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Old 08-28-2007, 07:28 AM   #1
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Staple recipes that you have memorized

Just wondering what sort of staple recipes you all have out there. I find that I'm never really able to memorize any recipes, since I'm always trying different things, and can never just whip up a meal without consulting a cook book first.

I would just like to know some recipes that are worth memorizing that I can just throw together on a whim. Thanks!


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Old 08-28-2007, 08:58 AM   #2
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Here's the ones I have commited to memory:

Beef Stroganoff
Chicken Rice Soup
Fried Chicken
Cream Gravy
Dried Cherry Chutney
French Onion Soup

The first three I make at home. The rest I make at work.

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Old 08-28-2007, 09:43 AM   #3
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There's always basic ingredients that you just know go together.

Angle hair, olive oil, chopped garlic, canned tomatoes, fresh basil
Pasta, fresh grilled or roasted veggies, olive oil, garlic, fresh mozzarella, Italian parsley
Chicken cooked in white wine or red wine with veggies (onions, celery, carrots, thyme, rosemary, tarragon, parsley - choose a couple herbs, not ALL of them)
My mother's macaroni salad
spaghetti sauce
Baked chicken with an herb, butter, and lemon
Salmon with a soy/bourbon/brown sugar/Dijon glaze

There's lots of things - you just have to have a feel for what goes together. Some things I use a recipe for because you are guaranteed they come out perfect every time. Other things you make and make and make without a recipe and they come out great because you have used the right combinations of whatever.

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
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Old 08-28-2007, 09:59 AM   #4
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chipped beef
risotto milanese
any cutlet alla milanese
dijon vinaigrette avec lardons
roast chicken turkey duck goose
pot roast with root veggies
pancakes waffles corn bread
braised greens with ham
clam chowder (either), bean soup lentil soup pea soup black bean soup
baked beans
savory pies (clam, pork, chicken pot)
beef stew
to name a few that are in my head on a regular basis because I've made them enough and or mom taught them to me years ago and I still make them.
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:32 AM   #5
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I couldn't possibly list all the dishes I prepare without a recipe, but it's not so much that I have recipes memorized, it's more that I have prepared certain dishes for so long that I don't follow a recipe per se any more. As Kitchenelf suggested, it boils down to knowing what works together and in what quantities/ratios. And all that is learned through practice, experimentation and of course, trying out new and different recipes.

When preparing our meals I rarely consult a recipe unless it's a new one (from a book, mag whatever) that want to try out, one that I don't make often, or one I haven't made in a long time. For example, if I'm making a lamb stew, I'll just gather the ingredients and wing it, but if I want to replicate a version that I had saved from a magazine some time ago (that is quite good but more invloved prep-wise) then I'll get that recipe out and follow it to the letter.

That's cooking... baking is a whoooole different game; I can't bake ANYTHING from scratch without a recipe
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:33 AM   #6
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Here's an easy favorite of mine that I've committed to memory (since I made it up in the first place - lol!!!):


1 pound penne pasta (Barilla is my favorite brand), cooked according to package directions & drained
1 block/container of Feta cheese, chopped/crumbled
Approx. 24 Kalamata olives, pitted, & roughly chopped **
Approx. 1 pound Kale, rinsed, stems removed & discarded, & leaves roughly sliced/chopped
1 red onion, peeled & chopped
A few dollops of extra virgin olive oil for sauteeing
Dash or so of chicken broth or water
Dash of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

While the cooked pasta is draining in a colander, heat the olive oil & saute the onion until soft but not brown in the pot the pasta was cooked in. Add the kale, stir a bit, & add a dash or 2 of chicken broth or water to prevent burning. Add chopped olives & stir until kale has wilted down. Add cooked pasta, feta cheese, & crushed red pepper & stir again until pasta is heated through. Serve hot or at room temperature.

** Pitting the olives is accomplished easily by simply placing your broad kitchen knife (sharp side away from you) over each olive & briskly hitting down on the knife with your hand. Olive will break open & pit will be easy to remove.
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:35 AM   #7
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And here's another one suitable for brunch, lunch, or a light supper - again committed to memory because I adapted it myself from several different renditions.

Eggs Florentine

2 eggs per serving, poached or lightly fried
1 10 oz. package frozen spinach per 2 servings
1 cup of milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
8 oz or more grated Swiss Cheese (or other cheese of your choice), + extra for sprinkling
Dash of grated nutmeg
Ground cayenne pepper to taste
Seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook spinach & drain well. Place in a lightly oiled baking dish & arrange eggs on top. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat & stir in flour for a minute or two without browning. Add milk, raise heat, & stir/whisk until mixture thickens, lower heat & add cheese & continue to stir until cheese is melted. Add dash of nutmeg & cayenne pepper to taste.

Pour sauce over eggs & spinach & top with a sprinkling of commercial seasoned breadcrumbs (like Progresso) & extra grated cheese. Bake in oven until cheese melts & everything is heated through - about 15-20 minutes.
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:46 AM   #8
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And if you can stand one more - again, my own recipe:

BROCCOLI RAAB (aka Rapini) WITH PASTA & SAUSAGE (or shrimp)

One bunch broccoli raab, trimmed of tough stalks & roughly chopped
One box Farfalle (bowtie) pasta
One package hot Italian turkey sausage, sliced into bite-size pieces -or- one pound large shrimp, shelled
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled & roughly chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil
Crushed red pepper flakes & salt to taste
Grated parmesan cheese to taste (optional)

Bring large pot of water to a boil & add broccoli raab. Blanch for 2-3 minutes & remove with a slotted spoon or spider to a bowl & set aside. Add pasta to same water & cook according to package directions (al dente stage). Pour into colander to drain.

In a large skillet, heat a few dollops of olive oil & saute sausage slices (or shrimp) until just cooked thru. Add chopped garlic, stir a few times, then add in broccoli raab, crushed red pepper flakes, & salt to taste. Add in pasta & stir gently until combined & just heated thru. (If skillet isn't large enough to hold all the pasta, then use pasta cooking pot for final combining.) Serve with grated parmesan.
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Old 08-28-2007, 02:15 PM   #9
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Now that I think about it, add to my original list:

My own "Smoke-Roasted" chicken (this is neither grilled, smoked, or roasted, but rather a combination of all three).
Smoked meats of all kinds
Grilled Steak (do you really need a recipe?)
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Old 08-28-2007, 03:03 PM   #10
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The chicken and rice recipe I make. And blt dip. That's the only 2 things I can memorize lol.

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