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Simple Recipes that are Incredibly Delicious!

Have you ever had a dish that was so delicious yet so simple it was like tasting the main ingredient for the first time? There are some great recipes out there that only have a few ingredients, yet when cooked together in the right order and with the right techniques produce magic. If you have one, please share it! Here's mine:

This afternoon I realized that, for whatever reason, I haven't had enough green veggies in my diet the last few days. I went to the refrigerator -- I really do need to go shopping! And then to the freezer... I GOTTA go shopping! But there was a bag of frozen green beans. Ahhhhh..... My favorite old fashioned Turkish green bean recipe... Tereyagli Taze Fasulye! I first had this way back in the '50s when Fatma, my chef/housekeeper made it for me and it was love at first bite! Forget about all of the stuff about undercooked vegetables. This recipe is a very very old traditional green bean "stew" that will knock your socks off.

..............................Turkish Green Bean Stew................................
A medium onion (or an equal amount of shallots) diced or grated. Grated is traditional but it makes me cry, so I chop.

Olive oil and unsalted butter, about a tablespoon of each

About three fresh tomatoes, halved, seeded and sliced. You can also use grape or cherry tomatoes cut in quarters. If you like, the tomatoes can be peeled but I like the little "curls" of tomato skin that result from sliced tomatoes that are diced.

About a pound of fresh green beans, French cut or sliced down the middle OR about a pound of frozen green beans, but when I use frozen I don't like the Frenched as well as whole or cut.

A scant teaspoon of sugar.

Salt and pepper to taste

Water (NOT stock or broth!)

Heat olive oil first, then add the butter to melt. Saute the onions in buttered oil until they're transparent and very lightly golden. Add tomatoes and continue to saute until they begin to break down and the peels curl; this could take up to five minutes depending on your heat. Be careful not to brown. Add green beans, sugar, salt and pepper and about 3/4 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Stir and reduce heat to a light boil/heavy simmer and cover with a tight fittting lid and cook for 40 minutes. If the lid on your pan allows steam to escape, check every once in a while and add enough water to keep from burning and reduce heat if needed. At the end of the cooking period the liquid should be reduced to a buttery sauce. Serve hot as a side dish to roasted red meats or poulty.

VARIATION: Add some finely cut fresh lamb (NOT ground!) when you're sauteeing the onions, then proceed with the rest of the recipe. American and New Zealand lamb is so mild it doesn't come up to Turkish or Greek lamb in flavor, so be sure to include all the lamb fat up to half meat and half fat to maximize flavor. The ratio of meat to green beans (before cooking for both) should be about five parts of green beans to one part of lamb max. This makes a delicious main dish with a rice or bulgur pilaf and a salad of sliced tomatoes with olive oil and chopped fresh mint and dill.

If you have a magically simple and simply magic recipe, please share! In the recent past -- month or less? -- I read a thread where someone mentioned a Marcella Hazan "onion sauce" recipe for pasta that was incredibly simple, I saved it and now I can't find it and don't remember the thread. I would love to see that one again. I love recipes in which the sum is so much greater than the parts that it just blows your mind. Got one?

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  1. Much in the same vein and requiring no recipe, long-simmered string beans with onions and ham and a little brown sugar were a revelation to me. To my Northern, Yankeefied palate (although that's this particular life, since I'm sure I was a Southerner in the previous one or two) they were the richest, most umami-laden thing I'd ever eaten. Growing up in a household with transplanted Midwesterners as I was, vegetables were served only a couple ways: raw, as in cauliflower and broccoli w/ California dip; steamed, (which meant almost raw - not crisp-tender and not just-done) or boiled and incinerated to the point of complete unrecognizability. Vegetables weren't something you made WITH other things, because veg. were, other than health reasons, below notice. So the concept that there was this...this Dish that someone actually went to the trouble of preparing a certain way and cooking for a certain time to a desired expected end result did, indeed blow my everlovin' mind. And it remains a favorite to this day.
    Thanks! Nice thread!

    1 Reply
    1. re: mamachef

      I have a serious craving for grandma style simmered string beans but have no clue what I'm doing. Any good tips?

    2. Caroline - Here is the Hazan recipe
      I’m a fan of her recipe and it is as simple as it gets. I like to add a little bit of grated carrot and a whole clove of garlic when I make it.

      I think this is the latest tomato sauce thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/834505
      but there have been lots of discussions about the Hazan recipe over the years. Here are a few…

      11 Replies
      1. re: EM23

        Thanks, EM, but it was a Marcella Hazan onion sauce recipe. I remember reading the recipe and I remember saving it somehow. I just can't find it. But as I recall, it was simply sauteeing onions for a very long time, almost the way you caramelize them for a French onion soup, and then MAYBE doing a little something more and using it as a sauce for pasta. No tomatoes involved. Or there's always the chance I was hallucinating, right? '-)

          1. re: tartetatin

            Yes....!!! TThank you! Thank you!! Thank you! And I see you don't cook the onions quite as long as I thought. Gonna try it! '-)

            1. re: Caroline1

              Someone on these boards had a brilliant method of making caramelized onions in the oven. I didn't write it down when I read about it and now do not remember - of course!

              Anyone knows about it?

              1. re: herby

                I believe it was the first stage of CI's onion soup that illustrated the method in the oven, adapted here:


                and here:


          2. re: Caroline1

            Well Caroline, I see that Tart has hooked you up with the right recipe so clearly you were not hallucinating:-)

            I thought of a few more simply cooked foods that are surprisingly delicious:
            -Crash Hot Potatoes http://www.jilldupleix.com/recipes/re...
            -thinly sliced cauliflower tossed with olive oil, s&p and roasted until caramelized and crunchy
            And uncooked – a summer tomato paired with a really fresh burrata or mozzarella and drizzled with a good extra virgin olive oil.

            1. re: EM23

              I made the Hazan dish the other night and it was simple, yet very good. The onions were caramelized for quite awhile, but were left on low and covered for most of the time and then browner at increased heat for a few minutes at the end. Spinach linguine was the vehicle.

              It was delicious - proof that a dish made with a few good quality ingredients can make for complex tastes.

              1. re: tartetatin

                That sounds lovely Tart, especially with spinach linguine. Will try this recipe soon.

                1. re: EM23

                  Highly recommend it EM, btw, crash potatoes and roasted cauli are two of my faves too! Good call!
                  Here in Quebec, where I live, there is a lot of attention paid to good quality ingredients prepared in a simple style with attention to detail. There is nothing like a beautifully prepared piece of beef, pound of mussels or filet of fresh fish.
                  Have you read any of the Ottolenghi cookbooks?

                  1. re: tartetatin

                    No, I have not read any of his books but I do read his recipes on the Guardian. And Tarte, in a kind of crazy coincidence, I bookmarked this recipe (linked below) of his a while back and just yesterday morning added brussels sprouts to my shopping list. How crazy that you would ask me if I have read his books - I hear the Twilight Zone theme song playing in my head…

                    1. re: EM23

                      That looks delicious. I am not quite sure why he came into my mind while I was writing that post. He often uses quite a few ingredients in his recipes, yet his dishes have a simplicity about them and he uses good quality products.
                      I would love to hear how that dish turns out - I love b. sprouts!

        1. Shrimp sautéed in a scampi butter dusted with your favorite bottled Cajun spice mix. Out of this world good. It's what's for dinner tonight, actually. Once the shrimp is thawed, it's about a 10 minute affair from start to finish.

          Another is lamb chops marinated in just Chinese oyster sauce, then grilled. Can't even begin to describe how delicious that is.

          5 Replies
            1. re: mamachef

              Holy cow that does sound good. Wonder how it'd be with veal chops.

              1. re: buttertart

                Then you must needs try it and report.

            2. re: RelishPDX

              Today I put a handful of shrimp (frozen peeled deveined ready-to-roll shrimp) in an individual baking dish, added garlic powder and butter and bread crumbs, and baked about 15 min at 425*. Lovely.

            3. I'm currently obsessed with the perfect baked potato. I cook a lot, of everything, yet realized I'd never baked a potato.

              So I found a recipe on chowhound that called for oiling the spud, sprinkling with salt and baking at 400F for about an hour. Tried it, the house smelled great -- like a lovely delicious potato! It tasted fantastic; the skin was nice and crispy, the inside fluffy and delicious. I've now gone baked potato crazy -- leftover chili? Put it on a potato! Leftover stroganoff? Put it on a potato! Steak tonight? Yep, it's potato time. Home at lunch? Just a potato.

              18 Replies
              1. re: lsmutko

                Aren't they the perfect canvas for just about everything? I love them with non-fat greek yogurt and lots of fresh herbs or sauteed mushrooms.

                1. re: lsmutko

                  Baked potato - do you wrap them in foil?

                  1. re: cstout

                    I doubt that she uses foil. I don't. I poke holes in the potato with a fork, rub it in olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and put the potato directly on the oven rack. If I am cooking something else in the oven, I set it at 350°F. They still come out fine.

                    The foil would keep the skin from getting crispy. The oil helps it get crispy but not dried out. Basically this way... you eat the skin too.

                      1. re: cstout

                        Just a thought, cstout: a potato wrapped in foil doesn't bake - it steams. : )

                        1. re: mamachef

                          Thank you mamachef, I always just rubbed olive oil on them & put them in the oven...guess at 350deg (my favorite number...anything I don't know what to bake, I just go to 350deg). Guess I was baking too long because they always turned out kinda dry to me. I never poked them because I thought that would even make it drier.

                          1. re: cstout

                            You can go as high as 500 deg. I believe Barbara Kafka recommends that temp. Since i am most often using my toaster oven, I like to keep it at 400.

                      2. re: Hank Hanover

                        Yes! to all of the above. Oiling them and rolling in kosher salt is magic. A kind CH poster recommended this to me, and I agree, that doing this makes them great.

                        I also want to recommend an alternate way. JOC suggests splitting the potato in half lengthwise, oiling and baking. I slash the tops and make sure there is plenty of oil on them, esp on the exposed flesh. Baking is time is cut drastically that way, you get less carb because one serving is 1/2 potato, and the tops blister and toast very appealingly. I roast in my convection toaster oven at 400 deg. I don't generally roll these in salt, but I don't know why you couldn't.

                        A properly baked potato can be sublime, even if simply buttered. I fix these for Mr. Sueatmo now.

                        1. re: sueatmo

                          Potatoes split in half & baked...good idea to speed things up. I don't have a convection oven, but I think it will work in a regular one. Thanks for that idea.

                          1. re: sueatmo

                            I have never used them but there are potato spikes (basically big nails) that you jam into the center of a potato lengthwise. They help the potato get done faster. If you don't want to wait around for an hour, these might work for you.


                        2. re: cstout

                          Absolutely, positively NO foil! You want that crispy skin rubbed in olive oil.

                          1. re: Barbara76137

                            My potatoes will never touch foil again.

                        3. re: lsmutko

                          Hah! Now I know what use that leftover stroganoff sauce on.
                          Ismutko – as a teen my favorite fast food place in England was Spudulike where you could get a baked potato with your filling of choice at any time – day or night. I could never understand why there was never any U.S. equivalent.
                          Anywho, maybe you will get some more topping ideas from them http://www.spudulike.co.uk/food/index...

                          1. re: EM23

                            this is one reason i like wendy's.... baked potato with small chili w/or wo tossed salad on side

                            1. re: betsydiver

                              Our local hell, I mean mall, has a spot in the food court that sells baked potatoes and has a toppings bar....chili, stroganoff, chicken potpie filling, broccoli-cheese, and on and on....most worthwhile place to eat if you should happen to find yourself there.

                              1. re: mamachef

                                hahah. and I thought I was the only one left on the planet that disliked malls.

                                1. re: HillJ

                                  Are you kidding??? I avoid those like the plague! All that glitters is not necessarily gold. It's all stuff...do we honestly need more stuff?

                        4. It always amazes me how olive oil, chopped shallot, chopped garlic, canned tomatoes (or really good fresh in season), some shreds of basil and s&p simmered for 20 minutes can become such a delicious tomato sauce. Every time I make it I am amazed. And I make it a lot. I also make more complex sauces with more ingredients but this one delivers so much flavor for such a few simple ingredients.

                          2 Replies
                            1. re: Barbara76137

                              + 2 I make this sauce often. It's delish!

                          1. C1, that brings me right back to your tutorial on the perfect scrambled eggs (gazillion CH threads ago) on a perfectly toasted, buttered slice of rye, thin slice of red onion, thin slice of nova lox, grind of pepper and a bloody mary. Ah, Sunday morning.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: HillJ

                              Hey, you can pass the bloody mary, I just got home from downtown Dallas. <blech!> You will know mankind has mastered the universe when we can have giant megaplexes WITHOUT traffic...!!!

                              1. re: Caroline1

                                That's why I live in Fort Worth instead! Lately the only way you'll get me over to Dallas is when I need to go to Jimmy's.

                            2. Nice french bread, warm and crusty, with good bleu cheese smeared on it.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: kengk

                                oh kengk, if I add a slab of honeycomb on top can I join you?

                                1. re: kengk

                                  I especially like fresh bakery loaf, goat cheese, grapes, or wine!

                                2. I just bought a jar of fig jam with bits of orange running through it. Any CH ideas of incredibly delicious inspiration to share with HillJ?

                                  11 Replies
                                  1. re: HillJ

                                    Mmmmm, fig jam and chevre crostini - or added to port to glaze some pork loin - or to make fig jam bars, if you like to bake.

                                    1. re: mamachef

                                      I have a pork loin in the deep 6...hmmmmmmm..must defrost. :)

                                      1. re: mamachef

                                        All this figgy and jam talk made me think of a couple more…
                                        -baked brie topped with a warmed raspberry jam and served with a warmed baguette or water crackers
                                        -figs stuffed with goat cheese, wrapped in a slice of Prosciutto di Parma and grilled on the bbq until warmed though

                                        1. re: EM23

                                          You just reminded me; figs cut in half and grilled, place faceup on plate, sprinkle with goat cheese, chopped walnuts and drizzle with honey and freshly ground pepper. Heaven!

                                      2. re: HillJ

                                        - panini or grilled cheese sandwiches: fig jam with almond butter & goat cheese (bacon optional); fig jam with fontina or brie & prosciutto.
                                        - fig & mustard vinaigrette
                                        - grilled pizza/flatbread: fig jam with pecorino or parm, arugula & prosciutto; fig jam with gorgonzola and shredded duck breast (or confit!)

                                        (and of course you can always stir it into oatmeal, yogurt or cottage cheese.)

                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                          hi ghg. I wound up using the jam in puff pastry. rolled out the pastry, spread on the fig-orange jam, dotted with super creamy goat cheese and super thin slices of orange peel and cut into triangles. served them with spiral ham and creamed spinach.

                                          thank you for the ideas for the next jar!

                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                            Fig Jam on Anything!!!...did you make your own? If you did, you know we have to have the recipe.

                                            1. re: cstout

                                              cstout, super simple.

                                              10 lbs of ripe pears sliced into chunks (bosc & anjou)
                                              add enough lemon water to just cover (i add lemon slices to the pot)
                                              simmer until fork tender
                                              chop fresh rosemary fine
                                              add to pot
                                              strain liquid from fruit & set aside
                                              puree in blender (in small batches using the reserved liquid as needed-i like jam thick)
                                              add one spring of rosemary to each clean jelly jar
                                              pot steam jars and enjoy!

                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                Looks like you are using pears in that recipe...do I toss in some ripe figs in there with the sliced pears...sounds great...thank you!

                                                1. re: cstout

                                                  Sorry I had my pear rosemary jam mentioned below on my mind. The fig-orange marmalade I bought at a local shop. My recipe for that is very different that the rosemary pear jam.

                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                    Well, I am perfectly with the pear jam recipe...thanks for posting it. I have never made pear jam so I will definately try this.

                                        2. Ovenbaked veggies, particularly zucchini and grape tomatoes topped with a sprinkle of olive oil, s&p, a little sprinkle of balsamic. Cover dish with foil, bake at 375 half hr. Hmmm.

                                          10 Replies
                                          1. re: noodlepoodle

                                            Isn't it wonderful when the grape tomatoes burst open? When I've been really broke (that seems a lot recently) I'd roast a pan of whatever veggies I could find that were cheap with the olive oil, s&p and some fresh herbs. I could eat them for an entire week in so many different ways. Sometimes they'd be in a burrito, other times in a frittata.

                                            1. re: noodlepoodle

                                              This is mine, too, but I've never tried zucchini and grape tomatoes, a combo I usually just sautee with garlic and top with basil chiffonade. I love roast veggies in the winter -- especially roasted root veggies -- and recently discovered I could even roast frozen veggies (broccoli and cauliflower) and they turn out well on the convection oven setting. I'll have to try the zukes and grape tomatoes. Thanks for the idea!

                                              1. re: michelleats

                                                hit the grape tomatoes with a little fresh thyme toward the end...and be sure to make more than you think you'll want/need, because they WILL get eaten.

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  I have a 2 lb. package of grape tomatoes from Costco roasting in the oven right now. A little olive oil, salt, pepper and that's it. On 400 for about 30-40 minutes and it's heaven. I like them just a little brown on top.

                                                  And like you said, GHG, make a lot. They shrink up and you (well, I) can practically eat the entire tray in a single meal!

                                                  1. re: valerie

                                                    Did you cut the tomatoes first, or just roast 'em whole?

                                                    1. re: candypandora

                                                      I don't cut them...roast them whole. They open up while cooking.

                                                      1. re: valerie

                                                        I also roast tomatoes but like to cut a V in the top and crumble a saltine into it with a little rosemary.

                                                2. re: michelleats

                                                  Last nite I roasted two chicken hindquarters in the toaster oven with a little teriyaki sauce on top and a bit of orange juice in the pan. Laid on some lightly oiled asparagus spears in there too, and it all came out just fine! With a sweet potato also sharing the oven, I had a one-pan meal. My kinda cooking.

                                                  1. re: Sharuf

                                                    Sounds like mine too!! Not heating up the entire kitchn and very little clean up.

                                                3. re: noodlepoodle

                                                  +1 roasted vegetables are so simple and so delicious - my favorites are asparagus, mushrooms and zucchini.

                                                4. I think chicken marsalla is pretty simple and it is very good. In fact, it is so good that it has replaced pork chops as my grand daughters favorite dish. She asked if it was alright that pork chops weren't her favorite anymore.
                                                  Chicken marsalla only takes 30 minutes and the most complex step is cutting and pounding flat the chicken breasts to make cutlets. You can buy cutlets and then it is simple enough for the most basic cook.

                                                  Risottos, rice pilafs and polentas are about as simple as it gets. A steak and a baked potato is very simple, too.

                                                  Chocolate truffles are easy, fairly quick and very high on the impressive index.

                                                  Key lime pie made with sweetened condensed milk could be anyone's first dish and it's great!

                                                  A slice of lemon pound cake, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and some macerated strawberries is heaven.

                                                  A chocolate brownie sundae. Can that be any better or simpler?

                                                  Oven barbecued pork tenderloins are impressive and easy.

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                    Tell me more about the chicken marsala. There are millions of recipes out there and I just have never figured out where to start

                                                    1. re: ChrisKC

                                                      Chicken Marsala - HH


                                                      1 cup chicken stock
                                                      2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
                                                      5 tablespoons unsalted butter
                                                      10 oz mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
                                                      1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
                                                      1/4 teaspoon salt
                                                      1/8 teaspoon black pepper
                                                      1 cup all-purpose flour
                                                      5 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
                                                      2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
                                                      1 cup sweet Marsala wine
                                                      ½ cup heavy cream
                                                      1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
                                                      4 oz prosciutto
                                                      4 Tbls flour in slurry


                                                      Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 200°F.

                                                      Pound chicken to 1/4 inch thick. Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge with flour.

                                                      Heat 1 tablespoon each of oil and butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté half of chicken, turning over once, until golden and just cooked through, about 4 minutes total. Transfer cooked chicken to a large heatproof platter, arranging in 1 layer, then put platter in oven to keep warm. Wipe out skillet with paper towels and cook remaining chicken in same manner, then transfer to oven, arranging in 1 layer.

                                                      Turn down heat and sweat shallot in 3 tablespoons butter, stirring, until shallot begins to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add prosciutto and allow it to render some fat.

                                                      Add mushrooms, 1 teaspoon sage, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.

                                                      Add 1 cup wine to skillet and boil over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, about 30 seconds. Add stock, cream, and flour slurry then simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon sage.

                                                      Serve chicken with sauce.

                                                      I usually serve this over egg noodles or bow tie pasts but linguine or even rice would work.

                                                      The only task that takes any time is pounding the cutlets.

                                                      Oh most marsala recipes don't call for the flour slurry thickener. If you would rather have a pan sauce just eliminate the thickener. By the way... this sauce is so good that you will make more and more sauce every time you make it.

                                                      1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                        Sounds wonderful, thank you. I'm printing this now

                                                        1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                          Made this chicken marsala Thursday night and will make again. Thanks for sharing. And we upped the sauce by half the first time - it's delicious.

                                                          1. re: AreBe

                                                            Yep, I'm making it tomorrow night for 5. I plan on using 2 - 2.5 cups of marsala and chicken stock each.

                                                            I'm very happy You liked the recipe.

                                                            1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                              I'm making this tomorrow....my DH will love it! Thanks Hank!

                                                    2. That Hazan ground veal with cream and saffron pasta dish ("Italian Kitchen") is simple and out of this world delicious.

                                                      1. Most of my absolutely favourite bites really don't require recipes at all.

                                                        Cauliflower broken into florets, or Brussels sprouts, halved and tossed w evoo, S&P then roasted 'til caramelized. Out of the oven or at room temp, drizzled w a good evoo or, a lemon evoo...pure heaven.

                                                        Mixed greens tossed w good quality evoo, balsamic vinegar, S&P. Let's add some in season tomatoes for fun. YUM!!!

                                                        A fresh tomato, right off the vine. Sliced and sprinkled w a little kosher salt. Perfection, especially on a hot summer's day when the tomato is still warm when you bite into it! If I'm feeling "fancy" I might even toast some very thinly sliced good quality bread. I'll spread it with a delicious, unsalted butter, add some sliced tomatoes a sprinkle of salt. Give me that and a good cup of tea and I'll be smiling all day long!

                                                        A freshly picked cob of corn, boiled, rolled in butter and given a quick sprinkle of kosher salt before chomping down...pure bliss.

                                                        What about Carbonara prepared with farm fresh eggs. Or, speaking of eggs. . . how about a poached egg? So versatile. Delicious on it's own or, atop some lovely bread, a salad, braised lentils....oh, now I'm hungry!!

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                          Breadcrumbs, the summer I lived in Memphis many a night my dinner was a tomato from Bill's Garden (Bill was our neighbor at the cutting horse ranch) sliced and covered with gorgonzola, evoo, s&p and a little balsamic. What an amazing taste!

                                                          1. re: Barbara76137

                                                            Ooooh Barbara, I was right there w you as I read your post. I may not have Bill but you can be certain I'll be having those tomatoes this summer. Gorgonzola & balsamic? Sublime. Thank-you for sharing.

                                                          2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                            Like - to every item on your list.
                                                            I won't make Carbonara unless I have farm fresh eggs - such a difference in the end result.

                                                          3. Put good Italian sausage in roasting pan along with lots of seedless grapes. Roast until done, add a little balsamic to grapes/goo and serve. (Idea of Cucina Simpatica cookbook)

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: escondido123

                                                              Green seedless or one of the others, or does it matter? Sounds interesting!

                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                I think red seedless makes the nice sauce for looks, but green will do.

                                                                1. re: escondido123

                                                                  Thanks! They're on my shopping list. '-)

                                                              2. This thread makes me want to have the ability to "like" posts, like Facebook!

                                                                I mentioned in another thread already today. The first time I tried it, I wasn't expecting much. I mean...it's greens and pasta, essentially. It's killer. I could live on it. Cook mixed greens/bitter greens in water - turnip, chard, beet, kale. Scoop out with a strainer/slotted spoon, drain, press, fluff. Cook orecchiette in the pan (or some other sort of chewy pasta). While the pasta is cooking in the greens water, heat some olive oil, add ample garlic, red pepper flakes and a few anchovy filets. Squish the filets until they melt. Add the pasta, the greens, and a bit of the pasta water. Saute for a few minutes and serve with fresh grated parm. Killer for a dish with so few ingredients, though takes me a while because I make the orecchiette by hand. Takes LOTS of greens, too.

                                                                I second the basic tomato sauce recipes mentioned earlier. Another one of those "sum is greater than the parts" recipes.

                                                                Chicken Adobo - that is one of the few things my husband makes. Hack some thighs in half with a cleaver, marinated in soy, vinegar, garlic, onion, bay, pepper corns. Cook it in the marinade until it's falling off the bone. Brown the chicken while reducing the marinade, serve over basmati or jasmine rice. Prior to adobo, if we had chicken for dinner - e.g. fried/baked/stewed chicken, vegetable or salad, starch - I'd eat about a half of a thigh. Done this way, though, I swear I could go through the 3 or 4, no problem. Totally changed the "chicken parts" for dinner thing for me.

                                                                Chopped morels in butter and garlic just until very juicy, and swirled through homemade pasta. It's a great way to feature morels when you only have a few. The texture of the pasta is similar enough to the mushrooms that it feels/tastes almost like you're eating a plate of just morels.

                                                                And summer sides: Chopped basil stirred into cottage cheese, and allowed to develop in the fridge overnight - hard to say how many pints of cottage cheese we went through last year. Tomatos/cucumber/green onion, with S&P and fresh herbs, plus a bit of basalmic. Let it sit at room temperature for an hour, and it makes it's own dressing...no oil required. (Goes great in a tortilla, if there's leftovers.)

                                                                A wonderful spread or filling for ravioli or something to melt over an appropriate dish...Caramelize a couple of cups of finely chopped onion until you end up with 1/2-3/4 cup. Add a can of chopped olives. Add a touch of balsalmic vinegar. Mix about half and half with cream cheese (err on the side of more onions/olives). Refrigerate for an hour. If I'm doing ravioli, I usually top it with a brown butter/garlic/lemon juice/basil mixture. The tart/sweet/salty thing is wonderful. There are a zillion varations of this with the caramelized onions...use kalamata olives, use a soft goat cheese, add a bit of feta to the mixture with cream cheese, add some finely chopped sundried tomatoes, etc. Killer in stuffed pasta. One year, I formed it in heart shaped moulds and stenciled on fresh chopped herbs, as a gift for Valentine's day, because it's also great on a cracker.

                                                                Good grief, I'm starving....running off to make asparagus/shrimp risotto, another quickie. :)

                                                                1. My most recent obsession is carrot soup: carrot dill and carrot cumin, usually, but carrot + tarragon, chives or whatever else is growing rampant in the herb garden is common, too. Wash 2+ lbs of carrots, chop into half inch medallions, sautee in olive oil with cloves of garlic and cumin (if using) until everything is just a little bit brown on the outside and very fragrant. Cover with water or broth. Boil everything until tender, add whatever fresh herbs you might be using and puree it all with a stick blender. You can add additional broth or liquid if you want a thinner consistency. If you want to make it richer, add cream or evaporated milk. Delicious!

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: michelleats

                                                                    I do very similar soups a lot, and I agree that carrot/dill is a match made in heaven. If you like curry, curried carrot soup is delicious as well. I like a squeeze of lime juice at the end if I do that.

                                                                    1. re: ErnieD

                                                                      Ooh, the squeeze of lime is a nice touch! Great idea. I'll have to try that!

                                                                  2. Here's another recipe I just remembered that is sooooooo easy it's almost a crime! You need a pork shoulder and a covered Dutch oven or roaster with a lid that the pork shoulder just fits into. You don't want it to touch the sides, but your don't want a whole lot of "swimming space" either! Place the pork shoulder in the pan fat side up. Douse it all over with a well shaken bottle of good Worcestershire sauce. I use Lea and Perrins. Be generous but not enough that the sauce starts filing the bottom of the pan. Next pack a layer of brown sugar on top of the roast; about a quarter of an inch thick. Pack it firmly. Next pour apple cider down the inside of the pan (being very careful not to get a drop on the brown sugar) until the cider comes up to about 1/4 to 1/3 of the depth of the roast. Cover tightly and place in a 300F oven for 8 to twelve hours. Stand by for glory! Oh, and salt/season it AFTER it's cooked.

                                                                    It can be sliced for the first meal, but it is fall-apart-tender so the success of your slicing will depend on how sharp your knife is and how much you've allowed the roast to cool. It also makes fantastic pulled pork sandwiches. Serve it in chunks with some traditional German sweet and sour cabbage and spaetzle and everyone will fall in love with you. It's a ridiculously simple recipe, quick to get into the oven, but if you've ever had it before, the loooooooooong oven time will drive you nuts! '-)

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                      Speaking of veggies, multi-colored mini-peppers are wonderful when roasted with just a little olive oil or with sliced onion. I also have stuffed them as appetizers. Sooo good!!

                                                                      1. re: LIMary

                                                                        When you roast these, do you pull off the stems? Or just oil them and roast them? I love the packs of these I find at Costco.

                                                                        1. re: sueatmo

                                                                          i leave the stems on - the overall roasting process is less messy that way, and it's a breeze to pop them off & clean out the seeds after.

                                                                        2. re: LIMary

                                                                          I won first place at a yacht club party a few years ago for my Italian sausage stuffed mini peppers!

                                                                      2. This thread pretty much sums up my entire philosophy on food which is essentially the KISS principle. There's probably too many to fit here, but the most recent ones that jog my memory would be...

                                                                        - super simple mushroom soup. It's bizarre how much flavor this actually has. (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...


                                                                        - good crispy on the outside, cloud like in the middle bread dipped in high quality OVOO and balsamic with fluer de sel dipper. Wow.

                                                                        - Lamb chops grilled with zaatar spice. ridiculous how well they go together.

                                                                        - smoked salmon paired with a good Riesling, they go amazingly well together. I usually like capers, cream cheese, tomato etc as well, but not always necessary.

                                                                        - 40 yolk pasta with fresh truffles. OMG!!! (http://www.epicurean.com/featured/taj...


                                                                        - good chicken stock. Every time I make a batch I reduce it a little more than normal before canning it, but always ladle out a mug of it for me to just sip on while it's reducing. So simple yet so awesome.

                                                                        - fresh oysters right out of the sea with mignonette and a nice chardonnay. Just got back from Bordeaux a couple weeks ago and had lunch a few times down in Arcachon where some of the best oysters in the world are. It was just amazing.

                                                                        That's enough for now or I'll never stop.

                                                                        Great thread, thanks.

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Jzone

                                                                          Jzone, as I'm sitting here enjoying my toasted bialy with pear rosemary jam and gorgonzola cheese reading your comment I'm shaking my head in smiling, blissful agreement-KISS!

                                                                          1. re: Jzone

                                                                            Not sure about smoked salmon but a simply prepared piece of salmon is hard to beat and very simple.

                                                                              1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                Totally agree. I live in Vancouver and we own a "boat share" for about 10 salmon a year. We discovered last year that lightly smoking (almost cold smoking) salmon then canning it is amazing, even just for making a salmon salad sandwich. Also love Asian marinaded salmon jerky made in the dehydrator.

                                                                                But the original comment was the sublime combination of a good lox with the right Riesling. I first noticed it with a Pies-porter and it was the first time I'd ever had that magic combination of wine and food before. I've been hunting them ever since and still haven't found many that are as perfect together.

                                                                                As this whole thread notes, I just LOVE when you put 2 or 3 ingredients together and they are just SOOO much more than the sum of their parts. Like Heirloom Tomato, boccaccini and basil with a drizzle or evoo and balsamic. Anyone who had tried them separately but never together would never guess how amazing they work together. I spend way too much of my time looking for stuff like that lol.

                                                                                1. re: Jzone

                                                                                  Well.. the only smoked salmon I have ever tried was in some kind of plastic cryovac package at the grocery. I wasn't impressed. I will assume there is far better out there.

                                                                            1. A luscious Dixieland peach, picked right off the tree when it is knee deep in June & the juiciness is so sweet, you need to drink a cool glass of water afterwards & wipe your face off!

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: cstout

                                                                                cstout, I have had Fredericksburg peaches and they are good but if you ever get a chance to be in northern central California during peach season, you really need to try one of the softball sized peaches from a farmers fruit stand. The juice will run down your arm.

                                                                                I will have to try a Georgia peach sometime, though. They are famous for them, after all.

                                                                                1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                  I am not partial to any peach or state...flavor rules & George & California have some mighty tasty peaches....now if I could only find a perfect peach preserve recipe.....

                                                                                  1. re: cstout

                                                                                    A perfect peach preserve recipe is as simple as it can get. I love peaches so much that I don't even sometimes peel the peaches before I make the preserves because I will eat at least half of them before they are done peeling! I absolutely love the peaches I get here in California. I only live a couple of hours from the Central Valley, so when those peaches are in season they make it to the fruit stands here and at Farmer's Markets.

                                                                                    The basic recipe starts with blanched and peeled peaches, quartered if large or halved if small. Add enough sugar to get the peaches to sweat which is usually about a quarter cup for many pounds. Cook the peaches over a low heat to prevent scorching or burning while stirring frequently. If the peaches aren't juicing out easily feel free to add a little water or more sugar. Once it's at a preserve like consistency I then add a generous splash of fresh grated lemon and all the lemon juice from several lemons to taste. Cook only for a few moments to combine. The zest will get bitter if cooked too long. Right before I can it, I add freshly scraped vanilla bean with a little salt and/or other variants like fresh ginger, crushed white cardamon seeds, or even a prized blue poppy seed dash.

                                                                                    1. re: mtaylor733

                                                                                      that peach preserve sounds delicious!

                                                                                      1. re: mtaylor733

                                                                                        Jesus! That preserve recipe is a keeper! Thanks MTaylor!

                                                                                2. I'm bookmarking this thread Caroline. Anything with one fresh vegetable using pantry items is right up my alley. Cabbage stirfry alla Fuchsia (variation from her recipe with potatoes) with chiles and Sichuan pepper; shred, rinse, and shake cabbage, heat some oil with chiles and 1 teaspoon of whole Sichuan peppercorns, add the cabbage, season with a bit of salt and sugar. Finish with Chinese black vinegar. Just one of those where the sum is so much better than its parts.

                                                                                  Semi-dried tomatoes, pork ribs in butter and garlic and finished with white wine, sage and black pepper grilled cheese with gruyere is wonderful if you have the ingredients on hand just to name a few others.

                                                                                  1. Here's one of my favorites - Chile California (my variant on Chile Colorado).

                                                                                    Take 3 or 4 lbs cheap chuck, cut up for stewing. Dump into a slow cooker. Add a can of chile sauce or red enchilada sauce (either 16 oz or 27 oz. ) You can stop with that, or you can add some chopped onion and/or a small can of tomato sauce, and/or a chopped hot chile.

                                                                                    Cook about 4 or 5 hours on high.

                                                                                    Serve with flour tortillas and yellow rice. I semi-crisp the tortillas, spoon some of the stew into them and loosely fold over. Makes a nice presentation.

                                                                                    Avocados too, if you have them round things out. .

                                                                                    Any leftover sauce is good on eggs or on enchiladas.

                                                                                    1. Melt a little butter (yes But Ta) in a saute skillet, heat up, smash a couple of pieces of garlic, toss in...go out to garden, pick some baby chard, wash off, shake excess water off...crank up the butter to where it getting to be a pale brown. Add chard & press down with a spatula for a bit, turn chard over, get out a big soup bowl & pour everything in bowl.

                                                                                      Extra nice if you have some fresh hot cornbread, but who can wait for that?

                                                                                      All kinds of greens are easy to grow from seed. If you don't have a garden, toss seed in your flowerbeds, if no flowerbed, get some nice pots & potting soil & plant away. Nothing like walking out there & snipping off your salad or soup!!

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: cstout

                                                                                        Yup, definitely 2nd this one. Leafy greens with butter, garlic and a squeeze of fresh lemon at the end has always been an absolute favorite of mine. I prefer beet greens but any and all will do.

                                                                                        1. re: Jzone

                                                                                          Squeeze of lemon on anything fresh... just perks it up. I was out of lemons (a terrible thing!)

                                                                                      2. If there's anybody who doesn't already know this, Chicken Teriyaki is just pieces of chicken in a baking dish GENEROUSLY sprinkled on both sides with soy sauce and garlic powder (not garlic salt as the soy sauce is already very salty). Pour a can of crushed pineapple over this and bake until the chicken is nice and tender, about an hour. Good with rice.

                                                                                        14 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Querencia

                                                                                          Oh dear. You pushed my buttons! Nothing could be further from the truth. Here is an old fashioned JAPANESE recipe, circa 1970 and earlier, that pretty much follows the recipe of Sadako Kohno, a much revered Japanese "home" cook. This is the REAL deal:

                                                                                          Take two or three boneless chicken thighs (skin ON!), and pierce the skin with a sharp dinner fork or with a kitchen fork or even a Jaccard, if you happen to have one. Piercing the skin is importantt because it keeps it from shrinking during cooking and also allows the marinade to penetrate it so don't miss this step! Next, mix the marinade:

                                                                                          3 Tbsp Japanese shoyu (soy sauce) (I like Kikkomman)
                                                                                          1 Tbsp sake
                                                                                          1 Tbsp mirin (NOT cooking mirin)
                                                                                          1 Tsp fresh ginger juice or freshly microplaned ginger on a fine microplane

                                                                                          Mix above, pour it into a zip lock bag (or you can actually mix it in the zip lock bag) and add chicken. Marinate for 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature.

                                                                                          Heat 3 Tbsp peanut oil in a frying pan (cast iron is excellent), shake excess marinade from chicken thigns (reserve marinade!) and saute skin side down over medium heat. When browned, turn , reduce heat and cook covered for 10 minutes.

                                                                                          Remove chicken from pan and drain oil but not the browned bits. Add reserved marinade to the pan plus

                                                                                          1 Tbsp mirin
                                                                                          1 tsp sugar

                                                                                          Bring to a boil, reduce heat to moderate, add chicken and lightly boil uncovered, turning chicken from time to time to promote even coloring, until marinade is reduced to a syrup.

                                                                                          Remove chicken from pan. Sprinkle with sansho powder (freshly ground sechuan pepper) (sansho powder is optional but it adds a nice zip). Slice thighs diagonally in 1/2 inch slices. Transfer to serving plate (setting them on a nice lettuce leaf is attractive) and glaze with reduced teriyaki sauce, then garnish as you choose. Green pepper slices sauteed in the pan are a delicious garnish. Remaining teriyaki sauce can be served on the side.

                                                                                          THAT is true teriyaki chicken...! Try it, you'll like it! If you have an Asian market nearby, the miring, sake and shoyu aren't that expensive and they'll give you lots of teriyaki chicken in the future. If you try this once, you will never go back to the stuff that is passed off as teriyaki today. Promise!

                                                                                          All of which is NOT to say that your baked chicken with soy sauce and crushed pineapple may not be drop dead delicious. It's just not really chicken teriyaki. '-)

                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                            What's the difference between mirin and cooking mirin?

                                                                                            I'm confused about teriyaki as I'm pretty sure yaki means grilled.

                                                                                            1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                              True mirin is a rice wine similar to sake but lower in alcohol content and higher in sugar. In cooking, it often gives a nice shine to glazes such as the teriyaki glaze that results from the recipe I've offered. Cooking mirin contains salt for the same reason all cooking wines in the U.S. and most of the rest of the world do which you can find out about by reading my other RECENT posts in this thread..

                                                                                              The Japanese "word" "yaki" means a lot of things, you can check out some of them here:
                                                                                              "teriyaki" in the traditional Japanese culinary sense specifically means meat, chicken or fish that is marinated in a mixture of shoyu, mirin, and ginger, then pan grilled and glazed with the reduced marinade. The recipe I offered is, as I said in my post, a classic traditional Japanese recipe for "real" teriyaki. Once you try it, you will accept no substitutes!

                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                I need to read more closely. I missed the part about panfrying the chicken and thought the recipe was more like poaching in the marinade. Sometimes I make the marinade without sake as I usually don't have any around, but it isn't the same. I don't usually do chicken as I have a person around that prefers beef. I like them both.

                                                                                                What I do with the ginger is grate it with a cheese grater and squeeze it to extract the juice. I do not care for the pulp (at least in teryaki).

                                                                                                Thanks for telling me about cooking mirin - I have never heard of that before now.

                                                                                                1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                  I usually buy a nice size "hand" of ginger, bring it home, break it into "fingers," put them in a zip lock bag in the freezer. When I need fresh ginger, I have one piece in a ziplock sandwich bag which I take out and grate on my Microplane Zester, which is pretty fine. The frozen ginger comes out more like a powder, but quickly thaws and releases its liquid when heat is applied. By the time my teriyaki marinade is cooked down to a glaze, I can't find the ginger! Unless I have a recipe that specifically calls for chunks of fresh ginger, this is how I treat all of my ginger, even for stir frying.

                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                    When you freeze the ginger, do you first peel it? I need to stop wasting so much ginger, so would like to give this a try. TIA.

                                                                                                    1. re: pine time

                                                                                                      Nope! Don't peel it. But I do try to buy ginger with thin and tender skin. I'm really happy with this method because it means I am never out of fresh ginger! I think you'l like it too.

                                                                                                2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                  Let me guess. You do not have a full-time job, dogs, and pre-school children? There is such a thing as simplicity, and the subject heading of this thread did use the word "simple".

                                                                                                  1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                    i just think caroline was suggesting that real "teriyaki" was a different preparation with different ingredients than your quickie dish.

                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                      Exactly! And as LisaPA points out, while it may not be super simple, it's still pretty easy, especially when you taste what you get for that little work. I don't have a problem with Querencia's dish per se. I just have a problem with calling it "chicken teriyaki." It is absolutely not! Okay. Sue me! I'm a purist! '-)

                                                                                                    2. re: Querencia

                                                                                                      Sounded pretty simple to me. 6 ingredients including the chicken. Marinate, sear, pour over remaining marinade plus 1.3 tbsp of 2 ingredients, reduce, slice and serve. How is that too complex?

                                                                                                    3. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                      My ex boyfriend was born and raised in Japan and came to the States when he was 16 to attend boarding school. He taught me to make teriyaki sauce with soy or tamari..granulated garlic ( you can use fresh garlic if you make a paste but strain the sauce when it is finished)...Mirin/Japanese Rice Wine ...sugar and a bit of water.Finish with a slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken as you like it. Ginger is optional. Basically equal parts soy to Mirin...you have to taste to decide how to adjust. He taught me so I could fix it and serve him steak teriyaki....white rice and Japanese style shredded lettuce salad.

                                                                                                  2. Cook some pasta, drain most of the water off, and stir in a couple spoonfuls of cream cheese (the whipped spreadable kind). When it's melted into a sauce, add chopped smoked salmon and a few frozen peas. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I recommend you season after adding the smoked salmon, as some is pretty salty.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: patricium

                                                                                                      I make this all the time :). I usually like capers instead of the peas and add some chopped shallot or red onion for a little punch. Nice one!

                                                                                                    2. Lately, I have been enjoying eating like a peasant. A hearty soup and half a loaf of french bread. If that isn't enough a salad will finish it off. Of course if you want to finish off the peasant analogy, replace the salad with a bottle of wine and a chunk of cheese. Or is that a monk?

                                                                                                      It's good. It's cheap. It's fast. It's good for you. What else do you want?

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. Roasted Kale -

                                                                                                        Just stem and clean it, toss with salt and olive olive, and roast in a hot oven for a few minutes.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: knecht

                                                                                                          Yes. Oh yes. It doesn't get any easier or more delicious.

                                                                                                        2. Thanks for this thread. Had to take a break from reading it, was getting too hungry.
                                                                                                          For cold weather I love me some baked brie. I use TJ's puff pastry when they have it, but refrigerated crescent roll dough will do. Wrap a wedge of brie in the dough and bake at 400 for twenty minutes or so. I use a toaster convection oven so might want to tone it down to 350 or 375 for a regular oven. I like to use jam or premade balsamic cherry preserves, pecans, craisins and honey spread on the brie before I wrap it all up in the dough like a little present.
                                                                                                          If all the baked brie doesn't get devoured immediately the leftovers make a great breakfast or lunch just eaten at room temp. /drool. For a savory dish I substitute some sauteed mushrooms with a little bit of garlic and onions. Then it is a ridiculously rich cheesy mushroom pie. Can't say how it tastes the next day as this version has never lasted that long.

                                                                                                          1. sliced fresh strawberries at the peak of season with some really great balsamic (or reduced cheap balsamic & sugar) and cracked black pepper.

                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                              I agree Barbara76137. Also a pinch of kosher salt and some shreds of basil, if you have it on hand.

                                                                                                              1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                I had forgotten about this! Thanks for the reminder.

                                                                                                                1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                  strawberries dipped in sour cream and then in brown sugar. Do this separately! Mixing the sour cream and sugar will change the taste.

                                                                                                                  1. re: dianne0712

                                                                                                                    makes me think of my grandfather :) we used to have that as a treat for breakfast...with bananas too.

                                                                                                                    1. re: dianne0712

                                                                                                                      I was always amazed at how much it tastes like strawberry short cake.

                                                                                                                      1. re: dianne0712

                                                                                                                        Oh yes! This is our favorite way to eat strawberries at my house. We learned it from an old restaurant in Pittsburgh called The Common Plea (near the courthouse).

                                                                                                                        1. re: dianne0712

                                                                                                                          Or strawberries dipped in melted chocolate. Let the chocolate harden. Chill and eat.

                                                                                                                      2. Roasted asparagus. All this talk of roasting veggies has got me wanting some roasted asparagus. Oiled and roasted slightly crisp--lovely.

                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                          This is pretty much my default way to cook asparagus. Try adding some soy and balsamic vinegar to the pan when they're almost done. Really good.

                                                                                                                          1. re: alwayshungrygal

                                                                                                                            I do like the balsamic, actually. I'm not a big soy sauce fan, but I agree it might be appealing.

                                                                                                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                              I first made that recipe a few years ago and it really kicks up the flavor a bit. The trick is not to use too much.

                                                                                                                              My new combo is soy and BBQ sauce; I found this in a recipe for chicken and bok choy but didn't make it exactly per the recipe, I adapted it to using just bok choy. I added sauteed red onion, celery and toasted slivered almonds and I really, really like the result. So simple and so good.

                                                                                                                          2. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                            I add a little crushed garlic or Penzey's shallot pepper to my asparagus before roasting (or grilling), and sprinkle with shredded parmesan after.

                                                                                                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                              roasted veggies in general are a revelation for me. i only recently discovered roasted cauliflower, roasted brussel sprouts, and roasted cabbage.

                                                                                                                              i just roasted 2/3 of a bunch of asparagus and gobbled it up by myself, since i was too lazy to cook a real dinner. i sliced up a shallot and that went onto the pan as well. near the end of the cooking time, i added the balsamic so it would caramelize, then sprinkled with parm when it all came out of the oven.

                                                                                                                            2. A piece of homemade, crusty, fresh baked sourdough bread, spread with butter.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                I just toasted a slice of home-made cinnamon toast, with butter. Yum!

                                                                                                                              2. Really good bread, spread with really good unsalted butter, topped with a sprinkle of fleur de sel. Mmmm creamy crunchy wheaty goodness. Like a great big healthy organic farm doing the endzone dance in your mouth.
                                                                                                                                Bad metaphor. Oh well.

                                                                                                                                1. A Cheese Omlet....I chop up two green onions (scallions) saute them lightly in a tabelspoon of EVOO...three large eggs beaten with a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper...Pour over green onions in the (a nonstick) pan.... then cut up some mozzarella cheese, lay it down the middle, fold it, cover it and cook it until it is done, when the cheese ooozes out! It is just a great combination...it works every time....I have been known to service some leftover warmed rice along side, instead of bread.

                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                                                    Yes! A cheese omelet. Yes. One of the first things I learned to make as a young homemaker. And so simple. And so, so good.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                      Or just large curd scrambled eggs with cheese. Last weekend I scrambled a few eggs, added some crumbled goat cheese and a sprinkling of grated grana padano cheese. I was in heaven. I really think 5 ingredients or less is the key to great food.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                        No doubt...I also like some scrambled with a slice of red onion and some sweet tomato on the side.mmmmm

                                                                                                                                  2. Celery root mashed like mashed potatoes, with blue cheese, butter, and cream. The tang of the cheese and the earthiness of the root really pair well. It's great with braised beef, but I'll eat it all by itself.

                                                                                                                                    One thing is that it doesn't get fluffy like potatoes, but it could be made with a mix of celery root and potato.

                                                                                                                                    1. Uncooked, perfectly ripe summer tomatoes (a mix of colors is nice). Seeded and choppe. Add a small clove of garlic, crushed, some good olive oil, salt, pepper, chiffonade of basil, and fresh mozzarella (tiny balls of it or chopped from a big ball). Cook up some pasta, add it to the tomatoes and stir it around, adding a little of the pasta water if necessary. Heaven on a plate in the summer!

                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                        Creamy vegetable soup. Toss all vegetables in a pot. Add half water and half veg broth to cover. Ir use all of one or the other. Salt and pepper, maybe garlic and onion powder, parima and turmeric. And my mom taught me to add a Glug of ketchup. Simmer till tender. Eat it chunkybor puree. Yummywith rice, noodles, matzo balls etc.

                                                                                                                                        Also back bean soup. One can black beans, one can mashed back beans, some vegetable broth and half a cup of salsa. Add all to a pot, simmer till heated. Serve with cilantro or shredded cheese.

                                                                                                                                        Tomato crisp. Dump a box of cherry or grape tomatoes into a greased baking dish. Combine Panko, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper and some olive oil and sprinkle over tomatoes. Bake. You can also add some parmesan.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Miri1

                                                                                                                                          I make a similar veggie soup, but I always add turnips and parsnip...but ohhh so good on a cold day.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                                                            I forgot about my "instant" microwave soup! During a time when my life shot down the all-work/no-play road for a while, I used to take a fairly large Pyrex covered casserole (the round deep kind) and toss in a FROZEN chunk of chicken or two (breast, thigh, leg or wing, didn't matter), a chunked onion, some chunked zucchini, chopped celery, quartered tomatoes or pierced cherry tomatoes, chopped cabbage and whatever other fresh veggie I had in the house, then add a cup or three (depending on how much room was left) of V-8 vegetable juice (much richer flavor and better nutrition than tomato juice or stock), a few dried herbs of choice, and nuke it until everything was done. Then shred the chicken, toss the bones, make a hot sandwich with the chicken and have soup and sandwich for lunch. I haven't made it in years. It's about time...!

                                                                                                                                        2. Back in my fatter days, I used to make garlic fried rice with fresh green beans, lots of egg and sesame seeds. I'd hoover 2 bowlfuls and still want more. Sometimes I would substitute the oil with butter.

                                                                                                                                          But like I said, this was in my fatter days..

                                                                                                                                          1. My raw or semi raw themed post...

                                                                                                                                            Sashimi. Period :) I mean whats simpler. Fresh fish, sliced perfectly with a dab of wasabi and a slight dip into a good soy sauce. Yum.

                                                                                                                                            Carpaccio or tartar. Quite different but same concept as above. Great cut of meat with minimal seasonings like a good salt and some excellent evoo and maybe crispy fried caper to just highlight the awesomeness.

                                                                                                                                            Ceviche. who doesn't like fish and citrus (i.e. lemon wedge) to start with?. I discovered recently i love tequila with mine. I use this recipe but added some halibut and prawns. (http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipes/Fru...)

                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jzone

                                                                                                                                              does it taste like tequila?

                                                                                                                                              what do you think the tequila brings to the dish -- just tequila flavor? (obviously some little bit of booziness). i'm asking because i don't particularly adore the flavor of tequila, but if there is some synergy with the other ingredients, i'll give it a shot (no pun intended).

                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                With the other ingredients in the dressing (lime, orange, evoo) you don't get a huge hit of tequila, but still notice it's there. I use a decent silver reposado. I wouldn't really recommend it with a crappy cheap tequila like Cuervo or El Jimador. I wouldn't drink those so therefore wouldn't cook with them, same as wine.

                                                                                                                                                Vodka would probably work in a pinch or gin, I'd use less gin though due to the juniper flavor.

                                                                                                                                            2. Cheddar Muffins...smells so good & taste even better!!

                                                                                                                                              yield: 18 muffins
                                                                                                                                              2 c A/P flour
                                                                                                                                              4 t baking powder
                                                                                                                                              3/4 t salt
                                                                                                                                              1/4 c sugar
                                                                                                                                              1/3 c butter, melted
                                                                                                                                              1 c milk
                                                                                                                                              1 egg, beaten
                                                                                                                                              1/2 c apple, unpeeled & finely chopped
                                                                                                                                              3/4 c Cheddar cheese, shredded
                                                                                                                                              8 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled

                                                                                                                                              Combine dry ingredients together in large mixing bowl.
                                                                                                                                              Mix together butter, milk & egg
                                                                                                                                              Stir into dry ingredients, just until moistened
                                                                                                                                              Fold in apple, cheese & bacon
                                                                                                                                              Spoon into greased muffin tins 2/3 full (can use mini muffin pan)
                                                                                                                                              Bake in preheated 400 deg oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until done
                                                                                                                                              Cool on wire racks

                                                                                                                                              Note you could put your bacon in the oven to cook while it is preheating to 400 deg.

                                                                                                                                              1. From the Garden Cherry Tomatoes w/ tequila-lime vinaigrette

                                                                                                                                                juice of 1 or 2 limes
                                                                                                                                                1 t sea salt
                                                                                                                                                3 - 4 T tequila
                                                                                                                                                1 t white wine vinegar
                                                                                                                                                minced fresh flat-leaf parsley to taste
                                                                                                                                                6 T olive oil
                                                                                                                                                1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

                                                                                                                                                These ingredients are approximate. Whisk together the vinaigrette. Add tomatoes & toss to coat. Let tomatoes stand at room temp for about 2 hrs.
                                                                                                                                                Fix a grilled cheese sandwich & enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                1. Makes me think of these popovers from Tasting Table (just milk, egg, flour, and gruyere) and my kids' favorite dessert with canned tropical fruit and nondairy creamer.



                                                                                                                                                  1. Well, I learned something today about my beloved Turkish green bean stew. It's a waste of time with haricot vert! They just do not break down and marry other ingredients the way flat chubby heirloom "string" beans do. Very disappointing!

                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                      in a pinch, i've beem happy with using frozen italian pole beans to make loubia bi zeit. they have the heft like those pole beans that i recall my mom made. http://almashriq.hiof.no/general/600/...

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                        Yes! They work beautifully. Thanks for reminding me. '-) The haricot vert were staring at me and looked so nice and green and delicious. And so they probably are, just not in a stew! I still have another pound of them with which to experiiment. Live and learn.

                                                                                                                                                        I like the recipe link! It's nearly identical to mine except it adds the gusto of garlic. Think I'll give that a try next time. After stewing the haricot vert for over an hour, I wondered if they would have become more tender in the pressure cooker. Oh, there's a really fun typo in the recipe... It says to add one cup of water, or as an alternative ELEVEN cups of tomato juice! LOL! Typos can be so entertaining, but pitty the poor fool who follows them!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                          your haricots verts didn't get tender? that seems odd, doesn't it -- esp. with long-cooking. i'll bet a pressure cooker would have made short work of them, though. my mom always made her pole beans in the pressure cooker. i can still picture her in front of the stove, with the spitting pressure cooker regulator a-jiggling. i sure wish i could have some of those beans now, in all of their tender, mellowed-dull-green glory.

                                                                                                                                                          as to the loubia, i usually don't use the amount of olive oil these types of recipes suggest -- though i would like to… ;-). the loubia actually can be made weight watchers friendly by reducing the oil; it just won't have that unctuous quality of the authentic version. by the way, did you see the thread on "a la grecque" preparations? http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7466... -- link to deppitydawg's post

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                            "'Odd" is an understatement. I asked my housekeeper to taste them after they had simmered for an hour. Her comment was, "Great flavor, but they're still a little underdone." I have never had that kind of experience before. Bizarre!

                                                                                                                                                            I have several Greek and Turkish versions for stewed string/green beans, but none of mine call for copious amounts of olive oil. A couple of the Turkish recipes call for butter instead of oil. Only one calls for garlic. Grated (as opposed to chopped) onion is stated in several of them. None call for broth, only water. Green beans, onion, tomatoes and fat are the common ingredients in all of them. Oh, and none of them calls for a pressure cooker, but the cooking time is usually 40 minutes or more.

                                                                                                                                                    2. In muffins, instead of adding chocolate chips, I chopped up some Trader Joes chocolate covered orange stix. YUM!

                                                                                                                                                      1. Another favorite made it's way to my dinner table tonight. Spaghetti Aglio e Olio. Such simple ingredients (pasta, garlic, crushed red pepper and parmesan) make such big flavor. Some days I even throw an egg in at the very end to make a creamy garlic sauce.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Caroline1, I just wanted to report back: I've made your green bean stew twice now, and it's very good! I wanted to see how it came out with frozen green beans vs fresh green beans. Fresh were a little bit better, of course, but this is going to be my go-to for frozen beans when fresh ones aren't as easily available. It's a good use of them.

                                                                                                                                                          One more very easy non-recipe:

                                                                                                                                                          In olive oil, over medium high heat, sautee 3 cloves minced garlic and then 2 medium zucchini, cut into half rounds. Stir so garlic doesn't burn and zucchini is evenly cooked. When zucchini is very lightly browned, but still firm, add 1 pint of grape tomatoes and about 1/4 of a cup of water or broth to the pan and cover with a tight lid. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook until liquid has cooked off or vegetables have reached the desired tenderness. Grape tomatoes should pop out of their skins slightly, allowing their juices to "sauce" the dish. Salt and pepper (black and / or cayenne) to taste. Garnish with basil leaves (maybe an eighth cup or so) torn or cut in a chiffonade. If you like, you can also sprinkle a bit of Parmesan cheese over top.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: michelleats

                                                                                                                                                            I'm so glad you tried the green beans! Give me a bowl of them and some crusty bread and all is right with the world! I don't think I remembered to explain that in Turkey, the beans are also served at room temperature as a sort of side dish/salad. They are really versatile. Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                          2. Did anyone mention shepherd's or cottage pie? I am always amazed how good cottage pie is. Ground beef in any number of ways on the bottom and mashed potatoes on top. It's simple, gives you a chance to use up your leftovers and it tastes great. win win win

                                                                                                                                                            1. Lemon Cloud Pie

                                                                                                                                                              1 (9-inch) baked pastry shell or graham cracker crumb crust
                                                                                                                                                              1 (14-ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT EVAPORATED MILK)
                                                                                                                                                              1/2 cup Lemon Juice
                                                                                                                                                              1 cup (1/2 pint) Whipping Cream, whipped

                                                                                                                                                              In medium bowl, stir together Sweetened Condensed Milk and lemon juice.
                                                                                                                                                              Fold in whipped cream.
                                                                                                                                                              Pour into prepared pastry shell. Chill 3 hours or until set. Garnish as desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                When it comes to easy and delicious, that's a winner! Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                                                                                                    Mr. Pine loves this and stubbornly calls it "cheesecake." When guests come and I make real cheesecake, he's soooo disappointed!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                      I had the ingredients so I just made it. I can't wait for it to chill!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dianne0712

                                                                                                                                                                        Through the lips and over the gums,
                                                                                                                                                                        Look out hips, here it come!

                                                                                                                                                                        I wonder if they make fat free/sugar free condensed milk? '-)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                          Fat-free but not sugarfree, as far as I know. Wonder which contrbutes more calories to the condensed milk...
                                                                                                                                                                          This sounds great, too bad my Borden's-loving mom isn't around to enjoy it.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                  Undoubtedly, real whipped cream is better, but I make a version of this using fat-free Cool Whip and freeze the whole pie. Love it in the summer.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gmm

                                                                                                                                                                    Another good one using Cool Whip is:

                                                                                                                                                                    No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

                                                                                                                                                                    1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, MUST be room temperature
                                                                                                                                                                    1 cup canned Libby's Pumpkin Pie Filling (not solid pack)
                                                                                                                                                                    1/4 cup white granulated sugar
                                                                                                                                                                    2 cups regular Cool Whip, thawed (plus additional for serving)
                                                                                                                                                                    1 prepared 9-inch Graham Cracker Pie Crust

                                                                                                                                                                    Mix cream cheese, pumpkin and sugar together until smooth.

                                                                                                                                                                    Fold the Cool Whip into the pumpkin mixture until well incorporated. Spoon into prepare graham cracker crust and spread to fill.

                                                                                                                                                                    Refrigerate at least 2 hours prior to serving.

                                                                                                                                                                    Serve with additional whipped topping.

                                                                                                                                                                2. It is not a recipe per se but a simple spinach salad - for some reason this weekend on Saturday morning all I wanted was spinach and balsamic vinegar. I racked my brain to come up with something, went to the store and ended up with an assortment of random things. Well one thing led to another and I found myself with a bowl of spinach greens, grape tomatoes, roasted garlic grilled chicken breast, blue cheese and dijon-balsamic vinaigrette. It was so odd as it was so simple but I was in heaven and have been on a spinach salad kick since then - I just incorporate whatever I feel at the time. It's usually less than 5 ingredients but overwhelmingly satisfying.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I don't know if this has been mentioned (I tried ctrl+f and it didn't show up) but I've been making the Madhur Jaffrey recipe for lentils with garlic and onions, available here: http://www.recipeslib.com/ethnic/indi...

                                                                                                                                                                    I believe I pulled it from the first response on this old thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/678692.

                                                                                                                                                                    Very few ingredients, no special technique or equipment needed, and is mostly hands-off. Delicious, hearty, and perfect for chilly winter weekends.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Here is the simplest, best recipe I know. Good olive oil, 2 parts; good white balsamic vinegar, 3/4 part; a little half and half; ground pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                      Pour over fresh salad greens. Enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. 3 Vinegar - Fusion Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

                                                                                                                                                                        2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                        2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                        4 Tbsp Seasoned Rice Vinegar (I use Marukan Seasoned Gourmet Rice Vinegar brand)
                                                                                                                                                                        4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
                                                                                                                                                                        Salt & black pepper to taste

                                                                                                                                                                        Place vinegars in a small bowl and whisk in the extra-virgin olive oil.
                                                                                                                                                                        Pour dressing over green salad and toss to coat evenly. Season with Salt & black pepper to taste.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. SIMPLE AND DELICIOUS: 1) Cook any carrots. Drain. Reheat them with butter, brown sugar, and curry powder. Contrasts are amazing. 2) Generously sprinkle raw chicken pieces with soy sauce and garlic powder. Pour canned crushed pineapple over and sprinkle on more soy sauce and garlic powder. Bake. 3) Cheese Sauce: melt 1 stick butter, stir in 1/2 cup flour, gradually stir in 1 quart (4 cups) milk, then when this is thick and smooth dump in a whole 8-oz package of shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese. Good to use up leftover cauliflower, broccoli, cauliflower, boiled potatoes, pasta etc. Good also for making macaroni & cheese or potatoes au gratin or broiler sandwiches. Convenient to freeze in 8-oz margarine tubes: money in the bank. 4) Fake Middle Eastern Dinner: Mix ground beef or lamb with garlic powder, salt, dill, cinnamon, and plenty of lemon juice. Form meatballs. Put in baking dish. Add the same stuff (salt, cinnamon, dill, lemon juice, garlic) to a can of tomato sauce and a can of water and pour over the meatballs. Put quarters of raw onion and pepper in among the meatballs. Bake. Serve with rice.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Four ingredients for one of the most delicious salmon dishes you've ever had! This recipe is fool proof and a perfect one to try for a cook new to fish.


                                                                                                                                                                            1. One of the samples being handed out at Trader Joe's the other day was stir-fried kale. Ridiculously easy as it only has 3 ingredients. Bacon, kale and garlic. Cook bacon first, render fat, add chopped kale and a scoop of chopped garlic. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                                                                I had some green beans at a friend's house--same garlic and bacon, but with green beans. Then she floored me by saying the green beans were plain ole' canned ones, well drained, then tossed with the bacon and garlic.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. I was recently introduced to the technique of en papillote and it seems like the basic definition of simple recipes which are incredibly delicious. My first experience was ginger and scallion red snapper en papillote which I will likely repeat. It is genius! Simple ingredients, any ingredients really which you can throw together to create deliciousness seems that it will work with this technique. I better load up on parchment paper.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. 1) Cook frozen chopped spinach. 2) Drain. 3) While it's hot, add 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon curry powder, and salt and garlic powder to taste. Everything will melt and make a sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. My grandfather's dessert during any month that peaches were in season was peaches in red wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Pour a glass of your favorite red wine. Slice a ripe peach. Add peach slices to the wine. Let it sit for a while. Then drink the wine and eat the peach.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                                                      Will definitely try this! The peach trees are in bloom right now, and I'm always looking for new uses for their juicy goodness.