So... what's your specialty?

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Sous Chef
Dec 18, 2004
Body: Boston Heart: Mexico
What do you make better than other people you know? What dishes do you get complimented on time and time again? I dont use this term lightly in my own cooking but there are about 3 things that I feel pretty hard to beat at...

For example my roomie's specialty is "man food". He's not afraid to throw cheese, sausage and spices into every thing he makes (imagine meatloaf with chunks of cheddar and pepperoni or chilli with sausage and steak). Usually this style of careless cooking is really bad but it almost always works out great for him. He also makes this really good salad with bleu cheese chunks, italian dressing and craisins.

Here's mine:

Fried rice: when I was insanely poor and all I ate was rice I learned how to turn two cups of uncooked rice and one egg into something really special thanks to some research I did into proper technique. Usually it will be firm, not greasy at all and each individual grain will stand on it's own even after you've let it sit for a day.

Beans: I never thought much of it but at least 10 people have told me they didint like beans before they tasted mine. The best thing I make with them would probably be my bean dip using regular beans, black beans, a very spicy ranchero sauce, grated cheese and sour cream. It's a really american bean dip but man it's good. I think the secret to this is understanding that beans themselves can be really good when done right and in Mexico I had some very elegant dishes where beams where the spotlight (like beans in mole).

Rosti: I was making this a few dozen times a day when I worked at a reastaurant and got to a point where I was far better than any one in my station. Now at home I use cheap, starchy potatoes to get a very solid cake and I never flip it until needed to make sure each side is REALLY golden and crusty. Usually it dosent need anything more than a touch of salt and pepper but I do make a dijon white sauce that really makes it great.

So what are your specialties?
Great topic, Lugaru! I can make quiche, grilled pizza and omelettes like nobody's business but I stumble through many other recipes that I make. I think that we all have a dish that we can create at a professional level! It all depends on motivation, I suppose. I'm still beating myself to death trying to perfect BBQ but I think I'm getting close! :D

Edit: I followed Rainee's post, how appropriate! :LOL:
my specialty is veggies of all sorts and the perfect broiled steak.
my REAL specialty is presentation.
I get complimented on my salads every time I take one to a potluck. I like to make salads because they are easy and have many different flavor combinations. Also, they are great for lunch or dinner.

My other specialty is cakes and cookies. I bake chocolate chips cookies for the crews I work with in the woods. The cookies don't last very long with those guys.

I also like to make appetizers. If I get invited to a party I ask to bring appetizers. I live to make them because they are fun. I like to try different combination of ingredients.
lol lugaru, i just remembered hearing your signature quote on a simpson's episode, the one with marge in a cooking contest.
great thread btw.

for me, it's different types of tomato sauces. regular ol' sugo di pomodoro, and then several variations on it. such as fra diavolo, sunday gravy, various fishes, various meats (meatballs, sausages, chicken, pork, veal, buffalo, etc.), all veggie (for dw), garlic/garlic/ and more garlic, and a few more.

i also make a coupla mean irish and italian style soups, and do a pretty good job with a real charcoal grill, or beside an open campfire. i prefer most grilled meats bleeding, and abhor burnt edges. dw likes most things overcooked (imo) and just the right amount of char, so i've learned a pretty wide range of how to grill.
I can flip omelettes like there's no tomorrow. But then, I do that at work, so practice makes perfect.

I also have a handful of soups that I can really do good on, like Clam Chowder, Chicken Tortilla, Chicken and Rice/Noodles, Gumbo, etc.
I make a killer bbq sauce
my clam chowder is to die for.
My Beefy French onion soup is another
thing people request time after time.
I am known for some pasta dishes. They are from a cookbook, but I seem to be the only one around here that bothers to make something that ambituous.

I think I am mainly known for experimenting and trying something new.

DH says my roasts are better than his mothers!!!!!!!!! I also do great Italian, casseroles and anything with mince. DH also admits I cook the steaks better than him on the BBQ.

But my real forte is cheesecake, and in demand at Christmas. My baked lemon version is posted in the desserts forum. :)
I guess mine would be fried chicken and fried pork chops. Then it would be my spaghetti sauce. Mine also was from another recipe but I tweeked it so i guess it's really my sauce now? My sauce is posted. Will have to get some time and post my fried foods.
AllenMI said:
I can flip omelettes like there's no tomorrow. But then, I do that at work, so practice makes perfect.

Yeah, that's always a lot of fun. When I was at the Marche I taught myself how to flip two omlettes at the same time and you would be surprised how many phone numbers that got me.
I guess mine would be my Chicken Broccoli Zita and also my Bolognese Sauce. I constantly have friends and family begging me to make these two dishes.
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Dove said:
All of these do sound good but are they posted? Wouwld you care to share?

I've posted all of mine in the past.
If ya can't find them let me know and
I'll repost. :D
Not sure I have one. Maybe desserts. I'm usually the one who gets assigned that category for Hen Night (girls' night out).

I can get pretty creative with leftovers so that they're not just warmed-up remainders of what we've had earlier in the week.
My kids say I make great Stuffed Grape Leaves,BBQ Ribs,Gumbo,Lasagna,and Spinach Cheese Pie. Funny thing is that I don't make anything exactly the same each time. I neveer measure anything and could not even make out a recipe for these. I just add this and that and a little of this and that and cook it for ? long.
I have no specialty. :( Most in my family are better cooks/bakers than I am. Most of my friends don't cook at all, so when they come to my house to eat, they love everthing. I just take compliements with a grain of salt because anything is usually better than opening a can or frozen entree.

I just keep truckin' along and trying. Oftentimes I bake and my hubby takes the goodies to work with him. I get lots of compliments, but I think their attitude is beggars can't be choosers.
Dove said:
All of these do sound good but are they posted? Would you care to share?

I've posted my Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe as well as my Clam Chowder recipe in the soup and stews section. Someone just bumped my Tortilla soup recipe, so it should be near the top of the first page.
Lugaru said:
Yeah, that's always a lot of fun. When I was at the Marche I taught myself how to flip two omlettes at the same time and you would be surprised how many phone numbers that got me.

The last few brunches that I've worked, I've been teaching myself to flip an omelette with my left hand. It gets real impressive when I have several omelettes all ready to flip at the same time. I just go down the row and do them by numbers, 1, 2, 3, done! Sometimes I have two pans, one in each hand, flip my right hand, then look at the left, and flip it. Most folks just stare in amazement that I don't drop them. I always tell them that it's all in the wrist.

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