Metatalktail Hour: Everybody needs a 🍲 May 29, 2021 6:15 AM   Subscribe

You've traded in your magic (overthinking) beans, or you've managed to free a grateful food genie, or your foodie godmother has wielded her magic wand, or you've stumbled upon a hungry dragon's unguarded treasure ... anyway, the tl/dr is that now you have a fabulous enchanted plate that once a day will fill up with whatever dish you summon forth. So what will you be eating from your magical plate today? Oh, but just one more thing...

Because there's still no such thing as a free lunch, in return you must whip up your own personal speciality, that will twinkle off and onto someone else's magical plate, because they happen to be wishing for that very dish at this very moment. What did you cook for them?

Feel free to share gourmet wishes, recipes, food anecdotes, magic tricks, stories with dragons, your latest quest adventure, or anything else that occurs to you — it's all good. (except politics, of course) And if you have an idea for a future Metatalktails topic, please hit us up!
posted by taz (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 6:15 AM (39 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

My wish would be for this weird stuffed eggplant my grandma made. The stuffing was incredibly savory and probably contained some kind of sausage. We have a lot of her recipes, but not that one. As a side, her green beans with almonds. But really, green beans with salt. She used tons of salt on everything but it was wonderful.

In return, I will whip up the Coquilles Saint-Jacques with Champagne from Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook. It's pretty much a workmanlike collection of bistro standards but I love the way it's written, so you will also get a copy with your meal. Because it's magic, the scallops will be perfect. Bourdain says, "Obviously, expensive Champagne is better here..." so the champagne will be the best, magically delivered from France.

I do think of Bourdain this time of year. It is close to the third anniversary of his death but even more, I treasure a memory of meeting him at a book signing in June a few years earlier. We had been having a very bad week and he was really nice to us.
posted by BibiRose at 8:08 AM on May 29, 2021 [8 favorites]

Is it the same magic dish every day? If so, I think I'm going with pad see ew. It's never truly exciting, but it's also never bad. I suspect I could live on nothing else for the rest of my life without complaint. Perhaps with some multivitamin pills.

Picking the highest compliments-to-effort ratio thing I've ever made, I'm going to fill my dish with good store-bought vanilla ice cream, covered liberally in various fresh berries, drizzled with a not-too-sweet brandy, and stabbed by a couple of rolled wafer cookies (piroulines) or flat not-fortune cookies. As "oh shit, we've got five minutes before guests arrive and no desert, what can we find at the liquor store" dishes go, it is surprisingly very well received. And the berries might protect from scurvy if you're forced to eat it every day. I'm not sure what living on ice cream will do for one's health in general. Maybe some nuts on the side for protein?

I did somehow make a surprisingly good baked salmon yesterday with a made-up sauce using everything we happened to have in the cabinet: red miso, rice vinegar, sake, dry cranberries, oil, sesame oil, roasted sesame seeds, finely chopped mint leaves. Mix everything and boil the sauce until it's mush. Marinade the fish for 30 minutes at room temperature in the goo. Pat the fish dry, so the sauce doesn't burn, bake at 450F for 8 minutes for a 1 inch thick fillet, then reduce heat to 200F and pour the sauce over the fish and cook for another 2 minutes. I'm pretty new at cooking fish and have no idea what I'm doing, but it was better than most restaurant fish I've eaten.
posted by eotvos at 8:25 AM on May 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

If we can ask for a different thing every day, on the other hand, one thing I would ask for would be the stew that my roommates invented one day in our first-apartment-out-of-college kitchen. It was entirely by accident - they'd actually started out making vegetable juice in our juicer, but it "didn't work" (they never clarified what exactly didn't work about it) and so they decided to salvage it by turning it into soup. And it was delicious - hearty with vegetables and lentils, and a really unusual combination of spices. But they couldn't remember what they'd used - "we started by adding the pulp back to the juice and then just kept throwing random things into it until it tasted good." I would want another bowl of that soup so I could figure out exactly what the hell was in it now that I have a further 30 years of cooking practice under my belt.

In return, I'd probably make jambalaya.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:32 AM on May 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

On a warm summer day many years past, I sat out on my lawn under the weeping birch and had one of the most exquisitely delicious things I've ever put in my mouth. Sun-warmed raspberries, picked a few minutes before, enormous, fragrant berries, glistening in the dappled light. And whipped cream--we used to have a dairy here that delivered cream in glass bottles, cream so thick you could stand a spoon in it--with honey and a few drops of rosewater. That's it. There was a gentle breeze. It was quiet. I was alone. I was happy.

I don't really want this again now. I just want to go back in time and be the me of then experiencing it as I did.

Cooking is my thing but I don't know that I have a personal specialty. What I do better than anyone else, though (she says modestly) is pie. Would you like a cherry pie?
posted by HotToddy at 8:43 AM on May 29, 2021 [6 favorites]

Today I'd want a really gourgeous petite filet with mushrooms or a red wine sauce, steamed asparagus, and a crisp wedge salad with fabulous bleu cheese. I just realized it's been well over a year since I had steak, because I only rarely cook beef, saving it mostly for special occasions, or for when I eat out. I don't even make burgers at home. And I'm the only person in the house who likes bleu cheese, so I only really eat wedge salads when I eat out.

In exchange I'd make Crockpot Cassoulet, which is dead easy but really delicious. I like to make it when we have people over for dinner, because all the work happens in the morning, and when the guests arrive you just have to toss a salad. It's also my go-to for when my nieces and nephews are coming over, because my kids will eat it, my niblings will eat it, and all the adults like it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:59 AM on May 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

You can have something different every day! The first thing I'll will into existence is true Canadian poutine, which I've never had, and I think that's a tragedy. In return, I'll make delicious chicken and sausage gumbo. Tomorrow, I think I'll have the sampler plate of every oyster recipe straight from Antoine's restaurant in New Orleans [all swoon here], and the next day, I'll keep it seafoody with a huge Maine lobster and melted butter accompanied by a big, white, starched bib, the way God intended. And the following day some lovely and delightful Boston chowdah, from that one really famous seafood restaurant there ... you know the one; my mind is refusing to cooperate. After that, some of my mom's fried catfish and hushpuppies.

I'll just keep sending out my gumbo until my pot is empty, because I'm super lazy, but maybe the next thing I'll send is Greek chicken soup, because I definitely know that someone is really longing for that right now.

In other chicken related news, I made chicken and dumplings yesterday for the first time, and it was totally yum, so if anyone's magic plate is crying for that, I've got them covered. Tomorrow I'm planning on making Polish Haluski for the first time, sans magic plate, because I think I can handle it. I'll save the magic plate for some lemon cupcakes ... maybe with some lemon curd filling. Because life is about more than gravy and fries and fins and whiskers and crustaceans and claws. It's also about buttercream frosting.

And oh, no! I just remembered, I deeply need that incredible salad with beet root (not usually a favorite of mine), and yogurt, and walnuts, and I don't remember what all else in it from that fantastic Russian chef in a little restaurant on the island of Paros ... just anything from him, really. Surprise me! Everything he served us was amaaaaaaazing. So yeah, definitely some of all that.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:23 AM on May 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

I want everything blessed thing that taz just mentioned, especially the Maine lobster with melted butter and Boston chowder. But I would settle for my mom's homemade apple pie.

Aldi has cans of crushed fire roasted tomatoes in the store right now, so I shall provide chili to all those who desire chili. Turkey chili for those who do not like beef. Lamb chili for the lamb lovers. Vegetarian chili for the vegetarians. Beef chili for the beef lovers.

I will whip up the Coquilles Saint-Jacques with Champagne from Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook.

I made the Cassoulet from his Les Halles cookbook. I could not get duck confit, so I roasted a duck and used the meat. I even used a coffee can to cook the dish per his suggestion, since we were too poor at the time to own the proper cookware.

I think about him often and send thanks for and to him out into the universe for expanding my world, but I'll never make that dish again.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 11:38 AM on May 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

(also, HotToddy, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE some cherry pie!! I'll have my plate call your plate.)
posted by taz (staff) at 11:50 AM on May 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

Oh, theBigRedKittyPurrs, Bourdain asked me if I'd made the cassoulet yet and said to add a few spoons of demi-glace. I still haven't made it.
posted by BibiRose at 12:39 PM on May 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

In exchange for knishes (meat or spinach, mmmmm), I will bake you my chocolate cake with whipped cream, courtesy of the fantastic old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.
posted by Melismata at 1:55 PM on May 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

I'm in my own corner of leftfield, so I'm asking for a high-peanut, baby new potato, lamb-meat-smells-grassy, day-after reheat of Vatcharin Bhumichitr's lamb massaman curry.

Trade you a whole-chicken healing bone broth, where the pot* of carrot, quartered onions, crushed-not-peeled garlic cloves, thirded celery, halved carrots and skinned ginger still has room for the whole bird and gets topped up with cold water and simmers for at least 90 minutes or until the meat sloughs off bones. Spatchcocking or jointing the bird is optional; also is quartered lemon in the chicken's cavity or any spices you want to infuse. When the meat falls off the bones, you might gently deglove the wingèd wonder so you can fry the skin until crispy. Remove large vegetables and use as stock or drink by the healing pint.

*: use a cast iron casserole, marmite or dutch oven -- so long as 'dutch oven' doesn't mean farting in your duvet to warm it up.
posted by k3ninho at 3:28 PM on May 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

I have on offer: an Indonesian fried rice dish based on nasi goreng, with one or more of shrimp, fried tofu, cubed pork, ham or a grilled soy and wheat based vegetarian product called 'oosterse wokblokjes' according to the diner's preference, taugeh, cabbage and/or paksoi, onion, garlic (lots), rawit (could be lots, depending on their scoville resistance) and several asian spices, and a few side dishes: serundeng (roasted shredded coconut, peanuts and spices), acar tjampur (sliced cabbage, carrots and a few other vegetables in vinegar), and ketimun (cucumber). It was highly praised by a friend of Indonesian descent.

In return: eotvos' salmon sounds good and definitely worth a try; I've occasionally concocted recipes on the fly from what was available in the pantry, fridge and freezer like that, such as an oven casserole with fish, rice, green peas and a sauce based on a leek soup. And once EmpressCallypigos has reverse-engineered that vegetable soup I'm game to try that, too.
posted by Stoneshop at 4:02 PM on May 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

I'd summon up a wedge of Manchego cheese, a leg of smoked duck and a pile of fresh figs. Devour all that with a loaf of fresh baked bread. A dozen raw clams with lots of fresh squeezed lemon as well thanks. Grilled fruit and a whiskey sour for dessert.

My offering is a lemon garlic roast chicken with schmaltzy potatoes and a salad picked fresh from the garden. Bacon shortbread cookies for dessert.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 5:08 PM on May 29, 2021 [5 favorites]

If I were picking one thing, every day I'd get a nice fresh-made spam musubi to nosh on. I would never, ever get tired of that; it's a perfect small food, starch and savory and sweet in the palm of your hand.

But if I'm getting to mix it up I'd periodically call for: the same perfect ribeye steak I ate while slightly hungover on a road trip 12 years ago I don't even remember where; the duck confit from Higgins in downtown Portland, which I order during almost every one of my rare visits to the restaurant; on a hot day when I'm resenting the summer sun, some of the fruit paletas that Ambrosia Voyeur bought when I visited LA a few years back; the fish sauce wings Pok Pok was famous for before they closed last year; chicken wings with white sauce from the Moe's that was my go-to comfort meal during the summer we spent in Huntsville, AL; and, from personal experience, some of taz's gumbo.

I'm no great shakes in the kitchen but I can make a solid simple omelette and some bacon and a lot of mornings that's probably gonna be exactly what someone's after. As an outlier alternate I can also provide a dry red wine charoset though I may be the only person on the planet who specifically likes my charoset.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:48 PM on May 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

There's a recipe for french toast with a crunchy, almost-burnt edge on it, that I had over 20 years ago in a diner which no longer exists. And it's still on the brain! Never in years of searching have I found any recipe close to its texture; the edge pieces were so delicate and crispy that they resembled hundreds of tiny spikes, yet crumbled softly in the mouth. Subtle amounts of syrup, a carmelized taste, so amazingly good!

My food in return would be banana cake (not just any, but my Grandma's recipe which always comes out light and fluffy). With chocolate chips on top, of course. Apparently I'm one of the best at duplicating her cake but it's family saying that, so take it FWIW.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 8:26 PM on May 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

taz, we've been talking about gumbo over the last week or so and decided that we would make some. Would you be willing to share your recipe?

I'm a fool for sushi so I would probably have that. I'm not picky, either - all sushi and sushi related items are fine by me. So yum....

I make a decent pad thai, if somebody wants but I'm super fond of my home-made burgers. They're full of onions, finely diced peppers, finely diced carrots, an egg, some worcester, oats, salt and pepper. Essentially they're meatloaf turned into patties and so, so delicious.
posted by ashbury at 8:42 PM on May 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

Well I just outdoor-dined on a hot-pot bibimbap, which was good, but it wasn't excellent where the rice got super duper crispy, so I think right now it would be an excellent dolsot bibimbap.

What I would make to get whisked wished away to someone else? I'm pretty good at waffles, but recently I have been making some extremely good ice cream so let me just post that recipe:

This makes exactly as much as my 2.1 qt ice cream maker can hold. Scale accordingly.

Almond Irish Cream Ice Cream w/ Chocolate Chips & Marzipan

2 c heavy cream
1 c Irish cream (I love Coole Swan, but you should probably use your favorite)
1½ c whole milk
¾ c sugar
7 egg yolks
pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 T almond extract
4 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate coverture discs (e.g., E. Guittard)
Another Tbsp of cream (sorry I know it comes in pints, deal with it)
4 oz marzipan

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a saucepan, stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat.
Whisk the egg yolks together in a separate bowl, slowly add warm milk mixture, return that to the saucepan, and cook on medium heat, stirring and scraping the bottom with a rubber spatula until it's thickened but before it gets lumpy and separates (but if it starts doing that, it's always been fine when I kept going with the recipe)

Combine that with the cream, Irish cream, and extracts, and chill in the fridge, or if your'e impatient like me, in a metal bowl in an ice bath, until it's cold enough for your ice cream maker.

Use the ice cream maker on it.

While that's going, melt the chocolate with the Tbsp of cream, careful not to overheat it, and combine until it's a nice thick smooth paste. Put a wax paper on a baking sheet, spread the chocolate thinly on there (between 1/8" and 1/16"), and throw that in the freezer. Chop up the marzipan into morsels, and put THEM in the freezer (so they don't melt the ice cream when added). Before the ice cream maker is done, take the chocolate back out of the freezer, and chop it into little squares, and put back in the freezer (just throw it in with the marzipans). The reason we're bothering to make our own chocolate chips is the thin, flat pieces of chocolate aren't as hard to bite when frozen, and the cream helps even more.

When the ice cream maker is done, transfer it (the ice cream) to a container for storage, take the mix-ins out of the freezer and mix them in, and leave it in the freezer overnight to firm up.
posted by aubilenon at 8:44 PM on May 29, 2021 [8 favorites]

An incredibly large bowl of udon.

An incredibly large bowl of udon.
posted by firstdaffodils at 11:52 PM on May 29, 2021 [5 favorites]

> taz, we've been talking about gumbo over the last week or so and decided that we would make some. Would you be willing to share your recipe?

I'd be happy to! Here goes...

FIRST YOU MAKE A ROUX = very famous words in bayou country. No pressure, but the entire success of this dish lies right here. Roux can be light, dark, or medium, depending on what sort of dish you are making. For a seafood gumbo, I would use a lighter or medium roux, but for my chicken and sausage gumbo, I like it dark. Very dark. And I don't actually make the roux first, but since it's so important, we need to talk about it first. Roux happens the way falling in love or falling asleep does, as the authors say: slowly, and then all at once. You might stir your roux for 45 minutes before it's done. Or it might take 10 minutes. I don't rely on time to figure it out, because it's always different depending on the level of heat, the composition of the pan, the level of humidity, the mood of the angels ... who even knows. I just go by color (and texture), and here's how I make it: I put 1/2 cup of olive oil (you don't need to use olive oil, but I do) in the bottom of a large flat frying pan (or enough oil to cover the bottom, but not less than 1/2 cup), and turn the heat up to medium high. Then I put one cup of flour into a sifter and as soon as the oil is hot, I begin sifting in the flour, blending and stirring with a wooden spoon. Keep sifting and blending 'til you've got all the flour in the pan... then keep stirring and scraping and stirring and scraping and stirring. You want to keep it going until it gets to be a very, very dark brown color, like the photo in this article. If it burns at all, though, it's dead, Jim. Start over.

Your entire goal here is to get it as dark as possible without burning it. So you can use a lower heat and cook it longer, with less risk of burning, or you can use a higher heat, as I do, and never leave it for even a second, no sir. Stir, stir, stir. In the end, it should be mahogany dark, and sort of paste-like. It should not have a "pourable" consistency.

So, that said, for my chicken and sausage gumbo:

The first thing I do is cut the vegetables. The last time I wrote my recipe out, I used two large red peppers, two large green bell peppers, two large onions, a small bunch of parsley, and three large cloves of garlic, all chopped, and two cupped handfuls of chopped celery, with leaves. Put all the cut up veggies together in bowl or on your chopping board nearby your stove (because when the roux is ready, you're going to "extinguish" it quickly by throwing in the veggies).

Now the chicken: I use four chicken leg-thigh parts, which I shake up in a bag with flour, salt, pepper, powdered garlic and hot paprika or cayenne (be careful with cayenne!) to thoroughly coat the chicken parts, and then I brown them in batches in a little oil in the same big soup / stock pot that I'm going to make the gumbo in. You can also do this while you're making the roux, but probably best to separate these steps the first few times, so you don't lose focus on the roux. This frying step doesn't need to be perfect, because the chicken is going to cook for a long time in the soup. Basically, you just want to get them nice and browned. When they are done, move them onto a plate with paper towel underneath, and throw out any remaining oil in the pot.

NOW GO AHEAD AND MAKE THAT ROUX. Make the roux in a large frying pan as directed above, and as soon as it reaches that magic dark mahogany color, dump all the chopped vegetables into the roux, and quickly stir and toss with your wooden spoon until the veggie bits are all coated and have basically gathered up all the roux onto themselves. The aroma that explodes at this point will give you some clue about the deliciousness that lies ahead.

Now dump the vegetables-and-roux and the fried chicken parts into the soup pot, and cover with water. I use about three quarts of water. Then slice up about a pound of smoked sausage and add that to the pot. Use any smoked sausage that you like, but if you can find it, Andouille is heaven in this, and If you can also find some Cajun Tasso, rejoice and throw a little of that in as well! (When I still had access to Andouille, I usually used half Andouille, and half smoked turkey sausage.) Season as you please. I use one or two tablespoons of hot sauce, two or three tablespoons of worcestershire, a little cayenne (or any hot, powdered) pepper, salt, black pepper, white pepper, and two or three bay leaves.

Bring it all to a boil and then simmer it, covered, for two or three hours, until the chicken is falling from the bone. Remove the bones, taste for seasoning / hotness (in case you want to throw in a bit more hot sauce), and serve over cooked rice. I usually sprinkle filé powder over mine in the individual bowls before serving, but this is optional — and if you've included okra among your vegetables, don't use filé. I'm not a huge fan of okra in gumbo, so I'm not an expert on okra gumbo, but okra is a thickening agent in dishes like this, so I imagine that if I did include it, I'd start with less roux.

It will end up looking something like this (not my photo), and I should note that I don't really have "a" gumbo recipe, except for the roux part, which I pretty much always make the same way ... and I always include onion, bell pepper, and celery, and, since this is chicken and sausage gumbo — um, chicken and sausage. But proportions, amounts, consistency, and exact ingredients are just whatever I happen to do (or feel like) each time; this isn't the sort of recipe that is ruined if you don't follow it exactly!

Good to know: This is magnificent the first day, but the second day is when you reap the true glory, so if you are having a dinner party, you might make it the day before. On the other hand, it's also the sort of cooking experience that is fun to do all together, with people pitching in to help cut vegetables, and assist in drinking the wine!

I hope this helps, ashbury! Let us know how it turns out if you try it!
posted by taz (staff) at 1:33 AM on May 30, 2021 [14 favorites]

If it’s the same thing every day, a nice spicy ga pao, with a gently fried egg on top with the yolk so soft and liquid the ocean is jealous of how liquid it is.

Different every day? Gimme a big styrofoam box of suckling pig parts from Ibu Oka in Ubud, Bali, the only restaurant I’ve ever been to that I saw on No Reservations. Hot damn, best pork I’ve ever had in my life. Or maybe the French toast I had in Yunnan, soft like custard in the middle, gently butter crispy on the outside. Easily the best I’ve ever had. Or maybe my mom’s brisket and potato kugel. Or some kalua pig, the second best form of pork I’ve ever had. Or a sandwich from the long gone Galley in Kalamazoo, specifically the #22, roast beef and corned beef with provolone, lettuce, onions, and extra pickles, olive oil and oregano, wrapped in butcher paper with the oil turning the paper clear in spots. Jay’s chips and Roelof dairy French onion dip on the side. Or some Win Schuler’s Bar Scheeze, cheddar and horseradish blended cheese dip stuff. Stupendous. I’d also be up for some of cortex’s charoset.

As for what to pass on, I mean, I make my own sausage and bacon, so that? A good Sheboygan brat or (for the gumbo) spicy andouille sausage? I’ve messed around a bit with cures for the bacon, and the one I’m proudest of is based on a spice rub for the roast pork in a good Cubano sandwich: onion, oregano, crushed red pepper, coriander, white pepper, and cocoa powder to go with the salt and brown sugar cure. I have also been known to cold smoke shrimp, which, when sautéed with garlic and mashed chipotles, and a splash of tequila and lime juice, might be the best thing I’ve ever made.

Mostly I’d just like to be able to have people over again so I can make this stuff for them.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:14 AM on May 30, 2021 [2 favorites]

There are a number of things that my family’s favorite Chinese restaurant made, closed back in 2012, which they made in a greatly different style than the modern Chinese restaurant settled on. Particular highlights were their pot stickers (huge thick things, the sausage filling was like a quarter’s diameter), their shrimp in lobster sauce (heavy in ground pork and fermented black beans, so rich you need only a small amount to go satisfyingly with a large scoop of rice), and Sichuan vegetable chicken, with Sichuan peppercorns and other flavors I have never been able to replicate (some fermented broad bean paste but that was far from all that was going on). I can do a passable version of the shrimp in lobster sauce, but my dumpling game is terrible, and I don’t have any idea what I’m missing for the vegetable chicken.

I would make either masoor dal, to comfort someone looking for that kind of comfort, or my own recipe of Sichuan long beans with peanuts, which I make very spicy with both black pepper , Sichuan peppercorns, and dried seared red chiles.
posted by notoriety public at 11:49 AM on May 30, 2021 [3 favorites]

Vegan BBQ cauliflower with a homemade hummus-tomato sauce with homemade ranch. Dough from scratch. Recently leaned how to make a fluffier crust pizza too.
Recipes available.
posted by infinite intimation at 1:31 PM on May 30, 2021 [2 favorites]

Folks enjoying this discussion may enjoy the Off Menu podcast with James Acaster and Ed Gamble: it's two comedians who ask the first question of various comedians, celebrities, dignitaries, etc.
posted by batter_my_heart at 1:49 PM on May 30, 2021 [1 favorite]

That's excellent, taz! I'll definitely let you know how it goes if/when we make it. Thank you!
posted by ashbury at 8:02 PM on May 30, 2021 [1 favorite]

i roll joints from the bottomless supply of rotating name brand strains upon my plate and share will who will feed me or not. my hands do not cramp. it is like a psalm. my coffee cup, too, brims.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:14 PM on May 30, 2021 [5 favorites]

I would take any decent restaurant Asian food/sushi any time. Between covid and our favorite chinese food restaurant being sold to a different family (SO much sugar now!), we've had to pick and choose carefully this past year.

I make a thing that we call white and green sketti. Everything chopped -- chicken (occasionally pork), garlic, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, black olives, a LOT of chopped spinach (I used to tell them that it was herbs, but it was a LOT of chopped spinach.). Fresh or dried oregano and basil. Store bought jar of white sauce. It doesn't really matter what kind if you know how to adjust the flavors. Rinse out that jar with some milk and pour it in. Maybe some thyme and chives. Of course some pepper. Salt depends on tasting at the end after adding some parm. But yes to some salt and pepper.

Boil up the angel hair pasta. I prefer the brand from ALDI. It swirls up really nicely.

There is usually some cheese to sprinkle at the end and some black olives to add to the bowl.

It's salty and full of cream. It's also full of a lot of veggies, depending on how you do it.

My no carb family members totally cheat with this meal. My children know how to get a bunch of veg in to a comfort food.
posted by lilywing13 at 4:59 AM on May 31, 2021 [2 favorites]

My kitchen is completely unusable because I inexplicably refuse to empty the dishwasher and every coffee-delivery-vessel is half-rinsed and sitting on the counter. This morning, making coffee, I took down the 8 oz pyrex measuring cup and for a moment thought it would be totally normal to drink coffee from it.

Then I noticed a coffee cup on the shelf above, took it down, forgot about coffee and swigged enough milk from it to swallow my daily meds and then, hopped up on lactose, parked my ass in the divot on my couch and played merge games on my ipad all day.

Then I ordered a whole bowl and gorged on it and continued to ignore the dishwasher.

What was the question?
posted by bendy at 10:23 AM on May 31, 2021 [2 favorites]

I want a truly superlative grilled cheese sandwich made with all the finest artisanal ingredients.

in return I will send some whole wheat chocolate banana bread. we got a special cocoa powder from Italy and its...amazing. with walnuts, of course.
posted by supermedusa at 10:56 AM on May 31, 2021 [3 favorites]

I would give you all my Mom's touteriere pie, while I was grinding the old pork roast in real grinder, and she was simmering onion and beef in her Paul Revere cookware with a bit of potato.

I would send you the perfect Eggs Benedict, on an English muffin, with the perfect Hollandaise sause.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:17 PM on May 31, 2021 [2 favorites]

My mother's cheese soufflé. (I mean, you knew I had to pick something with cheese, right?) It's actually a mock cheese soufflé, but there's real love in there. And all you need is a great green salad with literally anything it and a tart dressing that even I could make. I have the soufflé pan my BFF gave me when I finished grad school; I have the recipe. But cooking for one is no fun, so I've never taken the pan from the fancy box in more than three decades (except to look at how pretty it is).

(Otherwise, just send me sushi or quesadillas for dinner and PB&J lunches forever.)

I don't cook, but I have one recipe to make as a gift: Hello Dollies. You may know them as Magic Layer Bars. It's the only thing I ever make for parties or potlucks, and it's the one thing people request of me.

Oh, and BibiRose? When I was a little girl, I used to get a kick out of going to fancy restaurants with my parents and ordering Coquilles Saint-Jacque. I was the pickiest of eaters until college, but there was definitely something fun about watching a snooty waiter's face when I'd order this.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 11:17 PM on May 31, 2021 [2 favorites]

Tacos and...tacos.
posted by jquinby at 8:44 AM on June 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

I could pretty much always go for:
  • a bowl of Oyakodon or
  • a really fresh and unhealthy Cobb salad
As for what I can make, I have been pan-searing scallops with an almost alarming frequency of late. It's not remotely difficult but the payoff is great.
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:17 PM on June 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

taz, thank you! I have not been cooking my roux nearly enough and I bet my cooking is going to get much tastier now.

Now I'm thinking about Southern food, I want the chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes, green beans, and cornbread from Ajax Cafe, Oxford, MS. If I could also hallucinate the atmosphere, including AC, that would be great.

I don't have any signature recipes, but the NYT gong bao / kung pao chicken recipe but with tofu is reliably delicious, so I'll make that.
posted by momus_window at 4:42 PM on June 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

This feels like a good time to repost the Metafilter recipe book.

I'll try to send out some messages to see if folks who posted recipes in here want to add them to the book :)

My plate would probably have the fried porcinis we got in Italy, sauteed asparagus, and chimichurri steak. It would definitely change each day. I think one day would be a lemon meringue pie.

I would send out my spaghetti and meat sauce or one of my stacked cakes.
posted by brilliantine at 6:11 AM on June 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

I would like a chirashi bowl right now.

But an Argentinian parrillada with chimichurri sauce also sounds good.

Peruvian ceviche.

Korean food from my great-uncle's and my eldest uncle's kitchens - Korean food made for the traditional Seoul palate, mild but flavorful kimchi, milder seasonings intended to bring out the quality of the ingredients.
posted by needled at 7:33 AM on June 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

• Rolled Oysters from Mazzoni's (RIP)
Rolled oyster is a baseball-sized seafood dish that is found only in and around Louisville, Kentucky. It consists of three raw oysters dipped in an egg-milk cornmeal batter called pastinga, rolled in cracker crumbs (hence the name), and deep fried. (wiki)

• Meatballs from Antonetta's (RIP)
Lovingly made by an 80+ great-grandmother every day, they were mostly filler, but had a soft, pillowy consistency that angels could only dream of.

• Malibu Chicken from Sizzler
The mustard/mayo dipping sauce is the kicker on this one. I haven't seen a Sizzler restaurant in decades. I hear they still exist on the left coast.
posted by valkane at 6:44 AM on June 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

I've got a job after six months unemployed and I will send you sake sashimi after I have eaten as much raw salmon as I can in celebration.

My bear friend briefly filling in for me.
posted by bendy at 8:43 PM on June 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

I’ve been learning all sorts of new food preparation and creation techniques over the past year.

I finally collected the requisite materials to make sushi 🍣 🍱 at home for the first time back on a special day in March. I feel it was a solid beautiful success.
It was almost as empowering as realizing how easy (as in time consuming but not… y’know, complicated) it really is to make an amazing ravioli from scratch.
posted by infinite intimation at 8:27 AM on June 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Y'all, I made crumpets and lemon cream (two different recipes) on one of my days off last week, and they were utterly gorgeous. I didn't have crumpet rings, so I had to use tuna cans with the bottom cut off, but they came out perfectly fine! So I now officially add crumpets and lemon cream to my magic sending plate.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:05 PM on June 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

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