October Monthly Mouthful
You know how it goes: You’re hosting a holiday dinner and your niece will absolutely not show up if you don’t make her favorite ___. This month we asked our favorite food bloggers to fill in the blank. We asked: What dish are you most known for? What recipes do your guests demand?
Learn about 8 different signature dishes after the jump!
Caroline from Whipped The Blog:
I am proud to be famous for my Carrot Cake. I have this recipe down to a science and it is moist, flavorful and perfect! I was recently challenged by two others who claim to have the best carrot cake ever… we are having a blind tasting carrot cake bake off this Fall! I am sure to prevail :)
Tenina from Steamoven Cooking:
Lisa from A Dinner Party:
Around the holidays, or at any old dinner party, my guests request–no, demand–my deviled eggs. I usually make them by the dozen and they are usually gone before I can even try one. Here’s my recipe for curried deviled eggs. You can easily omit the curry powder to make a more traditional version, which I like to top with paprika.
Jessie from Cakespy:
Sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting. They’re simple, but so delicious, and I always make sure to frost and decorate them in keeping with the occasion or season (i.e. decorated with gumpaste Tiffany boxes for a wedding event; with orange frosting and chocolate sprinkles for Halloween; etc!).
Annie from Annie’s Eats:
I wish I could say that the dish I am best known for is something incredibly unique or fancy, but truth be told, it would be what has become fondly referred to in our house as “Benchiladas“. These are a cheesy chicken enchilada with a sour cream sauce. This is one of the least authentic foods I have ever prepared. No one seems to care though – my husband (Ben) claims that they are his favorite food of all time and nothing will top them. Consequently they have become quite popular among our family and friends as well, thanks to all the hype from Ben. I must admit, they are delicious, and will surely grace our dinner table for years to come.
Another recipe that has been in high demand amongst my friends is my version of stuffed mushrooms. Though I am constantly switching up menus and trying new things, these little babies are a must at all my get-togethers. People go nuts over them and there have been actual disagreements over who eats the last one. No matter how many I make, it never seems to be enough!
AJ from Disney Food Blog:
Turtle Brownies are more of a “tailgating” must-have for us. There’s nothing better than eating these rich, decadent treats out of an aluminum-foil covered pan on the back of mini-van in the stadium parking lot. Pair them with some potato chips, and you’ll be in heaven. If you’re not a tailgater, go ahead and make them for your holiday meals – you won’t regret it.
For super-rich brownies, make them without nuts and add the semi-sweet chocolate chips directly into the batter. Amazing.
Karen from Rambling Spoon:
I’m not sure my nieces crave anything I cook! Let’s just say I fell far from the family tree in terms of palate. I love a lot of hot, spicy, fragrant, herbal Asian foods; my immediate family members do not. But friends, neighbors and in-laws know me for these dishes, and one dish that always wins is laap (Lao or Thai minced-meat salad with heaps of herbs). Traditional laap recipes frequently call for raw meat, innards or bile. But the salad need not be prepared that way. I’ve concocted a Lao-inspired version with roasted eggplant, which is completely compatible with the American kitchen. I often make it with tofu. Here is the recipe:
2 lbs. ground meat (fish, chicken or tofu works best for this recipe)
1 head garlic, minced (locally grown garlic with small cloves works best)
1/4 C. fish sauce
soybean or other oil for frying
2 Tbs. pickled garlic vinegar*
1/2 C. rice grains
2 lg. eggplants or 5-6 eggplants of any long, thin Asian variety
4-5 pickled garlic cloves
1 lg. red onion or several shallots
1 bunch fresh mint (you’ll never have too much!)
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 bunch fresh dill
1 bunch fresh green onions
hot red chilies, according to taste
juice of 2 lg. fresh limes or 5 sm. limes
1 bunch leaf lettuce
3 Tbs. sesame oil
*I usually keep a jar of garlic cloves in rice vinegar on hand in my fridge
Heat frying oil in a wok. Add minced garlic and a dash of fish sauce; fry until golden. Add ground meat, another dash of fish sauce and a sprinkle of pickled vinegar. Fry until done (golden, a little crispy) adding more fish sauce and vinegar to taste. When finished, set aside to cool.
Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise (or in quarters if using large purple eggplants) and baste with a little oil. Grill until the flesh is soft and pungent, but not burned. Set aside to cool. In a dry wok, toast the rice grains until they turn opaque. Remove from heat and grind into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
Remove stems from the mint, cilantro and dill. Chop into small pieces and set aside in a large bowl. Chop the green and red onions into small pieces and add to the bowl. Mince the pickled garlic and add to the bowl. Mix everything well. Remove the skins from the eggplants (the flesh should peel away with relative ease). Use a mortar and pestle or food processor to mash the eggplant flesh. When the fried meat is cool, mix with the mashed eggplant, then add to the bowl of chopped herbs. Chop the fresh chiles and add to the bowl. Mix continuously while drizzling the remaining fish sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and lime juice over the ingredients. Taste and add more accordingly. Mix in the pounded rice, a little at a time. Set aside for at least half an hour to let the flavors mingle (you might want to add more fish sauce, sesame and lime just before serving). If it’s not hot enough, add more fresh chile. When ready to eat, line a serving bowl with lettuce leaves and pile the laap into the bowl.
In Asia, laap is generally served with sticky rice, but you can eat it with regular rice if you prefer. Or try it as a side dish.
Andrea from Run To Live:
My friends love coming over for dinner because they know they can count on me for a good healthy meal and leave satisfied. The one thing they love to see me ‘healthify’ is Italian food. Most Italian foods are known for being high in calories, mainly due to the heavy carbohydrates ratio and heavy amounts of cheese. Sure those are the best parts of Italian foods, but I have found a way to make the dishes just as rich without compromising any of the flavor. Some of the Italian dishes they have requested have been my Vegetable Lasagna, Pasta with Basil-Walnut Pesto and Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons. Delicious and good for you, these dishes make them come back week after week. All these recipes are featured on my website under the “Recipe” tab. Enjoy!
As always, thanks to everyone who participated! If you were not contacted for this month’s Monthly Mouthful and would like to be included in future Monthly Mouthfuls, please e-mail us at chewonthatblog [at] gmail [dot] com.
Post your own famous dishes in the comments section below!
To see a list of all Monthly Mouthful questions, click here.