Monthly Archives: December 2010

My Favorite Recipes This Year

Another countdown post! Because I know you’re dying for end-of-year content, oh three readers of mine. Anyway, I decided to flip through this year’s recipes and point out some favorites. Here are some thoughts on dishes posted to Missy’s Recipes in 2010.

Favorite Dish for a Crowd: Beer-Braised Brisket. For one thing, making brisket was really fun. But this made a huge splash at Christmas potluck, and though it was time-consuming, it really wasn’t all that hard.

Favorite Dish I’ve Never Made Before: Matzoh Ball Soup. Consider me addicted. Also, I’m a huge fan of the “Blue Ribbon Cookbook”, which this is from.

Dish I had most fun tinkering with: Milanese (Pork, chicken, etc.). I made this at least four times, and liked trying out different approaches. I think this one is probably the best, though I applied the same technique to pork chops rather than chicken and liked it even more, so it’s still a work in progress.

Favorite Side Dish: Eggplant With Honey and Ginger. I made quite a few Monica Bhide dishes this year, and this one deserves special mention. The leftovers even work in a sandwich.

Favorite Self-Generated Recipe: Scallops with Pea Puree. If only for the Top Chef reference.

Favorite Overall Meal: This Mediterranean fish, awesome eggplant and quinoa combination.

Favorite dish not made by me: John’s patatas bravas. Though I also need to get a copy of Coop’s awesome brussels sprouts dish with bacon and figs, yum.

Favorite cooking project: Ginger duck. This was a cooking goal last year that I was happy to check off.

Favorite Weight Watchers Recipe: Springtime Soup with Pesto. Though I follow WW, I tend to adapt my own or other recipes rather than rely on theirs, which tend to be too simplistic. But I really liked this vegetable soup dish.

Best Meatless Dish: Jerk Tofu. Courtesy of Joy of “Almost Meatless” fame.

Favorite Cooking Light Recipe: Honey-wine braised chicken thighs with mustard greens. A tough one, as CL was a major inspiration this year.

Favorite Fish Recipe: Rockfish with Spinach and Bacon. I made a ton of fish this year, so this was another tough call.

Best Easy Weeknight Meal. I’m calling this one a tie, between Lemon Chicken and Viet Chicken and Noodles. I think John would choose the latter, which may have been his favorite dish this year.

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Salmon With Beans and Greens

I made salmon and we both liked it! This is a rare occurrence, indeed.

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11 Kitchen Goals for 2011

I love making lists of goals and such. Last year, I did a 30 Things To Do in Year 30 list (I pulled off closer to 20, but you get the idea). I thought a fun one this year would be 11 Kitchen Goals for 2011. Here are the ones that are coming to mind right now – I may edit this a bit here and there. On the month that I don’t try to pull off one of these goals, I’m going to try to do the Bittman “go meatless before dinner” thing for an entire month (and will probably stick to fish when cooking at home for dinner that month as well).

1. Prepare rabbit. I already found a butcher that stocks it and a recipe I want to try.

2. Make candy with a recipe that requires a candy thermometer. I.e. the truffles I made don’t count.

3. Bake bread. This gives me trepidation but I think that’s a good thing.

4. Try to prepare homemade pasta. My pasta roller thing is probably my longest neglected kitchen tool.

5. Debone a chicken or fish. Or both?

6. Put together Vietnamese summer rolls. I’ve had rice paper in my pantry forever, dammit.

7. Can a batch of jam/jelly. I had meant to do this after I did pickles last year but never got around to it.

8. Kill and cook lobster at home. This is the most intimidating item on the list.

9. Make mole poblano. This could also translate into “actually use my Rick Bayless cookbook”, which I was dying to get last year and have since neglected.

10. Attempt homemade cheese. Probably will start small, like ricotta.

11. Make bacon out of my pig’s pork belly. Duh.

What are your culinary goals for this year?


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Leftover Lobster “Ceviche”

Now, I know there aren’t going to be that many opportunities when you have leftover lobster hanging around, but we ran into that unusual situation the day after Christmas. My parents made a ridiculous amount of food, so much that with steak and lobster tails as our entrees, we still found ourselves with 3 cooked tails languishing. This was a light way to use up the leftovers (well, light compared to the way we ate this holiday weekend, anyway).

This isn’t a true ceviche in the sense that the meat is already cooked, but it’s pretty similar.

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Bourbon Caramel Truffles

This was the second homemade gift I did this year. This was my first attempt at making candy. It wasn’t too difficult though this recipe had a few snags – you need to let the chocolate mixture defrost a bit before scooping it, and despite the fact I tripled this recipe, it only made about double the candies. Still, they tasted great.

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Spiced Bourbon

It’s that time of year again – homemade gifts! This year I did a double package of infused bourbon and bourbon caramel truffles (recipe to follow). I used this recipe.

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Beer-Braised Brisket With Honey-Lime Glaze

I have a group of local friends who always do a local holiday potluck together. Has it really been five years already that we’ve been doing this? I make the main course, everyone does sides, we have it on a weekday to help with holiday schedule madness, and it’s usually right before everyone heads out of town for Christmas.

Past years’ main dishes include leg of lamb (pre-Web site, hehe), Moroccan cornish hens, coq a vin, and stuffed beef tenderloin. It took awhile for me to figure out what to do this year (was leaning towards pork for awhile, but Becky does a pork-centric Christmas gathering herself around this time) until I stumbled on a brisket recipe in Cooking Light that seemed particularly festive.

This was my first time doing brisket. I was a little nervous – my first read of the recipe had indicated 4 hours, but I missed an entire step that recommended an additional 1.5 hours of cooking. I’m sure it’d had been even better had I cooked it that long, but I was running short on time, so it ended up being in the oven about 4.5 hours, and tasted great.

This is a great mix of sweet and savory, with very complex flavors.

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Fennel Scented Potatoes

This was my favorite of the three dishes. The fennel worked so nicely with the potatoes!

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Green Beans and Cauliflower with Tomato

Interestingly, with the next two recipes, this one called for potato but I used cauliflower, and the other was a cauliflower recipe where I used potato (basically, I didn’t have enough cauliflower for it to be an entire side). I think the swamp went well.

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Roast Chicken With Fenugreek

All three recipes I made last night were adapted from Monica Bhide’s “Modern Spice”, though I have to confess that I made changes to each of them based on points, availability of ingredients, etc.

Here’s the first: roast chicken with fenugreek. The spicing here was pretty subtle – I had ground fenugreek rather than leaves, so I was nervous about overdoing the spice and held back a little as a result. But it still tasted great, and halving the amount of butter didn’t end up being an issue.

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Filed under main dishes, poultry, WW-friendly