10 of My Favorite Things to Cook
1. Italian "Sunday Sauce"
Recipe passed down generations and learned at an early age. Still perfecting the art of the slow-cooked, meat-forward red sauce with meatballs. Adding into the mix some homemade pasta as well. Though I eat this way less than I used to, I save it for special occasions or the once-in-a-while lazy weekend early dinner.
2. Sourdough Bread
Another thing I almost never make, but it's easy to do and hard to master. I used to have a years-old starter a friend gave to me. I fed it every day and it was the best sourdough base. Maybe the pandemic and everybody's "I'm a sourdough expert" routine turned me off of it. I'll do a little experimentation this winter.
3. Sour Cream Old Fashioned Doughnuts
When I left my full time job in 2015, I spent 100 days straight making doughnuts in the morning. It was meditative and gave me a thing to work on while I figured out my next steps. It went from "these are inedible bricks" to "I've nailed this recipe and it's undeniable." I still make doughnuts for gatherings and special occasions. My deep fryer kicked the bucket a few months ago, so I use my Dutch oven which is less accurate, but still easy.
Specifically, huge, thick, juicy steaks like a bistecca alla Fiorentina or a fat ribeye. I'm also adept at less marbled cuts and the occasional well-marinated skirt steak (with chimichurri sauce!). It's about the reverse sear. Go check out seriouseats.com and read their foodlab articles on how to cook a steak properly. You'll never mess it up again.
5. Baked Salmon
It's so simple and effortless, but it's a weekly favorite. I enjoy it two ways: with olive oil and Old Bay seasoning or with a pesto of parsley, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and mustard.
I don't have a BBQ pit, but I can dominate the oven-baked, grill-seared BBQ rib. It doesn't have the deep smokiness a traditional rib does, but with the right rub and sauce (both homemade), it's going to please just the same.
7. Fennel and Parsley Salad
Huge favorite among friends. Exploding with flavor: celeriac root, fennel, parsley, red onion, topped with a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, white pepper and salt. Recipe from Frankie's Spuntino: https://www.vogue.com/article/summer-salad-recipe-frankies-spuntino-fennel-celery-parsley-red-onion
The easiest weekend family breakfast in the world. Scramble some eggs, add in some half and half and all your favorite veggies, meats and cheeses. Stick it in a pan and bake it until it's solid. Like quiche without a crust. Magical.
9. Eggs in a Basket
It's toast with an egg in the middle (as in, a little hole you cut in the toast that to fry the egg in).
Breakfast idea sex.
10. Café Latte
Ok, you don't "cook" a latte, but you do have to get the milk to foam just right and pour it properly so it doesn't end up disproportionately mixed in the cup. It's not easy. I'll get there.