Exceptional recipes for the discerning palate

gourmet cookingDo you often make recipes that are posted on the internet, at sites like www.allrecipes.com, www.foodandwine.com, or https://cooking.nytimes.com/? I love cooking new things, and when I have a few special ingredients on hand I get curious about the possibilities for new dishes. Other times, I like to look at different approaches to old recipes I’ve made, to maybe improve on them, or make them with a new twist. Many of these recipes are rated by home cooks everywhere. Obviously some of us have different tastes and expectations for food than others, but generally don’t you look for the recipes with the highest ratings?

I believe I have a discerning palate, or at least I feel a recipe has to be exceptional to earn the full five stars from me. Often I’ll print out a recipe, and then throw it out afterwards if it doesn’t meet my high expectations. My husband usually likes the recipe more than I do, but I’m the cook, so I have veto power. But there is one thing my husband agrees with me on 100%, that an outstanding homemade meal (gourmet or comfort food) is usually always more delicious than what we get at restaurants. Does anyone agree with us on this?

I’ll admit that I do have a taste for gourmet cooking, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy having good old fashioned meals, too, like Beef Goulash, breaded pork chops, or a Ham dinner with all of the fixings. I even enjoy taco night, and spaghetti and meatballs on occasion. Any of these meals made well can have “Wow!” power, especially with a great glass of wine or beer, of course.

In this post, I’d like to share a couple of my absolute favorite gourmet recipes. I’ll describe why I think they deserve my highest ratings. I’d also LOVE if anyone reading this post would include one or more of their favorite recipes (gourmet or comfort food), either written out, as a recipe link, or a link to your (or other) blog that describes it. So, let’s have a recipe share! If it is your own creative masterpiece, please be sure to mention that. Photos can be found with the recipes, by clicking the hyperlinks.

Crispy Cod Cooked “Unilaterally” With Creamed Leeks – Cod is such a lovely flakey fish! In this recipe it is simply cooked in a non-stick pan in olive oil. The “unilateral” method means that you only cook it on one side, keeping the pan covered. You don’t remove the fish until the time is up. The bottom is a golden sweet crispiness. The top is steam cooked. After removing the fish, baby leeks (or small regular leeks) thinly sliced are sautéed. Leeks and cod are a beautiful combination! To finish, cream is added scraping up the flavors of the golden fried fish and leek deliciousness! It is beautifully plated and fancy enough for the best guests. Super easy to make!

Pan-Roasted Lamb Chops with Honey-Balsamic Figs and Goat Cheese – My Czech husband calls this dish “dort”, meaning “cake”, because it is so extremely delicious, sweet and luscious. If you are a lamb fan, you’ve got to try this. Lamb loin chops (the cheaper chops) are seasoned with fresh rosemary, salt & pepper, and seared in a cast iron frying pan. In the meantime you quarter fresh (yes fresh) figs and toss in a honey balsamic vinegar mixture. Simply add the figs and it’s dressing to the top of the chops and bake in heated oven until medium rare (or your preference). The caramelized “everything” is made even more delicious with goat cheese sprinkled on top. Believe me, the goat cheese takes it even one step closer to heaven. Again, super easy to make!

Brown-Butter Sea Scallops with Ginger Sweet Potatoes – Based on an old Weight Watchers recipe, this easy and quick to make dinner has lovely flavors that are a cross between Asian and Southern. I speed up the cooking process by microwaving my sweet potatoes, with perfect results. The sweet potato skins are removed, and the pulp is mashed with fresh ginger root, milk and seasonings. The thinly sliced sea scallops are browned to almost caramelization in a small amount of butter then top the ginger mashed sweet potatoes, drizzled with brown butter and scallion slices. Mmm!

Braised Chicken with Lemon and Olives – I love olives, but this recipe could be made without out them and still earn five stars. This recipes starts with letting the chicken marinade in a rub of delicious herbs and spices and lemon wedges (any kind of lemon works). It is then baked to lightly brown on top, and then covered with mixed pit-in olives and chicken stock. After fully baked, the goodies are put aside and the juices/stock have excess fat removed and then returned to the serving dish. This is a chicken dish whose skin you just MUST eat. Also eat the delicious baked lemon wedges that compliment the olive flavors. I have made it without skin, and it worked fine, but was not as pretty. It is topped with fresh parsley to serve. Medium amount of effort to make.

Bon Appetit!

15 thoughts on “Exceptional recipes for the discerning palate

  1. Vandana October 11, 2017 / 2:36 pm

    Your posts on food and cookery, always make me crave for another round of dinner! I’m not a great cook but I love to eat exceptional dishes. I follow a FB site called Tasty which has simple dishes that take very less time to cook. Lazy me but always ready for a fancy meal. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight October 11, 2017 / 4:44 pm

      Thanks, Vandana! I’ll have to check out that site. It’s so true that great meals need not be difficult or long to make.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Vandana October 11, 2017 / 5:00 pm

        Please do so..you might find something interesting which with your added geniuses and cooking skills might turn even tastier!😊

        Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight October 11, 2017 / 10:35 pm

      I hope you’ll give it a try. It’s easy to make, and as I wrote it is even an old Weight Watchers recipe. There isn’t that much of the butter to really feel guilty about it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight October 12, 2017 / 12:52 pm

      Thanks, Moushmi Radhanpara. Perhaps you can make one or something similar sometime soon. I’m thinking about making the scallop recipe. It’s kind of an autumn-like dish.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Photography Journal Blog October 16, 2017 / 5:44 am

    I use Allrecipes a lot, usually as a base and do my own variations to suit my family. As a result I find that I often look at the “most helpful” critical review before starting out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight October 16, 2017 / 12:41 pm

      I often do the same with online recipes. Or I combine the best aspects of it with another or with my own ideas. Plus, my hubby is allergic to garlic, so I need to do substitutions when that ingredient appears, which is a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

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