Some foods have a deserved amount of prestige associated with them. They are hard to make; or take time and special rare ingredients. And then there are some foods that are all hype. Everyone oohs and ahs over them, but in reality they are super easy to make. So, if you want to seem like a kitchen diva with none of the drama, try these five not-so-hard things.
1. Chicken Broth– Buying a whole chicken is a great deal. Per pound it’s usually much cheaper than buying breasts or some other part of the bird by itself. You can easily get three or more meals out of it- beginning with a roast dinner and ending with soups made from your very own broth! All you have to do is after dinner throw the picked over bird carcass (I’m not making this up. This is what the cookbook calls it.) in some water with onions, celery, carrots and spices. Two hours later you’ve got your very own broth to freeze in two cup portions to be used in your homemade soups.
2. Soufflé– I can remember as a child watching a rerun of the Brady Bunch in which Alice tries to keep the kids from making too much noise and causing her soufflé to fall. This impressed upon me at a young age that soufflés are hard and should only be attempted under perfect non-sitcom conditions. This seems to have been a popular idea, according to the website TV Tropes. So, when I made a blueberry soufflé the other day, I expected the worse. But it was super easy! No more difficult or precarious than making brownies or cake. So give it a try and impress your friends with a dessert with a fancy name!
3. Pizza Dough– I’ve already pretty extensively covered this topic in two blog posts (Pizza and Good-bye and It’s All About the Dough) but it bares another mention that pizza dough is very, very easy, particularly if you have a Kitchen Aid to do the mixing for you. No matter how good your local pizza place is, your homemade dough will be better. You can even impress your guests by telling them that you throw it in the air and spin it around like the professionals do.
4. Hummus– I have a really hard time bringing myself to buy hummus in the store. All it is is chickpeas, garlic, olive oil and tahinni and yet it’s quite pricey. If I used it just as a dainty dip rather than inhaling it, this might not be so much of a problem but I have control issues when it comes to chickpeas. Thankfully, hummus is really easy to make in a blender or food processor. I just use whatever recipe I have laying around and then adjust the amounts of ingredients to make the hummus exactly the consistency and taste I want. One good tip is to reserve the liquid from the canned chickpeas in case you need to thin the hummus a bit. This won’t water down the taste, but it will make it smoother.
5. Brownies– This is a new thing one for me. I was feeding a group a people and one of them had a soy allergy. The boxed brownie mix I had listed soy as one of the ingredients. So, I pulled out my trusty Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and made one of their brownie recipes. It took just a little time to melt some bakers chocolate and measure a few things into a bowl, but was not difficult or too tedious. The brownies came out great and people were very impressed by fact that you can make them without Betty Crocker.
I’ve spilled my secret easy as pie recipes with you. Now it’s your turn. What impressive culinary creations have you made that turned out super easy?