2.16.2015

Searching for a signature dish

A signature dish.  That thing people think of when you go to potlucks.  The meal you make when guest come over.  The signature dish people associate you with.

Yeah.  I don't have one.  

I think the realization has come to me slowly over the last few weeks.  The Little Sister is cooking through some cookbooks and mentioned she couldn't think of her signature dish and when I thought about it, neither could I.  Then I was thinking of inviting someone from work over for dinner and I thought, "What will I cook?".

See? No signature dish.

And while not having a signature dish means you are kind of free as a cook, it also means you don't have that stand-by to use when you need it.  So I thought I should start looking for a signature dish.

This is not to say I haven't had signature dishes in the past.  And those dishes kind of go with certain events.
  • Camping in the Airstream in winter or cold weather - Barefoot Contessa Chicken Chili.
  • Picnic - Crunchy Garlic Chicken (served cold)
  • Holiday - Spinach, Avocado, and Pomegranate Salad (similar to THIS)
  • Quick dip- Goat cheese, garlic, and roasted red peppers
  • FANCY appetizer - Roasted garlic, caramelized red onion, and goat cheese dip.
  • The cold weather WOW dish - Cook's Illustrated Cassoulet with crusty bread and a simple salad 
  • My current meal - grilled skirt steak with chimichurri, baked sweet potatoes, and asparagus
Not a bad list actually.  And my mouth started to water when I was thinking about these.....  But I guess the thing is that I have changed a lot of what I eat and most of these dishes are just not doing it for me anymore.  I realized that I do best following what is considered a Paleo food plan.  Meat, vegetables, fruit.  Works for me! And with that in mind, I need to find some new signature dishes.

Currently I am feeling inspired by asian food and flavors.  And seafood.   With our crazy spring like weather (it's February) I have found myself looking to see if wild salmon has started showing up and thinking about lemongrass and scallops....

I think I will develop a list of signature dishes and that they will be seasonal, and event oriented, and this list will be more inline with the way I am eating now.  I will share my search on the blog and let me know if you have any suggestions for my signature dish!

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