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Dec 19, 2010 12:19 PM

Favorite Simple Food Preparation?

I have recently discovered that some of the best food is food that is prepared simply, without overly complicated recipes. I was hoping to expand my repitoire of simple cooking techniques that bring out the flavor of whatever food I'm making. Here are two of my favorites:

-Carrots lightly steamed, then sauteed in a bit of olive oil and butter and finished off with lightly sauteed garlic, flake sea salt, and pepper.

- Brussels sprouts sauteed in rendered bacon fat and tossed with bacon pieces at the end with a bit of S&P (I love green beans this way as well.)

Do you have any super simple preparations that just cannot be beat?

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  1. Sliced avocado and cucumber with lemon or lime, salt and pepper and chile or cayenne powder.
    Extra-thick bacon rolled in brown sugar; baked for an hour and drained on brown paper bags. Best hor's d' ouvre ever.
    Huge baked potato, butter, s&p, grated sharp cheese. Or good canned chili over baked potato.
    I like my Brusselsssssss sprouts the same way you do but I add a shot of cream at the end.
    Corn, grated straight off the cob into a buttered casserole, topped with melted butter, and baked till creamy. OMG.
    Steamed carrots with orange juice concentrate and curry powder, a little butter.
    Plain zucchini with s&p and great olive oil.

    7 Replies
    1. re: mamachef

      It all sounds great, but the bacon? Wow. I'm trying this today. Seriously.

      1. re: sisterfunkhaus

        Sista, your life will change today for real. And also know, honey, that you can do this with little smokies, or slices of kielbasa. The main, most important thing is the brown paper bag drainage factor, because use paper towels and you'll stand there amazed and crying over the vast amounts of wasted meat and sugar.
        And the kielbasa and smokies are just otherworldly, dipped into very hot mustard.

        1. re: mamachef

          Mamachef, do you roll the smokies themselves in brown sugar, or in bacon first, then the sugar. Also, what oven temp do you use?

          1. re: critter101

            You certainly could wrap the smokies in bacon. I like the way you think, critter. I myself had not taken it to that extreme, but now it looks like I'll have to try, thankyouverymuch. You want your oven pre-heated to 350, and check the goods after 45 minutes. Use a deep baking pan with sides, or better yet a vented broiler pan. You can also roll the little devils in mustard before rolling in sugar. Your arteries will resemble the surface of the moon when all is said and done, but life is for the living, right? Enjoy!!

            1. re: mamachef

              Thanks, mama! I have all the stuff in the house - it's a rainy day here in SoCal, and perfect for a glass of wine and some fine snacks.

              1. re: critter101

                It's a rainy day here in NorCal too, : ) and those are a perfect tasty protein base for a fine wine buzz on a rainy California day. A bowl of pretzel nuggets, a few cubes of sharp cheese...yayuh!

      2. re: mamachef

        I'm curious about the corn. You grate it with a cheese grater? Fresh corn has been my unexplored territory, but DH LOVES it.

      3. Marcella Hazan has some good ones. Her braised carrots and slow roasted tomato recipes come to mind. I've attached pictures. They take over an hour to cook, but they're super easy.

        1. One of my favourites is fry up some bacon nice and crisp with some garlic in a pan. Throw in some beautiful fresh broad beans and sautee until heated and toss through some chopped coriander (cilantro in the US). Devour greedily.

          1. Greens vegetables: spinach, kale and asparagus particularly are so simple to prepare and absolutely delicious without a need for excess flavoring. Boil for a few seconds then flash cook. Add some bacon or even with just garlic, poached / fried egg, cheese...the possibilities are endless!

            Cauliflower is another one I love love love! Roasting with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper topped with grated cheese is wonderful.