AS hubby was helping himself to seconds of lasagne last night he remarked, “Would you say lasagne was your signature dish?”. He asked because I make lasagne once a week, it’s simple and ever since I conquered the white sauce, it’s easy to put together. (And truth be told, it makes me feel like a good wife and mother). But I don’t want to be known for my lasagne.
Oh, sure, it’s delicious and whenever it is served everyone has second helpings. And the white sauce (or roux) is no longer the daunting, refuse-to-thicken component it once was.
“But it has no flair, no flourish,” I explained to hubby. “If I was going to have a dish that I am remembered for I would like it to be something dramatic, something flambe, or something that explodes.”
He looked at me as he forked some lasagne into his mouth. He chewed thoughtfully.
“Bombe Alaska?” he suggested.
“Now you’re talking!” I said, considering the possibilities. “I definitely think my signature dish should be a dessert. Not a main course dish. That’s a little … dull. And, well, not really me, is it? If I were a dish, I’d definitely be a dessert.”
I turned my thoughts to the desserts I could reasonably expect to master, the desserts that, like me, had a flair for the dramatic without (unlike me) being impossible.
Chocolate truffles? They don’t really have a reason to be made every day, do they? They’re more of a special occasion dish. I’d like something that I can make any night I feel like it. Say, for book club. Or when my life turns into the mythical life promised to me in glossy magazine advertisements.
An apple pie would fill the brief, and beautifully too. And everyone likes apple pie, don’t they? Put that in the ‘maybe’ column.
Last book club I made tiny red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting that drew positive reviews. But I made them with wholemeal flour which gave them a texture that I found a bit unpalatable. However, they were very easy to make, and with practice I think I could make them really pop. Especially if I use white flour, rather than the textured, bitty, wholemeal flour (blech!).
I am a baker from way back. I love to bake and will often bake a cake for no real reason at all. My favourite was a banana and caramel cake I made for my birthday. It was delicious. But cakes aren’t really a signature dish, are they? And they lack a little bit of flair too.
So, I’m looking for suggestions. What should I consider for my signature dish? Do you have a signature dish? What is it and how did it become your signature dish?