Loaf of bread, container of milk, and a stick of butter. Mix. Bake.
December 16, 2021 10:10 AM   Subscribe

Looking for recipes that are so simple that you know them by heart. I've found that I gravitate towards making dishes that are easy to memorize.

I am only interested in recipes that you have memorized. Some answers in this thread from 2007 are pretty much what I'm looking for only 2021. Also more meal focused and less snacks.

No dietary restrictions, I eat everything. I have access to all sorts of kitchen equipment except a microwave. If your recipe is so good that I might want to borrow a microwave, please share. I'm interested even if your recipe is not really a proper recipe but more of a thing that you made up because it is easy and delicious.

I don't have an unusually good memory, so please no recipes with more than a dozen ingredients. Six or less is ideal.

So.. What do you cook/bake off the top of your head?
posted by RobinofFrocksley to Food & Drink (66 answers total) 105 users marked this as a favorite
Three ingredient peanut butter cookies. 1 cup PB, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup egg. chocolate chips to taste if you have them. 350 until they're done, about 12 minutes. Do let them cool for structural integrity.
posted by joycehealy at 10:14 AM on December 16, 2021 [5 favorites]

Delicious sauce for noodles / stir fry:
Equal parts peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil
(for a single serving, half a tablespoon of each is great)
Microwave for about 10-30 seconds to melt the peanut butter, and stir.

Classic Chinese Ginger-Scallion Sauce for chicken, rice, noodles, eggs, anything:
Chop one bunch of green onions. Finely chop or grate a thumb-sized knob of ginger. Add a tablespoon of salt. Heat 2/3 cup of oil til it's quite hot, then pour over the scallions and ginger to sear them.

Anchovy crumbs for pasta
Sautee galic and fine-chopped anchovy fillets in lots of oil, add breadcrumbs, sautee to toast, toss on pasta. 2-4 anchovy fillets per person is good.

This easy tomato sauce with butter. omg good.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 10:15 AM on December 16, 2021 [7 favorites]

Marcella Hazan's tomato sauce

Chana masala, of sorts - sautee onions; once browned, add garlic (and red pepper flakes to taste) and cook until you smell the garlic (~30s). Add whatever nearby spices (suggestions: chili, turmeric, ginger, pepper) to oil, briefly toast. If you remember, add in tomato paste and toast. Throw in canned tomatoes and canned chickpeas and let simmer for 20-60 minutes. While simmering, check and add water to preferred consistency. Serve over rice. Can add in fresh cilantro at the end.
posted by quadrilaterals at 10:16 AM on December 16, 2021 [12 favorites]

Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan until it's warm. Add about the same volume of flour and mix it (shouldn't take too long) until you get a smooth golden roux. Now you have options:
(a) Add broth and seasonings and you get gravy
(b) Add milk (or alternative) and...
(b1) ...as much cheese as you want and you get cheese sauce (which can be used on nachos or mixed with cooked macaroni or anywhere else you want cheese sauce)
(b2) ...some cooked spinach and you get creamed spinach

This is a pretty versatile template and worth knowing.
posted by wanderingmind at 10:18 AM on December 16, 2021 [4 favorites]

Sloppy joes. Brown ground beef and dice a stick or two of celery, add to beef while it is browning. If you don't have celery, use onion. Add tomato sauce or ketchup, whichever one you have, or a combo of both, until it's saucy enough and simmer for a few minutes. Put some salt and pepper in there if you remember. Serve on buns.
posted by Liesl at 10:20 AM on December 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

The ratio for French toast is 1 egg to 1/4 cup milk to 1-2 slices stale bread (depending on the size of your slices and your appetite) per serving. Soak the bread until it is saturated but not soggy. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg or a dash of vanilla if you like. Fry slowly (don't let the pan get too hot) in butter until golden. Serve with syrup or (my preference) jam, maybe with a dollop of ricotta.
posted by libraryhead at 10:24 AM on December 16, 2021 [3 favorites]

Bread pudding: half a loaf of stale bread cubes, 4 eggs (5 if they're small, 6 if the bread cubes are big and you like it firm) about a cup of milk, half a cup of sugar, some maple syrup, optional bourbon, optional walnuts, optional raisins or cranberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, pinch of salt. I don't actually measure these things, I just pour it in there, beat the eggs, and check if it looks right. In my daily life I don't measure a damn thing unless I'm canning.

Stir to coat and bake in greased dish about 30 minutes or until firmish. Or, grease pint jars well and place 3 on a rack in an Instant Pot with water, steam 20 minutes with loose foil caps over the tops to keep drip of steam out. It's better in the oven. It has fruit, nuts, bread, and eggs, so that's all the food groups so I say it counts as a meal.

The rest of my basic recipes I have summarized in this thread.
posted by blnkfrnk at 10:36 AM on December 16, 2021 [3 favorites]

Put a deep frying pan full of water (with a little splash of vinegar) on to boil. Sautee some garlic (4 cloves? whatever feels right) in a big pot or dutch oven. Splash in some white wine or vegetable stock to deglaze the pan. Dump in two cans of cannellini beans and then like a cup or so of veggie stock. Once the beans are warm and starting to break apart a bit, dump in some kale or other greens, pulled off the tough stems and chopped a bit. That part's done when the greens are wilted to your preferred level. While the greens are cooking, poach eggs in the simmering water in the frying pan. Scoop some of the greens+beans onto a plate and top with a poached egg or two. Serve with sourdough bread.
posted by SeedStitch at 10:38 AM on December 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

I can do this one from memory: Mark Bittman's shrimp in green sauce.

6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/3 cup olive oil
Just the green from 6 scallions, chopped
1 cup parsley (leaves and thin stems)
1 pound shrimp, peeled & deveined, but leave the tails on for flavor and a handle. Frozen shrimp are totally fine.
Salt & pepper to taste
dried chili peppers or pepper flakes to taste
1/3 cup stock (fish, chicken, vegetable) or white wine or water

Preheat the oven to 500.
Pulse the garlic and oil in a mixer until smooth. Add in scallions and parsley and chop them all up in there.
Put the shrimp in a big bowl. Pour the contents of the mixer over the shrimp.
Add the chili flakes or dried chili peppers, salt and pepper. Give it a few stirs to distribute evenly.
Transfer everything to a pan lined with foil, and pour the stock/wine/water over it.
Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring one time halfway through.

Great over pasta or just with some crusty bread.
posted by emelenjr at 10:43 AM on December 16, 2021 [3 favorites]

So minimal it hardly counts as cooking:
A bowl of Japanese rice with an egg or two fried in sesame oil, sprinkled with soy sauce and black pepper.

Only slightly more involved:
A bowl of Japanese rice with rice vinegar stirred through, plus: a generous teaspoonful of red pickled ginger, hot-smoked salmon flakes cold from the fridge, and a panful of curly kale stir-fried in sesame oil with soy sauce and garlic till it reduces enough to fit in the bowl.

My go-to pasta sauce:
Tin of chopped tomatoes, tin of anchovies, tin of sliced mushrooms, teaspoon of chopped garlic, teaspoon of chopped chilli, one chopped onion. Bung them all in a saucepan and cook over the lowest possible heat for as long as you've got (but at least half an hour, to let the flavours meld). I happen to like the crunch of the onions cooked this way, but if you want them soft, fry them to your liking separately before adding them to the rest of the ingredients.

My other go-to pasta sauce:
Pretty much the same thing, but take out the garlic and chilli, and put in a chopped leek and half a pound of beef mince. Start by putting the mince in a saucepan, adding just enough water to cover it, and simmering till the meat has coloured; then add everything else, and cook for as long as you can. I know that's an eccentric way to cook mince, but trust me, in this context it works. The anchovies break down and disappear, deepening the flavour rather than overshadowing it.

And for dessert:
Store-cupboard chocolate chip cookies. You need 150g self-raising flour, 100g light muscovado sugar (or soft light brown sugar), 100g unsalted butter at room temperature, 1 tablespoon (15ml, approx. 15g) golden syrup (other syrups work too), and 100g chocolate chips.

Mix the butter and sugar, then the golden syrup, till fully combined. Stir in the flour, and finally the chocolate chips. Preheat the oven to 180C (or 160C fan). Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Divide up the cookie dough into 15 roughly tablespoon-sized dollops. Roll each one into a ball, and lay them out on the baking tray evenly spaced - they'll spread in the oven. Bake for 12-13 minutes, then take them out and let them cool on the tray for five minutes before transferring (use a spatula) to a wire cooling rack.

Infinite variations are possible: try different kinds of sugar or syrup, replace some of the flour with cocoa powder, add some cinnamon or some peppermint extract, mix and match inclusions (different kinds of chocolate, nuts, dried fruit, glace cherries, crystallised ginger, mini marshmallows...), whatever you like.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 10:48 AM on December 16, 2021 [4 favorites]

Tarragon Chicken
6 - 8 chicken thighs - bone in, but skinned
1/3 stick of unsalted butter plus tablespoon or so of olive oil (not extra virgin)
2 Tablespoons (or more) dried tarragon
6 - 8 cloves of garlic, remove outer skin and split any larger cloves in half

Put butter, olive oil, tarragon and garlic in small saucepan and heat over low heat till butter is melted.
Put chicken thighs into baking pan and pour the butter/olive oil/tarragon/garlic mixture over chicken, turning chicken to completely coat in sauce. Put the garlic pieces on top of the chicken pieces. Sprinkle chicken with a bit of pepper, and a bit of salt if you want.
Bake chicken in preheated 350 F oven for about an hour (maybe 45 minutes if the thighs are small), turning chicken once (baste with pan juices when you turn).
We usually served this with rice, and usually mix the pan juices left in the pan into the rice.
posted by gudrun at 10:54 AM on December 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

Possibly one level up: not only can I now make Helen Rosner's Roberto soup (I do it with Beyond sausage) without reference to the recipe, but while I'm cooking it I narrate parts of the recipe verbatim in my head ("get ready for the second round of stuff-doing," "like a leopard or a cute dog," etc.).
posted by babelfish at 11:06 AM on December 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

I frequently make braised chard with cilantro.

Into a dutch oven or similar heavy pot, put:

One big onion, diced.
Two garlic cloves, smashed.
One big bunch of chard, stems diced, leaves sliced.
One bunch cilantro, (discard the long stems where convenient) chopped.
Big pinch of salt, many grinds of pepper.
Giant four-finger pinch of paprika, hopefully hot. If sweet, add a pinch red pepper flakes.
Big glug of olive oil.
Big splash of water from the kettle.

Cover, set on low flame, and let cook for an hour. Stir when you think of it, or not at all. Maybe check the moisture level once or twice - if really dry, add another splash of water. Too much pot liquor is a good thing.

Goes well with: pretty much anything - roast chicken, toast, beans, rice, polenta, etc.

Can sub shallots for the onions, kale or collards or cabbage, etc. for the chard. You can't screw it up.

Adapted from the "Braised Chard With Cilantro" recipe in Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.
posted by niicholas at 11:07 AM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

Michael Ruhlman has a book that gives you a bunch of recipes in the form of simple ratios for a few ingredients, called Ratio. It does tend more towards baking, sauces and so on than meal recipes though.

For more general dinner recipes, I think you really just need to know the key ingredients and combine them in any kind of reasonable proportion using the general procedure for that kind of dish. And since you can substitute or just combine a new set of ingredients with the same procedure, the list of ingredients isn't really essential. In other words, I think it helps a lot more to have a general understanding of how to make a pasta sauce, a stew, a pan sauce, roasted vegetables, a creamy soup, a chunky soup, a stir fry, a curry, a pot of beans, and so on, than it does to know a bunch of recipes.
posted by ssg at 11:10 AM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

Mapo tofu!!

Toss the following into a saute pan:
1 packet of ground meat (I love the fake meat in this dish e.g. Beyond, Impossible)
1 pack of tofu, broken up by hand
Glug of soy sauce
Whatever umami source you have (e.g. bouillon, msg, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce.. my fav is that chicken msg powder that every Asian grandma has)
Big slosh of liquid to a stewy consistency ~1/2 cup (can be water, can be chicken stock)
Pepper (freshly ground szechuan if you have it!)
Spicy element if you want it (e.g. red chili pepper flakes, gochujang, sriracha, chili garlic sauce)

Break up the meat pieces and stir occasionally on medium heat. Once everything is cooked and nice and bubbly, dissolve a spoonful (~1tbsp) of cornstarch in a splash of COLD water in a small bowl / cup and mix well. Add this to your mapo and cook until the dish thickens to your liking. You can add more water if it's thickened up too much.

Garnish if you want (e.g. chopped green onion, cilantro...) and serve on rice.

This recipe is super forgiving, and you can add whatever you want to it! I've been known to add frozen peas to this sometimes too.
posted by blueberrypuffin at 11:11 AM on December 16, 2021 [3 favorites]

Lentil soup, from my mom’s friend’s Italian Priest uncle:

1 pound dried lentils
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 onions, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 quarts water
1/2 cup olive oil
Pinches of oregano, salt, pepper

Bring water to boil in a large pot
Throw the rest of ingredients in, all together
Boil for 15 minutes, then simmer on low for a 1/2 hour

Best g.d. Lentil soup ever.
posted by knownassociate at 11:24 AM on December 16, 2021 [9 favorites]

I have 2 recipes - the first recipe makes an ingredient which you use in the second recipe.


You need:

* A bunch of lemons - 8 or so
* Kosher salt
* A glass jar with a lid (a mason jar, an old spaghetti sauce jar you saved and cleaned out - as long as it is clean and has the lid, you're good)

1. Cut about 3 lemons into wedges to start with. You may need to cut more, but worry about that later.

2. Drop a tablespoon of salt in the jar. Drop 2 wedges of lemon in on top of that.

3. Drop in another tablespoon of salt, followed by another 2 lemon wedges Then another spoon of salt and another 2 lemon wedges. Keep adding salt and lemon wedges in layers like that; gently pressing down on everything a couple times so it's pretty well packed in.

4. When the jar is just about full, add one last spoon of salt.

5. Juice a couple the lemons you have left over and add to the jar. If that's enough to cover over everything in the jar, great; if not, juice more lemons until you have enough to do that. (When I make this I usually make it in a pint-size mason jar, and I end up using 5 lemons' worth of wedges and then another 2 lemons for the juice.)

6. Close up the jar and leave it out on your counter for a week; once a day, shake it around a little so the juice mixes with the salt in there and swirls everything around.

7. In a week, your preserved lemons are ready; the pulp will be really mushy and the rind will be the texture of a gummy bear. This is good. You can move them to the fridge where they will keep pretty much forever.


You can use a wedge of preserved lemon as an extra flavor boost when you broil fish filets (chop it up and spread it on the filets) or roast chicken (chop up a wedge, mush that together with some butter and chopped herbs and smear on the chicken before roasting). Or you can use them in this:



(Serves 1)

You need:

* a half pound of potatoes, the smaller the better
* one chicken leg or two chicken thighs
* one wedge of preserved lemon
* olive oil, salt, and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375.

Cut the potatoes into chunks and dump them into a baking dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper, and toss to mix a little.

Cut up the preserved lemon wedge and tuck pieces in among the potato chunks. Drizzle in a little water.

Plop the chicken right on top of that and season with a little more salt and pepper.

Fling that in the oven for 45 minutes or so.

Boom. You're done.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:28 AM on December 16, 2021 [6 favorites]

Buffalo chicken dip:
2 chicken breasts worth of cooked, shredded chicken (or maybe 2-3 cups shredded?--I never measure)
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup buffalo sauce (like Frank's Red Hot)
1 brick softened cream cheese
1/2 cup (?) shredded cheese (I use a small handful of cheddar, again, I never measure this). You could use blue cheese, I just don't like it.
Mix everything in a bowl, then put in a casserole or similar dish.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. If you want to slice some green onion for garnish when it comes out of the oven, that's nice.

It's a dip and probably popular for snacking while watching football, but I eat it regularly as a meal because it satisfies my savory/fat cravings but I mostly eat it with veggies, so I get a good serving or 2 of veggies in. I like it with crunchy raw veggies like celery, radish, and bell pepper. Chips are good too.
posted by kochenta at 11:52 AM on December 16, 2021 [2 favorites]


(in weight, not in volume)
1 part sugar
2 part butter
3 part flour

Mix the sugar and butter until creamy. Add the flour. Roll out until 1cm thick. Cut forms. Place on a baking tray, sprinkle with sugar and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. Bake at 190C for 15 minutes until golden.
posted by snakeling at 12:17 PM on December 16, 2021 [5 favorites]


(Quantities to taste)
Local meat (rich in collagen)
Local booze
Local spice
Local fat
Local carbohydrate

Cut onions and start cooking them in the fat. Set aside, and sear the meat. Add back the onions, the spice, cover with booze (and water) and cook for 2-3 hours until the meat is tender. Cook carbohydrates aside, serve together.
posted by snakeling at 12:24 PM on December 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

Pancakes (for Shrove Tuesday):

4oz flour and half a pint of milk per egg. Whisk into a thin batter, leave to stand ideally overnight. Cook. Eat with lemon and sugar ONLY.
posted by runincircles at 12:25 PM on December 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

Chop up:
2 1/4 lbs yukon gold pototoes
1 bundle green onions
a bag of sweet peppers
a 12-pack back of Morningstar vegetarian breakfast sausage patties

Toss with 3-4 oz olive oil, 3 or 4 cloves of minced garlic, salt and ground black pepper. Pour into a frying pan and bake at 450 degrees for 50 minutes. Toss on some shredded cheddar cheese if desired.
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:32 PM on December 16, 2021 [3 favorites]

Black bean soup: tin of black beans, enough broth to cover the beans. 1 chopped up tomato (smaller if you are using a small tin of beans; larger if you are using a larger tin). Bring to a boil then simmer, covered, for at least 15 minutes. Add 1 tbsp lemon juice for a small tin, 2 tbsp for a large tin. Blend till smooth, add salt and pepper to taste. When you serve it you can top it with things like plain yogurt, grated cheddar, minced green onions, crumbled tortilla chips. Small tin serves 2 if you're having the soup as a starter or 1 for a meal; large tin serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a meal.

Zucchini marmalade: Grate two medium size zucchinis. Saute over medium heat in olive oil, stirring frequently, for about 15-20 minutes or until zucchini is translucent and bright green. Salt and pepper to taste, serve with crackers or buttered toast or just on its own as a side dish. Serves 4 as a side or appetizer.

Both can easily be made vegan and gluten free.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:37 PM on December 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

I have so. many. These are my favorites.

Negroni is equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and amaro/Campari.

75 grams fat, add 75 grams flour, make a roux that's hazelnut color, add 500 ml / 2 cups rich stock, and you've got 3 cups of killer gravy.

1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, you've got whipped cream.

Boil 1 L water, add 250 g / 2 cups steel cut oatmeal, reduce heat to low. Simmer until it thickens nicely.

One egg to 1 Tbsp milk, scramble and heat on low until it just starts to cook on the bottom, increase heat to high and fold until you've got towering curds of scrambled egg.

Cut 125 g butter into small cubes and pinch/cut into 250g of flour, plus a pinch of salt, adding a few Tbsp of water to bring it to a dough, and you've got pie crust.
posted by wnissen at 12:57 PM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

Weekend breakfast eggs (serves 1-2): small heavy pan, medium heat. Splash of olive oil, half a tin of chopped tomatoes (200g), generous dollop of chilli sauce (sriracha or chipotle/garlic is good). Mix until bubbling. Break in 2-4 eggs; once they're just set on the bottom, flip them over with a spatula and turn off the heat to finish. Serve on hot buttered toast or with corn tortillas.
posted by offog at 12:59 PM on December 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

Nobody's said hash yet! I am surprised. It's forgiving, gets rid of leftovers nicely, and does not require exact measurements. This is generally what I do, but you can add any vegetable or root vegetable, and drop in pretty much whatever leftovers you have. I literally eyeball everything and it's different every time.

General Hash Order of Operations

Every step and ingredient is optional.

Peel and chop potatoes, as many as you think you need. Or use leftover roasted potatoes, leftover French fries, or whatever non-allium root veg you have. Or skip this altogether. (optional, but it makes it go faster) Put raw, chopped-up potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl with a little water and a lid, then nuke it 4-5 minutes, until they're 90%-ish cooked. If you wish, spread them on parchment paper or a cookie sheet to dry, which will allow them to crisp a little easier later, if you care.

If you wish bacon, put some on to cook in a large pan. When it's done, pull it out, pat dry, and crumble to add later. I bet a crumbly sausage would also be nice, here if it's raw or later in the dish if it's pre-cooked.

While that's going on, prep any or all of the following:
--onions, chopped small
--bell peppers, chopped small
--chili peppers, if you like them
--carrots, we shred because it's faster than chopping but you do you.
--garlic, crushed or chopped, if you feel like bothering with garliv, which we usually don't
--chop up any cooked meat leftovers you have: roast meat, fried chicken, ham, turkey, pork, etc.
--if you've got cooked leftover vegetables (or frozen ones) like corn, peas, green beans, etc. pull them out and get them into small pieces if they're not naturally that way.
--pull out your preference for herbs and spices: we tend to go for a touch of cumin and some chili powder, but rosemary, oregano, thyme, herbes de Provence, garam masala, etc. sound good as well.

If you used bacon, leave about 2 Tb of bacon grease in the skillet, otherwise put in roughly 2 Tb of butter, oil, or a combo of butter and oil. Sautee your onions, peppers (both types, if you like chili peppers) and carrots until they soften. Probably over medium heat.

Add your herbs and spices now, to let them bloom in the hot oil. Toss them with the vegetables for a minutes or so. Add the garlic, if using, cook until fragrant, 30 sec or so.

Add potatoes, toss to mix. OPTIONAL: If you have not cooked your potatoes, or they're still a little too firm for your taste, add a little water, or chicken or vegetable stock (1/4-1/2 cup or so?) to the pan, cover with a lid, and steam until the potatoes are cooked through. Then take the lid off and cook the moisture down until it's as dry as you like.

Add whatever other leftover meat and veg you're using, add the bacon back in, toss to mix, cook until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can serve now if you want. If you want crispy bits to your hash, then check that your bacon grease/oil/butter isn't completely sucked up into the potatoes and add more if necessary, pat everything down into a nice even layer and DON'T TOUCH for a few minutes, until the bottom has crisped to your liking. (Your call on whether you think you'll overcook the meat--you can leave it out and toss it in after you've crisped the hash. We usually don't bother.)

Sprinkle with chopped chives/green onions, if you're feeling foncy.
Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of the hash once served (this helps if you feel you made it too dry)
Fry one egg for each person, put it on top of the hash. I recommend over medium, as the yolk will then mix into the hash and make a sort of sauce.
Sprinkle chili powder, shichimi togarashi, hot sauce, or salsa on top of everything.
Scatter parsley, cilantro or other fresh herbs on top.
If you like chili peppers and prefer them fresh to cooked, reserve them and sprinkle them on top instead of cooking them in with the onion, carrots, and bell peppers.

We've also used mushrooms, and tend to add chopped mushrooms before the potatoes, and give them a chance to release their liquid and cook down a bit before adding the potatoes, because that's the way we like them. The one thing we've never added is fresh greens, because we both dislike them, but I expect a handful of baby spinach or some such stirred in right at the end would work for those of you who like it.\

If you have fresh meat instead of cooked, chop it up small and stir-fry after you get the onions, pepper and carrots in, but we usually cook hash to get rid of leftovers so don't bother.
posted by telophase at 1:09 PM on December 16, 2021 [3 favorites]

Right now, my favorite simple recipe is:
One tin of chopped tomatoes
One tin of black-eyed peas, drained
Four balls of frozen whole spinach
Two cloves of garlic, crushed with the side of your knife
A teaspoon of oregano
Salt, pepper and sometimes chili flakes to taste
Sometimes a squeeze of lemon to taste
Put it all in a pot and leave to simmer till the tastes are melded. It is edible after ten minutes, better after thirty minutes. Keep an eye on it, If it dries up, add water. Eat with some bread.

What I make for myself when I need comfort: cook pasta, preferably penne of the best quality in not too much salted water. I use half a cup per serving, this is not enough for someone who does manual labour. When the pasta is just al dente, not a minute more, drain off most of the water, but leave a bit in the pot, like two tablespoons if you are cooking for one. Add a generous piece of gorgonzola and two tablespoons of cream per serving. Maybe also pepper or chili flakes. Stir vigorously till the penne are perfectly covered in creamy sauce. You can top it with grated parmesan if you are shameless, and follow with an orange for dessert if you feel you need to get some fruit and veg.

Mushrooms fried in oil with garlic and chili flakes. Heat up some oil in a pan, add crushed garlic and chili flakes, when the garlic is softened (not brown, not even golden), add sliced or quartered mushrooms, any type will do. Sprinkle with salt, not too much. When the mushrooms begin to release moisture turn up the heat. Keep a good eye on them, and stir now and then. You still don't want that garlic to brown, but you do want the mushrooms to release all the moisture and turn a tiny bit golden. To be served on toast or in pasta, both are delicious. If using pasta, put a bit of the pasta water into the mushroom pan, then add the drained pasta and stir vigorously till the sauce is creamy and delicious.

Open potato sandwich. For this, the best bread is Danish or German rye bread, but any rye will do. It's quite nice on the Jewish style rye you get with caraway seeds in it. Butter the bread, perhaps add a bit of Dijon mustard and slice a cold potato and put a very generous layer on top of the bread (this is knife and fork food). Season with salt and pepper, decorate with mayo to taste, and then with pickled (or raw) and roasted onions (the store-bought roasted onions are great for this, but I prefer raw red onions to store-bought pickled, YMMV). This can easily be veganized, since you don't really need the butter, and the mayo can be vegan.

Mark Bittmanns simplest roast chicken:
"With an ingredient list just four items long (chicken, olive oil, salt, pepper), the genius of this bare-bones roast chicken is in its technique. To make it, thoroughly preheat a cast-iron skillet before sliding into it a seasoned bird, breast side up. In under an hour you’ll get a stunner of a chicken, with moist, tender white meat, crisp, salty chicken skin, and juicy dark meat all done to a turn. If you don’t already have a cast-iron skillet large enough to hold a whole chicken, this recipe is a good enough reason to invest in one".
(I'm putting up the link, but I haven't looked at the recipe since it was published, it's that easy)
I put a lemon inside the chicken. Recently I have begun to dry-brine the bird in advance, if I have the time: make a mix of salt and pepper, rub the chicken inside and out, leave it uncovered in the fridge for at least six hours before roasting. Take it out when you turn on the oven, so it gently comes to room temperature. Stuff in the organic lemon and perhaps some herbs (parsley, tarragon, thyme, oregano, whatever you like, not all at the same time).
Use the drippings in the cast iron skillet to make a gravy while the bird rests. Put the skillet on medium high heat on the stovetop, add a half cup of white wine , Marsala or even water with a bit of balsamico to deglaze, then add full cream. season to taste (it may already be perfect because of the seasoning from the chicken, but it may need either fat or sweetness, too. Use butter and/or a nice jelly, or just a tiny bit of sugar.
posted by mumimor at 1:10 PM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

2-2-2 quick-soak beans:
put any amount of beans into a deep pot (I've done from 8 oz to 5 pounds)
add water to cover by at least 2 inches
cover, bring to a boil, let boil for 2 minutes
turn heat off, let soak (still covered) for 2 hours

at this point check them--if they're still crunchy bring them up to boiling and then to bubbling for a while (you may need to add water) until they get at least tender before you add any salt or broth. If they're already tender, even if not done, you can go ahead and add salt or broth. Choose what direction you're going to go in: add chili spices, chopped or canned diced tomatoes, chopped onions, ground meat or fake meat crumbles for chili; finely diced carrots, savory herbs, diced ham etc. for bean soup, or whatever you want. All of those are "to taste", so I don't have measurements to give.
posted by wintersweet at 1:14 PM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

One thing I forgot to make clear about the hash above: use as many or as few ingredients as you like. There's a lot listed to provide options, not because you need them all. If I were to make the simplest hash possible, I'd just do:

--leftover meat
--cooked in butter or oil
posted by telophase at 1:14 PM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

Old Favorite/pasta:
1 bag of fresh spinach—sauté in oil with a couple smashed cloves of garlic
1 14 oz can of cannellini beans, rinsed—add to pan & heat until warm
Ladle over cooked pasta.

New Favorite/pasta:
2 Sweet Italian Sausages—crumbled into hot oil with a couple smashed cloves of garlic
1 14 oz can of whole tomatoes + liquid—break up and add to pan
1 14 oz can of cannellini beans, rinsed—add to pan
Large handful or more of grated fresh pecorino or Parmesan cheese—add until melted
Ladle over cooked pasta

Rice Bowl:
1 large yellow onion, sliced—sauté in soy sauce with pinch of sugar
A spoonful of fresh ginger, chopped—add to pan
A couple “sheets” of Steakums shaved beef—break up and add to pan (cooks v quickly)
Scoop over cooked white rice
Top with poached egg
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:16 PM on December 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

This recipe is so simple the dish doesn't even have a name.

1 lb ground pork
1 lb frozen spinach
3-4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
optional stuff - water chestnuts, scallions, chopped napa cabbage, cauliflower crumbles

Defrost spinach and once it's at least room temp, squeeze out as much water as you can.
Mix soy sauce and sesame oil with pork.
Pan fry pork (breaking it up into crumbles) in a bit of whatever neutral oil is around the house. Can add optional stuff after a minute or two.
Once pork is basically cooked, lower heat, add spinach, mix to combine. It doesn't really need to be cooked at this point, it's more to let the spinach take on some of the seasoning and fat from the pork.

Eat over white rice. Delicious with hot sauce if that's your thing.
posted by BlueBlueElectricBlue at 1:20 PM on December 16, 2021 [3 favorites]

Homemade alfredo sauce is the simplest, most sinful recipe on the planet.

1 stick real butter
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups shredded parm

Melt the butter, add the cream, whisk until smooth and thick, add the parm, whisk until smooth and thick. Salt and pepper to taste.
posted by SamanthaK at 1:22 PM on December 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

Tri-color pasta with chicken

Sautée chopped yellow, red and orange peppers with sliced garlic, scallions, and ginger
Toss with tri-color pasta
Stir-fry chicken in large cubes.
Toss it all together with a bit of soy sauce and some water chestnuts
(ratios depend on how many people you're serving)

Italian Jewish Roast Chicken*
Put a whole chicken in a large roasting pan, fill the cavity with a little sage and rosemary.
Slice 6-8 cloves of garlic and a handful of fresh rosemary, and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Slice 3-4 russet potatoes and toss them in the olive oil mixture, then surround the chicken with the wedges, ideally so that they don't overlap much. Pour the excess oil over the chicken.

Roast the chicken for 15 minutes at 425° , then lower the hear ti 325° and continue cooking for about 40-50 minutes more until chicken is done (we use a meat thermometer). Remove the chicken, raise the temperature to 375 or 400 and let the potatoes keep crisping until they're whatever color you consider perfect.

Aunt Moria's almond cookies

1 egg white
1/2 cup sugar
1 bag sliced almonds (150-200g, more or less won't kill you)

Beat the egg white with a fork until frothy. Stir in the sugar until combined, then stir in the almonds. Drop by teaspoons onto a cookie sheet (whatever size and however close you'd like - they don't spread). Sprinkle cinnamon on top if you'd like. Bake for 15-18 minutes at 325° until crispy at the edges

* That's what the cookbook called it, who knows
posted by Mchelly at 1:30 PM on December 16, 2021 [4 favorites]

Recipes I know by heart :

Pancakes :
1 cup flour, 1 cup milk, 2 eggs, 2 tsp melted butter, 1/2 tsp salt
mix flour and salt, add milk and butter, add eggs and beat
Makes 4 pancakes

Ham and mushroom pasta :
(then again, pasta recipes are never exact, so...)
250g pasta, 200g breakfast Ham, 1 chopped onion, 1 cup sliced mushrooms, 3/4 cup 35% cream and 3/4 cup milk, 1 tbsp basil

Cook and cube the ham
Cook the vegetables in a pan, when mushrooms are done add milk&cream, cook for 10 min
Add ham and basil, cook for 10 min
Pour over cooked pasta
posted by domi_p at 1:33 PM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

Homemade granola


½ cup vegetable oil
⅓ cup brown sugar (packed)
⅓ cup maple syrup
½ tsp salt
4 Tbsp vanilla extract
Spices to taste (I used ½ tsp nutmeg and cinnamon)
5 cups rolled oats
2 cups almonds, chopped
2 cups dried fruit (chopped as appropriate)


- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheet with parchment.
- Mix wet ingredients in very large mixing bowl
- Add oats, chopped almonds
- Spread onto baking sheet, pat flat to cover
- Bake 40 min
- Let cool, break into chunks, add dried fruit

Bachelor pasta

An old girlfriend introduced me to this recipe, and "bachelor pasta" is what she called it.


1 lb dry pasta
2 cans tuna
2 big handfuls of Kalamata olives, chopped
2 big handfuls of walnuts, chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped
Olive oil to taste


- Boil pasta; while it boils, chop what needs chopping
- Drain pasta; return to pot
- Add chopped ingredients to pot, flake tuna from can into pot, add olive oil liberally. Mix.
posted by adamrice at 1:48 PM on December 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

My fave breakfast: Dutch pancake

1/4 c milk
1/4 c flour
1 egg

Whisk ingredients in bowl until smooth.
Oven 425° preheat it with 8" cast iron pan inside
Take out pan, melt 1-2T butter in it, add pancake mixture, return to oven
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until brown

Can make savory with toppings like veggies, parmesan or cooked up meats
Can make sweet with jam, syrup, lemon and powdered sugar

Can double it and make it in a 10" pan.
posted by jessamyn at 2:21 PM on December 16, 2021 [8 favorites]

Veggie couscous
Ingredients: dry couscous, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, feta, garlic
Instructions: Put on kettle. Chop up some asparagus, start sautéing in oil with salt and pepper. Pour boiled water into a bowl of couscous (1:1 water:couscous ratio) and cover. Halve some cherry tomatoes and chop up a clove of garlic. Throw them in with the asparagus. When tomatoes are soft, fluff couscous and put veggies on top, then sprinkle generously with feta.

Black beans
Ingredients: can of black beans, red bell pepper, onion, cumin, cilantro, optional sour cream
Instructions: Dice onion and start sautéing in oil. Dice pepper and add. Put in some cumin (maybe like a teaspoon?) and salt and pepper. After a minute, put entire can of black beans (not drained!) into pot. Simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add chopped cilantro, optionally top with sour cream.

Enchiladas, sort of
Ingredients: chicken breast, tortillas, garlic, salsa verde, cumin, shredded cheese, cilantro, onion
Instructions: Preheat oven to 425. Dice onion and start sautéing in oil. Chop chicken into small pieces and add to pan. Chop garlic and add after a moment. Chop cilantro. Take chicken/onion mix off heat when chicken is not quite cooked through. Stir in cilantro and a couple spoonfuls of salsa verde. Put tortillas in a casserole dish (I spray it with nonstick spray first) and fill them with the chicken mixture. Roll them up and pour remaining salsa verde over top. Sprinkle generously with shredded cheese (I use a grocery store “Mexican blend”) and put in oven until browned on top.
posted by somedaycatlady at 2:39 PM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

Cauliflower Cheese Soup. Cut up a cauliflower, put in a pot. Just cover with chicken stock. Add s&p to taste. When soft, mush up with a stick belnder. Add as much grated cheese as you like.
You may saute a chopped onion in butter before adding the cauliflower, if you like.

Super Chicken: One cut up chicken, 1/4 cup each of soy sauce and vinegar mixed with 1/2 cup water, 1 Tb whole peppercorns, several garlic cloves, sliced, 4-6 bay leaves.
Cook all together in oven at 350F until done. (45min to 1 hr.) Excellent with baked potatoes.
posted by Enid Lareg at 3:01 PM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

Chicken and feta tray bake for any reasonable number

Per person
175g new potatoes thickly sliced (about 3 medium size?)
2 skinless boneless chicken thighs
50-100g feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 bell pepper in chunks
Glug olive oil
Glug white wine vinegar
Good amount of dried thyme

Preheat oven to 200C / 400F
Put layer of potatoes in a roasting tin / 9x13 dish
Top with chicken thighs
Sprinkle with oil, vinegar and thyme
Bake for 30 minutes
Add feta and peppers
Bake for further 30 minutes

Can add other cherry or plum tomatoes and olives at 30 minute mark if desired.

All-in-one Victoria sponge

6 oz flour
6 oz sugar
6 oz margarine / spread
3 eggs
Jam to spread
Sugar to sprinke / dust on top (ideally icing sugar)

Pre-heat oven to 200C / 400F
Grease and line two 20cm cake sandwich tins
Mix together all ingredients with hand or stand mixer
Split between cake tins
Bake for 20-25 minutes until skewer comes out clean
Remove from tins and leave to cool
Spread top of flatter cake with jam.
Place other cake on top.
Dust or sprinkle with sugar
posted by plonkee at 3:02 PM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

Delicious, but not authentic, butter bars, courtesy of a former coworker:

Bottom layer:
Combine 1 yellow cake mix, 2 eggs, 1 stick softened butter. Cream and spread in sprayed 15x10 pan.

2 eggs, 1 box 1 lb powdered sugar, 1 8-oz container softened cream cheese. Beat topping together and pour over bottom layer. Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 3:31 PM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

My Mom's Spaghetti Sauce

saute an onion and good bit of garlic in olive oil
(add 1 lb ground beef and cook until browned) this step is easily skipped to make it veggie
add diced veggies--we like mushrooms, bell pepper, and zucchini
cook veggies until water release/browned/seem nice
add 28 oz can of tomato puree or crushed tomatoes or a large number of diced fresh tomatoes
simmer for at least 30 minutes. longer is better. hours is great, especially if you are using fresh tomatoes
while simmering, stir and taste and season with salt and pepper, oregano, basil. Usually ~1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, largish bunch of chopped fresh oregano and basil, or I just sprinkle the dried stuff in until it tastes good.

serve over spaghetti noodles.

it is even better after a couple days in the fridge
posted by hydropsyche at 4:03 PM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

Black beans and rice:

Start some white rice in a rice cooker or small pot. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a small saucepot. Add half a diced onion (more if you really like onion) and half a cup of diced bell peppers (ditto). Once the onions are translucent, add a half a packet of Goya Sazon (any flavor). Sautee for a minute or so, then add two cans of black beans with the liquid. If you like spice, add some hot sauce at this point (or you can add a diced jalapeno with the onions and peppers. Let the black beans cook on medium until the liquid has reduced quite a bit. (I usually cook them until the rice is done)

You can either just serve the black beans on top of the rice (which is good!) or make them like gallo pinto by stir frying the rice and beans together in a pan or wok. If you want additional protein/flavor, you can add some chopped, pre-cooked sausage in the initial onion/peppers stage.

Another Marinara:

Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium in a dutch oven or similar. Briefly sautee some minced garlic. Add two large cans of whole tomatoes and a big handful of basil and/or Italian parsely. Use a stick blender to get the tomatoes to the consistency you want, or just wait a while and use the back of a wooden spoon to break them up. Add dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Let the tomatoes come to a boil, then turn them down and let them simmer for ... a while. (I've done anywhere from 30 to 120 minutes). When the sauce has cooked down to where you want it, taste for seasoning.

If it needs salt or umami (or just needs a little something you can't put your finger on), add a dash of fish sauce (yes, really). If it tastes too bright/tangy, try a very small pinch of brown sugar.

Any stir fry at all:

Slice some chicken or beef (or pressed tofu). Mix up a combination of warm water, soy sauce, and corn starch, and pour it over the protein in a bowl or ziploc bag, making sure the protein is covered. Slice up some aromatics (I like the white parts of green onions, and garlic) and one or two kinds of veggies (I usually go with bell peppers and broccoli). Mix up your sauce, which is probably your most variable part. I usually start with equal parts soy sauce, oyster sauce, and rice wine vinegar, plus a dash of something sweet (brown sugar, hoisin, dark soy sauce etc), and then add anything else I feel like adding for a specific flavor (orange juice, sriracha, szechuan pepper, etc). Taste it to make sure it's what you want.

Heat up some neutral oil in a wok or wide, deep pan as hot as your stove and smoke alarm will allow. Lay your protein in the wok in one layer and don't move it for a full minute. Once the minute is up, check the protein. If it's got a good crust, start stir frying/tossing until it's just cooked through, and remove. Turn the heat down a bit and add more oil if you need to, plus your aromatics. Cook them just until they're fragrant, don't let them burn. Add your veggies and let them char a bit, then add your sauce, again tossing until the veggies are tender enough to bite without being mushy. Add your protein back in and toss everything together before eating. If you want to be fancy, you can add garnishes like the sliced tops of the green onions, sesame seeds, or cilantro leaves.
posted by lunasol at 5:22 PM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

This Korean tofu is great, and is so simple it feels like cheating. It's basically...

(For 1 serving)

1/2 block tofu
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp gochugaru / Korean chili flakes
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
1 scallion, chopped

Slice and pan fry the tofu. Mix the other ingredients together to make a sauce. Pour sauce over tofu. Serve with rice.
posted by gueneverey at 5:53 PM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

I’m the same way! I love this question so much.

My pot roast recipe is one I found in the internet somewhere. All you really need is a Chuck roast, an onion, garlic, salt+pepper, but you can fancy it up from there. The meat roasts in the juices of the onion, which cooks down into a delicious jus, which can be made into gravy or poured over the meat as-is.

1. Salt+ sear your meat really good in a Dutch oven on high heat.

2. Chop a big onion (or two if it’s a bigger roast) into chunks, like seriously just quartering it and separating the rings is fine.

3. When the meat is seared, put the onion in the bottom of the pan, add garlic, salt, pepper, and put the meat on top. Roast in the oven on low heat (like 275) for a couple hours depending on its size.

4. Fancy tips that I do: deglaze after searing w/ a few glugs of red wine. Add a bay leaf. Make a roux and turn the jus into gravy.
posted by a.steele at 8:31 PM on December 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

Sweet potato/yam hash.
1/2 onion
1/2 sweet potato/yam
1/2 Granny Smith apple or similar
1 or 2 eggs
Salt & pepper

Slice onion into half rings
Roughly dice yams
Roughly dice apple
Sauté low to medium till it’s the doneness you like. Salt and pepper to taste.
Fry an egg or 2 for a couple of minutes & add a tablespoon of water & cover for a minute or so to let it steam till the white firms up but yolk is still runny. Serve eggs on top of hash. I usually use a big non-stick pan and just shove the hash over to the side and fry the eggs next to it.
posted by BoscosMom at 10:23 PM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

Macaroni and cheese (I think originally from Good Eats, and then Serious Eats?):

1. Boil about 8 oz. (half a box) pasta and drain.
2. Add a small can of evaporated milk (the ones I get are 5 oz.), get hot.
3. Add cheese (about as much as the milk and pasta) and stir until melted.
4. Add mixins to taste.
posted by kejadlen at 10:35 PM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

This is just Top Secret Recipes' IHOP clone but if you call them "two and a half pancakes" you can remember the recipe.

2.5 cups flour
2.5 cups buttermilk
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp bicarb soda
0.5 cup sugar
0.5 cup canola oil

Mix. Makes a lot of pancakes.
posted by some little punk in a rocket at 11:34 PM on December 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

A note on the Victoria sponge: an egg is roughly 2 ounces. So the recipe is 2oz of each butter, sugar, self raising flour and egg (multiplied up as required), which makes it even easier to remember. It benefits from baking powder and a splash of milk but it's basically good enough to work without. It also takes flavours well - coffee, lemon zest and juice, chocolate chips.

Americans would probably call it pound cake, though it's a little bit lighter in texture, especially with the baking powder. And if you weigh the ingredients it's certainly easier to remember.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 1:06 AM on December 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

French 75 Cocktail

2 measures gin (UK is 25ml)
1 measure lemon juice
1 measure simple (sugar) syrup
...shaken over ice and drained into champagne flute,
Top with sparkling wine (preferably Nosferatu family from Transylvania or Frankenstein family from Lake Geneva -- if it's not from the region, you have to call it sparkling monster).
Peel a strip of lemon skin to twist and put in the drink for zest.

Crumble Topping:

Bring your own baked fruit
100g (2 units) sugar (plus extra for caramelising on top)
100g (2 units) flour
50g (1 unit) butter, at room temp
Mix the butter and flour in your hands by rubbing thumbs on tips of fingers. Add the sugar when the flour-butter is airy flakes and continue to mix for a minute or until there's no obvious sugar.
Bake it on top of whatever fruit you were going to have underneath.
posted by k3ninho at 3:21 AM on December 17, 2021 [2 favorites]


Thinly slice a head of cabbage and a large white onion (or a few small ones). Cook them in a ridiculous amount of butter (I use 1/4 to 1/2 stick) in the widest pan you own over high heat. If you only have small pans, divide it between them so that a lot of it touches a pan directly and has a chance to brown. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and cabbage are tender and golden. (It's ok if parts get darker than that as long as none of it burns.)

Meanwhile, cook a pound of extra wide egg noodles according to the package.

Mix together, season with salt and a lot of freshly ground black pepper, and serve.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:00 AM on December 17, 2021 [2 favorites]


Finely chop a head of cabbage. Mix it with a teaspoon of salt and the zest and juice of two small limes and leave it to sit.

Measure out a teaspoon of mustard seeds, a dry red chile (or a few), and a quarter cup of peanuts. This next part goes fast. Heat a few tablespoons of oil until almost smoking. Add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add the chile. As soon as it starts to darken, add the peanuts. Give them a mix around in the hot oil, then dump the whole thing over the cabbage.

Let marinate a while longer and serve.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:07 AM on December 17, 2021 [3 favorites]

Put chicken thighs in a pot with about half and half soy sauce and vinegar, enough to cover them. This is a good job for extremely cheap soy sauce. Add a few bay leaves and a little handful of black peppercorns. Cover and simmer until done.

Serve with rice and a bit of the sauce. Or, if you used skin-on thighs, take them out of the sauce and instead put them under the the broiler until the skin crisps up.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:15 AM on December 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

Health Loaf™ -- I make one every week to have a "breakfast" I don't have to think about. It looks like a lot of ingredients, but it's really a simple formula you can use for any kind of quickbread or muffin.

Wet ingredients:
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil (or butter, if you're fancy)
1/3 cup Greek yogurt (or skip it and use more milk)
good glug of vanilla extract (almond is also nice)
Optional: 3-4 mashed bananas or a can of pumpkin puree
enough milk to make a thick, but pourable, batter (1-2 cups, depending on fruit / yogurt)

Dry ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup quick oats (regular rolled oats work too, but you'll need a little more milk)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt (1/2 tsp if using table salt)
Optional: 1-2 tsp of cinnamon or mixed pie spices

Optional: a couple good handfuls of chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a loaf pan. Mix the dry, beat the wet well together, mix the dry into the wet until well-moistened, mix in the chocolate chips if using, bake until internal temp hits 200F or so (50-90 minutes, depending on moisture; pumpkin puree really makes this thing take forever to bake. Cover loosely with foil after 45 minutes if using pumpkin so it doesn't burn).
posted by uncleozzy at 6:15 AM on December 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Bruthen Fried Chicken

I made this up one day to use up some stuff I had lying about, and it's good enough to have become a semi-regular in our kitchen.

Put about half a cup of whole brown rice into the blender, dry, and run it at full speed. This will make a tremendous row. Make sure you can see continuous movement of powdered rice leaving the blend zone, crawling up the inside walls and collapsing back down into the vortex; if not, dump in a bit more rice until you can. You can use white rice if you haven't any brown, but brown tastes better in this recipe and is better for you as well because fibre.

While that's going on, put a bit too much whole black pepper, a bit too much whole coriander seed, a bit too much whole cumin seed, a couple of lobes of star anise, two or three whole cloves, a heaped teaspoon or so of mixed dried herbs, and a little pile of salt into a stone mortar, and grind the whole lot to the finest consistency you have the patience to achieve with the pestle. Substitute whatever dried herbs and spices you have on hand for everything except the salt and pepper. You could also throw in a heaped teaspoon of sugar as well if you want.

Having reduced the brown rice to a coarse flour in the blender (which might involve picking it up and tilting it various ways as it runs), dump it into the mortar with the ground herbs and spices and mix it thoroughly with a spoon. You can add a little powdered turmeric and maybe some powdered ginger at this point if you have any. Again, whatever spices you like and have on hand will work just fine; no real need to remember what to use, just go looking through the pantry and grab them on a whim.

Get a 1kg bulk pack of chicken thigh fillets out of the freezer, and microwave it on full for maybe three minutes. If you haven't got a microwave, just use time instead but do keep an eye on it; you don't want it completely thawed, because fillets still stuck together with a little bit of ice make for way easier slicing. Dump the entire pack of semi-frozen fillets out onto a chopping board, get rid of that little stuck-on packet of absorbent stuff they insist on packing in with these things, and cut the whole pack into slices maybe half an inch thick without making any attempt to respect fillet boundaries. You'll find that cutting them while semi-frozen in this way makes them way easier to handle and stops them trying to escape even if your knife sharpness is perhaps not all it could be.

Dump the spiced rice flour mixture into a storage container with a lid, one big enough to hold all the sliced chicken fillets as well. Put the chicken fillets in on top, snap the lid into place, then shake and turn and tumble it until the fillet pieces have all come unstuck from each other and got thoroughly coated with spiced flour mix. They'll be mostly thawed by then, too.

Stick a cast iron pan on a stovetop burner set fairly low, and pour in enough olive oil to make a pool maybe 1/8" deep. Once the oil starts to smell like hot oil, use tongs to lay in a single layer of the floured fillet pieces. Cook them until you start to see juices seeping through to the top, then turn them over and keep cooking them until they're just no longer pink in the middle when you cut one open to look.

Keep removing cooked pieces, piling them up on a plate, and replacing them with raw ones from the flouring container until you've done the lot. Snacking on a few at this point is the cook's privilege and to be encouraged. Any time the pan seems to be running out of sizzle, add a little more olive oil.

Once all the chicken is cooked you can use up the remaining oil in the pan and leave it super easy to clean by using a little bit of water and a wooden spatula to deglaze any stuck-on brownings, then dumping in all the leftover rice flour mixture and perhaps a little more water and smooshing it around until it turns into something vaguely dumpling-like. Keep it moving until it starts to smell toasty and stops wanting to stick.
posted by flabdablet at 6:55 AM on December 17, 2021 [3 favorites]

Oh! This is a genius idea I learned a couple years ago - the POTATO CHIP OMELET.

For one person you will need:

2 eggs
about 2 handfuls of slightly crushed potato chips

Basically, you're making an omelet but using potato chips AS THE FILLING, and you're also mixing some potato chips IN WITH THE EGG. One handful of chips goes in the eggs when you beat them up, and you use the other handful of chips as the filling you put in before you fold it in half and then serve. And that's it.

The original recipe also called for chopped chives, and you can add that if you want. But - the original recipe also said you could play with all the different flavored potato chips out there, and I was using sriracha flavored chips the first time and chives didn't really work with that. But I can report that sriracha flavored chips DO work in this.

This is a perfect solution for those broken chips at the bottom of the bag, by the way. And even though this sounds like a broke college student's idea, this actually is something that is offered for brunch at a bistro in Paris.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:30 AM on December 17, 2021 [4 favorites]

Dutch baby pancakes: 6 eggs, cup of milk, cup of flour, 1/2 tsp salt. 15 minutes at 400F. Only recipe I've memorized.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:40 AM on December 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

Oh - cook in a cast iron skillet you've already melted a 1-inch chunk of butter in.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:47 AM on December 17, 2021 [3 favorites]

Kraft dinner extra:

3 boxes Kraft dinner prepared with 1 cup whole milk and 3 tablespoons margarine
1 lb ground meat. I usually use regular ground beef.
1 medium onion chopped
Splash of olive oil
A small head of broccoli cut into bite size pieces
1 cup frozen corn
3 tablespoons minced garlic

Saute the onion in the olive oil for a few minutes or until clear.

Add ground meat and fry in medium high until brown breaking it up into small pieces. Add garlic and fry for another 30 seconds.

While the meat is cooking prepare the Kraft dinner adding the corn to the noodles while boiling. Drain.

Add the broccoli to the Kraft dinner and then add the ground beef mixture. Stir throughly.

While this can be eaten right away it's actually better reheated uncovered in the microwave after being stored over night in the fridge. Perfect for bag lunch.


Pork dragon noodles:

1/2 pound ground pork
Splash of olive oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup garlic chili sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped peanut
6 oz ramen noodles
Three green oils chopped

Mix sugar, garlic chili sauce and soy sauce in small bowl

Just cover bottom of skillet in olive oil then add ground pork. Brown pork on medium high heat breaking it up into small pieces.

While the meat is browning cook ramen in boiling water for 1-2 minutes until soft. Drain

Once pork is browned add sugar mixture and peanuts to frying pan and continue cooking on medium until sauce reduced by about a 1/4.

Add noodles and mix together well. Cover and cook for one minute.

Remove from heat. Add chopped onion and serve.

Proportion of chili sauce can be adjusted for hotness. If reducing amount of chili sauce add equal volume of soy sauce.
posted by Mitheral at 9:54 AM on December 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

A couple:


Basically, scrambled eggs with pico de gallo, crushed torilla chips and cheese mixed in. Covered in a nice green salsa is especially nice. Easy to scale to feed multiple people.

Pasta putanesca

Dead simple and so, so tasty. Spaghetti bathed in a covering consisting of mashed anchovies, garlic, tomatoes, Kalamata olives and capers. I guess it is a non-liquid sauce? Fantastic.

Saved this thread. Thanks for the post!
posted by zerobyproxy at 10:01 AM on December 17, 2021 [4 favorites]


Cook ramen noodles in a nonstick pot. Crack an egg into the water but don't stir it up, so that the egg just kind of poaches in place rather than turning into ribbons. When the yolk is still runny, drain out the water, put the rest in a bowl, add butter and parmesan cheese, and break the yolk just before you eat it.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:27 AM on December 17, 2021 [5 favorites]

Bourbon balls are dead simple and a crowd-pleaser at a party. I like Jolie Kerr's recipe. The post is a hoot to read, but the actual recipe is below. I'm a very detailed recipe-writer, but don't let that deter you, this is dead simple and requires no baking!


- 2.5-3 C crushed Nilla Wafers
- ½ C chopped Pecans (about 3 oz, or you can use walnuts if you prefer)
- 1 C Confectioners/powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
- ½ C Cocoa powder unsweetened
- 3 T Light corn syrup (you can use dark if that’s what you have on hand)
- ⅓ C Bourbon (you can also use rum if that’s more up your alley)


- Gallon zip-top bag
- Mason jar, metal mug, wooden arm of hammer, or other implement for crushing cookies and nuts
- Cutting board if you have nice countertops you want to protect from pounding
- Measuring spoons and cups
- 1-1.5 T measuring spoon or cookie scoop
- 2 baking sheets
- Foil or parchment for lining baking sheet (optional)
- Silicone spoonula or other mixing spoon


1. Place cookies in zip-top bag, and crush cookies
2. Crush nuts using same method
3. Mix cookies, nuts, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar in a bowl
4. Mix in corn syrup and bourbon (it might not seem like enough bourbon, but it is). It will be dry and sticky. If you need to add more liquid after mixing, add more corn syrup.
5. Put powdered sugar on one baking sheet
6. Measure out 1-inch balls and roll them, then roll in powdered sugar, then place on other cookie sheet.
7. Store in air-tight container
posted by radioamy at 1:30 PM on December 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Chile con Queso Casserole. I’ve made it so many times I don’t have to look at the recipe anymore.
One really large can or Ortega chiles, layered with a half pound of shredded cheddar and a half pound of jack cheese.
Mix a small can of evaporated milk with one egg, add a little pepper. Pour over the layered chiles and cheese. Bake for 50 minutes at 350.
Spread a small can of tomato sauce over the top and bake for another 10 minutes.
Serve with rice and a salad.
posted by SLC Mom at 2:43 PM on December 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Apricot upside-down cake.

Melt a stick of butter and a cup of brown sugar in a baking dish or cast iron skillet.
Put in some canned apricot halves, cut side UP. and nuts. Maraschino cherries make it pretty if you have some to add.
Pour in a premixed yellow cake mix over it all and bake per the directions on the box.
Let it sit a few minutes before carefully turning it out.
posted by SLC Mom at 2:48 PM on December 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

I frequently make garlic soba using one of the most popular recipes on MetaFilter: SUPER QUICK AWESOME GARLIC SPINACH SOBA NOODLES from MeFite Nothing... and like it.

I personally don't even use the salt (the cheese is salty enough for me), the red pepper flakes, or the lemon, so for me it's just

- some soba noodles
- some olive oil
- some garlic
- some baby spinach (actually, I use arugula)
- some decent Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Absolutely delicious, reasonably healthy.

Thank you for posting this question!
posted by kristi at 3:29 PM on December 18, 2021 [3 favorites]

General Hash Order of Operations

Every step and ingredient is optional.

Best. Recipe. Ever.

posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:22 AM on December 26, 2021

Chocolate ripple cake is better than it has any right to be.
posted by flabdablet at 6:36 PM on December 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

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