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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!!!!


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  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.

                          1. LOL, I like the way you put that, since I am often impressed with my own cooking. ;)

                            But, to answer your question, I frequently make fruit cobblers using the "Joy of Cooking" recipe for rolled biscuits, and sweetening the fruit only to my tastes, i.e. not very much. I do substitute buttermilk for milk in the recipe, and adjust the leavening accordingly. This is a really quick and easy recipe, and the faster you throw it together the better the dough comes out. If your fruit is good (my favorite fillings are apple, rhubarb, peach, and sour cherry) it is one of my very favorite desserts.

                            1. Fried rice without fail. Simple and very easy. I'll post one recipe soon on my blog. Just been too busy lately.

                              18 Replies
                              1. re: XiaoYen

                                Please do post your recipe, I've tried to make fried rice but it's never quite as good as I'd like.

                                1. re: XiaoYen

                                  Hi.. interesting.. you have your own blog for recipes ??
                                  I'd LOVE your recipe for Fried Rice...I'm so new on this site.
                                  Thank you,
                                  Kim J.

                                  1. re: XiaoYen

                                    Your fried rice is nothing compared to mine. :P

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      the only way for us to judge fairly is if you give us a recipe!

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        :P Mine is all about skill. It is not about the ingredients. The ingredients are simple: oil, egg, rice, green onion, white pepper. --- you can add beef or chicken or whatever if you like, but the above is the heart and soul of egg fried rice.

                                        The critical thing is to heat the oil in wok and then pour the beaten egg in and swirl -- not really 100% mixing, just slightly. Right when the egg starts to solidified but not harden, it is the time to add the rice in a sequential steps. By doing this, the rice can absorb the oil and egg favor. The rice need to be constantly stirred to keep the individual rice separated. You don't want one big rice ball.

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                          Agree that good fried rice is all about skill. I like mine a lot too that I look forward to having leftover rice sitting in the fridge. Another crucial ingredient for me is sweet peas, which adds a nice bite.

                                          However I have always fried the rice in hot oil where I have cooked the chopped green onion first, before adding the egg. I find that by doing this, the oil extracts the flavour of the green onion which gets absorbed into the rice.

                                          On the other hand, I am interested about your technique, as I am always looking to improve my fried rice to a new level :) With the kind of heat I use, which is very high, I imagine adding the egg first before the rice will dry out the egg before the rice will have a chance to fry properly. Am I thinking on the wrong track? Please let me know what you think.

                                          1. re: tarteaucitron


                                            I suppose everyone do it slightly different and by no mean I claim I am better than you :)

                                            Adding beaten egg first and adding beaten egg later will be different. If the egg is added first, then the egg will solidify a bit, so egg will remind larger piece when the rice is mixed in. If the egg is added after the rice, then the egg will mix/absorb into the rice before solidified. Thus, the egg bits are much smaller, and the rice is more yellow.

                                            I cut the green onion, minced the white (stem) part of the green onion and I chop the the green (leaf) part. They are added in at different time. The white part either either mixed in with the beaten egg or add shortly after the egg goes into the wok. The green part is partially for garnish, so it is the very last ingredient, so that it remains bright green.

                                            I tend to heat the wok up first and then add the oil in. When the oil just about smoking (just slightly smoking), then I pour in the beaten egg. I have to swirl it right away and stir a bit or the egg may get burn on one side. Another way to get around of drying the egg is to add very small amount of water to the beaten egg. I am talking about maybe adding 10% volume of water to the beaten egg before it goes into the wok. This is not the professional way, but it does give a bit more time.

                                            Sorry about the lengthy description. To answer your question. In my opinion, the egg does not dry out because the egg is added and mixed with the oil, so this very oily mixture will not dry out the same way as pure beaten egg. By the way, I am talking about more than 1 tablespoon of oil through :P

                                            Ok, I am looking at a recipe book now. Without violating the copyright, I will only reveal the rice to oil to egg ratio.

                                            600 g rice (which is 1.3 pound -- I don't even know how much that is)
                                            5 tablespoon of oil
                                            3 eggs (ok, I personally use two, but it is up to you)

                                            Of the 5 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoon is mixed with rice before cooking, so to minimize sticking during the frying.
                                            The rest of the 3 tablespoon goes into the wok to fry the egg.

                                            1. re: tarteaucitron


                                              In addition to the previous post, I found some videos.

                                              In this video the chef added the oil in 0:56 and then added the beaten egg at 1:07 and at 1:10 added the rice. The key is to add the rice when the egg just start to solidify and soft and tender. From then on, it is all about constantly moving the rice to keep rice pieces separately. As mentioned earlier, I don't want to rice stick together and become one big ball. By the way, I cook the meats separate from the fried rice. I first cooked the meat and vegetables, then I fried rice, then I mixed in the meat and vegetables in.


                                              I also like the following video. The only difference is that I like to have the egg beaten first and not in the wok, but the timing is great as the fist video:


                                              Finally this one. I cannot be sure, but I think he cooked the egg a bit more solidified than I would have done, but I cannot be sure.


                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                I haven't looked at the videos yet but your description makes sense to me. I'm definitely going to try this. Thanks, Ck.

                                                1. re: c oliver


                                                  By the way, I looked at the first video more closely. I can semi-do some of the things he did. Probably not as quick and smooth, but I can do it. However, the from 2:37 - 2:40, I cannot do. I haven't tried it yet, but I am pretty sure I cannot do:


                                                  Tossing the rice back into the wok ladle (hoak) -- that is just cool. I think I just find something to replace my knife sharpening obsession.

                                                  I have much to learn and practice :)

                                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                  Wow, ChemicalKinetics, thanks for writing up such a detailed description together with the added research. It looks like there is so much more to fried rice than what I thought I knew! Regrettably I don't have a gas stove right now, just the old, standard electric stove and so am limited to using a well-heated over-sized skillet. Thus I wouldn't be able to use a wok and even attempt those cool moves in the videos. The maneuvering is completely different and nowhere as fluid, when using a spatula and skillet. However I will still try to adapt all this information to what I can do at home. Looks like the key, apart from some very good eye-wrist-coordination skills, is high heat, timing and lots of oil.

                                                  And if you already have some wokking skills and the only thing missing from the repertoire of rice-frying is the wok-to-ladle-move, then you are definitely above me :)

                                                  About the first video, I had to re-watch the part a few times to see what the chef was doing with the egg. There was so much oil that the egg is swimming around in the wok! So I imagine there must be enough left to fry the rice.

                                                  I am also in the school of cooking the meat and other ingredients before starting on the egg and rice, which IMO forms the base of the dish. In the third video, in addition to everything seeming to take longer, possibly because the chef was doing the commentary himself, it seems like any liquid egg remaining is "wasted" on the additional ingredients, instead of being absorbed by the rice.

                                                  As for the cheat with adding water to the egg, sounds good and I might go a step further and add oil too, hopefully without changing the texture of the egg too much.

                                                  Thanks for the recipe too! The ratio asks for more oil than I normally use but not much more, except it tend to all get absorbed by the rice because of the order of how I typically do it. Looking forward to experimenting with all these new techniques soon!

                                                  1. re: tarteaucitron


                                                    I have an electric stove as well and a flat bottom wok. The challenege is that the electric stove takes much longer to heat up and the thermal power is less, but it is doable. Unlike these chefs who can put ingredients into the cookware within 5 sec turning on the stove, we will have to wait for 30-45 sec. Since our stoves are not as powerful as their, we actually do not have to toss the rice nearly as often as they do. For home cooking, we can add less oil than they do. I am not as good as them, but I can toss the rice around in my wok. It would be more difficult with a skillet because of its sharp. Originally, I learned that just to be cool, but it turns out to be very practical. The most efficient way to "randomize" the rice is to toss them. In addition, tossing the rice keep the rice grain separated, so the final product is fried rice "fluffy".

                                                    Yes, adding oil to beaten egg probably works better. You probably know this: long grain rice like jasmine rice is better for fried rice.

                                                    I put some raw rice into my wok earlier and see if I can flip them back into the ladle. The answer is a big no :) As I tossed the wok toward the ladle, I constantly banged the two together, so I can never get more than half of the rice into the ladle. That guy has really good control.

                                                    Best wishes.

                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics


                                                      Sorry, just one more post. I saw another video and this one is much better shot. It is by a home cook and it is done on a flat bottom wok, so I think this video is much better applicable to you and me. The important part is from 4:25 to 5:10. Apparently, he just master the wok to ladle move. I need to work on that :) Best.


                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics


                                                        I did it. It wasn't that hard. I tossed the fried rice back into my ladle. Apparently, it is easier to tossed real fried rice from the wok into the ladle than my earlier test with raw rice.

                                                        Here is the photo of my fried rice. I tossed the rice in the wok until it started to separate and become fluffy. No fancy stove. I added a bit more oil than I really thought, but it works out ok. I will add less next time.

                                                        Ingredients: cool rice, egg, oil, green onion, salt, white pepper powder.

                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                          And thanks for sharing the video and your passion, which should never be apologized about!

                                                          I like how in the video, the chef added extra egg after adding in the rice. That is certainly something I will do next time when making the dish. And hopefully there is enough eggs to go around.

                                                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics


                                                          I made a first try using all these techniques and suggestions, and it made quite a difference from what I used to make (even though I must say I like both)! The new version is definitely more moist, eggy and closer in texture to what I get at the restaurant. My original version has more of the toasted rice aroma, at least during cooking, and is surprisingly drier even though I really think I did add about the same amount of oil.

                                                          What I have resorted to using at home is a very heavy14-inch skillet, which is virtually impossible to toss around, so what I do is to keep flipping everything quickly a la teppanyaki. What I gain with this heavy mass is that, once heated, as long as the portion is reasonably sized, the skillet remains fiery hot. Seems to work pretty well.

                                                          I had an inkling that raw rice would be more difficult to manipulate (because it slips more and has different dynamics?). And then I saw your other post and am glad you have much better success with cooked rice. Well, that is a challenge I will miss until I have a wok.

                                                          1. re: tarteaucitron

                                                            Hi tarteaucitron,

                                                            Yes, it can taste more eggy because the egg is fried first. However, it does not have to be moist. It can be dry if you cook it a bit longer. I usually cook the rice until they start to separate out -- which means drying out.

                                                            Yeah, you really don't want to toss in a heavy skillet. Bad for your waist. Best wishes.

                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                              I found this fried rice discussion very interesting. I love my fried rice and do it quite differently from anything mentioned above. I use cooked rice that is at least a day old. I take the rice out of the fridge and separate it with a fork and set aside. I assemble the various ingredients: diced ham, two or three eggs (depending on how much rice I'm making) just swirled together, oyster sauce, thawed frozen petite peas, and chopped green onion. I might do vegetarian fried rice differently, but since I like ham or leftover BBQ pork in mine this is what I do: Heat the oil in the wok, very hot, and put the ham/pork in first for a minute or so. This infuses the oil with pork flavor. Then I add the rice and toss till heated through. Then I make a well in the middle of the rice (all the way down to the wok bottom) and pour the egg in. Stir just the egg till it sets up a bit and then incorporate the rice. Add the oyster sauce, then the peas, and finally the green onion. Yum.

                                          2. I second frittatas. I use the Bittman recipie, which is basically cook the veggies and meat (sausage is best) in a tbs. oil, turn heat down to low, add another tbs. oil, and then mix in fresh herbs and pour over that six or so beaten eggs. Cook at low for about ten minutes until mostly set and then finish (carefully!) under a low broiler. It takes about two cups filling for six or so eggs. Very forgiving and if you keep the heat low, it comes out of the pan in a snap and sets up beautifully. Serve with a salad. I get more raves for that than things that take me four times as long to make!

                                            1. Yummy Shrimp Fritters...which are quite simple and delicious.
                                              Fine chop or Cuisinart 1 lb raw shrimp, 3 minced green onions, 2 minced garlic cloves, splash of cooking wine, 2 Tbl flour, splash of water til smooth ..... Fry in saute pan in dropped spoonfuls in hot oil...Drain , season with salt...squeeze with fresh lemon and enjoy.
                                              Now, using the same recipe and making the shrimp fritters into shrimp 'Cakes" if you will....a bit more fuss...but I will serve poached eggs over them and Hollandaise... sorta a decadent Eggs shrimp benedict...... Extremely amazing taste.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: easily amused

                                                i'm lovin' the shrimp fritters idea!

                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                  I'm really liking that idea also. And something I can have on hand.

                                                2. No knead bread. Even the crackling out of the oven, every time, makes me happy.


                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                    Thats one of my favorite experiences with this recipe as well.
                                                    I love the sound when it comes out of the oven. I'm always sticking my ear close to the bread saying to eveyone "listen,listen do you all here that!?

                                                    1. re: TVC15

                                                      No-Knead bread is a real showstopper. Try replacing about three ounces of water with a bit of beer (cheap old Bud or other lager is best) for a really good, rustic bread taste.

                                                    2. re: chowser

                                                      who could argue with that and the things you can successfully add are endless.

                                                    3. Soups & stews is my thing....I started making them from scratch about 8 years ago and I never looked back. It's just so easy and really don't take much. AND anything can go in a soup pot!

                                                      1. Don't miss the Moroccan Million dollar chicken recipe floating around the board - it's surprisingly good.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. A perfect medium-rare roast beef slays them every time. You don't need the bells and whistles of gravies, sauces, etc. - just get it to the right color, the right texture, the right temperature, and you will impress not only yourself but your guests every time.

                                                          1. Braised oxtail is intense way beyond the little work required, but a fair bit of patience is needed. Proper browning of the floured chunks, and a full 3 hours in a low oven (I find 2 hours enough for regular beef stew, but not for oxtail) are not difficult, just time consuming. Easy cheat: Use a can of consomme in the stock.

                                                            8 Replies
                                                            1. re: Robin Joy

                                                              More exact details please! I want to make this.

                                                              1. re: lilmomma

                                                                Well. I know nothing about availability in the US, but here in the UK oxtail is widely and cheaply available. It looks like this:


                                                                Sorry for the enormous link!

                                                                Anyway, you will need two large chunks per person, which will cost little more than half a bottle of ordinary wine.

                                                                Pre-heat oven to 275F

                                                                Roll them in seasoned (with salt & pepper) flour and then fry them in a suitable pot/dutch oven in a spoonful or so of neutral (not olive) oil over a semi-high heat. They need to be browned all over if possible, and a bit of crusting is good. Metal tongs help. This process must not be rushed.

                                                                Remove the oxtails and fry chopped onion & carrot in the same pot over a lower heat for abut 5 mins, stirring until softened and a bit coloured. A splash more oil may be needed. Chopped celery/turnip/parsnip/anything tasty could also be included in this bit.

                                                                Add the meat back in and add a bay leaf or two and 14oz can of consomme or some beef stock/broth. You may need some extra water or red wine to bring the liquid to be a bit over half way up the meat.

                                                                Cover tightly and bring up to a simmer on top of the stove and then into the oven with it for at least 3 hours (4 would be fine). Stir and turn the meat every hour or so.

                                                                This will carry quite a lot of fat, so it's best to make a day ahead, refrigerate, and scoop off the cooled fat before re-heating.

                                                                Nice served with mashed poatoes and a green veg.

                                                                Rather a vague recipe I'm afraid, but I'm sure you get the picture, and the punch it packs is a winner. Also it looks a little long winded, but it's very easy which is what the OP asked for. Enjoy.

                                                                1. re: Robin Joy

                                                                  sounds delicious. oxtails used to be the orphan child of meats, and were relatively cheap here in the u.s. -- but now they're not cheap at all. the pic you link shows some very nice oxtails.

                                                                  in the u.s. knorr used to market an oxtail soup mix -- and it was pretty good. i've made oxtail soup (the one using tomato paste and veggies) and it is so hearty and satisfying without being heavy.

                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                    We spend time in Brazil and are so happy to get them really cheap. And they actually look like a cow's tail that has been cut in pieces. Not so tidy.

                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                      yes, the photo linked by robin joy only showed the choicest "top o' the tail." ;-).


                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                        Errrr.....Yes. I must confess that your picture is a bit more like what I actually buy!

                                                                  2. re: Robin Joy

                                                                    oxtails are certainly NOT cheap at our butcher in London. where are you buying them cheaply? i am always a bit leary of the quality at the ethnic shops i have seen them...

                                                                2. re: Robin Joy

                                                                  Another easy cheat is to flour them and stand them up in a shallow-ish roasting tin /casserole dish in the oven to brown. The brown evenly all over, all golden, no scorching.

                                                                  Then I take them out and set aside while I do whatever vegetables and deglaze then finish cooking all in the same pan.

                                                                  I don't really have recipes for tails so I don't have temps or times...I just crank up the oven to really hot to brown the tails then finish cooking low and slow.

                                                                  I love oxtail.

                                                                3. What we call "White Spaghetti" always makes me ask "why don't I make this more often?" It's pasta tossed with crispy bits of ham, asparagus, with the simplest Alfredo (Parmesan) sauce.

                                                                  I like to use the Lahey's no-knead dough as a "pizza" base, add a layer of Swiss (or any cheese you like), thin sliced potato, thin sliced ham, thin sliced red onion, all proportions to taste. I find 1/2 recipe of the no-knead is perfect for my cookie sheet.

                                                                  I think cream puff shells are pretty impressive for the easy prep too!

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                    I love spaghetti cooked and tossed with some unsalted butter and topped with finely chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest. You can throw in an anchovy or two, or some caramalized onions, or dried chili flakes -- whatever. Simple, hearty, satisfying, and oh my, tasty...

                                                                    1. re: pear tart

                                                                      To add to that, I always like to keep some mizithra on hand and do spaghetti with browned butter and mizithra. Very quick and easy. (This is like they serve at the Old Spaghetti Factory)

                                                                  2. This lamb roast recipe is amazing. There is such depth of flavor in the marinade. I have let it marinade for 24 hours and had great results. I add a little marjoram to it in addition to the rosemary. I find it easier to mix the marinade in a bowl large enough for the roast, then add the roast to the bowl and apply the marinade. I leave it in the bowl until ready to cook.


                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                                      Looks fantastic, but what kind of anchovies do you use please? I'm guessing the skinless brown fillets in a little can of olive oil?

                                                                      Luckily I can also buy them salted or marinated, but these may not be what the recipe calls for.


                                                                      1. re: Robin Joy

                                                                        I've just used the ones in the small bottle by Bellino - since they are so small and break apart easily I just eye-ball the amount. I find this variety is handy to have in the fridge and I can just use exactly what I need without waste.

                                                                        I think you could sub other varieties and just decrease the salt, etc. My roast is usually smaller than the recipe calls for, so I just mash the marinade together until the proportions look right - it is a pretty forgiving recipe!

                                                                    2. Fish and vegetables en papillote, cooked in the oven. The combinations are endless, but tomatoes, onion and fennel is one of my favorites. The vegetables must be low-density, high-water varieties for it to work. Splash with some wine or broth and it's almost impossible to mess up. Sometimes I'll add some partially-cooked quinoa for the whole meal in one packet.

                                                                      Alton Brown did one that included raw couscous, and I've tried that several times -- the couscous ends up dry, crunchy and very unpleasant.

                                                                      1. Creamy Chicken Marsala - Its so easy, but can impress even a large group of dinner guests.


                                                                        1. One rack of lamb, eight bones, at room temperature, wiped clean and dry. Salt lightly all sides, let sit for about half an hour. Beat equal parts good Dijon mustard and olive oil together into a creamy paste. Apply to underside, then sides, then more thickly on top, grind pepper over; set on rack in shallow pan (I use an oval cake rack in a tinned copper gratin pan). Heat oven to 350º while meat sits and thinks to itself. When oven's hot, set on middle rack and roast to an internal temperature of 145º or slightly less. Remove, let sit for a while, then carve and serve. Get kissed a whole lot.

                                                                          Lovely with a pilaf and broiled tomatoes, or just a nice salad.

                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                                                            Sounds great..thank you...For Easter we're thinking about lamb of sorts instead of the traditional ham..

                                                                            1. re: justkimmers

                                                                              oh, where are you from? ham is your traditional easter flesh? interesting.

                                                                              1. re: hillsbilly

                                                                                Ham is traditional in my family, and we're from Maryland. I suspect the tradition goes back to a grandma from S. Virginia.

                                                                                1. re: hillsbilly

                                                                                  i'd venture that ham is *america's* favorite meat on the easter table.

                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                    I'd venture that you're probably 100% of right, alkapal. And where are you anyway? I haven't seen you here in forever. Am I not looking hard enough?

                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                      thanks for wondering, mamachef. i've been on the hound here on and off, due to a couple of reasons. all is fine, and i'm still eating and cooking (my favorite activities ;-)).

                                                                                      speaking of ham, i just saw a simple bean and vegetable soup recipe that will help me use up some ham in the fridge. it is soup weather today!

                                                                                      buttertart (aka "jaggery tart") also has a pickled ham cubes recipe that she and mr. tart love.

                                                                                    2. re: alkapal

                                                                                      Ham was the roast of choice for easter and xmas at our house. Lamb was pretty expensive and nobody really liked it the few times we had any.

                                                                                      I tried a duck once. Soooo greasy! Didn't care for it at all.

                                                                                      *No offense to duck lovers or lamb lovers. I do actually occasionally cook lamb in Indian dishes nowadays, but still not roasts or chops, just don't care for it.

                                                                                    3. re: hillsbilly

                                                                                      Ham is the traditional Easter dinner because in the early days of the United States, animals for food were slaughtered in the fall.
                                                                                      Since here was no refrigeration, the fresh pork, in Christian families, that wasn't consumed during the winter months before Lent was cured for spring. The curing process took a long time, and the first hams were ready around the time Easter rolled around.

                                                                                2. I've been loving this 3-ingredient recipe for homemade tomato sauce on Smitten Kitchen...it's beyond delicious and could not be easier (note: save the onions...it's makes a great shmear on toast):


                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: kermit

                                                                                    You will find many partisans of this recipe (from Marcella Hazan) here on Chowhound.

                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                      I think it's pretty outrageous to say that recipe was "adapted' from Hazan's. It IS the recipe. But it sure is good. Just used it to top for stuffed jumbo pasta shells.

                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                        I think that "adapted by" is a CYA thing by bloggers when they post recipes from published sources - just putting in their words, etc., but giving credit.

                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                          "Adapted from" is standard lingo when reprinting a recipe, whether it be in print or digital. The word "adapt" is not always synonymous with "alter." In the sense of "adapted from" it means "to make something suitable for new use." In the case of reprinting a recipe, you are "adapting" it from the original source to make it work within its new environs: a magazine article, newspaper article, blog, etc.

                                                                                          1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                            Okay, but here on CH, it's alright to post the ingredients but you have to paraphrase the directions in order to avoid copyright infringement. I just thought it was a little cheeky of her to even hint that she was doing anything other than copying. No problem with that but, to me anyway, it read like "I took this and tweaked it." But I'm an old coot and not up on all the ends and outs.

                                                                                            1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                              again, copyright protection extends only to the phraseology for the instructions, not the list of ingredients. you alter ("adapt") that language to avoid infringement.

                                                                                        2. re: kermit

                                                                                          Forgot to mention that Karl S serves this as a soup at dinner parties preceding cheese souffle.

                                                                                        3. Deep Fried Twinkies. Only did these a few times.

                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                            Ok, serious. It is really Chinese broccoli. Extremely simple.

                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                              I'm actually thinking about a stir fry tonight with some broccoli. Any advice?

                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                :) Too late for tonight. It is 7:00 already.

                                                                                                For Chinese broccoli, I blanch it in boiling water with very small amount of oil (maybe like 1-2 teaspoon in 3 quart water pan). Once the broccoli starts to tender but still crispy and turns jade green , then you can take it out. Many serve it with oyster sauce, but you can use any other sauce you are happy with or just eat it as it is.

                                                                                                By jade green, I mean like this color:


                                                                                                Not the original pale green, and you don't want over-cooked dark green either.

                                                                                                There are fancier way, but this one works very well and ridiculously simple.

                                                                                                As for normal broccoli, I have also used similar method. Blanch it until it is jade green slightly tender, but still crispy and crunchy.

                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                    :) Cool. You may still want to add a bit salt or sauce. It is entirely up to you of course. Tell me if it works. If it does, that is cool too, let me know anyway. Everyone's taste is a bit different.

                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                      Plans switched from stir fry to soft tacos. We're leaving town in a few days and I'm trying to eat out of the fridge. But I'm saving this, for sure.

                                                                                                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                    Btw, CK.. this post has seriously bumped my broccoli/asst green vegetable skills up like three notches. You were absolutely right about the color. Brussel sprouts and greens and bok choy and chard now all come out of my kitchen with a much better texture than ever before. Yeah, I love you.

                                                                                                    1. re: WhatThePho


                                                                                                      Your welcome. Brussel sprouts, broccoli rabe, and Chinese broccoli especially benefit from boiling/blanching because the hot water help remove their strong taste which many find objective. I would like to revise that I add close to 3-4 tablespoons of oil in 2quarts of water -- effectively double to triple amount of the oil to what I wrote earlier. Just for clarification.

                                                                                                      You will find there are other variations such as adding baking soda in the blanching. Best.

                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                        Interesting. Does the oil do something?

                                                                                                  3. re: c oliver

                                                                                                    Broccoli, chinese or otherwise cares not what time it is. I love that stuff no matter what. Here's what i do when i have a good bunch of it. Blanch, shock, drain, and keep chilled for munching or as an ingredient. For stir frying :1 Tbsp canola oil, 1 medium onion cut in thin slices, 2 cloves garlic, sliced, 2 cups blanched chinese or regular broccoli drained and cut into 2" pieces. toasted sesame seeds.
                                                                                                    Make the glaze first so that you can tweak it however you want.This amount will work for this amount of chinese broccoli. Glaze: makes almost 1/4 cup: 1 Tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tsp hot chili sauce (asian style), 1 tsp fish sauce, 1 Tbsp low salt soy sauce, 1 Tbsp sugar or other sweetener of choice, 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger root (use a micro planer). Combine all ingredients in a small microwave safe bowl and heat and stir till sugar is melted. Set aside.
                                                                                                    Heat the pan, add the oil, stir fry onion and garlic on medium high heat. Add about a teaspoon of water to make the pan steam and keep the garlic from burning. When the onion is almost translucent, add the broccoli and continue stir-frying until it is heated through. Add the sauce and toss. Garnish with sesame seeds.
                                                                                                    you can add tofu, tempeh, shrimp, or any cooked meat/poultry to make a main entre.
                                                                                                    you can toss it with cooked chow mein noodles or buck wheat soba.
                                                                                                    This is a sauce that you can use or tweak to meet alot of needs. i use it as a dipping sauce for gyoza and whatever. BTW it's great on grilled milk fish.
                                                                                                    Serve with rice. This sauce pairs exceptionally well with Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay Califorina 2008

                                                                                                    1. re: thatsacrunchy

                                                                                                      this sounds wonderful. i get cravings for this style of broccoli, and i feel very righteous eating it. LOL!

                                                                                              2. Pecan-crusted trout. Pulse a cup of pecans in the food processor til coarsely ground. Season two trout filets with salt and pepper, dip in beaten egg and then in the pecans (both sides). Heat 1-2 tbsp oil in a pan over medium heat for a couple of minutes, then lay the trout filets in the oil. Fry 4-5 min until the pecans on the bottom have browned, flip over, cook anohter 2-3 minutes. I like to slather this in whole-grain Dijon mustard before eating it.

                                                                                                1. Maple soy glazed salmon on epicurious (originally BA). Only 4 ingredients, super fast after a day of work, but good enough for company. Just be sure to use low sodium soy sauce or it's too salty.

                                                                                                  1. Okay, so I don't impress MYSELF cause I know how easy it is. But I almost feel guilty about how easy thew's oven-baked polenta is.


                                                                                                    I use the full 6 cups of water cause I like mine really soft. My daughter just served it recently at a dinner party and people couldn't believe it was done in the oven with no stirring.

                                                                                                    1. An omelet. So easy, so perfect a meal.

                                                                                                      1. I love this lin. I agree with some of the other posters, Braised Lamb shanks are killer delish and s easy. I'm making them tonight. I also love to just do a quick stir fry with shrimp. Last night a little evoo, some capers black olives grape tomatos shallot and garlic tossed in oil and then toss in some gulf shrimp saute and put over rice squeeze a lemon on top crumble some feta and add a little fresh oregano. So simple but it taste like Summer in Greece.

                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Analisas mom

                                                                                                          my meatballs #1- my walnut, chocolate chip pound cake #2...its a word of art... ;-)

                                                                                                          1. re: babbabooey

                                                                                                            Can you share your recipe for chocolate chip pound cake?

                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                              sure! happily! you have to report back though...

                                                                                                              3 cups all-purpose flour
                                                                                                              1/2 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                              1/4 teaspoon baking soda
                                                                                                              2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
                                                                                                              3 cups sugar
                                                                                                              6 large eggs
                                                                                                              1 cup sour cream
                                                                                                              1 tablespoon vanilla
                                                                                                              a 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
                                                                                                              2 cups chopped walnuts
                                                                                                              print a shopping list for this recipe


                                                                                                              Preheat oven to 350°F. and butter and flour a 3-quart bundt pan, knocking out excess flour.
                                                                                                              In a bowl whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.
                                                                                                              In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat in sour cream and vanilla until combined well. With mixer on low speed gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined.
                                                                                                              Pour about half of batter into prepared pan and sprinkle about half of chocolate chips and walnuts over batter. Pour remaining batter over walnut mixture, spreading evenly, and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and walnuts. Bake cake in middle of oven 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean, and cool in pan on a rack 1 hour. Invert cake onto rack and cool completely.

                                                                                                              1. re: babbabooey

                                                                                                                Thanks--I'm going to make it today! Perfect timing because I was looking for something different for skiing.

                                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                  Great idea. I may need to make this next week for skiing too. Mental picture...sluggish Chowhounds stuffed with chocolate chip poundcake making their way down the slopes.

                                                                                                                  1. re: mountaincachers

                                                                                                                    yum-i think i am going to make it today myself!

                                                                                                                2. re: babbabooey

                                                                                                                  Thanks for the recipe--I tried it for the weekend and it was super popular with the ski crowd, disappeared w/ people eating multiple pieces. I ran out of sugar (I buy sugar in 10 pound bags, that never happens) and ended up using a mix of regular/vanilla sugar and brown sugar. I also mixed the way I'd do muffins--alternating sour cream w/ flour mix and folding. Baked in two loaf pans for about an hour. I think next time I'll try cake flour instead and I'll mix the chocolate chips into the batter. It's thick enough that I think they'll stay suspended throughout and not sink to the bottom (I know I can coat them w/ flour but it's an extra step I'd rather not do). Anyway, the ski crowd thanks you, too, and raved about it.

                                                                                                                  1. re: babbabooey

                                                                                                                    babbabooey: I made this cake today, and it's teriffic - wonderful taste and texture. I only had one problem with it...the sprinkling of chocolate chips and walnuts on the top of the cake (which eventually becomes the bottom when you turn it out of a bundt pan) started to over brown at the end of the cooking time - at about one hour. The batter was still damp upon checking it with a pick. So, I covered the pan loosely with foil and finished baking for the full hour and 20 minutes. As I said, it was great, but I had to pick off some very brown nuts and burnt chips. Have you made this cake and mixed the chips and nuts throughout? If anyone has made variations besides the two loaf cakes mentioned below, please let me know. The recipe is a keeper, I just need to tweak it a bit - maybe my oven runs a bit hot.

                                                                                                                    1. re: critter101

                                                                                                                      I made it last weekend, and it was a huge hit. I omitted walnuts, and used mini chocolate chips. I mixed the chips into the batter, rather than layering. I draped foil over the top of the cake after about 40 minutes, and it took the full 1h 20 min to cook through. We loved it- especially when it was still slightly warm from the oven.

                                                                                                            2. Pan sauces of all types: so easy, but guests are almost always blown away, like you can only get "sauce" at a restaurant. My current favorite is a gastrique made with a great jam, thinned with a great vinegar. Good on just about anything. (My latest Irish Whiskey Cream Sauce is in contention for #1, as well.)

                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                Please share details of #1 if you will?

                                                                                                                I just found the simplest gravy. Supposed to use 2T pan drippings but I've used butter. Add 2T flour, roux it up and then add 2C chicken broth. Stir til thickened. I add a lot of black pepper.

                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                  Gastrique: Cook your chicken, fish, pork, what ever in a frying pan. Deglaze over medium heat with excellent vinegar (be careful not to inhale fumes). Stir in what ever jam you like. When it's melted, spoon over meat. I made a superb version of this the other night using Forum Chardonnay vinegar and Yuzu Marmalade. Served it over sauteed red snapper.

                                                                                                                  The Whiskey Cream Sauce is just as simple: saute your protein and set aside. Off the heat, add 2 T. Irish Whiskey (a really nice bourbon is acceptable). Return to heat, warm the whiskey a bit, then carefully ignite with a kitchen match. When the flames die down, add 1/2 c. heavy cream and 1 T. grainy mustard. Season with s&p. (Make sure you scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.)

                                                                                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                    I do this whiskey cream sauce, it is amazing.
                                                                                                                    You bring clean plates back to the kitchen...

                                                                                                                        1. re: babbabooey

                                                                                                                          Hello babbabooey, I figure this link is a while back but would you please share your killer meatball recipe? I have 5 very hungry meatball monsters to feed. Thanks in advance!

                                                                                                                    1. Broccoli raab, golden raisins, garlic and hot italian sausage on pasta. Top with pecorino. Perfect spicy, sweet, bitter, salty combo.

                                                                                                                      Portuguese type clam dish-- saute garlic, add diced hot Spanish chorizo, cook out some of that lovely pork fat. Add dry white wine. Dump 5 lbs of clams in pot. Add big can of Muir Glen diced fire roasted tomatoes. Quickly steam clams in sauce. Eat with bread. This is amazingly good. You can skip the wine if it's not handy.

                                                                                                                      1. Bittersweet chocolate mousse (especially if you serve it in nice glasses with homemade whipped cream). It's elegant, delicious, and everyone thinks you slaved over it. Mmm...

                                                                                                                          1. well, people have different definitions of what qualifies as "easy." as far as my go-to dishes that i can count on to be delicious but require minimal effort, off the top of my head...
                                                                                                                            - frittatas/frittate
                                                                                                                            - homemade salad dressing
                                                                                                                            - black bean dip
                                                                                                                            - white bean dip
                                                                                                                            - pan-seared scallops
                                                                                                                            - tahini-roasted cauliflower

                                                                                                                            17 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                              They all sound very tough. :P

                                                                                                                              I think butter on toast is awesome. I haven't had butter on toast for ages and then two weeks ago I accidentally bought salted butter which I cannot use for my baking recipe. I bought some bread toast them and spread them with butter. I forgot how good they (butter on toast) can taste. Honestly, I did impress myself with my butter on toasts.

                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                  No no. I sincerely mean it. Butter on toasts are really good. Well for me anyway. I don't mean to be snarky or snappy. I had them just recently about a week to two week ago and prior to that, I have not had them for years at home.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                    Nothing is more welcome at 2am by party dregs than vegemite on toast. Salt, butter, chewy crusty sourdough...beer

                                                                                                                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                  Come to think of it, I used to butter bread and cook it in the oven and always loved it, something delicious and comforting. It has to be the right doneness, slightly browned but barely with a slight crispness, oozing with butter. Oh, with perfectly done scrambled eggs... now I'm hungry.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                    Yeah, that is what I meant. If the bread is just slightly toasted, but still soft, then it tastes really great. I can/have eaten a half loaf of bread like this for a meal.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                      ok ok!

                                                                                                                                      now to bring back more good memories:
                                                                                                                                      raisin toast with butter, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar!

                                                                                                                                      harris teeter has a great fruit and nut bread (with pecans) in its bakery. it is delicious toasted with butter.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal


                                                                                                                                        Wow, those all sound really great. :) I have never made raisin toasts with butter and cinnamon sugar, but I think I had that in restaurants or something. :) Man, some of these simple things sound so good -- yet probably unhealthy as well. :) The fact that I were eating half loaf of toasted bread with butter as a meal is probably an excellent example of an unhealthy diet. Alas, I only did that for like 2-3 meals, so it cannot be that bad.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                      This is *the* way to make delicious bagels, too.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason


                                                                                                                                        I re-read your post again. Yes, I like to butter the breads and then book them in toast ovens.


                                                                                                                                        When I were at college, we had a professional toast with rotational belt in the cafeteria. It looks slightly longer than this one:


                                                                                                                                        Once I spreaded the cream cheese onto my bagels and put them into the toaster and left to get my milk. As I walked back, I saw a crowd larger than usual gathered in the toaster area. When I get closer, I saw fire spitting out of the toaster. Seriously, flame coming in and out. The begals came out in a few seconds after and they look black. I just turned around and walked and did not want to claim my bagels for obvious reasons. Next day, there was a sign which reads "Do not put begals with butter into the toaster"

                                                                                                                                    3. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                      About a half year ago I tried making my own butter, and now I rarely buy butter at all as it is so easy to make. It only takes about 10 minutes and if you culture it right it will taste really good. It will have a tanginess that you can't find in butter these days.

                                                                                                                                      I usually have heavy cream aging in the fridge and when it gets 2-4 weeks past the expiration date, I leave it on the counter for 12+ hours. I know that sounds a bit scary, but then I shake it up in a jar to separate out the butter fat, drain it, and add some little bit of salt. With the ultra-pasteurized stuff it takes a lot longer to age. I just made butter a few days ago for a dinner party and everyone raved about it.

                                                                                                                                      Butter is my easy thing to make. And just bread and butter is wonderful, especially with good bread and homemade butter.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: smkit

                                                                                                                                        How much cream to make how much butter? Seems like a great use for cream on clearance.

                                                                                                                                    4. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                      How do you do your tahini roasted cauliflower? That sounds interesting.

                                                                                                                                      Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go get some baked oatmeal out of the toaster oven :-P

                                                                                                                                      1. re: jvanderh

                                                                                                                                        i'm so glad you're enjoying the oatmeal!

                                                                                                                                        as for the cauliflower, you can do it a couple of different ways. i like to make a thick sauce (almost like a paste) with tahini, lemon juice, toasted ground cumin & paprika, salt & pepper, and "paint" it on the cauliflower or toss them in it before roasting at high heat. you can also do it by making a tahini sauce to drizzle over the cauliflower or serve as a dipping sauce after roasting. i've posted it about it on a couple of other threads so you can search for them...if you can't find the info let me know and i'll post it here for you later.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                          Sounds good! Have you ever put the nuts on top of the oatmeal instead of mixed in? They get toasty and nice.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: jvanderh

                                                                                                                                            oh crap. did those directions tell you to mix the nuts *into* the oatmeal? i ALWAYS keep them until the end and sprinkle on top. sorry about that! but glad you figured it out on your own ;)

                                                                                                                                    5. Well, cheese souffle of course. Because it can almost all be done in advance and is easy. And then so amazing when it puffs up every time.

                                                                                                                                      Also I agree about the no knead bread. Lahey version.

                                                                                                                                      1. This is the easiest pie you will ever make. It always impresses people. You can use regular lime juice by the way but it won't have the twang of key lime. I used bottled key lime juice because to get half a cup of fresh key lime juice, you would have to juice 40 key limes. I tried it...never again.

                                                                                                                                        KEY LIME PIE

                                                                                                                                        1 EA 9” graham cracker pie shell
                                                                                                                                        1 EA 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
                                                                                                                                        3 EA egg yokes (whites not used)
                                                                                                                                        ½ cup key lime juice (I use Nellie & Joes brand)

                                                                                                                                        Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
                                                                                                                                        Combine milk, eggs and lime juice.
                                                                                                                                        Blend until smooth
                                                                                                                                        Pour filling into pie shell and bake for 15 minutes.
                                                                                                                                        Let cool on a baking rack for at least 10 minutes before refrigerating.
                                                                                                                                        Just before serving, top with whipped cream.


                                                                                                                                        Put lime or orange zest in whipped cream.
                                                                                                                                        Serve with raspberry sauce (recipe below) (I highly recommend this option.)
                                                                                                                                        Triple the recipe and put in spring form pan
                                                                                                                                        Garnish with lime slices or maybe sugared lime slices

                                                                                                                                        Raspberry Sauce:

                                                                                                                                        1 pint raspberries
                                                                                                                                        ¼ cup sugar
                                                                                                                                        3 ounces water
                                                                                                                                        1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
                                                                                                                                        2 tbls lemon juice

                                                                                                                                        In a medium saucepan on medium heat, combine the raspberries, water, sugar, cream of tartar, and lemon juice. Stir the sauce to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook the sauce until it comes to a slight boil. Then remove the saucepan from the heat and add the contents to a blender. (I ust use an immersion stick blender.) Blend the sauce until smooth. Pass the sauce through a strainer or cheesecloth to remove any seeds.
                                                                                                                                        Pour into a squeeze bottle and refrigerate.


                                                                                                                                        Add 1-2 tbls of orange or raspberry liqueur.
                                                                                                                                        For thicker sauce, add ½ cup seedless raspberry jam.
                                                                                                                                        (I do both, usually with orange liqueur.)

                                                                                                                                        20 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: tonka11_99

                                                                                                                                          Tonka, I have used a garlic press to squeeze the key limes, which was fairly quick (and I think worth the minimal effort)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: tonka11_99

                                                                                                                                            This may be heretical, but I like "Key" lime pie better with regular Persian limes, because they are less sweet and more acidic than Key limes, and sweetened condensed milk is very sweet.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                              I don't think Key limes are sweet compared to Persian lime. They are, in fact, more sour and more acidic than Persian limes. Could you have mixed up with another lime?

                                                                                                                                              "Green key limes are actually immature fruits, prized for their acidity. "

                                                                                                                                              from http://homecooking.about.com/od/fruit...

                                                                                                                                              "It is smaller, seedier, has a higher acidity, a stronger aroma, and a thinner rind than that of the Persian lime"


                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                No, I did not mix them up. Key limes are pretty unmistakeable in appearance, after all. Just reporting my own experience and taste, having made pie with both kinds of limes.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                key limes turn slightly yellow when ripe and are a different flavor than persian limes. i don't think they are sweeter, by any means. they are pretty tart.

                                                                                                                                                sweetened condensed milk *is* traditional in pie, though -- but when paired with the tart lime, the overall flavor should not be sweet. pastry crust is the traditional, original crust, too, fyi.

                                                                                                                                                and y'all must be finding old scrawny key limes if you have to squeeze 40 for a 1/2 cup of juice. ;-). sad you don't have your own tree, where 3-4 good limes get you a 1/2 cup juice at the very least.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                  I have no idea how many limes I squeezed, whatever comes in one of the bags at my grocery store...certainly less than 40, but way more than 3-4.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mountaincachers

                                                                                                                                                    those grocery store key limes are underripe. that's why they are small and very, very tart, and not very juicy.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                    Oh yeah, squeezing key lime is a lot of work, which is why I brought that lime squeezer thing, but key limes are just great for key lime pie. I don't use the ripe key limes. I believe most use green key limes.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                      Key limes are slightly yellow when ripe!! You're kidding?? The ones I get in the store are very dark green and a real bugger to squeeze. They are quite firm. My hand is stiff for days after. I have never seen Persian limes here so that is not an option (Vancouver Canada). So.... if I can only buy dark green key limes should I put them in a bag for a few days to see if they ripen up? Do you have any tricks?

                                                                                                                                                      I love key lime pie. It is so easy and so fresh tasting. A little raspberry coulis drizzled on the plate and it looks very pretty too.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: julesincoq

                                                                                                                                                        Persian limes are the ones that are a bit smaller than a smallish lemon and bright green. Don't you get those in Vancouver too? The kind you use for a gin and tonic? They can be very juicy or almost dry inside depending on the batch you get.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                          Persian limes are the larger ones. Key limes are smaller.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                            Yes indeedy, that's what I said, I thought (a bit smaller than a smallish lemon but not little wee like Key limes).

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, you are right. I thought you said Persian limes are smaller than limes.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                I'm curious bcs I come from Canada (near Toronto) and even way back when I was a kid regular (Persian) limes were readily available. Key limes aren't even common in nothern US supermarkets.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I have to hunt for key limes, whereas Persian limes are everywhere. I think the fact that they are so common that we just cal Persian limes as Limes.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                      America's test kitchen agrees with you. However, it tastes completely different. Still good but different.

                                                                                                                                                      It has a completely different twang to it. Try it with key lime juice and you will see the difference.

                                                                                                                                                      Actually what I always find amazing is the addition of the raspberry sauce. I stole the idea from a restaurant chain called Cheddars. The sauce brings it to a whole new level.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tonka11_99

                                                                                                                                                        I have made it with Key limes. I prefer Persian limes in pie, and I don't feel it tastes so utterly different, just better in pie to my own taste. YMMV.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                          It is easier, that is for sure (to use persian lime).

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                            Sure, but that' not the reason for my preference.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                              Count me of the Persian limes and regular (Eureka is it?) lemons camp too.

                                                                                                                                                  3. Mussels in white sauce--saute about 5 chopped garlic cloves and a shake or 2 of hot red pepper flakes in evoo for a minute or so, add a couple or three splashes of dry white wine, throw in 2 pounds of scrubbed and debearded mussels--cover, cook till just opened, swirl in a tablespoon or so of butter, serve (with great crusty bread)

                                                                                                                                                    1. It has to be cream puffs with homemade pastry cream filling. SO easy, SO delicious and decadent in an 80's kind of way.

                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: shanagain

                                                                                                                                                        Oh, and chili. It's the Texan in me. (Which IS me, I guess.)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: shanagain

                                                                                                                                                          Pipe little s-shaped necks and make swans of them. Killer.

                                                                                                                                                        2. My favorite easy dishes:
                                                                                                                                                          Cream of Chicken Soup w/Wild Rice and Mushrooms, Sliders on Ciabatta w/Carmelized Onion and Provolone, Migas Breakfact Tacos, Key LIme Cheesecake, and....Frito Pie!!

                                                                                                                                                          1. Ketchup. Seriously. It tastes great and isn't sickeningly sweet like commercial ketchup and is super easy to make.

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                                                              Would you mind sharing your recipe? I'd love to try making my own.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Profiteroles for me. Mostly because so many of my friends have never made choux pastry before and see if as something that must require great skill despite me telling them it's the easiest thing to make.

                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: litrelord

                                                                                                                                                                Yes, I keep meaning to make profiteroles. They go with the mousse I can make. I make Chocolate truffles and to make the chocolate a little more affordable, I make 24 dozen or so and sell them at my wife and my work places. Anyway I get the 11 pound bars of Callebaut chocolate so I always have some... so my mousse is really good too... Good chocolate good whatever.

                                                                                                                                                                The point is... I like to go for high impact low effort recipes like truffles and if I make the profiteroles.... cream puffs and éclairs!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: tonka11_99

                                                                                                                                                                  mmmm, éclairs! i always thought they were complicated, but i'm more of a cook than a baker.

                                                                                                                                                                  do you ever use the trader joe's chocolate bars, supposedly made by callebaut?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                    No, I was last in a Trader Joes about 15 years ago. World Market has chocolate bars but not Callebaut. I live in Austin, Texas. A high end grocery store here called "the central market" carries Callebaut in their bulk foods area. You know where they have bins and sell nuts, granola some spices, bulgar.. whatever a hippie, natural foods, tofu, kum by ya shopper would want.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                      I like the TJ bars but I'm not convinced they're callebaut. They don't taste the same to me. I've used both their big blocks and their little bars packed in three that they sell up front. I like them and use them all the time--you can't beat the price, but I don't think they're callebaut.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                        The Pound Plus have been rumored for many years to be Callebaut, but I don't know of any independent confirmation. The little bars packed in three are definitely Callebaut: Several years ago, I bought a pack, wrapped in its its usual TJ's-labeled wrapper, and when I opened the bars, the chocolate was stamped "Callebaut" - presumably it wasn't meant to be, as neither the manufacturers or TJ's wants us to know for sure that TJ's is repackaging - but as far as I am concerned, what I saw is confirmation.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                          Awhile ago (maybe 3-4 years ago?), when I first heard this, I googled both and found quite a few discussions on it. I found a few blogs that had pictures of the smaller chocolate bars with "Callebaut" on them but they were from years ago. I saw nothing substantive about the poundplus, other than speculation. I like TJ's chocolate, especially for the price so whether it is Callebaut or not, I'll continue to buy it. As I said, they don't taste the same to me but maybe I should revisit it.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                            So FWIW, I bought one of those jumbo 1lb bars of chocolate at Fresh & Easy and was delighted to unwrap a big bar with Callebaut printed on it. Makes the likelyhood of the TJS bar being the same possible IMHO.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Cheese souffle
                                                                                                                                                                    Roast chicken, in all its variations
                                                                                                                                                                    Nigella's lemon linguine
                                                                                                                                                                    and a baked chicken/artichoke heart/potato dish I came up with

                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                      Well, can we have the recipe then? :-P

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jvanderh

                                                                                                                                                                        LOL, absolutely.

                                                                                                                                                                        1 pkg boneless, skinless chicken thighs (can't think of the weight, usually 9 pieces ... but you could sub. bone-in thighs or legs, too)
                                                                                                                                                                        1 pkg frozen artichoke hearts (or canned, and then cut into quarters)
                                                                                                                                                                        1-2 lbs small new potatoes, halved (depends on what you have, who you're serving etc)
                                                                                                                                                                        salt and pepper
                                                                                                                                                                        dried/fresh oregano
                                                                                                                                                                        1-2 Tbs olive oil
                                                                                                                                                                        smoked paprika (I use 1-2 Tbs, I think)

                                                                                                                                                                        Mix all of the ingredients together in a 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour or so, til the potatoes and chicken are golden brown and your house smells amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                          Wow-- that is easy. I look forward to trying it. I may have to add some garlic-- I'm not sure I'm capable of cooking without garlic. I'm even worse now that I have pre-sauteed cloves in the freezer. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jvanderh

                                                                                                                                                                            Oh yeah, I add garlic when I can get away with it (one family member is sensitive). Report back if you try it. :)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                              I headed to the farmer's market Sat with the hopes of finding smoked paprika, but inexplicably, the spice stand seems to only be there in the summer :-(

                                                                                                                                                                    2. I spray the bottom part of a broiler pan with oil than lay down a single layer of red potatoes sliced about 1/4" thick. Season with salt & pepper. Then put the top part of
                                                                                                                                                                      the pan over the potato slices. Spray the pan with oil and place chicken thighs skin side up directly over the slots so the drippings will flavor the potatoes. Put this in a preheated
                                                                                                                                                                      350 oven and cook between 1 1/2 - 2 hours .

                                                                                                                                                                      I usually season the thighs with Adobo and Goya Sazon. But any seasonings you like will work. It is best the season the meat in advance (overnight) . The fat in the thighs renders down and crisps the potatoes. I find that 2 hours works best. They will not dry out.

                                                                                                                                                                      Transfer the thighs to a platter to rest. Remove the flat pan top and scoop up the potatoes ( a spatula works best) The chicken is crispy and so so tender. Also the potatoes are some of the best you ever had.

                                                                                                                                                                      This is a very simple dish that requires little effort, except cleanup. But it is worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: FreeWally

                                                                                                                                                                        FreeWally-I made this last night. So easy-so good! Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dklipscomb

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm so glad you reported back. I've never used my broiler pan --- so here's a use for it :) I know this is heresy to some but I loathe bone-in thighs. Could I use breasts?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                            I'd say yes, but would cook for a shorter time. I think cutting the potatoes small and toss with some olive oil to start them. (although I removed some of the chicken fat from the 4 thighs I had). I don't think the breasts will give off as much fat and would dry out with long cooking time. Darn if it wasn't good and a use for the broiler pan I haven't used till now. (I didn't have the abodo seasoning-but looked it up and sprinkled those spices on the thighs)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dklipscomb

                                                                                                                                                                              I showed and told my husband about this dish and he's definitely onboard. I'd considered getting rid of my broiler pan.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                I use my broiler pan to make bacon and anything else I want the fat to drain away from in the oven. Put bacon on broiler pan. Put broiler pan in cold oven. Turn oven on to 400. Thick bacon takes about 20-25 min in my oven and is perfectly rendered every time.

                                                                                                                                                                                I think I'll try FreeWally's method and stick the makings for homefries under the bacon for breakfast. Yes, one less pan!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                              dklipscomb is right - the only issue is that the breasts have the potential to dry out more easily. but as long as you leave the skin on and watch the time and temp you should be okay.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Pressure cooker pot roast. Just throw everything in (chopped onion, carrots, garlic, celery, chuck roast, pepper, some water) and let it go for 45 min to an hour. Like magic.

                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mpez0

                                                                                                                                                                            I made plain old dutch-oven on the stovetop pot roast last night, which I feel has the added bonus of torturing your family for a few hours while it simmers. THEN, voila! Magic.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                My pot roast is so simple - just brown as many pounds of arm roast as you can comfortably fit in a dutch oven (for my family, I need at least 3lbs, bare minimum). Pepper pretty heavily on both sides, brown in hot oil in the dutch oven, then reduce heat to medium-low.

                                                                                                                                                                                Add an onion,quartered, at least two large cloves of garlic, chopped or minced, 2 bay leaves and enough water to cover. From there, I mix about a cup of V8, tomato juice or even about a 1/4 cup of ketchup with about 3 tbs of prepared horseradish, & about 2/3 T of Worcestershire sauce and pour over the roast. Then add water to just almost cover. Salt to taste and throw in 2 or 3 stalks of celery from the heart, with leaves, not chopped.

                                                                                                                                                                                Simmer, covered, until painfully aware it's going to be wonderful - about 3 hours. As it just gets tender, add carrots (I usually cut them in thirds), either whole small red potatoes or (my favorite) plain old bakers,quartered, and large pieces of celery, if your family cares for it (I do, fam doesn't). Salt and pepper again, put lid back on the dutch oven and allow the carrots and potatoes to cook for about 15 minutes. Then I usually slide the roast out from under the carrots and potatoes, letting them fall into the juices for the last 10 minutes or so of cooking until tender.

                                                                                                                                                                                Sometimes I thicken the juices, sometimes I don't. Sometimes a splash of red wine or a fresh sprig of thyme goes in, usually not. But that's the basics.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: shanagain

                                                                                                                                                                                  Sounds wonderful. I copied the recipe, thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: shanagain

                                                                                                                                                                                    ok shan, that's a go, I'll be making this. easy and end results look wonderful. I will add the red wine and the thyme as well as I love ém both.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                      My stomach was growling re-reading the post... and it's finally getting cool here again, so I definitely have pot roast in my near-future!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Clams sofrito...1/4 lb proscuitto, chopped. Mix two garlic cloves, a tomato, a small onion and 1/4 cilantro in a food processor with a tablespoon of water. Brown the prosciutto and the sofrito together for about 10 minutes. Salt and Pepper.Throw 4lbs littleneck clams and a cup of white wine. Cover and cook until clams open. Serve garnished with chopped green onions and lemon wedges and garlic bread for dipping. It's wonderful and so simple.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Crisp Black Bean Tacos

                                                                                                                                                                                You need:
                                                                                                                                                                                Cooked black beans smashed up, chunky with some whole ones in there (warm or room temp)
                                                                                                                                                                                Your favorite hot sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                Some onion, sliced or diced
                                                                                                                                                                                Veg oil
                                                                                                                                                                                Fresh corn tortillas
                                                                                                                                                                                Wood toothpicks

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Heat oil in pan to a shimmer
                                                                                                                                                                                2. Heat the tortillas in a microwave or oven (if in oven, wrap in moist paper towels) enough so they are flexible
                                                                                                                                                                                3. Add beans, onions and hot sauce. Not too much of anything, less is more for these I think.
                                                                                                                                                                                4. Fold the tortilla in half and use a toothpick at the top of the tortilla to hold it together
                                                                                                                                                                                5. Drop it in the oil and fry that baby until just golden on both sides, put in a large bowl lined with paper towels
                                                                                                                                                                                6. Serve, repeat, keep going. This is not I make a lot of then serve, unfortunately. For best flavor just make a few at a time, then go back and do some more.

                                                                                                                                                                                Cheese is great, but for these I prefer none. Crispy, spicy and simple..

                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Alan N

                                                                                                                                                                                  I want one RIGHT NOW! I love fry and eat things.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                    Such a good suggestion! If you don't want to heat up a whole lot of oil, I've had pretty good results in a skillet (use enough oil to cover a flat tortilla, submerge the tortilla until it starts to firm up, but can still be bent, pull out of the oil, fold in half and hold for a few seconds until it starts to cool, so it will hold its shape).

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Nan's Chicken (Stewed Chicken)

                                                                                                                                                                                  Serves: 6

                                                                                                                                                                                  Bertha Marie Ruty Morel, (1898 – 1989), "Nan", fixed this dish for anyone who was ill, had a death in the family or for anyone who just needed cheering up. This was her true "comfort food". Nothing makes a better stew than an old black cast iron pot.


                                                                                                                                                                                  • 1 3-4 pound fryer, cut into 8 pieces
                                                                                                                                                                                  • 1 Tablespoon Franks Famous Creole Seasoning
                                                                                                                                                                                  • 4 strips bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
                                                                                                                                                                                  • ¼ cup sherry
                                                                                                                                                                                  • ½ cup flour
                                                                                                                                                                                  • 2 cups yellow onions, diced
                                                                                                                                                                                  • 1 cup celery, thinly sliced
                                                                                                                                                                                  • ½ cup bell pepper, diced
                                                                                                                                                                                  • ½ cup carrots, diced
                                                                                                                                                                                  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                  • 6 cups water
                                                                                                                                                                                  • 1 envelope Lipton ® Onion soup mix
                                                                                                                                                                                  • ½ cup green onion tops, thinly sliced
                                                                                                                                                                                  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped


                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Rinse chicken well under cold running water and cut into 8 serving pieces.
                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Drain the chicken well in a colander and season to taste using Franks Famous Creole Seasoning.
                                                                                                                                                                                  3. In a black cast iron pot, fry the bacon pieces over medium high heat until bacon is crisp. Remove bacon and set aside.
                                                                                                                                                                                  4. Fry the chicken pieces in the hot bacon fat, a few at a time, until golden brown on all sides. These pan drippings will be used when making the roux. When done, remove chicken and set aside.
                                                                                                                                                                                  5. Deglaze the pot with the sherry.
                                                                                                                                                                                  6. Sprinkle in ½ cup flour, and using a wire whisk, stir until a golden brown roux is achieved.
                                                                                                                                                                                  7. Add onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are wilted.
                                                                                                                                                                                  8. Stir in envelope of Lipton® Onion soup mix. Mix thoroughly.
                                                                                                                                                                                  9. Return fried chicken to the pot. Add additional water if needed to cover chicken. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook until chicken is tender, approximately 45 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                                  10. Add green onions and parsley. Blend well into the sauce mixture.
                                                                                                                                                                                  11. Serve over noodles and add reserved bacon bits as garnish

                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: speyerer

                                                                                                                                                                                    gad this looks delicious on a very cold and blustery night, like we've been having recently, where'd summer go?

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Franks Famous Creole Seasoning

                                                                                                                                                                                    This type of seasoning base is used in many New Orleans restaurants, from Emeril's to Commander's Palace to K-Paul's. This is particularly good on grilled chicken or duck.


                                                                                                                                                                                    • 2 teaspoons salt
                                                                                                                                                                                    • 1½ teaspoons paprika
                                                                                                                                                                                    • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                    • 1 teaspoon white pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                    • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
                                                                                                                                                                                    • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
                                                                                                                                                                                    • 1 teaspoon crushed dried basil leaves
                                                                                                                                                                                    • ½ teaspoon crushed dried oregano leaves
                                                                                                                                                                                    • ½ teaspoon crushed dried thyme leaves
                                                                                                                                                                                    • ½ teaspoon crushed dried parsley leaves

                                                                                                                                                                                    Note: This version of Creole seasoning contains salt -- If you like to control salt content separately, omit the salt from the blend.


                                                                                                                                                                                    1. In a medium bowl or food processor combine salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, white pepper, ground black pepper, granulated onion, granulated garlic, crushed basil, crushed oregano, crushed thyme and parsley. Mix thoroughly.
                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Use like salt. When it's salty enough, it's seasoned to perfection.
                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Store in an airtight container for up to three months.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Note: The amounts in this recipe are given by volume. So a "teaspoon" can be a cup or a Tablespoon depending on how much seasoning you wish to make. Double or triple the recipe as you wish.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Gravlax.
                                                                                                                                                                                      I make it once a month. It turns any piece of farm raised salmon into something delicious. Plus you can tinker with the recipe.
                                                                                                                                                                                      A one pound piece of center cut salmon filet skin on, one 1/3 cup hosher salt, 2/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespooons whole white peppercorns, 2 tablespoons whole fenel seeds.
                                                                                                                                                                                      Crush the spices under a pan until fairly coarse, mix with the salt and sugar. Spread a thin layer of mix on plastic wrap, put salmon on top skin down, cover salmon with the rest of the mix, wrap in plastic, leave in the fridge for 48 hours, take out of the wrap, rinse under cold water to get rid of mix, pad dry, slice, eat.
                                                                                                                                                                                      Variations: add a tablespoon of spirit to the mix (vodka, aquavit, raki, pastis), use brown sugar, cover the mix with dill, use other whole spices (coriander, mustard, black pepper...)
                                                                                                                                                                                      Always a sucess.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Sukiyaki. The easiest weeknight meal that still impresses company, courtesy of my Jewish suburban mother in the 1970s. Start rice in the rice cooker. Put piles of the following in a 12" saucepan: tofu, mushrooms, scallions (cut about 2"), bok choy, bamboo shoots, packaged clear yam noodles. Mix equal parts mirin and soy sauce and dilute with plenty of water. Bring to boil, simmer. When the veggies are cooked, turn the heat off and lay in thin slices of beef. (Get it from the Asian market; specifically ask for sukiyaki beef because anything else will be too thick; or slice yourself, very thin.) They'll cook in the broth. Serve over the rice. Leftovers are great.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I get so many requests for Chicken in Red Wine Vinegar Sauce that I can't take it out of my rotation. I guess I really don't mind, because it is REALLY tasty, and if company is coming on a weeknight, it's really easy to pull off after I get in from work.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                            chef june, you need to read this article about cebiche. http://languageoffood.blogspot.com/20...

                                                                                                                                                                                            """The story starts in the mid-6th century in Persia. Khosrau I Anushirvan (501-579 CE) was the Shahanshah ("king of kings") of the Sassanid Persian Empire, which stretched from present-day Armenia, Turkey, and Syria in the west, through Iran and Iraq to parts of Pakistan in the east."""""

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                              is it posted here chefjune? if that's a yes, forgive me as I'm going from bottom to top on this page

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Basically every pasta recipe in Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The one in Marcella Speaks with pine nuts and raisins is incredible -- easy but with great depth of flavor. Especially on home made pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Meringue Tart or Tarts. Nothing to it but 3 egg whites, a cup of sugar, and vanilla,and all you do is stand there and hold the mixer for five minutes, but the result is always spectacular when filled with...anything...ice cream, sorbet, whipped cream, any fruit...If you cut out the side of a brown paper grocery bag, lay it on a cookie sheet, and bake the meringue on that, you can apply a damp cloth to the bottom side of the brown paper and the baked meringue will lift off beautifully.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have meringue issues. Do you have a recipe, or can you tell me how to bake them? Is it soft meringue or crunchy? Do you pipe it into little swirls, or what?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jvanderh

                                                                                                                                                                                                    they're pretty easy but involve a bit of attention.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    last year for Christmas I made many batches of meringue cookies.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    all kinds of flavors and they were crazy good.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    like little air pockets that disappeared in your mouth the second they entered it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Homemade lemon pepper chicken, crispy -- thank you lynnlato.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also, Chicken Marbella, Giada's balsamic roasted chicken, and spicy roasted chicken with marjoram and cherry tomatoes (notice the theme).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Michael Field's hot mushroom dip. I can eat the entire batch alone. I do try not to, but...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ginger sesame noodles with broccoli and red peppers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mango and fresh ricotta drizzled with honey. Mmmmm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Boiled lobsters. Jasper Whte has so nailed the timings in his charts. Corn on the cob, plenty of cold beer conspire to make me look good. Leftovers morph into newburg (sp?) or lobster rolls. I have a pretty good fish monger here in Connecticut so product never lets me down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Veal Stew

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1# veal cubes (veal stew meat)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      seasoned flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 garlic cloves, minced
                                                                                                                                                                                                      3/4 c. dry white wine
                                                                                                                                                                                                      3/4 c. chicken stock (or water)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 tablespoon lemon juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/4 teaspoon marjoram
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1-2 bay leaf
                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 whole cloves
                                                                                                                                                                                                      parsley, chopped

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dredge veal in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Sauté veal in olive oil until browned. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until veal is tender (about an hour). Garnish with parsley.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Serve over rice or noodles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Paneer. It's ridiculously easy to make, yet it makes me feel like a serious cook because there are people out there who buy the stuff frozen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Newbie here...may I jump in and reply? :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I LOVE my crock pot....I find I never go wrong with it. Lately we've been on a pork chop kick, having found some good sales on bulk packages. Our simplest fave is just a package of thawed chops (5-7) and some Lipton soup mix. We like the Savory Garlic and Herb. I layer the chops and then dump the dry soup mix (both packages) on them, then add water to barely cover...maybe a little less. Let 'em go on low for the rest of the day, and by the time everyone is home from work and ready to eat, they are falling-apart tender and very yummy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bayou Voodoo

                                                                                                                                                                                                            bayou voodoo, welcome!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            my mom used to make a chuck steak with the lipton's onion soup mix packet. it was good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            i'm going to try your crock pot chops, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I do roast in the crock pot wtih the dry onion soup packet, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Sometimes I will add a splash of red wine, but most of the time I don't add any liquid. By the time I get home from work, I have a delicious meal. Bonus--you can strain the fat from the liquid and make a quick gravy! Mmmmm...just writing this is making me hungry!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jessicav

                                                                                                                                                                                                                jessicav, how do you strain the fat from the liquid to make the gravy. The only way I know how to separate it is by putting the liquid in the fridge overnight and letting the fat solidify at the top. HELP.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: lilmomma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Take a spoon or small ladle and just skim the floating fat off the top of the cooking liquid. You won't get it all but you'll get a lot of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. lamb gil bok tagine from epicurious.com ..the hardest part of this recipe is browning the meat...then you put rest of the ingredients and simmer...so good everytime...taste is very complex. no one will ever think it's so easy to make.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            For quick dinner, I also get boneless chicken thigh meat..sprinkle them with salt, pepper, garlic powder and herb de provence....then sear them on cast iron skillet...they are so juicy..tender and delicious everytime...eat them with bread and some nice wine. =)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm not finding the lamb tagine recipe on epicurious. Do you have a link?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mountaincachers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sorry, it was tagine bil kok. I also posted a link to a chicken tagine which is equally good...a bit more steps(and more than one pot) but takes less time than making the lamb tagine.



                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                This chicken tagine with eggplant, tomato, and almond (also from epicurious) is also excellent, and each time I've made it, people seem blown away. I often make complicated dishes with intricate sauces, but for some reason this is in the top five for anyone who tries it:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: twilight goddess

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  yeah, TG, that Moroccan Chicken with eggplant is so good that I will often just skip the chicken and do the spices with eggplant and tomato by themselves and just yum all over it with brown rice. That is one of the many magical dishes on Epi, for me, anyway!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Smoked salmon and watercress spaghetti in pink sauce, scallops with madiera on spinach, smoked salmon fried rice, miso marinated salmon or swordfish, dry rub slow baked baby back barks glazed with brown sugar mustard ( I leave it in the oven for 5 hours or so at 210 F, it comes out very porky and crusty, probably too dry for most people but I think it is unique and tasty! ) The easiest of all by far is a big slice of cheese on my favorite bread in the broiler, I have been doing that since I was 14, and still find it terribly tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Pavlova! Without fail, I am impressed with myself (and my guests are impressed, too!) every time I make one. If you have a stand mixer, this is particularly effortless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. On the savory end, I guess Pernil in mojo would have to do it; virtually no work, and the roast, as it carmelizes and turns beautiful shades of brown and rose and gold, and gets all crunchy-skinned, smells amazing. Sure winner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef


                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Would love it if you could post the recipe. It sounds delectable!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. At first I didn't think I had anything to post here, mostly because I don't really impress myself much. But after rethinking it a bit, there are things that I make that do impress me. Not because of anything special *I've* done, but because the thing itself is so impressive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So for me, every time I make carmelized onions, I'm VERY impressed with how wonderful they are! Also grateful for JoanN's oven method which allows me to make them much, much MUCH more often. AWESOME!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Have you tried the crockpot method? I keep meaning to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jvanderh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have, but I've no crockpot here. I can't compare them side by side and I won't trust my memory to rank one above the other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm thinking that if, when I have access to a crockpot again, it comes up a little short, a modified crockpot version could easily be managed, where I reduce them in the crockpot and finish in the oven. The one thing that bothers me about the oven is the much higher use of energy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gotcha. I think I probably use the heat less when the oven's on, so I don't worry too much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. salt and pepper well a pound of ground beef cook/drained of all fat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        medium onion chopped/1 stalk celery chopped and cooked in tablespoon butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        mix the meat and veg together.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        boil elbow macaroni till done.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 cans of standard tomato sauce over the meat, stir well, incorporate noodles pour into buttered baking dish.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        shred mozzarella and cheddar cheese [1/2&1/2] over top and bake, serve when cooked through and cheese melted about 30 minutes 350*

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. What a great thread!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have made this so many times in the past few months. SOOO easy, flavorful and delicious. Great panty meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Saute 1/2 chopped onion and crushed red pepper flakes in olive oil. Mix in tuna (canned in olive oil), capers and a touch of salt. Add white wine. Simmer for a while. Toss with pasta. (I love it with the lemon pepper pappardelle from TJ) Sprinkle with parsley and pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I came across this recipe, if you want exact measurements, from Simply Recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It comes together in less than 15 minutes. YUM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Every pasta recipe in Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classical Italian Cooking. I consistently make pasta dishes that are better than those at the most esteemed Italian restaurants in LA with minimal effort.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. My favorite dish in this category is sauteed duck breast with lingonberry sauce. Simple enough to be a weeknight dinner but tastes like you're eating at a fancy restaurant. :) Lingonberries can be found in jars in most supermarkets these days, I think, but you can substitute cranberries if necessary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cut two whole boneless duck breasts in half lengthwise. Trim excess fat and score the duck skin diagonally three or four times without cutting into the duck flesh. Add salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat olive oil in skillet over high heat and put duck in skin side down first, pressing with back of spatula while it cooks. Best to wear long sleeves and an apron! How long to cook per side depends on how you like your duck. I like it rare to medium rare, so about 5 mins first side, then turn and about 4 mins on second side. Remove duck to platter and cover to keep warm. Reduce a cup of chicken broth, 1/2 cup lingonberries and 2 TBs red wine in skillet for 7 - 10 minutes till slightly thickened. Slice duck breasts, fan out on plates and spoon sauce over top. Wild rice and peas or green beans are good accompaniments. If serving only two people, set aside half of the cooked duck and sauce. It reheats surprisingly well for a second dinner as long as you're careful not to overheat the duck.


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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: FrancaV

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                BBQ'ed flatbread: Really, really easy! You'll need store bought pizza dough (I use Trader Joe's brand at about $1.19 a pkg.), mild flavored olive oil, 1 clove garlic, 1 sprig thyme and 1 sprig rosemary, grey salt, pepper, and Za'atar. You'll also need a basting brush and tongs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Heat 1/4 c. olive oil on the stove top, drop in the rosemary, thyme and garlic clove, allow them to sizzle out and impart their flavor into the oil. Remove from heat, discard the herbs and garlic, and allow oil to come to room temperature. Pour the oil over the pizza dough and allow to macerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat up the BBQ at highest setting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pull off a good size piece of the dough and shape it so it resembles a free formed pizza. Place dough on the BBQ. Season with salt, pepper and za'atar. Turn over and do the same thing to the other side. Baste with the oil the dough as needed and repeat process with the remaining dough. You get about 4 or 5 flat breads out of one TJ's pizza dough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fantastic with a salad or as an accompaniment to a meat based dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Same dough and ingredients work very nicely for making garlic knots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Fusilli with bacon, red onion, kale, garlic, crushed red pepper & balsamic vinegar---woooT!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. here's a few ideas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - take b/s chicken breasts dump salsa on top of them and a little cheese, cover in foil bake till done say 375 degrees for 25 mins.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - any green veggie stir fried with s/p, garlic and oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - heat a skillet with a little butter and olive oil, add rice, garlic, onion and saute till rice glistens and browns just a little and add double the amount of chicken broth, a handful of chopped veggies (spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, whatever), s/p, any herbs or chili flakes you may like...cover until rice is cooked and serve with some parm and fresh black pepper on top. great side or for a meal add some uncooked chicken pieces with the broth. (you could also use shrimp but you may want to cook them most of the way and just add them at the end to heat through).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - fish packets - preheat oven to 425 then you will turn it down to 375
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  on a sheet of foil put a drizzle of olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper then place cod or any white fish on top and on top throw on julienned bell pepper, spinach, tomato and olives (any work but if your grocery store has an olive bar then the black pitted in oil taste the best), lemon juice and a bit of feta and a splash of white wine or vermouth and then a little more salt if you want (should be salty enough though from olives), black pepper, dried oregano and parsley.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  fold up the sides so it steams and pop it in the oven for about 25 mins or till fish is cooked through and dinner is ready! you can add a salad or a starch if needed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i don't use too many measurements but this is really more an eye ball recipe anyway, substitute any veggies you'd like just make sure all will cook together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pie22

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pie, I like your salsa chicken idea...I usually make my own spice blend of cumin, garlic powder and chipotle chile powder, a little salt and black pepper, rub that onto skinless chicken thighs...bake for about 25 minutes at 375...then top with salsa, bake for 10 minutes and then add some light sour cream mixed with shredded jack cheese and top with fresh cilantro...bake for another 10 minutes or so...really great. Yours is much simpler but same idea!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      thanks! i will need to give your recipe a shot for the days i want to get a little more into it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Pork confit. I have very little to do with it, but I made it so I get the credit. SO easy. Mindblowing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am also impressed by bacon and anything involving melted cheese, garlic with crazily crunchy bread lurking below.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I love this thread! Penne alla Carbonara, my boys wish I could make it every day. Very easy and I always have the ingredients on hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Any big hunk of meat is so easy but tastes like you slaved in the kitchen. Brisket, pork shoulder, leg of lamp, prime rib. Rub them down with some salt and other seasonings, pop them into the oven, and a few hours later you have a delicious meal!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fish too. Most pieces of fish cook in 10 minutes or less in a skillet. A favorite is a salmon with a home made spice rub and put into the oven for 15 min. or so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I also want to note on here how so many of these "easy" ideas would be so hard to lots of people. I love to cook and agree that everything in here is easy. To a friend of mine, an "easy" dish for her is Chicken Parm. Frozen breaded chickent cutlets, a jar of sauce, and a bag of cheese! I'm glad to see so many people enjoy cooking that this is all "easy" for us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. This is such an incredibly simple, delicious and quick recipe for essentially fool proof chicken thighs. I originally saw something similar to this recipe on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives andI was a little hesitant of using the broiler at first, but it really works.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5-6 chicken thighs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            juice of 1 lemon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            good amount of olive oil (probably 1/3 cup)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            paprika to taste ( I like a lot)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            salt and pepper to taste
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 cloves of smashed garlic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Preheat your broiler. Chop the rosemary and combine everything into a roasting pan and toss together. Place the pan into your oven and broil for around 15 minutes (time will vary depending on oven). *Depending on your oven, you might need to remove the garlic after about 10 minutes to prevent it from burning. Place the chicken on plate and I like to put a little chicken stock into the pan to scrape up the brown bits with (I am sure wine would work as well).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The thighs come out so juicy from broiling them and the pan juices are fantastic. I usually serve it with crusty bread although I am sure it would be good with roasted potatoes or pretty much anything else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Pasta a la Gorgonzola

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Put a big pot of water on to boil. Cut up gorgonzola dolce (or another cheese that melts nicely) in a serving dish that will fit over the big pot. I add a small amount of liquid (e.g. a couple of tablespoons of milk or half and half) in with the cheese. Set the serving dish over the pasta as it cooks. Make sure there is a largish gap between the serving dish and the edge of the pot or the water will boil over. By the time the pasta is cooked, the cheese will have melted. After making sure the cheese and liquid are combined into a smooth sauce, add the pasta to the serving dish, toss and serve. Optional add-ins: chopped Italian parsley and/or toasted walnuts. Additional grated Parmesan is possible, but seems like cheese overkill to me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Absolutely delicious with minimal clean-up!