Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Mar 2, 2010 12:55 PM

What do you make that is SOOO easy yet you impress yourself every time you make it?

One of my resolutions this year was to not make the same old, same old meals as last year. I am a very low maintenance cook so I like easy recipes that taste like a lot of work. I have found a few new ones this year that are so easy and so yummy!!!! How about you? What do you make that is super easy, yet you impress yourself and others every time you make it? Recipes, please!!!!


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Sushi!
    Or butternut bisque. Sautee onions and garlic, add some sage or thyme, toss in cubed squash, cover with stock, cook until falling apart, add a hunk of cream cheese, and blend it up.

    5 Replies
    1. re: jvanderh

      i impressed myself with a butternut squash soup last night! sauteed onion, garlic, and carrots until soft, added a bay leaf, italian seasoning, cubed butternut squash and chicken stock. cooked until fork tender, then blended with the immersion blender. no dairy or extra fat added (other than the EVOO used to sautee the veggies). Delicious, healthy and comforting!

      1. re: jvanderh

        That sounds really good... but what about doing the same thing but add curry powder, cumin and a little plain yogurt. You could make this basic recipe a lot of different ways. Thanks for sharing!

        1. re: julesincoq

          I always add a couple sour apples (peeled/cored/sliced) at the beginning with the onions, the sweeten it up and give a great depth of flavor. I add curry and cinnamon to mine, not enough to really taste, just enough to notice something fun going on.

          1. re: j_cro

            Love this thread. I split the whole squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, brush surface with oil and then roast in the oven until the flesh is soft enough to scoop out. Then I put it in with the other soup ingredients. The roasting adds depth of flavor. And always an apple, or cider, and some curry cooked with the onions at the beginning. Yum.

      2. Mushrooms on toast.

        Put sliced baby bellas in a dry saute pan over medium to medium-high heat and toss a bit of salt on. sautee until they give off their moisture and are starting to get dry again. Throw in a minced garlic clove and a sprinkle of thyme and a tablespoon or so of truffle oil and sautee until garlic is fragrant & soft. Add a tablespoon of grainy mustard and enough cream to make it saucy but not swimming. Serve on hot garlic toast.

        Edited to add: throw in some chopped parsely at the end, if you have it available.

        3 Replies
        1. re: weezycom

          I've been making something verty similar. I serve it on or under eggs, on toast...very delicious.
          I simply cook slice 'shrooms in a dry pan, add white wine, dijon mustard and end with a splash of cream.

          1. re: weezycom

            Yum, I am going to try this. I like it!

            1. re: weezycom

              One of my favorites! I've never used truffle oil, only the Good Olive Oil. :) Also haven't ever added mustard or cream, but this sounds like a delightful variation.

              Also great with oyster mushrooms, or a blend or wild mushrooms.

            2. Any shank. Veal... lamb. They never turn out even mediocre and yet I do so little work. The key is the browning. Yuuuummmm!

              I also make slow roasted pork (boston butt) and serve it with polenta I baked in the oven (no stirring). I make a leaf lettuce and onion salad tossed with vinaigrette and... well I have done less than 20 minutes work total. That includes the shredding of the parm cheese for the polenta to mix in when you pull it from the oven.

              10 Replies
              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                Maybe I have terrible knife skills, but I find lamb shanks almost inedible if I don't spend a painstaking amount of time trimming them of every shred of silverskin.

                1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                  I wonder if you are cooking them long enough. I trim nothing except funky parts of fat. The silverskin will literally fall apart of you cook it long enough. When it starts to pull from the bone chuck it by sticking a fork in the biggest piece. If it slides thru like butter, you are good to go.

                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                    Thanks for the tip. I love them, but sometimes steer clear when I'm not in the mood for the prep work.

                  2. re: eight_inch_pestle

                    Lamb shanks are super easy if you cook them in the slow cooker, on low, all day. I've never had them fail. I just brown them, and plonk a bottle of pizza sauce on them (my favourite is smoky barbeque) - plus whatever veges take my fancy (caramelized onions are good).

                  3. re: Sal Vanilla

                    Sal, I love the polenta idea. Can you give me basic proportions and directions, If you don't mind?

                    1. re: mamachef

                      I'm not Sal, but...from another thread re baking polenta -- I tried it and it's really great! The recipe is on the back of the Golden Pheasant brand polenta bag -- I can paraphrase if you need it. I saw another recipe that adds some goat cheese and I might try that next time.

                      1. re: walker

                        Bless c oliver's heart, Walker: I now have instructions and can do this thing!!
                        Love the goat cheese idea - or some really good shredded Parmesan....

                        1. re: c oliver

                          Now how did I miss that? I guess I was so busy thinking about lamb and oxtails that I blew right by it. TY so much for calling my attention to it, c oliver!! Thinkin' I'll do it this way next time Ossobucco's on the menu, yeah?

                          1. re: mamachef

                            Try this sometime, referred to in my family as "Will Owen's Pork Shoulder Roast with contributions from the LA Times :) "


                    2. Fritattas-anything can go in them and when I turn them out, they always look so gorgeous. Tasty too!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: monavano

                        Isn't that so true. I love puffy egg. It is so gratifying for some reason.

                        1. re: Sal Vanilla

                          so glad to see you on the boards again, sal!

                          i love to make pan-seared sea scallops. so easy, yet so delicious.

                        2. re: monavano

                          ditto. it was a happy day for me when I discovered frititas; very forgiving.

                          1. re: susancinsf

                            lol....hubby makes beautiful fritatas, and I love eating them, but have never tried to make one myself.. (why bother, when he's happy to do so?). I guess I never stopped to think that he likes them because they ARE forgiving...:-)

                            I always get good compliments on my kachumber (an Indian salad, basically tomotoes, carrots, red onion, maybe some radish, a little cilantro...mixed with salt, sugar, cumin, and coriander). People are always surprised that its so tasty and totally non-fat. Of course, the key is very fresh vegetables....

                        3. Broiled skirt steak with chimichurri, beans and rice.

                          I love this meal because I can do it in 20 minutes flat after a long day at work. Start rice, turn oven on to broil, rub skirt steak with salt, pepper, and coriander. Put a can of black beans on to simmer. Pop the steak in the oven. Throw some cilantro, parsley, lots of garlic, olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, salt and pepper (and for us, some peppers) in the food processor to make the sauce. The skirt steak doesn't need more than about 3 minutes per side and about 5 minutes to rest before slicing against the grain. Bonus points if I can make some tiny arepas to go with it. I also like that this dish is nice to look at.