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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Easiest Things to Cook

How to cook easy food? Sounds like a brainteaser. Easy food is picking up the phone and ordering pizza. Or eating a bowl of cereal. But that sort of eating can get old. Besides, if you are throwing a party or planning a dinner food for 2, cereal or pizza are not very good options. But what are the easiest things to cook, without burning the kitchen down? You'd be surprised at the variety and choices. So if the hungry chef in you, yearns for some lip smacking, yet simple recipes to satiate your appetite, then yearn no more, for here's a collection of the easiest foods to cook.

Easiest Things to Cook with Eggs

Eggs are a versatile ingredient for filling, and easy things to cook. One of the fastest things to cook is scrambled eggs, with a preparation time of just 5 minutes.

French Toast
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 slices bread
Directions: In a deep plate, beat eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Heat a skillet or pan, with a little oil, over medium heat. Soak bread slices in egg mixture for 20 seconds on each side. Make sure bread slice is thoroughly coated. Cook bread, until both sides turn light brown and crisp.

Scrambled Eggs
  • 6 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Break eggs in a bowl, add milk and whisk till well combined. In a frying pan, or skillet, heat butter at medium heat and pour egg mixture gently into pan. Reduce heat to low and sprinkle salt and pepper. Add chopped parsley and other additions (cheese, mushrooms) that you want, now. Using a wooden spoon, scrape eggs from pan's edge to the center, forming large curds. Keep scraping, to redistribute eggs as they cook. Turn off heat, keep pan on burner and make some toast, to serve with the eggs.

  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup biscuit baking mix
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (10 ounce) packet frozen broccoli, thawed and chopped
  • 1 cup cubed cooked ham
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 10 inch quiche dish. In a large bowl, combine milk, eggs, baking mix, butter and Parmesan cheese. Mix well. Add broccoli, ham and cheddar cheese and stir well. Pour this batter into prepared quiche dish. Bake in oven for 50 minutes, until top turns golden brown and eggs are set.

Herbed Cheese Omelet
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 2 slices processed cheese
Directions: Beat eggs and seasonings in a bowl. In a skillet, over low heat, melt butter. Pour egg mixture into skillet and cook over medium heat. Make sure eggs turn firm and set, especially at edges. Remove from heat and place cheese on one side of omelet. Fold one half over cheese covered side and serve.

Simple Things to Cook – Sandwiches

The humble sandwich is a hungry man's savior. All types of breads (panini, brown, white, pita, tortillas), veg and non-veg fillings and a rich array of sauces, make a sandwich, one of the easiest stuff to cook.

Ham & Cheese Crescents
  • 1 packet of crescent rolls
  • ¼ lb thinly sliced deli ham
  • Mustard (optional)
  • ¼ lb mozzarella cheese, sliced
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Unroll crescents and divide into 8 rolls. Spread mustard on each roll. Place a slice of ham and cheese in each roll, roll up, then bake for 15 minutes or until crisp and brown.

Cucumber Cream Cheese Finger Sandwiches
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 (8 ounces) packet cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • Pinch of salt
Directions: Shred cucumber. In a strainer or food processor, mix cream cheese, onion, cucumber, yogurt and salt, until thick green paste is formed. Spread filling on bread, to make a sandwich.

Tuna Melt Sandwiches
  • 1 (6 ounce) can of tuna, shredded
  • ¾ cup celery, chopped
  • ¾ cup cheddar cheese, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 6 hamburger buns, split
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
  • Salt to taste
Directions: In a bowl, combine tuna, celery, cheese, onion and mayonnaise. Spread butter on one side of buns. Spread tuna mixture on bun bottoms and lay buttered side over. Wrap buns in foil. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, or until cheese melts.

Grilled Cheese with Spinach and Tomato
  • 1 slice cheese (any kind)
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 6 spinach leaves, halved
  • 2 slices bread
  • 1 tablespoon margarine or butter
  • A dash of salt and garlic powder
Directions: Heat a frying pan, pour a little oil or use cooking spray. On medium heat, add tomatoes at pan's edges and spinach to center. Sprinkle garlic and salt over vegetables. Toss spinach frequently and turn tomatoes, every minute or so. Do not over fry tomatoes, they should be a little soft. Cook spinach till slightly wilted. Remove frying pan and keep tomatoes and spinach aside. Heat pan, spread butter on 1 side of bread and place in pan. Sprinkle cheese and then place tomato-spinach mixture on top of cheese. Leave pan on heat, so cheese and spinach mixture lightly melts. Butter other bread slice and brown both sides of sandwich. Serve hot.

Parmesan Chicken Salad Sandwich
  • 1 can chicken breast, cut into chunks or shredded
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1 medium lettuce
  • ½ cup ranch salad dressing
  • 6 portions of bread
  • White pepper and salt to taste
Directions: In a bowl, mix shredded chicken, lettuce (rip into small pieces), cheese and ranch dressing. Mix well and using a fork, spread on bread. Sprinkle pepper and salt.

Miscellaneous Easiest Things to Cook

Chinese, Italian and rice recipes are difficult, right? No way! From the famous mac and cheese, to a chicken crock pot recipe, here's some varied easiest things to cook. And their cooking time isn't too long either.

Beef and Vegetable Stir-Fry
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (16 ounce) packet, mixed vegetables
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup ready mix stir-fry sauce
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups roast beef, cubed and cooked
Directions: Heat olive oil in a heavy saucepan. Add water and vegetables. Stir, cover and leave to cook for 3 minutes, at medium heat. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and stir-fry sauce. Add to veggie mix, in saucepan and stir well. Add beef and stir. Cover saucepan and cook at low heat, for 5-8 minutes. Stir occasionally. Cook until vegetables are tender and crisp and beef is hot. Serve with rice or egg noodles.

Macaroni and Cheese
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups milk
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese
  • 1½ cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt
Directions: Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 14 inch baking dish. Cook pasta, according to package directions. Melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Slowly add milk. Cook, stirring constantly, for 6-8 minutes, until sauce becomes slightly thick. Add Gruyere, cheddar, pepper and salt. Cook till cheese melts. Add pasta and mix. Transfer this mixture to baking dish, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until top turns golden.

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Crock Pot Recipe
  • 6 chicken breasts, skinned and deboned
  • 1 can cheddar cheese soup
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Rinse chicken and sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder to season. Mix soups together and pour over chicken in the crock pot. Cook on low heat, for 6-8 hours. Serve with rice or noodles.

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Feta Cheese
  • 1 (9 ounce) packet linguine
  • ¾ cup sun-dried tomato halves
  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons almonds, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
Directions: Cook pasta as per packet directions. Reserve 1 cup of cooked pasta liquid. In a food processor or blender, combine tomatoes, basil, almonds, cheese, garlic, pepper and salt. Process till finely chopped. Mix tomato mixture and cooking liquid, stirring well. Add to pasta, toss well. Sprinkle feta over pasta.

The possibilities for the easiest things to cook seem endless. Whether you are a pasta aficionado or a make-me-a-sandwich kind of guy, there is a recipe for you. There are nearly 10 different types of grilled cheese sandwiches alone! So next time, do not accept any slurs on your cooking skills. Whip up any one of the above easiest things to cook, and even the most jaded palate will be begging for more!

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