The signature dishes from where I live aren’t things I really know how to make. I mean, they aren’t incredibly complex or difficult or anything like that; just never sauntered into the kitchen with a strong urge to bake up sourdough or make cioppino ever.
But I do make a pretty killer stroganoff. And, after living in NM for several years, I picked up the habit of adding green chili to just about everything (yes, it’s nearly impossible to get here; yes, I also miss sopapillas).
There’s probably a niche somewhere for a MST3K cookbook. It wouldn’t be the first that was based on fictional characters.
I have Eat, drink and be Kinky, which is based on recipes from characters who appear in Kinky Friedman’s books. Some silly stuff, some decent recipes. I also have the Nero Wolfe cookbook, based on recipes in Rex Stoute’s detective stories, but it is daunting and exacting old-school haute cuisine on the whole.
I’m also a Hoosier, but I live very close to KY. For Louisville, people think of hot brown sandwiches (a hot mess is what I call it), mint juleps (our joke we pull on the Derby out of towners), and fried chicken (which I love, but I live with a gluten-free vegetarian). So I’m no help with regional recipes.
A personal fave, though, is a stuffed sweet potato. To wit:
Bake a sweet potato. Properly salt and crisp the skin (air frying works well).
Split it and fill with cheese, carmelized onions, half an avocado diced, and top with a sriracha sour cream or sriracha yogurt sauce.
Oh pa’lease. My mom’s Japanese and my Dad’s a New York guy, so they raised me with the usual Japanese meal, BURGER, Mexican, French, Italian, and South Korean dishes.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna make that Japanses omelette I cooked before.
Here’s a dish my dad discovered somewhere which has become a Christmas Eve favourite. A dish either inspired by or invented by the great Russian operatic bass Feodor Chaliapin, who was also a great fan of a good feed.
The measurements are not in US cups/whatever, but it is one of those inexact recipes that you adjust according to the dish you’re cooking in and the number of people you’re feeding. Just don’t make it mostly pasta with a bit of topping, because it should be more luxurious than that.
But it is simple and very satisfying. The sour cream really makes it rich and relaxing.
300g thin thread pasta (Tagliolini or Vermicelli)
3 medium-sized white onions
150ml sour cream
500g roast or boiled Ham
375g Cheese (a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella is ideal)
5 tsp Parsley (garnish)
Smoked Paprika (optional)
Salt & Pepper
Chop mushrooms and onions (fairly small pieces)
Chop ham similarly
Grate cheese, if not already grated
Chop parsley finely
Cook the pasta as per usual instructions and drain.
While the pasta is still hot, tip into a baking dish, season with salt & pepper and mix with some of the butter until it coats the pasta.
Gently fry the mushrooms and onions in butter or oil in a covered pan until soft.
Take the pan off the heat, allow to cool a little, then stir in the the sour cream into the mushrooms and onions. No, you can’t use creme fraiche.
Taste and season with salt & pepper. Remember that the ham and cheese will add to the saltiness of the final dish.
Top the pasta with mushrooms/onion/sour cream mix. It should be a good thick layer.
Top with a generous layer of ham.
Top with cheese. Sprinkle a little smoked paprika on top for colour and flavour, if you have it.
Bake until cheese is coloured and bubbling.
Garnish with parsley and serve.
The problem any time folks ask me for recipes is the same. I can give you a list of ingredients, but not amounts. I never measure anything when cooking, I just add stuff and taste, drives my husband nuts as he is a strict recipe follower when he cooks.
A single read-through, and I was too terrified and intimidated to attempt any of the recipes. Fritz would have been pleased by that. But I’ll dig it out and try the scrambled eggs, if I can find the damned book.
The only vaguely similar cookbook I’ve come across (as far as recipes go) is Jonathan Meades’ The Plagiarist in the Kitchen. Coincidentally, Meades is one of the few people I know of who could conceivably browbeat Nero Wolfe to silence. There may be something of a connection there.
My favorite cookbooks are a Ratatouille one and a Miss Piggy one. Have only cooked a couple recipes from them, though.
Since I’m trying to be better about my health and blood sugar, I’ve taken to making a vegetable medley. It’s really versatile and good with eggs, pasta, or what-have you.
It generally consists of: spinach, yellow squash (sliced), zucchini (sliced), minced garlic, chopped onion, canned mushrooms, chopped bell pepper, and depending on what I’m making it for, canned diced tomatoes. Simply cook it in some olive oil in a deep pan until everything’s nice and floppy/squishy. I may add various spices and meat (depending on what it’s for). It’s a good variety of healthy veggies, versatile, and flexible if you don’t like some of the vegetables. Chopped celery is a good addition or alternative.
Otherwise, I’ve been enjoying flavoring my popcorn. After margarine/oil/butter and salt, I’ll add garlic powder, Italian spices, and parmesan cheese or perhaps Splenda (or sugar if you’re not diabetic) and some cinnamon. Tasty, inexpensive, and quick!