A couple of related items from the uncomfortable questions comments. First, from Elizabeth:
What’s your favorite homemade supper? What is your favorite thing to cook?
then a bit later from CCPhysicist:
What is the WORST thing that Kate ever cooked? What was your own worst cooking disaster?
This is a tough question, because I like to cook, and I like pretty much everything I cook. I don’t get to do much complicated cooking these days, though, because with SteelyKid running around, it’s a little risky to do much beyond “grill meat, heat vegetables, serve.”
My favorite thing to cook is probably Thanksgiving dinner when we host Thanksgiving up here. It’s got a bazillion component parts– brine the turkey, roast the turkey, make stuffing, make potatoes, make vegetables– and I get to mess up every pot we own in the process. That’s a lot of fun, in an exhausting kind of way.
If we disqualify that on the grounds of not being a single dish, there are a bunch of dishes that were grad school staples for me that I’ve made a million times, and really like, things like grad school chicken creole, which is pretty much idiot-proof at this point. I don’t make that all that often any more, because the huge amount of garlic tends to trigger Kate’s acid reflux.
I’m also fairly proud of dishes where I’ve reverse-engineered something, or modified a recipe with good results. I’ve got a curried shrimp thing that I do now that’s basically Alton Brown’s shrimp scampi recipe with curry powder (actually, a mix of curry powder and garam masala) in place of the garlic. That comes out really well, and without too much trouble.
The worst cooking disaster I’ve had was probably the time I made kheer (Indian rice pudding), not so much because I messed up the cooking (I did burn some of the milk, leading to black flecks mixed in with the rice), but because I made this big bowl of a dairy-heavy dessert the day before we determined that SteelyKid (who was breast-feeding at the time) had a sensitivity to dairy, so I had to eat the whole thing myself. That was generally a bad time.
The runner up would be the second time I made steak with a sugar-based sauce, out of one of Mark Bittman’s cookbooks. I had made the dish once before, but in the interim, Kate developed really bad acid reflux, so the second time around, I left out the onions. The problem was, in addition to flavor, the onions must’ve provided some moisture or maybe just surface area to soak up the sauce, because without them the sauce basically turned into hard candy. We had to chisel the leftovers out of the pan.
Kate’s made quiche a few times, and I don’t care for that. That’s a matter of my not liking eggs, though, not a slight on her cooking ability.