Your Signature Dish: Wüsthof Classic Ikon Chef Knife Set Giveaway

by Brett & Kate McKay on May 3, 2011 · 1,770 comments

in Blog

In his post about the kitchen knives every man should own, Matt Moore recommended Wusthof knives for all your kitchen cutlery needs. The folks at Wusthof saw the article and offered to give away a set of their classic Ikon chef knives to one lucky AoM reader. I love giving stuff away on AoM, especially when it’s a quality product, so I said “Heck yeah!”

The Wüsthof company has been making quality precision forged knives in Soligen, Germany since 1817. Yeah, that’s right, this family owned and operated company (still is today!) has been making knives for almost as long as the United States has existed. With nearly 200 years of experience, Wüsthof has become a name synonymous with quality and excellence.

Today, Wüsthof offers seven different lines of kitchen knives to fill all your slicing and dicing needs. The 36 different knives in their Classic Ikon line are forged with a single piece of high carbon steel for superior cutting ability. The knives are nicely balanced for easy cutting and the handle design ensures you’ll have comfort and control as you whip up your specialty dish for a lovely lady or your bros.

You can find out more about Wüsthof knives by visiting their site.

And for the latest updates and information about Wüsthof, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

The Prize:

We’re giving away one set of Wüsthof Classic Ikon 2-Pc Chef Set (Retail value: $260). The set includes a 3.5-in. paring knife and an 8-in. chef’s knife.

Here’s how to enter for a chance to win this set of Wüsthof knives:

Leave a comment sharing your signature dish. Grill a mean steak? Make perfect pancakes? Tell us in the comments!

Deadline to enter is Tuesday, May 17 at 9PM CST. We’ll then randomly select one lucky winner. Enter today!

Winner will be announced after the conclusion of the giveaway on the AoM Trunk.

1401 Tate May 6, 2011 at 12:04 am

Southwest-ish Style Campfire Chicken
• Bone in, skin on chicken in individual pieces (breasts, legs, wings)
• Approx. 2 cups corn
• Approx. 1 cup diced tomato (a can of RO*TEL ® – Original or Mild can be substituted for tomatos and green chilies)
• Diced green chilies to taste
• Garlic powder (Grill Mates® Montreal Chicken Seasoning can be substituted for the seasonings)
• Pepper
• Salt
• Paprika
• Tin foil
Start a decent size camp fire. While waiting for the fire to burn down: Mix the corn, tomatoes and chilies. Lay out a square of foil for and set one of the chicken pieces on it. Sprinkle some of each seasoning all over the chicken. Add a few tablespoons or so of the corn mix to the chicken and wrap the whole mess up in the foil. Add another layer of foil. Repeat for each piece of the chicken- with smaller pieces like the legs put both legs in one foil package. The fire is probably still not ready at this point. You should be cooking with the leftover coals of the fire, and will want almost a heaping shovelful to do a whole chicken. Crack open a cold one and wait. Wait some more. You’re not very patient are you? When the fire is burned down enough, which it is not, shovel the coals into an area you can work with and throw the foil packages on top. Shovel a few coals on top for good measure. Flip the packets after about ten minutes and start checking for doneness after about twenty (ish I never really watched the time that close) Unwrap and eat right out of the foil.
This recipe was created out of necessity when I was staying out at the old family farm south of Tulsa. It was a long ways from the nearest store-and I was hungry. The water in the old farm house wasn’t working so I didn’t want to have to do dishes, but I did have a fire going. I found a whole cut up chicken someone had left in the freezer, and some canned vegetables, I’d say it turned out pretty good.

1402 Nik R May 6, 2011 at 12:07 am

I make a mean meat medly and pan fried noodles

1403 Beardow May 6, 2011 at 12:17 am

Flank steak (medium rare on grill), roasted vegetables (coat in olive oil, salt and pepper. 425 deg 25 min or so), and Chard which I pan roast the in olive oil, minced garlic, and onion until soft then add sweet vermouth and a bit of orange juice. Works well with spinach as well.

1404 jim May 6, 2011 at 12:23 am

slow smoked pulled pork. In a flowerpot smoker, a la Alton Brown.

I’m biased, but it’s kinda the best pulled pork you’ve never had.

1405 Brit May 6, 2011 at 12:31 am

ribs from my smoker

1406 Joel May 6, 2011 at 12:42 am

After Tuesday’s masterful creation, chicken has become my new favorite.

1407 Robert May 6, 2011 at 1:06 am

Braised beef short ribs with slow cooker macaroni and cheese:
M&C- In slow cooker, combine: 1 beaten egg; 2 cups evaporated milk; 4 tbsp. butter; and 3.5 cups cheese (prefer sharp chedder). Follow directions on box for cooking the box of macaroni. Drain and set aside. Throw in the slow cooker and let it do its thing for 3 hours.
Ribs – Pre heat the oven to 325. Season ribs with salt and pepper, then sear in pan w/olive oil. Make sure to get them really brown. Add a couple cups of red wine (beer works too) and then toss in some garlic and onions. Toss in whatever else you want at this point (carrots, peppers, squash, or nothing at all) and let it sit for a few minutes on medium heat. Put the ribs back into the pan. Cover and throw it in the oven for 2.5 hours.

If you do the mac first, they’ll be done at about the same time and you’ll have 2.5 hours to enjoy before eating.

1408 Gabriel Garcia May 6, 2011 at 1:09 am

Surprisingly I can whip together some fine tamales. Great thing about them is you can fill them with the ingredients of your choosing, there simple and individual packaged, and portable.

1409 Mark Johnson May 6, 2011 at 1:23 am

I make a great grilled veggies and chicken rice meal

1410 Eric S. May 6, 2011 at 2:19 am

My favorite dish is a peppercorn sausage chowder which feeds five grown guys three big bowls and an extra two for leftovers. It rarely makes it the next day since friends always invite themselves when they find out I am making it.

1411 Jesse K. May 6, 2011 at 3:24 am

My favorite dish is a homemade Czech recipe invented by my grandmother. It composes of sauerkraut and dumplings with schnitzel

1412 Josh Wilson May 6, 2011 at 3:31 am

I made a filet mignon with blue cheese and panko bread crumb topping with dill red potatoes for our first Valentine’s as a married couple. My wife does love steak!

1413 AJ May 6, 2011 at 3:56 am

I make the best ribs in the firehouse. It’s a good day when we can sit down and dig in.

1414 BJS May 6, 2011 at 6:26 am

Imagine three layers of goodness
On the bottom: Pan seared scallops(in my well-seasoned cast iron pan)
In the middle: shitake mushrooms sauted with shallots and garlic
On top: a sprinkle of pistachios
All finished in the oven.
I had it in a restaurant once and had to recreate it.

1415 Jeff May 6, 2011 at 7:55 am

I can make a pretty mean rack of lamb! To be honest, it’s from a recipe i found online but it comes out delicious every time i make it. The rack is seasoned and pan seared all around. Then it’s coated in a minced garlic and dijon mustard mixture and then coated in a parmesan and panko mixture. The panko gives it a great outer crust after it’s been in the oven. Medium-rare always.
Accompanied with my great mashed potatoes, skin-on, salt, pepper, butter and milk; simple and perfect. Asparagus side: olive oil, salt and pepper and into the oven. The basics can’t fail.

1416 Zach Mohn May 6, 2011 at 7:57 am

One word: steak.

1417 Stephen May 6, 2011 at 8:02 am

I do well at desserts. My specialty are dark-chocolate no-bake cookies.

1418 Will TheThrill May 6, 2011 at 8:29 am

Among my immediate family and in-laws, I get the highest marks for pork chops on the grill. In fact, my father-in-law won’t eat them if anyone else cooks them. I can apparently find the right balance between not-too-undercooked and not-dry-like-leather.

Grill is starting to show some wear this year though, after a mere 10 years. :)

1419 Wil May 6, 2011 at 8:49 am

Desserts are my thing. I make a mean chocolate-coffee pecan pie.

1420 Torrey B. May 6, 2011 at 9:08 am

My church holds a chili cook-off every New Year’s Eve, and my brother and I have almost always won the hottest/spiciest chili award. We usually marinate the meat overnight in red wine and diced habaneros/serranos. But it’s not so spicy that it doesn’t get eaten. Our crock pot is always scraped clean before the night is over.

1421 Curt May 6, 2011 at 9:13 am

I can brew a great variety of awesome beers! My current favorite is a very hoppy American Ale, I am also fond of my Belgian Tripel. Since beer is kind of like liquid bread I figured that it would qualify. Also you should always eat with beer. I figure if it’s slower than I am…’s food and probably tastes good with sticky rice..:)

1422 Mark May 6, 2011 at 9:13 am

I make an amazing penne with vodka sauce. I make the marinara from scratch earlier in the day and then finish everything off later. It’s perfect for date night.

1423 Cameron Kraus May 6, 2011 at 9:23 am

hello AoM my signature dish would be bacon egg and cheese with steak. what i do for this is prepare a normal bacon egg and cheese, and then and thinly sliced stack that most would find synonymous with a philly cheese steack. when this is all cooked i then put it on a roll with hashbrown.

1424 Nathan Murray May 6, 2011 at 10:02 am

My go to dish is the classic Pasta sauce with meatballs from scratch and paired with whatever pasta is on hand. The kids love it.

1425 Matthew Ziegenfuss May 6, 2011 at 10:13 am

I make a damn fine pasta carbonara. Also, I’m kind of a pork specialist. Last night I did Puerco Pibil and it was amazing.

1426 David Suroviec May 6, 2011 at 10:46 am

I make a killer enchilada sauce.

1427 JFM May 6, 2011 at 10:52 am

I don’t really have a single signature dish, because I cook just about everything. One thing I love, though, that I don’t make often enough, is a wild mushroom “cobbler” from the New Vegetarian Epicure. It’s basically a ragout of mushrooms in red wine sauce topped with a Parmesan biscuit crust. Mmm…maybe I’ll make it for my love for Mother’s Day.

1428 Alex L May 6, 2011 at 11:06 am

I make a mean variation of the french cassoulet. Absolutely delicious!

1429 Steve Springer May 6, 2011 at 11:31 am

I make the world’s best stuffed mushrooms!

1430 Jertown May 6, 2011 at 11:32 am

I don’t cook a lot, but I have a healthy fascination with knives! These would definitely be broken in with some steaks though. :)

1431 Peter B May 6, 2011 at 11:43 am

My favorite is a chili con carne. It’s not that spicy because some friends don’t like it that hot and who wants to eat alone?
Sometimes I add different vegetables to try new flavors.

1432 Guy Bowring May 6, 2011 at 11:45 am

Rack of lamb. So much easier to do “right” than you would ever have thought. Don’t be worried about ruining an expensive meat purchase–follow this and you’ve got nothing to worry about.
Brush olive oil on the rack(s), then apply herbs of provence and some kosher salt. Sear them in a hot iron skillet until all the outside surfaces are browned. Turn them so the fatty side is facing up in the pan and put the whole thing (skillet and lamb) in an oven preheated to 350 for like 15 minutes or so (depending upon how you define “done”). Turns out perfect every time. It really IS that simple.
…AND having a really good set of knives to carve the rack into lamb chops is ALWAYS important!

1433 Shane Corder May 6, 2011 at 11:47 am

My favorite dinner I make is Chicken Tikka Masala, Chole Palak, Naan and for desert, Gulab Jamun. It’s definitely a meal that takes a great deal of time to prepare but well worth it!

1434 Alan G May 6, 2011 at 11:54 am

Grilled chicken with goat cheese, fresh made ceasar salad, and whipped cream with fruit for dessert!

1435 James L May 6, 2011 at 11:55 am

Breakfast Potatoes…
- Thickly slice or dice several spuds.
- Wash and microwave for 6-8 mins to soften
- fry in skillet while adding green pepper and sweet onion
- not much oil necessary to brown
- add steak seasoning (or favorite spices) to taste.

1436 Ira May 6, 2011 at 11:57 am

I make pizza dough from scratch through on some butter and granulated garlic, a healthy sprinkle of mozzarella cheese, a few slices of roma tomatoes (from the garden seeds removed) and chiffonade basil leaves. Started on top of the stove in my trusty iron skillet and finished under the broiler. Simple yet life changing.

1437 Blake K. May 6, 2011 at 12:07 pm

I’ve perfected my pan-seared tilapia filet. Fresh lemon juice, dill, capers, a dash of freshly ground pepper, and sea salt. The lemons are sliced and used as a garnish.

1438 Evan May 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I make some really good fajitas, as well as eggs benedict.

1439 Scott May 6, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Chicken enchiladas! I make a BUNCH of them, give a couple dozen away, keep a dozen for the family, then freeze another couple dozen for meals in the coming weeks.

We do the same with EXCELLENT homemade meatballs.

I had a set of Wusthoff knives we got 11 years ago for our wedding… And then there was an “incident.” (A visiting friend taking care of our kids used my chef’s knife as a screwdriver…)

1440 J.N.V.S. May 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm


5 Sausages (Brats, Italians, Whatever). Sliced or unsliced.

1 Onion. Slice thinly.

1 Green Pepper. Slice Thinly.

Mushrooms. Sliced however you want.

Olive oil.

Take pan, put on medium heat. Put a small amount of olive oil in the pan. If you are cooking the sausages whole, start cooking them and cover the pan. When whole sausages are done then fry veggies until caramelized. If the sausages are sliced into rounds, then you can just cook everything together.

1441 Aaron Morse May 6, 2011 at 12:41 pm

I make lightly fried pumpkin donuts. Damn fine.

1442 Caleb May 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Usually our family eats duck instead of turkey for holidays such as Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas. My signature dish is a roasted duck with steamed pears sprinkled with pepper, grilled asparagus, and a cranberry/blueberry sauce. It’s our favorite tradition.

1443 Mitch MCFadden May 6, 2011 at 12:51 pm

My signature dish is pasta with fresh veggies and a homemade sauce.

1444 DanielH May 6, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I make an excellent fried chicken! It’s crispy, well spiced, and wonderfully juicy. Sorry, the recipe’s secret… but let’s say that preparation takes about 3 hours. And my buddy Joey’s been trying to get the recipe from me for 8 years now, so I guess you can call that a testament on how good it is.

1445 Cameron Miller May 6, 2011 at 1:19 pm

I make a mean veal parmigiana. I start out with making the sauce. I chop up shallots, garlic, parsley, and some italian peppers and saute in a sauce pan with some olive oil. Then I add pureed plum tomatoes, tomato paste, a bay leaf, and a can of crushed tomatoes and bring to a soft boil for about 30 minutes. While the sauce is cooking I put the veal cutlets between two sheets of wax paper, and pound them out until very thin. I trim off the excess, then dip in flour, egg, then panko breadcrumbs. I then fry up the cutlets in some olive oil and put them on a baking sheet with some fresh thinly sliced mozzarella draped on top. I then cover the veal with sauce and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degress. It’s delicious, not too difficult to make, and will make a woman swoon more than Chuck Norris with his shirt off…feel free to try it out.

1446 Samus Aran May 6, 2011 at 1:37 pm

My signature is a St. Germaine liquor vanilla cheesecake with a toasted almond and walnut crust with just a hint of cinnamon, top well glazed in an espresso-bittersweet-chocolate ganache, garnished with a small pool of freshly made raspberry sauce. Great balance between the lightness of the St Germaine liquor, richness of the cheesecake, nuttiness of the crust, fresh tartness of the raspberry sauce. And, chocolate brings just about anything together.

The trick is, it MUST be sliced with a good chef’s knife, warmed and cleaned after every cut. Otherwise, it simply looks haphazard.

A slice is great after my 6-hour cherrywood smoked Memphis-style BBQ spare ribs. Not sure which is better, actually…

1447 Kevin Wright May 6, 2011 at 1:43 pm

When the kids were growing up I was always the pancake and waffle maker. I’m not pretty much the official griller of all things. I am also my wife’s assistant chef in charge of “cutting things up”…works for me!!

1448 Wesley May 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm

A great dish that I whip up on a regular basis, which feeds me and my wife for two to three days is a chili. Easy enough to make, but with a little style, this dish goes from regular cafeteria staple to a favorite.

Grilled Chicken Breast- marinated overnight and with a chipotle rub.
Fresh Red Bell Peppers
Garbanzo, Black and Kidney Beans
Grilled Corn- taken off the cob.
Green Chiles
Chicken Stock

A manly meal that not only is easy to make but is healthy and hearty. A great meal for two to 10 people, just increase portion size.

1449 Jamison May 6, 2011 at 2:07 pm

i pride myself on making some pretty great tin foil dinners. . .
chicken breast
chopped red peppers
quartered red baby potatoes
chopped baby carrots
half a jar of alfredo sauce

combine ingredients in three layers of tin foil and place on coals in campfire or on charcoal grill. cook each side for at least 25 minutes.

i could use some new knives for all that chopping. . .

1450 Dakota May 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I never really thought about having a signature dish, but I suppose it would have to be my chili.

1451 O'Connor May 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm

My signature is definitely my fried rice. A very nice woman from Tokyo showed me how to make it a few years ago, and I make it at every opportunity. The keys are to use short-grain rice and sesame oil; without them, it’s just not the same. I start by cooking the rice, and while that’s going, I chop up my vegetables; usually carrots, fresh garlic, scallions, and onions. Then I cook that (minus the scallions) and the meat (which usually includes a few strips of chopped up bacon) in a frying pan or wok while the rice finishes cooking – high temperatures and fast cooking is the key. Then I add the rice and some frozen peas and season liberally with soy sauce and sesame oil. Once the rice has a nice golden-brown color to it, I add in the scallions and serve. It makes a large batch and is always popular with the family.

1452 Mike May 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I am the breakfast king in the house. I make the eggs, I make the bacon, I make the sausage. Nothing is really signature. I also run the grill. I’m not super into it like other guys but I can make a nice med-rare steak with the best of them. Oh… and natural lump charcoal is the only way to go.

1453 Dan May 6, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Sausage and peppers over pasta. It’s simple, tasty, and nutritious.

1454 Jeff May 6, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Roasted red pepper and tomato soup, with some spiffed-up grilled cheese sandwiches and salad

1455 TJ May 6, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Skirt steak tacos, baby!

1456 Scott May 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm

My signature dish would probably be my Chipotle Chili, made with beef, pork, and lamb and a Breckenridge Vanilla Porter for good measure.

1457 Bryant W May 6, 2011 at 3:10 pm

My signature dish would have to be my grilled chicken; I’ve got several different seasoning I’ll regularly use for a nice rotation of flavor, and have come fairly close to perfecting my marinade, leaving my chicken flavorful and tender.

1458 Matt Lynch May 6, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Chicken w/ broccoli in a peanut sauce. Awesome.

1459 Nick May 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm

My wife would tell you that I make a delicious Green Curry with Chicken and Veg.

1460 Jason May 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm

fried catfish with fried green tomatoes

1461 Jesse May 6, 2011 at 3:38 pm

BBQ ribs, once had a guy build a roof over my bar for a gallon of my home made BBQ sauce

1462 Matthew J. Denton May 6, 2011 at 3:44 pm


1463 Patrick Haley May 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm

My signature dish is a mild sweet potatoe curry soup with a side of jasmine rice.

1464 Brian Wilson May 6, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Grilled t-bone steak with grilled squash and zucchini and homemade mac and cheese(no boxed garbage)

1465 Kyle J. Becker May 6, 2011 at 3:59 pm

I make chili… but my wife won’t let me touch much in the kitchen after some of the messes I have made :-(

1466 Rob May 6, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Chicken Fesenjoon. Chicken, usually thighs or legs, cooked in pomegranate and walnut sauce.

1467 Bobby May 6, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Chicken alfredo.

1468 Stephen May 6, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Roasted Garlic Potato Soup

1469 Jessica1214 May 6, 2011 at 4:24 pm

My signature dish is lasagna – just like my grandma used to make!

1470 Nathan Reynolds May 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm

My favorite thing to cook would have to be Cheesy Chili Mac, made on a skillet. Absolutely delicious.

1471 Michael Lim May 6, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Bacon wrapped filet mignons, pan fried with shallots.

1472 Chris May 6, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Schnitzel: simple and delicious but messy.

1473 Paul Steele May 6, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Pork loin. Served with a mushroom pilaf and braised cabbage.

1474 Charles Martin May 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm

I make a pretty good chicken schnitzel. Also manage well with pancakes and baklava.

1475 jimmy May 6, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Pork chops with a blueberry sriracha sauce….zingggggg

1476 Jason May 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Grilled chicken sandwich

1477 Devin W. May 6, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Penne Rosa pasta with chicken.

1478 David S. May 6, 2011 at 8:53 pm

My signature dish would have to be:

Roast chicken breasts, wrapped in bacon, stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, garlic and feta.

Cubed potato and at least two types of kūmara (some kind of sweet potato), I roast these with olive oil, then crumble feta over it to serve.

And, finally, a mesclun salad with some cherry tomatoes from the garden (if they’re ripe).

At the moment, I’m muddling around my kitchen with an 8 inch Victorinox Chef’s knife, but would far prefer a more solid Wüsthof. Since becoming too ill to work (or pursue any more vigorous hobbies), cooking, and planning what to cook, has been the favorite part of my day.

1479 Marty May 6, 2011 at 8:57 pm

French Onion Soup is one of the things I like to make. People seem to frequently order it at restauraunts. I like it at home. So does my family.

1480 Gabe May 6, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I need knives for making my signature kale salad! So much chopping goes into it. It is special because it is extremely healthy (my body goes into shock from it) and very tasty. Serve with a side of grain and steamed vegetables.

1481 John May 6, 2011 at 9:04 pm

My wife would probably rave to you about my meatloaf or my omelettes.

I think my specialty is my shrimp scampi.

DW hates seafood, even when her former professional cook makes it.

1482 Richard May 6, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Grilled tri-tip with Santa Maria dry rub.

1483 danny dailey May 6, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Here in South Carolina, the dish of choice is Low Country Boil. Rice, potatoes, cabbage, onion, smoked sausage, crab, and shrimp all boiled together with Old Bay is simple, yet fantastic.

1484 Andrew May 6, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Marinated Venison Steaks done on the grill, served with corn on the cob, also grilled. Doesn’t get better than that.

1485 David Khim May 6, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Chicken fettuccine alfredo!

1486 Kyle May 6, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Spicy cajun eggs and bacon

1487 Adam May 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm

I really enjoy, and think I am quite good at, searing/roasting a good rib eye with some baby red mashed potatoes and asparagus. My wife recently broke one of my knives so I could really use a nice set!

1488 Melvin Love May 6, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Wow, I have too many signature dishes but I if have to choice one Breakfast omelet. Sometimes I cook it with ham chopped up or some steak to also even turkey. Very for fulling and it puts a smile on my face and others.SOOO good.

1489 Scott Morey May 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm

I’ll have to agree with Eric who posted on May 4, 2011 at 1:35 pm. “I never intended it to become my signature dish, but my family and friends keep requesting it.” That’s the first sign of a signature dish. Not that you love it or think that it’s great, but that your circle of friends and family can’t get enough of it. The second is that it elevates the ingredients to a level above their original that people just can’t believe.
Now, every man on here should good steak recipe, considering it the most manly of meals. But I propose a different sort of manliness. Just because you’re a dude doesn’t mean that your culinary adventures need to be based on Fred Flintstone or Epic Meal Time.

Art of manliness brings back the essence of man – where he is a provider, creating what everyone enjoys, not showing off for ego. I don’t know about you, but I married a quasi-vegetarian. No red meat for her. And there are lots of men with families like that out there.

So in designing any dish, I considered four qualities:
1. It has to be original.
2. It has to taste fantastic to everyone.
3. It has to be done cheaply with ingredients easily found anywhere.
4. People have to enjoy eating it.
I can make fancy stuff (butternut squash and lobster bisque) I can make powerful, flavorful stuff (I make a mean vindaloo), but to me nothing is a satisfying as something that is simple, clean, flavorful and fresh.

My signature dish is fish. Fish Tacos.
Don’t laugh. It’s tasty and it’s versatile. It plays equally well with girls and guys. Kids love it too. It’s fun for a group or just for two. It’s healthy. And when I was single, it always impressed the girl’s family. That’s my first point of the signature dish.
As a Navy man, I’ve always lived on the coast where fish is easily attainable, but I’ve found out when visiting friends I can make this anywhere. It’s minimal fuss and always works. This dish takes ten minutes to cook. I start usually the prep 30 minutes before cooking.
I start with the cheapest FRESH white fish I can find that day. Here in Hawaii – it’s usually Mahi-mahi or swordfish. If you are lucky enough you can get it off the docks, like I can here; however, the supermarket stuff works just as well. I’ll taylor this recipe for two and get a little over half a pound. Cut the fish into small bite size strips. Check thoroughly for bones, but if you have made friends with your fish-monger you shouldn’t have this problem.
In a small (1 quart) bowl, briefly marinate the fish. Don’t let it sit too long. You don’t want to overpower the fresh fish. I squeeze the juice of 1 lime (or 1 tablespoon lime juice) and add 1 tablespoon of gold tequila (I prefer 1800 as that’s what my honey likes in her drinks). Chop 2 cloves garlic, 1 shallot, and 1 side of a green pepper (not one half – approximately the amount you can fit on the blade of a chef’s knife). Now I measure seasoning by impact on color (maybe 4 shakes of the bottle each), adding cayenne, cumin, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. I add half of that of crushed red pepper and sea salt (the coarser, the better). Zest two sides of a lemon into the bowl. Mix by hand. Let sit for 20 minutes.
Remember that as to flavors, moderation is the key. Let’s go back to our second point of a signature dish. When you add an ingredient, you shouldn’t just make the food taste like that ingredient. It should make it taste better.

Now, the cooking. FIRE! I first learned to cook as an outdoor skills counselor at Camp Yawgoog – a boy scout camp. So like many good men skilled on the open flame, I always turn to my trusty old friend – cast iron. Nothing cooks like cast iron for the price and it works just as well in the kitchen. Also means I can cook this over a campfire or a beachside bonfire just as easily as a stove.
Place a 12 inch skillet on the burner. Add I tablespoon of canola oil and heat for 1 minute at 6/10 (med high). Remember, this varies from oven to oven and cast iron transfers heat better than your Teflon, so watch for burning. Cook the fish watching for it to turn that nice white color. After about 5 minute, I turn down the heat 3/10. Continue cooking until tender and white. (Test it! It’s worth it and allows a free check on flavors).
Serve with taco shells, shredded CABOT cheese, chopped onions, tomatoes and shredded greens. I recommend spinach for the nutritional value. This is complimented by my gal’s homemade guacamole. Always a winner.
Anyway, that’s my recipe. I hope you enjoyed. I hope I win too. Those knifes will be put to good use and it’ll help prove to me that I can write well enough to start my own blog. Thanks.

1490 Jen May 6, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Broccoli Salad

1491 Brian May 7, 2011 at 12:00 am

Steak. Salt. Pepper. Cast iron.

1492 John Miller May 7, 2011 at 12:01 am

I make a mean bowl of Chili

1493 Rob May 7, 2011 at 12:16 am

If it’s grilled, it’s a signature: Steak, barbecue chicken, even lobstah.

1494 Peter May 7, 2011 at 12:22 am

It’s a recipe of my mom’s that I absolutely love… It’s called sausage creole and is an italian sausage dish in a tomato paste sauce with zucchini, eggplant, celery, peppers, and lots of other stuff all over a bed of noodles. Gets me every time!

1495 Matt Farrell May 7, 2011 at 12:29 am

I am pretty proud of my poached eggs! We normally use them for Eggs Benedict.

1496 Pat Deane May 7, 2011 at 12:30 am

Signature dish would have to be a bbq bacon cheese burger. Mix up the ground beef with garlic, an egg and a touch of bbq sauce. Before the meat is done on the grill (charcoal), top with the bacon and cheese so it melts right when the burger is done. As an added touch, put a few salt & pepper kettle cooked chips on top of the burger for a nice crunch.

1497 Joshua May 7, 2011 at 12:52 am

Personal favorite is chicken breasts, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, in the slow cooker for about 6 hours. Add coarse ground sea salt and italian spices to taste. Pretty basic, but comes out perfectly moist and easy to pull apart for topping on salads or putting together for chicken gyros.

1498 Bryan May 7, 2011 at 1:24 am

I make this really mean grilled mushroom sandwich. The sandwich is grilled, not the mushrooms.

1499 Jonathan May 7, 2011 at 2:35 am

My signature dish is my Grilled Spanish Mustard Steak. Skirt steak marinated in Dijon mustard, Spanish sherry, olive oil, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. This is served up with grilled sweet onions and grilled bell peppers and served on a warm, handmade corn tortilla. Also gets a slice of avocado when in season and goes great with a Negra Modelo.

1500 Phil Doyle May 7, 2011 at 2:57 am

Simple roasted chicken.
Remove the back bone and wishbone so it lays flat.
rub herbed butter under the skin.
create a bed of chopped onion, garlic, gizzard and heart.
Salt liberally both sides
lay on top of the onions,
add flat parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage, and lemon according to your tastes. Cooks in about 90 minutes at 375 degrees.

Laying the chicken flat will make it turn out much more evenly than a whole, uncut roaster.

Use the backbone and unused bits (the neck) for a stock.

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