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What is the best meal you have ever made?

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by egyptgirl, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    I don't know if this is going to be an easy question for you or not (it isn't for me - I haven't come up with answer yet!) but what is the best meal you've made and why?
    We're a pretty adventurous and supportive bunch on here so I thought if we all try and post what we think is the best meal we've made and why we can learn a bit more from each other!
    Over to you... [​IMG]
  2. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    all of them - except for tuna soufflé omelette!!!!
  3. Oh heck....
    *scratches head*
  4. marshypops

    marshypops New commenter

    I think it depends on how it is received and who it was for. For example I cooked a simple meal for someone's birthday it was greeted so enthusiastically that it could have been the loveliest thing they had tasted.
  5. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    Oh this is a difficult question!
    I think it would probably be something fairly simple - maybe with a German hint to it...I think you cook at your best when you cook from your heart - and I love the meals of my youth....Rabbit casserole with herb dumplings ...or pigs trotter cooked with split peas.....belly pork with red cabbage and apple....
    But I cooked a great meal in Wales once - a large group had gone on a Christian retreat and stayed in a place with no electricity and a log fire that needed someone to chop logs for...and I took on cooking duties one day....Maybe my tuna casserole wasn't haute cuisine, but every scrap was eaten!
    or I took a group of teens once and showed them how to cook jerk-spiced stir-fried chicken with coconut rice castles...the first meal that any of them had ever cooked - and some of them took the recipe home to try again! That was a pretty good meal!
    I remember when Mum had been in hospital and came out, I cooked her a boiled egg with soldiers ...she said that was the best meal ever!
  6. This is what I have been thinking - meals are welcomed by different people in different ways (got me thinking of the thread I started recently about what would you ideally cook for those you love and how many different answers we had).
    My kids will give one answer (or more!), friends another, etc.
    One thing EVERYONE loves is my lasagne.
    The thing I love myself most that I cook is my red lentil curry.
    Son would say my ratatouille or chilli (or lasagne)
    Daughter would say toad in the hole (or lasagne, lol).
    Mum always asked me to cook chicken barley soup.
    Dad likes me to cook him ...lasagne (!) "That was smashing, lass".

  7. Oh, and my Grandma always asks "I don't like to impose, you are busy, but whilst you are here do you think you could make me your bacon and egg pie one day?"

  8. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Wow. That sounds interesting.

  9. Does the tuna rise with the lovingly whisked eggs or does it sink to the bottom and look like a layer of vomit?

  10. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    I didn't cook it as such but I remember going fishing with my Dad when I was little and filleting a fish that I'd caught "to perfection" as Dad said.
  11. When I was 3 my Grandad was coming to visit and I insisted on baking jam tarts for him.
    Except I insisted on using opal fruits as a filling and not jam (and as CQ was (is!) a stubborn wee mule, CQ did as she had planned).
    Bless him, he ate them, even with his false teeth.
    That little episode has gone down in the family annals.

  12. Ok - major showing off here, but I seldom get the chance....
    Several years ago now in Scotland, I was asked to cook for a dinner party at the which the Queen and Prince Philip were the guests. - 12 in total. I had to submit menus in advance and she chose watercress soup, roast fillet of Aberdeen Angus with green beans, and potatoes (can't rmember how they were done now) followed by fruit tart with creme patisssiere, coffee and petits fours.
    A very simple menu, but you can imagine what the nerves were like! It was one of those occasions when everything went according to plan, not always the case, and I really couldn't have cooked any better. She very kindly came into the kitchen at the end to say thank you which I thought a lovely touch.
    It was very special.
  13. Jaw.
  14. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Wow - Cosmos, respect! [​IMG]
    Not sure I could pick a best meal. I could pick a best of each course but they didn't all come together at the same time.
    One of the best received meals I have done was the Chicken Tikka recipe that I have posted on here. Simple but effective and I livened it up with homemade Sag Aloo and Nigella Flatbreads. It helped that my guests weren't very into home cooking and were therefore easily impressed (unlike the Queen I am guessing!!)
  15. modelmaker

    modelmaker Lead commenter

    It is a bit of a challenge to remember every I've cooked and how it went down. I can remember one particular meal where the guests commented on it on several occasions. For starters we had mouclade served in a big pot so everyone helped themselves. The wife of one of the guests couldn't face mussels and I was able to rustle up a melon starter for her, but after she'd eaten it she kept nicking her husband's sauce.
    Main course was roast rib of beef. I'd smothered the surface with a paste of mustard, flour and water in roughly equal measures. It came out of the oven looking a bit black and another guest said later his heart sank when he saw it, but slicing it up it was nice and rare. When he asked me later how I'd managed to cook a rib of beef so rare when the outsice appeared burnt I explained it's far simpler to cook a large joint than a small one. The burnt mustard coating adds another dimension.
    Of course, it's not possible to enjoy a good roast without a decent gravy and to help in this I cut off the rib bones once the meat was done, and melted down their goodness into the gravy.
    For dessert it was a simple fresh fruit salad.
    That's on a global scale.
    Mostly I cook to satisfy my sweatheart which this evening she chose lamb chops with new potatoes, cabbage and onion sauce. Nice and simple. The dog has been disappointed a the lack of leftovers. She had a lick of the bones but it's a bit of a challenge to prevent her from grabbing hold of them instead of licking off any traces of meat our previous mutt had learned was the best plan before they were assigned to the bin.
    She'll no doubt be giving grief soon as I decided I fancied smoked pork ribs. They take a bit of slow cooking to have the meat falling off the bones as we love it. There's a slim possibility I might remain sober enough to do them justice this evening.
    **** is that the time? I've been drifting. Time to check them and maybe apply the spicy glaze.

  16. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Bloody Hell, cosmos! You dark horse. [​IMG]

  17. Bloody Hell, cosmos! You dark horse.
  18. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Bloody hell Cosmos - that's an amazing story!

    This is really tricky. I started off by going down the route of meals that have been technically impressive, but quickly found myself then thinking of meals that have been simple and so have allowed me to spend time getting good and sloshed with loved ones.
    An example - the first night of my stag do involved about 12 mates stopping at mine before hitting Brighton for a boozey weekend. On this night all I did was make about 12 pizzas, cooked half of them (two at a time) before going to the pub, accompanied by silly amounts of beer, noisy music and daft banter, followed by copious pints in the pub, followed by returning from the pub and cooking the rest of the pizzas, accompanied by silly amounts of beer, noisy music and daft banter. Brilliant.
    Another similar even was for our joint birthday bash last year where I just cooked a simple vat of chilli and a few trays of chicken wings, for about 25 people. I pride myself on both my chilli and my chicken wings (and get plenty of compliments), so took great pleasure in this!
    I've loads of examples of the above, either for loads of mates, one or two, or just my wife - none stand out more than the other, but the above are just two examples plucked at random!
    Technically - last year I cooked a celebration diner for both my parents and my out-laws - a many course meal of: steamed cockles with a habanero chive broth; ox-cheek stuffed ravioli with a chicken liver sauce; fried fillet of sea bass with endive marmalade and saffron vinaigrette; pork chop Milanese; bitter chocolate tart. Was delicious and had many compliments but was back-breaking and exhausting - luckily lots could be prepared ahead or wouldn't have been able to enjoy the meal!
    And last Sunday, my wife, despite me having cooked for her nearly every night since we moved in together 4 years ago, pronounced the dinner I cooked for her, the best Sunday dinner I'd ever cooked her! And who was I to disagree??
    I still think I count the simple ones as the best though.
  19. I too have been finding that the simple meals, preferable shared with family or friends, have been my best ones.
    Slow cooked beef stew with fresh crusty bread is wonderful on a winter day. My lasagne and fish pie also go down pretty well, especially as these tend to be done for big family meals so the atmosphere helps the enjoyment.
    My signature dishes though, the ones that others are easily capable of cooking but they seem to prefer my versions are bolognese sauce, spicy chicken fajita wraps and my rich and buttery mashed potato.
  20. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Well, I think Cosmos wins hands down! The sly minx - she kept that one to herself, didn't she? [​IMG]
    I think (think!) I've worked out my answer - the best meal I've ever made was the first meal I ever cooked for Mr EG when we moved into our first home. I made a whole leg of lamb and roasted it really, really, really slowly with garlic, rosemary and oregano so the aroma took up the whole flat. I made Greek potatoes and made a really simple salad. Just as we were about to eat, there was a power cut so we ate in candlelight with a really cheap red wine. I don't actually know if it was the food I made, the atmosphere or the person I was cooking for but like all of the stories mentioned on this thread, it was cooked with love and for someone I love.

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