What’s my signature dish?

I'm searching for my signature dishAS 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.

If I were a dessert I would be something on fire or something that explodes“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!).

One of my favourite creations - banana and caramel cakeI 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?

4 comments for “What’s my signature dish?

  1. July 4, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    I haven’t made it for a while – but I definitely used to be known for my Icky Sticky Pudding (a really rich, moist, sticky date). I might just have to resurrect that reputation now you bring it up.

  2. July 4, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    Oh – and flambéed rum bananas

  3. sb
    July 6, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    I’m a bit ambivalent about it because I don’t actually like cream… but in NZ I am always asked to bring “my” ambrosia when we’re invited somewhere. In Australia I am always asked to bring rice bubble cake instead, in nz everyone can make that but it seems to be a novelty here. Either way I only ever started regularly making those things because they take less than 10 minutes and cannot be screwed up, so that works for me, no patience or skill required 😉

  4. Brooke
    July 7, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    My mum’s signature dish is definitely her apple pie – she is quite famous for it among family and friends. She makes her own pastry and it’s amazing! I only wish I could replicate it.
    I love to make desserts too, although I think my signature dish would be slow-cooked lamb shanks. It’s certainly my husband’s favourite and I feel like a good wife when I have made it for him. Just the other night I cooked a self-saucing caramel pudding, which was quite yummy and could become my new signature dish 🙂

I would love it if you would tap out a few words here!