It was pretty good, but I don't see it being worth going to the effort of making the pasta from scratch most times.

        If I want to class it up a bit, I'll just pick up fresh pasta at the store instead.

        1 vote