Today's friday faves are brought to you by my recipe box.
I love to cook. I'm not necessarily a great cook, just a willing one. :) Cooking good food makes me feel productive and collected.
Most of my favorite recipes were discovered at family functions or at the homes of my friends during high school. If you want any of the actual recipes typed out, leave a comment and I can come back and add them. What is given below is a general description of the dish and the process (VERY general in some cases).
Note: All Recipe Names are based on what I call them and may or may not be actual names of recipes.
1. Tabouleh (non-traditional) - a tangy and delectable mixture of cooked and cooled bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, mint, parsley, with a lovely dressing of tomato sauce, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic powder. Recipe source: Nancy Peterson, my cooking kindred spirit.
2. Best Ever Creamy Tomato Soup - 'nuff said. Well, almost enough. You got that it's tomato soup, and that it's creamy, but just from the title alone you wouldn't be able to tell that it's really quite easy to make and has just the right amount of diced/stewed tomato to make it more robust than a canned counterpart, but not chunky enough that it resembles a stew more than a soup. Oh, yummy. It's cold outside, and I want some... Recipe source: Aunt Denise.
3. Niçoise chicken - discovered in my high school French class. I volunteered to make it for some kind of party we had in class, and I am officially hooked for life. A deliciously sweet and savory one-pot wonder made of cooked chicken, quartered tomatoes, onions, tomatoes and halved garlic cloves simmered in white wine (okay, apple cider or apple juice for me--that's where the awesome sweetness comes in). Incredibly tender and delicous. Garnish with olives if desired (i don't desire, even though I love olives). Recipe source: the Amazing Charlotte Touati.
4. Frito casserole - my family's comfort food and a budget-friendly one-dish flavor extravaganza. Combines elbow macaroni (I go for the high-fiber kind), stewed diced tomatoes, corn, chili pepper, cayenne, cumin, tomato sauce, garlic, cheddar cheese, and (of course) Fritos. The recipe actually says to bake it (thus the 'Casserole'-ness), but I prefer to just mix it all (except the chips) together in a large pot like goulash, and then use Fritos Scoops to eat every last morsel. I'm pretty sure Amy lived off of this one recipe for the larger part of her college life. Everyone loves this. Recipe source: Sister Williams from our ward in West Valley.
5. Caprese salad - Okay, this wasn't really discovered through my family, but it is a favorite of mine, so here it is. Sliced tomatoes, sliced fresh mozzarella, fresh basil leaves. Layer one tomato, one basil leaf, and one slice mozarella. Alternate until the salad is a satisfactory size. Drizzle with your favorite olive oil, basalmic vinegar, and sprinkle on a smidgen of sea salt. Alternately, you can simply slice the fresh basil into thin strips and sprinkle it on top of the tomato/mozzarella combo. This one dish convinces me--every time--that I should have been born in Italy. (Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure it was Denise who originally introduced me to this, just in another version as described here by Josh).
What are your family's go-to recipes? How did you discover them?