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prompt: 20 dishes you need to know?

I subscribe to the Serious Eats newsletter. Some of the recipes, food photos, and ideas are great. The website also has lots of ongoing discussion threads, including the 20 Dishes you need to know.

The original poster is looking for 20 basic dishes to cook every month, which means cooking 5 days a week and repeating each dish once a month (or more, I guess). The thread includes lots of good points: what if you're a vegetarian? Why not come up with basic techniques to expand on? etc. etc.

I propose the question to you, readers of kitchen_fu: if you cook, what dishes do you think are essential? Are there any you wish you knew, and don't? Any you prefer only to eat at restaurants?

My proposed list contains starting-point dishes; most of these would ideally be served with other dishes that would make it a complete meal. There's also some overlap.

1. Pasta with stuff (sauce, cheese, veggies, fish, etc.). I love noodle things! Mac & cheese is particularly good with sliced tomatoes, if you can get nice tomatoes.
2. Grilled cheese (with various spreads, such as pesto/ grainy mustard/ wasabi mayo, and possibly veggies or even sliced apples)
3. Pizza (homemade crust if I'm ambitious, pre-purchased if not; topped with various sauces and nibbly bits like olives, sundried tomatoes, pineapple, mushrooms)
4. Omelets/ frittatas
5. Chili (like this one)
6. Various soups (I made spicy sweet potato and coconut soup last night, and it's probably even better today, with the flavors melding)
7. Lentils with naan
8. Stir-fries with tofu
9. Roasted veggies
10. Couscous/ quinoa/ orzo with veggies and protein, such as tofu/ black beans/ chickpeas (I haven't conquered regular/ non-minute rice, we are not pals)
11. Baked/ broiled fish. There are lots of ways to make fish: rubs, marinades, with some lemon, etc. Make sure you go ocean-friendly.
12. In the summertime, grilled anything! I love the little Foreman Grill but the flavor's not the same.
13. Matzo ball soup (vegan version here); I usually just make it from a box, and use veggie stock. Someday I'll make it from scratch (though still meat-free). mitchco makes a wonderful spicy version.
14. Spinach salad with various add-ins: marinated artichoke hearts, red onion, carrot, sunflower seeds/ almonds, apples, pears, citrus fruit, feta, chickpeas, etc.
15. Bourekas. My mom taught me to make these with frozen puff pastry sheets and stuffed with feta; now I stuff them with lots of things, including feta & spinach; cheddar and jam/ jelly; pesto; and leftover potatoes.
16. Waffles! Here are thoughts on those delicious and versatile food items from one of my favorite food bloggers. ;)
17. Hummus or other chickpea/bean spreads. Red Pepped Hummus, for example.
18. Squash--roasted, grilled, baked, etc. Can be served as a main or side dish or made into soup.


Now I'm hungry! :)

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Comments

violi
Feb. 16th, 2009 07:39 pm (UTC)
I tend to think of types of a dish as a "thing". My mom calls most of them a "glop". I doubt I have 20 of them.

1) Bean Glop
---stirfry category-
2) Indian Thing
3) Thai Thing
4) Carribbean thing
5) Chinese thing
--leftovers category-------
6) Quesadillas made with leftovers (ANY leftovers)
7) Pizza (made with leftovers)
8) Stew
--------------------------
9) Broiled tofu
10) cesar dressing-type thing/ aoli type thing
11) pesto
12) A good Asian marinade/stirfry sauce
13) cornbread
14) oven roasted winter squash
15) couscous with veggies of any sort
16) some kind of finger party food
17) hummus
18) a dessert of some kind
19) grilled corn
20) grilled cheese sandwich variations