Most often, they're passed down from a relative, and that's how those recipes stay among the family's favorites.
So, The Early Show asked lifestyle expert Sissy Biggers what hers are. She's come up with them just from cooking for her family over the years, and by learning from the many chefs she's interviewed.
Our anchors also let the world in on their "secrets!"
Biggers' two "secret" ingredients are already-roasted garlic you can buy at a store, and lemon-infused olive oil.
Roasting your own garlic is easy, but it takes time. So, why not buy the ones already-roasted from the grocery? They keep well in the fridge and are easy to work with.
Biggers purees her roasted garlic along with fresh herbs, such as rosemary. She then uses the puree to stuff a roast with, or even as a dipping sauce for crudités and bread.
Biggers says lemon-infused olive oil is a great trick: When you drizzle it over salad, you don't even really need vinegar. You can add some fresh lemon juice for an extra kick.
As for the Early Show anchors:
Harry Smith has two, for spaghetti sauce.
Maggie Rodriguez served up her black beans and sofrito recipe.
Russ Mitchell doesn't cook often, but does have a recipe he likes to make -- for a great appetizer recipe. He certainly adds a "kick" to it!
Dave Price has a pasta recipe he loves to use.
To see the segment, and get the anchors' secrets,
Editor's note: We are attempting to get Russ' recipe. The others are listed below.
HARRY'S SECRET SAUCE RECIPE
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 pieces pork neck bone
1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup red wine
56 oz crushed tomatoes with basil ( best you can find Italian are nice)
16 oz tomato sauce
12 oz tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
In a large sauce pot heat olive oil over medium high heat and brown bones. reduce to medium heat add onion and garlic and allow to soften about 3-4 minutes. de glaze with red wine and add tomatoes, tomatoes sauce and paste add oregano. season with salt and pepper and add 1 cup of water. reduce and allow to simmer on low for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. if it gets to thick add more water. serve
DAVE'S PASTA RECIPE
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
1 pound macaroni cooked al dente
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
3 cups whole milk
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (2 cup)
8 ounces Muenster cheese, coarsely grated (2 cup)
1 cup chez whiz
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup bread crumbs
Preheat oven 350 degrees and butter a baking dish 9 x 13 will do
in a large sauce pan melt butter whisk in flour and cook 1 minute whisking the entire time then add dry mustard and whole milk, season with salt and pepper as you whisk then continue to add 1 1/2 cup cheddar, 11/2 cup muenster and all the chez whiz. and last but not least the worchester . in a large bowl fold cheese mixture into pasta then transfer to buttered baking dish. top with remaining cheese and bread crumbs bake 30 to 45 minutes until golden brown on top the dish size will make the baking times differ.
1 16 oz. package dry black beans
10 cups water
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. oregano
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. white sugar
2 tsp. sherry vinegar
For "sofrito" -- secret ingredient:
1 large onion
4 garlic cloves
1 large green pepper
Soak beans in water. When they've expanded, boil them in the same water until they soften (approx. 45 minutes). In a skillet, heat the olive oil to make the "sofrito". Heat diced onion, green pepper and garlic until slightly browned. Add to pot with beans. Add salt, pepper, oregano, bay leaf, vinegar and sugar. Boil for an hour. Add vinegar and cook on low hear for another hour until desired thickeness.
Serve as soup or on top of white rice (long grain).