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-no recipe, just do it!

What do you do that's simple-easy-foolproof?

My best-of-the-week was last night's okra...
whole pods in buttermilk, dredged in cornmeal, deep-fried.

What's yours?

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  1. My favorite no-recipe dish is gumbo. I don't really like gumbo, but my family loves it. It's so fun to make I think. I doubt I ever make it the same way twice, though the basic roux and trinity are always about the same.

    1. Posole is one, gumbo too and most braises. I've got a pot of posole cooking up right now and boy dooes it smell good!

      1. I call it Kitchen Sink Chili con Carne

        Here's what's in it:

        Medium ground beef (have also used cubed sirloin)
        red kidney beans (have used romano beans)
        canned tomatoes, crushed by hand
        white onions & garlic sauteed in butter and olive oil
        chipotle powder
        tobasco
        Vietnamese hot pepper paste
        cayenne
        cinnamon
        soy sauce
        balsamic vinegar
        brown sugar
        sea salt
        fresh black pepper

        I never measure. Just ad a dash here and a pinch there. It always turns out great.

        1. La Gringa's Inauthentic Chile Colorado

          Into a slow-cooker crockpot goes 3 or so lbs of beef stew meat, a can of red chile salsa or enchilada sauce, a little can of tomato sauce (optional), a small chopped onion, and if you feel like it - a chopped chile. Add a bay leaf if you've got it.

          Cook, as they say, until done. You know by now how long it takes to do stew in your pot.

          The can of salsa can be either 16 oz or 28 oz size. Whatever you got the last time they were on sale. If you end up with too much gravy, it's useful for other Mexican-style applications.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Sharuf

            This is remarkably similar to my "Cheater Chile Verde"! Just substitute cubed pork butt for the beef, and green enchilada sauce (your favorite brand) for the red sauce, and you're there!

            1. re: Sharuf

              Sounds like my gringo chili, which is really good -- a can of chili beans, a can of red kidney beans, a can of yellow El Pato sauce, some ground turkey and onion, and some chili powder.

            2. I make lots of things without recipes (and sew without patterns, too). I like making my version of jambalaya:

              Cook some chopped carrots, celery, and shallots (mirepoix) in oil until soft, add some good chicken or pork andouille sausage and cook until lightly browned. Add a pinch of dried herbs (marjoram, thyme) and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Add some good chicken stock (but the low-sodium canned stuff works, too), salt, pepper, and cayenne (or chipotle powder) to taste, plus a splash of sherry. A few minutes before serving, add shrimp (I like to leave it in its shells for extra flavor), some firm, white-fleshed fish, and a few dashes of a vinegary hot sauce. Serve it with rice. It never turns out quite the same twice, but it's always good.

              1. I start with precooked orzo pasta in a sautepan and add what's leftover in the frig till I've got a quick and easy stovetop casserole.

                Last Thurs the casserole consisted of:

                shredded chicken
                cashew nuts
                red pepper
                scallion
                ginger root
                corn off the cob
                can of black beans
                this time I used a touch of jerk spice

                lots of varieties, any small pre cooked pasta would work, rice too.

                1. I make my own versions of mango salad, guacamole, vegetarian sushi, veggie chili, egg dishes (strata, omeletes), hot pot soup....there's a lot to make without a recipe and often are the best things to eat.

                  1. Tuna puttanesca. Love it!

                    1. Pasta pebronata -- green, yellow and red bell peppers cooked with eggplant, onion, garlic, tomato, sherry wine, oregano and thyme, tossed with long pasta and served with a chunk of chevre in the centre so it starts to melt.

                      1. Spaghetti squash....love to cook it then add diced tomatoes, basil, & feta

                        baked apples

                        1. layer vegetables in pyrex baking dish, add teaspoon or two of olive oil and salt and pepper, cover with foil, and roast in 450 oven for 30 minute - open foil and add salmon fillet or steak, recover and cook for another 15 minutes. Eat

                          1. I do that too, but also add cut red potatoes & delicious with herbes de provence and minced garlic (instead of just salt & pepper)

                            1. I am willing to say that I know not a person who uses a recipe for chicken soup.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: serious

                                I do - me - for some reason I always think I'm going to do it "wrong" and check about 5 recipes to see what I should be doing.