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The most simple meal you fix that your family loves?

r
raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 01:23 PM

My wife and I are both chowhounds. We split cooking responsibilities since we both work during the day. On Friday, as I was thinking about what to plan for dinner, I also wondered what you other hounds found to be the family favorite that you fix (especially for a week night) - something quick, simple and easy to prepare - comfort food, per se.

Although several items came to mind (fried and / or bbq chicken, steaks, and a handfull of sides, the one that they request most was country style steak, mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, either macaroni and cheese or green peas, and biscuits.

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  1. e
    EAF RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 01:59 PM

    Meatloaf
    Roast Beef
    Salisbury steak
    Baked chicken

    Everything with gravy!

    3 Replies
    1. re: EAF
      c
      CG RE: EAF Sep 12, 2005 10:04 PM

      Salisbury Steak recipe, please??

      Thanks, Cg

      1. re: CG
        e
        EAF RE: CG Sep 13, 2005 09:44 AM

        Season 1 lb ground beef with about 1/2 Tbs of worcestershire, pinch of salt, and black pepper, 1 tsp each garlic and onion powder (measurements are approximations). mix well and form into 2-4 patties depending on how big you like them. In a deep frying pan place 1Tbs oil, 1/2 medium onion sliced and 1-3 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped. saute on med heat until onions are translucent. Add hamburger patties and brown on both sides. Add 1 can beef broth to the pan, cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes depending on the size of the "steaks". S & P to taste. thicken with cornstarch and water. serve with egg noodles.

        you can also add mushrooms if you like.

        You can also use worcestershire and/or gravy master to increase the flavor of the gravy it it is not rich enough as is.

      2. re: EAF
        n
        N Tocus RE: EAF Sep 14, 2005 01:21 AM

        I second baked chicken for the easiest possible meal. Can use whole fryer or big roaster or split breasts. In same oven, bake a sweet potato per person (prick with fork first and lay on aluminum foil to avoid mess in oven). Bust the sweet potatoes open and fill with butter and brown sugar. Find a vegetable or salad somewhere.

      3. c
        CeeBee RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 02:04 PM

        Rice and Beans

        1. r
          Randy K. Lay RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 02:12 PM

          Blackened Chicken Ceasar Salad

          1 Boneless chicken breast half per person pounded thin and coated liberally with Paul Pruhommes Blackened Redfish Magic is sauteed in olive oil until cooked through.

          Once drained the breast is sliced and placed atop a ceasar salad garnished with croutons & parmesan shavings.

          Quick, easy, & definitely a house favorite.

          1. d
            Deenso RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 02:13 PM

            The simplest thing I do that my husband asks for is the dish my mother used to make for us that she called "chili con carne," but which actually has no heat in it at all. In her honor, we call it Mildred's Chili, but it's really just a ground beef stew. In a Dutch oven, saute a sliced onion, a chopped green pepper and a few stalks of chopped celery in a bit of oil. (Don't chop the pepper and celery too finely - you want to have decent-sized, recognizable pieces when you eat it.) When it's all softened (not browned), add some minced garlic and cook for a little while longer. Remove the sauteed vegetables from the pot and add two pounds of ground beef to brown and crumble. At this point, you might want to drain the fat out. Then add the sauteed vegetables to the meat in the Dutch oven, along with a large can of kidney beans (drained) and a large can of diced plum tomatoes with the liquid. Also add a can of condensed tomato soup (we always use Campbell's). Stir it all together, bring it to a simmer and let it cook for a bit. Then add salt and pepper to taste. It's good over rice but it's great with boiled bow-tie, corkscrew or seashell pasta. As with most soups/stews/sauces, it tastes even better the next day.

            1. f
              foodiex2 RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 02:36 PM

              I posted this under a similar topic from last week: fajita/burritos. I buy premade tortillas. Just saute sweet onions and peppers in olive oil. Set aside. Brown strips of chicken. Serve with bowls of cheese, sour cream, re-fried beans, avocado slices, bottle of hot sauce and any thing else you like on yours. Put all on the table and let every one roll up their own. My sons loves to do this and it is a weekly favorite.

              Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

              1. j
                JudiAU RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 02:47 PM

                Shirred eggs on toast served with sparkling wine for dinner. If we have any truffle butter we add it.

                Cheap, quick, & delicous.

                2 Replies
                1. re: JudiAU
                  g
                  gus RE: JudiAU Sep 13, 2005 10:05 AM

                  that sounds sooo good. i like to add a green salad: mache, 1 Tbs olive oil, 2 tsp pumpkin-seed oil (that screaming green beauty), and LOTS of toasted walnuts. the nuts shouldn't merely be a topping, they should be an integral part of the salad.

                  no vinegar or pepper, but season with salt to taste. had this once at a restaurant called lutter & wegner in berlin, and have been in love with the combination ever since.

                  1. re: gus
                    j
                    JudiAU RE: gus Sep 17, 2005 02:24 PM

                    I love mache with walnut oil. Hum. Maybe substitute the shirred eggs for a soft omlette with sharp cheddar...

                2. l
                  Louise RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 02:54 PM

                  This is the most simple meal I fix myself (dh does not really care for it).

                  Place boiled, quartered potatoes is a shallow soup bowl.

                  Top with one or two sunny side up eggs.

                  Sprinkle with grated cheddard (white or yellow, doesn't matter, but I prefer yellow).

                  That's it. When you cut up the eggs, the yolks run through the potatoes. Comfort food at its simplest :-)

                  For veggies, I either slice up a tomato or make a small salad.

                  1. m
                    mg RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 03:01 PM

                    Pasta. Every kind.

                    1. c
                      coll RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 03:27 PM

                      Grilled cheese, with a side of mac and cheese.

                      1. j
                        janet of reno RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 04:04 PM

                        meatloaf, or spaghetti. Actually, an omelette or frittata is often requested, and that is really simple, IMO. Especially since hubby is the omelette/frittata cooker in the family.....

                        1. f
                          Funwithfood RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 04:38 PM

                          Check the Tried & True Recipes post of about a week ago--lots of replies there that would be helpful.

                          1. m
                            miss_mia RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 04:41 PM

                            My family loves red beans & rice - cooked rice, a can of kidney beans, rinsed, some salsa stirred in for flavor, served with sour cream and shredded cheddar. My kids squawk if I serve it for dinner without kielbasa or something else to fortify it, but it's a favorite weekend lunch.

                            Grilled, brined chicken breasts are a regular, with fresh corn in the summer and a salad. Brining is the only way to do skinless breasts on the grill, IMO.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: miss_mia
                              s
                              Scagnetti RE: miss_mia Sep 12, 2005 04:51 PM

                              Can you post the ingredients and amounts you use for the brine?

                            2. p
                              Pantagruel RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 04:55 PM

                              Pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, and lots of olive oil.

                              1. p
                                pilotgirl210 RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 05:14 PM

                                I buy a couple of skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut them into about six pieces each and saute them in a fry pan to which I've added about a fourth of an inch of Kraft Free Italian Dressing. Since it is water-based, the dressing evaporates as the chicken cooks and what is left is a spicy coating on the chicken with no additional fat or calories added. Serve with a salad and a crusty bread and ta-da...dinner.

                                1. s
                                  Steve RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 05:21 PM

                                  Easy curry chicken.

                                  Brown a cut up, salted and peppered chicken in some oil, remove. Add a diced onion and saute, then add a few spoonsful of curry powder (Bolst's is best), cook a bit longer, then add a can of cream of mushroom soup and the chicken. Simmer till done. Serve with rice and chutney.

                                  I fully recognize this sounds disgusting but everyone simply loves it.

                                  1. c
                                    cleo RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 05:34 PM

                                    I don't have a name for this...
                                    Butterfly and pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I get them from a butcher that wraps them in a big sheet of heavy paper so I just cut them right on there, fold the paper back over, and pound- no cutting board needed.
                                    Season well, oil a little, broil until browned on one side, flip, broil til done.
                                    Top with sliced roasted red peppers, chopped kalamatas, and crumbled Feta. Broil just til melty.
                                    Serve with sauteed spinach and bread or couscous. (It makes a little juice that can be poured over the couscous)
                                    This is so fast I always feel like I forgot something...

                                    1. t
                                      Tracy L. RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 06:49 PM

                                      1.Jamie Oliver's Liguirian Chicken. I got the recipe from the NY Times.
                                      2.Marcella's tomato sauce with onions and butter.
                                      3.Chicken with Tangy Beer Sauce. See link below.

                                      Link: http://www.aphids.com/susan/sept98rec...

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Tracy L.
                                        v
                                        Val RE: Tracy L. Sep 12, 2005 09:11 PM

                                        Tracy, are you SURE you use a 14 ounce can of peppers in the Tangy Beer Sauce recipe?? Don't think I've ever seen a can that large of peppers...do you mean 4 ounce, instead? Thanks!

                                        1. re: Val
                                          t
                                          Tracy L. RE: Val Sep 13, 2005 12:15 AM

                                          I checked the original recipe, you are correct. I usually use 1/2 ortega and 1/2 jalepeno for some zip.

                                          1. re: Tracy L.
                                            v
                                            Val RE: Tracy L. Sep 13, 2005 07:02 AM

                                            Thank you, Tracy...will try that recipe this week, I think.

                                      2. h
                                        hbgrrl RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 07:58 PM

                                        I take some boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
                                        Cut them into strips.
                                        Saute in garlic olive oil/butter.
                                        Take some low fat sour cream, dump in some Grey Poupon, pour over, simmer. Done.
                                        With a bagged salad, dinner's on the table in 30 mins.

                                        1. s
                                          sj RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 12, 2005 10:48 PM

                                          I think our favorite simple meal is the one my fiance learned from her grandmother...

                                          baked chicken... with potatoes.
                                          lots of butter, salt, pepper, and paprika over everything.

                                          into the oven at 375 or so, and 45 minutes later...

                                          yum!

                                          1. k
                                            kate RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 13, 2005 12:46 AM

                                            The quickest by far is to smear two boneless fish fillets (tilapia, sole, etc.) with basil pesto, and pop under a hot broiler for 4-8 minutes. Other sauces include:

                                            lemon, S&P, olive oil
                                            apricot jam and soy sauce
                                            lime,soy sauce and brown sugar

                                            You get the idea.

                                            When the kitchen's too hot, I eat brie on crackers with some al dente, salt-speckled, oil-doused green beans. Mmmm.

                                            1. c
                                              Caitlin McGrath RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 13, 2005 02:21 AM

                                              Our two simplest staple meals are store-bought sausages (usually a seasoned precooked or smoked chicken variety), pan-fried, with braised cabbage (if there's time, Marcella Hazan's smothered cabbage, Sicilian style) or sauteed peppers and and onions;

                                              and pan-fried tofu with cucmber salad, made thusly:

                                              Use one block (package) of firm tofu for every two people. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Marinate in a mixture of (1 part=1 tablespoon, multiply by blocks of tofu):

                                              4 parts soy sauce
                                              3 parts rice vinegar
                                              1 part toasted sesame oil
                                              1 part honey
                                              1 part grated ginger or bottled ginger juice
                                              1 part chili oil (or to taste)

                                              Marinate for at least half an hour, or up to two days in the fridge. Pan-fry on med-high heat in neutral or peanut oil till slightly carmelized on all sides. Serve with thinly sliced cucmbers dressed with seasoned rice vinegar (from bottle, or plain rice vinegar with a bit sugar and salt dissolved in it).

                                              1. p
                                                petradish RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 13, 2005 05:01 PM

                                                chicken paprikas, bbq shrimp w/ french bread, welsh rarebit, salade lyonnaise, shrimp & avocado quesadillas, steak sandwiches, noodles with peanut sauce & cucumbers, greek salad.

                                                1. j
                                                  Jennie Sheeks RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 13, 2005 06:43 PM

                                                  My family loves burrito night. For meat I use either seasoned ground beef or leftover chicken, pork or steak. For beans I used refried, black, kidney or pinto. Or just cans of chili. Then we pull out all the hot sauces, and whatever assortment of lettuce, tomato, onion, marinated hot peppers, avocado, cheese, sour cream and olives we have on hand.

                                                  The family also begs for pan-fried hamburgers, which my husband now calls jennieburgers. I season the meat with chipotle in adobo, spice rubs, hot sauce, bbq sauce or whatever I can find in the pantry. I toast the buns and top the burgers with cheese (blue, jack, cheddar, fontina). I'll top them with just about anything; bacon, avocado, chutney, salsa, sauteed mushrooms, roasted veggies, herbs, grilled onions, roasted garlic, catsup mixed with tabasco etc.

                                                  Link: http://www.titusvineyards.com/

                                                  1. m
                                                    maria RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 15, 2005 01:48 PM

                                                    We make this very easy chicken stew that we've named Magic Chicken. It's a simplified version of coq au vin that we make during the weekend It reheats beautifully during the week. Our two kids(5 and 2 yrs old) love this dish.

                                                    Magic Chicken:
                                                    3 lbs chicken legs and thighs, separated
                                                    2 tablespoons butter
                                                    1/2 bottle full bodied red wine
                                                    1 head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
                                                    3 bay leaves
                                                    1/2 cup pitted prunes or as much as you like
                                                    1 tablespoon chopped parsley
                                                    Wash and thoroughly dry the chicken pieces. Heat butter in braising pan. When hot brown chicken pieces on both sides. When all of the chicken pieces have been browned discard fat from pan. Return pan to stove over high flame. Add the red wine and scrape the bits. When wine starts to simmer add chicken pieces (in one layer), garlic cloves, bay leaves and salt/pepper. Lower heat so that wine gently simmers. Cook for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours with lid half off. Turn chicken over every now and then. After 30 minutes of cooking add prunes, they will soften and turn creamy. When the chicken is done and garlic is mushy and you still have too much liquid increase the heat and remove lid to reduce the sauce. Adjust salt/pepper to taste. Sprinkle chopped parsley. A variation is to substitute pitted olives and some lemon zest for the prunes. Enjoy.

                                                    1. m
                                                      maria RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 15, 2005 01:50 PM

                                                      We make this very easy chicken stew that we've named Magic Chicken. It's a simplified version of coq au vin that we make during the weekend It reheats beautifully during the week. Our two kids(5 and 2 yrs old) love this dish.

                                                      Magic Chicken:
                                                      3 lbs chicken legs and thighs, separated
                                                      2 tablespoons butter
                                                      1/2 bottle full bodied red wine
                                                      1 head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
                                                      3 bay leaves
                                                      1/2 cup pitted prunes or as much as you like
                                                      1 tablespoon chopped parsley
                                                      Wash and thoroughly dry the chicken pieces. Heat butter in braising pan. When hot brown chicken pieces on both sides. When all of the chicken pieces have been browned discard fat from pan. Return pan to stove over high flame. Add the red wine and scrape the bits. When wine starts to simmer add chicken pieces (in one layer), garlic cloves, bay leaves and salt/pepper. Lower heat so that wine gently simmers. Cook for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours with lid half off. Turn chicken over every now and then. After 30 minutes of cooking add prunes, they will soften and turn creamy. When the chicken is done and garlic is mushy and you still have too much liquid increase the heat and remove lid to reduce the sauce. Adjust salt/pepper to taste. Sprinkle chopped parsley. A variation is to substitute pitted olives and some lemon zest for the prunes. Enjoy.

                                                      1. t
                                                        twinmommy RE: raleighfoodlover Sep 17, 2005 11:14 AM

                                                        My husband loves herb roasted chicken cutlets- Bittman's recipe. You just dredge the cutlets in an herb/flour/s and p mixture then brown on each side on stovetop, pour in a cup of chicken broth and throw in oven for about 6 minutes. We like to have the cutlets and the delicious gravy over jasmine rice. I don't usually care for breast meat but I really enjoy these too.

                                                        Another quick dish my husband loves is salmon salad. I spread a couple fillets w/ dijon mustard and bake in the oven, then just treat it like chicken salad- mayo, dill, chopped celery and/or onion, and serve over greens.

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