What Do You Cook from Scratch? What's Your Favorite Dish to Make from Scratch?

Snow Hill Pond

Elite Member
Do you cook main, side dishes, or desserts from scratch?

For example, barbeque baked beans. It's easy enough to heat a can of Bush's as a side dish for a picnic, but what about making a whole pot of baked beans from scratch? Or what about biscuits for a Sunday morning breakfast? Do you make them from scratch, open up a can of Pillsbury rolls and pop them in the oven, or load up the car and head to Cracker Barrel? What about pizza? Papa Johns, frozen, or scratch?

The reason that I ask is that most of these dishes are very easy to make. Some take a long time, but most are very easy.

What is a dish you can make from scratch that wows them?


Mine are pretty simple. Biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Pizza with homemade dough for lunch/dinner. An iron skillet apple tart for dessert.

What are the dishes that you make from scratch that don't get much love?

For example, I'm pretty impressed with my barbeque baked beans, but no one else in the family is, which is fair enough. The fact that I can spend 8 hours making a pot of baked beans that are markedly better than a can of Bush's is lost on the diner who doesn't really value the side dish. They don't care how long it took to make. So my baked beans are more of technical exercise than anything else.

What is a dish you know that you should make from scratch more often, but don't?

For me, spaghetti sauce and chicken soup.
 

Shaver

Suspended
The dishes I am most requested to do, from scratch, are:

Pizza, always a crowd pleaser, but you need a few spare hours to prove the dough properly. And a really well broken in pizza stone, mine is a lovely gloss black from many years of use.

Jam roly poly and custard - good old fashioned rib-sticking grub.

Eggs Benedict - the gulf between an adequate version and a perfect version of this dish is enormous.
 

Woofa

Super Member
Do you cook main, side dishes, or desserts from scratch?
I usually cook the main courses and my wife likes to bake. I have found it to be a very different type of cooking as hers are mostly strict adherence to recipes while my cooking is more a matter of "What do I have in the fridge that I can add to this?" I often joke than my red sauces are always just a little bit different in spice and taste. We have probably not delved deep into the side dish area thusfar, I will say I believe I make great mashed and baked potatoes. I usually buy extra large baking potatos and bake them for 90 minutes at 450 degrees turning them once at the halfway point. Crisp hard outside with a steaming hot crumbly inside. I often joke with my dad that it is easier to get a decent (not great) steak out than it is to get a decent baked potato. My dad taught me to make mashed potatoes and we always make them a little extra creamy. Everybody always says they seem too creamy but somehow everybody always finishes them.

What is a dish you can make from scratch that wows them?
I have a great recipe for Fettucine Alfredo given to me years ago by an Italian-American friend of my mother's. Easy and delicious. I have been thinking of posting this recipe when we get a little closer to Valentines day just like Shaver posted one of his in the past.

What are the dishes that you make from scratch that don't get much love?
As I get older I find myself hearkening back to the things I had as a kid and did not love at that time. Stuffed Peppers, Meatloaf, Pot Roast, all of the blue plate special type things which my Dad calls "peasant food." I love them but my wife and kids just dont yet get the flavors and also dont like the messiness as much as I do.

What is a dish you know that you should make from scratch more often, but don't?
Chicken Soup. I really make it well and the family loves it but my recipe is somewhat lengthy involving straining and separating and then blending. So good but takes me half a day and since I moved to Texas from the NE, it is not cold soup weather as often.
 

zzdocxx

Honors Member
Woofa I can't believe there are people who don't like stuffed peppers.

Gee I can't really think of anything I make from scratch, then again I don't get too elaborate.
 
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LordSmoke

Super Member
A traditional southern New Year's dinner is my domain: fresh collard greens, dried black-eyed peas, ham/hammocks/or hog jowls, baked sweet potatoes, fresh-baked cornbread. Dessert is cane syrup, sour cream, and cornbread.

Tonight, frittata made from whatever.
 

MaxBuck

Elite Member
Woofa I can't believe there are people who don't like stuffed peppers.
I didn't like stuffed peppers as a child because my mom was a terrible cook, and the things she prepared were more bitter than Lindsay Lohan in rehab.

Now that I've had them prepared properly, I love them. Stuffed cabbage is another winner.
 
I finally learned how to replicate my mother's cannelloni (making my own pasta). However, my favorite dish to cook is the ever-simple (but oft mistreated) shrimp and grits. It takes the right shrimp (fresh Gulf royal reds) and the best cheddar cheese (Widmer's Wisconsin 10yr aged) for the grits (Anson Mills grits).
 

coynedj

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I make almost everything from scratch. The (now ex) wife was a terrible cook, which got me started. The kids groaned when mom cooked. My latest adventure is making Chinese food from scratch. I even make some of the sauces myself, since the store-bought sauces are so sugar-laden - I've made oyster sauce and Hoisin sauce recently.
 

Woofa

Super Member
Wow, chinese food is certainly one which I have never even thought of doing at home. Certainly we do things like a basic stir fry but having grown up in New York, we always had plenty of availability of inexpensive, good quality chinese food and as a result, it is probably the food we ate out the most (almost every Sunday.) And of course, it is the food I most often miss living here in Dallas.

What I would not give for a good bowl of WonTon soup and a good Eggroll.:tongue2:

Do you have any Asian roots or connections? I must be honest, I would be intimidated to start making sauces but having said that, I really do like most of the chinese food I have had.
 

Chouan

Honors Member
Wow, chinese food is certainly one which I have never even thought of doing at home. Certainly we do things like a basic stir fry but having grown up in New York, we always had plenty of availability of inexpensive, good quality chinese food and as a result, it is probably the food we ate out the most (almost every Sunday.) And of course, it is the food I most often miss living here in Dallas.

What I would not give for a good bowl of WonTon soup and a good Eggroll.:tongue2:

Do you have any Asian roots or connections? I must be honest, I would be intimidated to start making sauces but having said that, I really do like most of the chinese food I have had.

Most, if not all, Chinese food that I've had in Europe and the US has been created for Europeans and Americans and is only marginally related to the Chinese food eaten in the East, if at all. Most Japanese Restaurants in Europe are actually run by Chinese, in the same way that most Indian Restaurants are actually Bangladeshi, and, similarly, produce food designed for Europeans.
 

Woofa

Super Member
Funny, I would never have guessed you make it with peanut butter.

I was clear that the chinese food I am used to is actually more american chinese than actual chinese. When I was on my honeymoon in Vancouver, my wife and I had dinner at a wonderful chinese restaurant that seemed to be very authentic. While most of the food was a little too exotic for us, they had a very large menu including all types of soups and specialty seafood. Some of which was extremely pricey (Abalone, sharks fin soup, I think they even had birds nest soup.) I remember thinking it would have been great to eat there with someone who both knew the cuisine and was extremely wealthy so that we could try parts of the different items.

Thanks for the recipe and please do show us some pictures of your meals sometimes.
 

coynedj

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Wow, chinese food is certainly one which I have never even thought of doing at home. Certainly we do things like a basic stir fry but having grown up in New York, we always had plenty of availability of inexpensive, good quality chinese food and as a result, it is probably the food we ate out the most (almost every Sunday.) And of course, it is the food I most often miss living here in Dallas.

What I would not give for a good bowl of WonTon soup and a good Eggroll.:tongue2:

Do you have any Asian roots or connections? I must be honest, I would be intimidated to start making sauces but having said that, I really do like most of the chinese food I have had.

My heritage is half Irish and half German. Neither country is renowned for its cuisine, so I experiment with the cuisines of other countries. I've picked up a few cookbooks that are (at least claim to be) fairly true to actual Chinese food, and I confess that not everything has turned out as tasty as I had hoped. One of the things about Americanized Chinese food is the high sugar content, and I've been cutting most of the sugar out of my diet lately. If I lived in New York I probably would do as you did, but South Dakota isn't exactly know for its Chinese food, or any other food that I've discovered (I've lived here for four years now).

One thing I discovered for sure with cooking in a wok is to have everything ready to go before you even heat it up. So many steps are for only a minute or two, giving you no time to get things ready for one step while the previous one is in process. I don't do a lot of the fried food, so no egg rolls for me. At least not yet. But fresh dumplings are wonderful.
 
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MaxBuck

Elite Member
Came up with an excellent sauce for routinely steamed veggies. Its primary ingredients are sour cream and horseradish, with plenty of black pepper, oregano, and basil. A little flour to thicken and you're set. Delicious.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
^^Egad.....
I'm intrigued and drooling all over my keyboard:)crazy:). Could you share additional details pertaining to the preparation of this tantalizing gastronomical suggestion, so that we might replicate your reported success?
 

rufus4299

New Member
Op is relevant to my interests because I just did a rack of ribs with homemade dry rub and bbq yesterday. Along with a pot of baked beans from scratch.

My best dishes at the moment (and in my own opinion) are probably my improved version of an old family recipe for spinach lasagna, and... thanks to a beautiful enamel over cast iron Dutch oven I got for christmas, carnitas.

My wife is Korean, so we also routinely indulge in some amazingly simple but stunning local stuff. We both like the balance between (or fusion of) korean and western flavors, so it works out well. Carnitas tacos topped with sautéed kimchi anyone?
 

coynedj

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Came up with an excellent sauce for routinely steamed veggies. Its primary ingredients are sour cream and horseradish, with plenty of black pepper, oregano, and basil. A little flour to thicken and you're set. Delicious.

Please, give us full details. I need just such a sauce.
 
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