What's Your Signature Dish?

Inspired by “Hell’s Kitchen”, where Chef Ramsey asks each contestant to prepare their signature dish, then screams that they have too much pepper.

So suppose you’re a contestant…what signature dish would you prepare, and why? My recommendation, stay away from the scallops!

I’d probably take a twist and prepare my chocolate-almond cheesecake rather than an entree. It is my signature dish, after all. Famous wafers, ground almonds, and butter for the crust, cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, vanilla, amaretto, cocao powder and eggs for the filling. Top with toasted almonds.

If I was going to prepare an entree it would probably be garlic-clove grilled pork chops, with carmellized onion and mushroom tarts in puff pastry.

Remember, you really should serve your signature dish, rather than pull something esoteric out of your ass. If it’s something you’ve made dozens of times you can whip it out under pressure and not screw up. And it’s something you genuinely like.

Osso Bucco, home made noodles. Ramsay can go frak himself if he doesn’t like it. More for me!

Does it have to be something you entirely made up? If not, I’d go with “my” cauliflower gratin with bechamel sauce (found in an obscure little cookbook many years ago). Delicious, easy, low-fat and if you remove the parmesean cheese from the bread crumbs, it’s vegan!

Grilled New York strip steaks with green olive tapenade.
Tapenade made with picholine olives, toasted slivered almonds, garlic, anchovy, capers, olive oil, s&p, all processed into a mouth-watering paste. Schmeared liberally on steaks at the table. Seriously—so friggin good. Every single time.
Roasted potatoes with garlic & rosemary. (did I say garlic?)
Baby broccoli, steamed.
Or asparagus, steamed.
Or a salad of a half avocado with a half boiled egg nested inside the pit-hole. Sprinkled with crumbled bacon, red onion, diced red tomato. All on top of a small bed of lettuce. Drizzled with a dijon vinaigrette.
For dessert: homemade strawberry shortcake with vanilla whipped cream.

Gah, I’m starving…

I’d have to go for either an hors d’oeuvre or a dessert.

As an appetiser I’d make either my Cumin-Cured Olives (needs at least 1 weeks curing) or Toasted Pita Triangles with Filling (then zing up the various fillings).

The only real choice for dessert would have to be my Deep-Dish Southern Comfort Peach Pie. With home-made Peach Ice Cream.

Mesquite-smoked turkey, with the Super Secret Balance Baste that raises it to a food not merely fit for the gods, but one which causes the gods to cry, “We’re not worthy!”

Well, okay, maybe it isn’t that good. It is very tasty, though. Even many avowed turkey-haters like it, and people have paid me to smoke turkeys for them after they tasted it.

Baked parmesan chicken with roasted potatoes and squash.


My 12 cheese lasagna with homemade noodles. Last time I made it I used nothing but white cheeses, a meatless sauce, and layered grilled thinly sliced flank steak between the homemade noodles made from V8 juice. Whatever version I make, it is always a family favorite.

I make a great pomodoro sauce for pasta.

I would probably go for a Hungarian dish, chicken or veal paprikash with spaetzle. If I were feeling a little bit fancy, I’d dress up the spaetzle with some fresh ewe’s cheese and dill.

(Technically, Hungarians wouldn’t call them spaetzle, but rather galuska or nokedli, but they’re the same thing.)

It’s a very easy dish to make, with a very few ingredients, but it does take some knowledge in getting it just right, and the small amount of ingredients go a long way. He also probably doesn’t have a great reference point for what paprikash should taste like, so I’m ahead there (although I could be completely wrong). There’s no way he could tell me my paprikash doesn’t taste like it should. At least he couldn’t say that and be correct.

edit: If it’s an original dish, then I’ve made a sort-of Polish and Hungarian fusion of pierogi and chicken paprikash. Stuff pierogi with shredded chicken mixed in with some of the paprikash gravy. Boil. Serve on a dish drizzled with paprikash gravy and sprinkled with dill.

Shrimp and sausage jambalaya.

I make a mean grilled salmon stuffed with crab and topped with Hollandaise. Not drowned in it, just drizzled with it. Or grilled tuna topped with a jalepeno - watermelon mince.

I make a delicious mac & cheese with Gruyere cheese. Sounds plebeian, but it’s delicious. I can also make cheese blintzes.

For dessert? An apple cake for the first, and I’m not sure if we need dessert for the second,

Either my smoked turkey which really is that good, or my bassackward smoked steak. I have posted both recipes here at the SDMB.

Good gad. The contrast…but I digress.

Tempura breaded chicken with a sauce of soy, wine, sugar, garlic, sesame oil and seeds, chopped green onions and diced radishes.

Beef stew with dumplings for the main course and snickerdoodles for dessert. Because I’m from the Midwest and we don’t really go in for, um, the fancy stuff. I think it might be a wee bit pedestrian for Chef Ramsay, though.

I don’t have a signature dish but I do have a dish I keep trying to perfect, a chicken roulade. As I said I am still experimenting with it but I usually go with a spinach/mushroom/cheese filling. The cheese is usually a good mozzarella, gorgonzola or feta. My best version included an impromptu lemon/wine/mustard sauce. I served this to my boyfriend and he thought I was a culinary genius.

I am not as fancy as you people. Mine would be my potato soup and cheesecake for dessert. Both quite simple, but very good.

I make mostly peasant food and make none better than chicken fried steak with accompaniments.

So that, or my stuffed mushrooms, or one of my several favorite desserts.

Fettucini con fungo (a recipe of my own invention)

Cook up a batch of fettucini.

Get a jar of sun-dried tomatoes. Pour the oil into a frying pan. Fry up a couple of bulbs of minced garlic and a small handful of pine-nuts. Chop up the tomatoes into small pieces and add them. Chop up a bunch of mushrooms* into medium size pieces and add them. Fry everything until the mushrooms are just barely cooked. Add a little red wine about halfway through the cooking.

Dump the mushrooms on the pasta. Eat.

*You can use portabellas, but I like to use a variety of more exotic mushrooms when I can find them.