Top 5 Things to Make With Your Eyes Closed

posted in: Ruminations | 6

If you see me on the street, folks, turn around and walk the other way. I’ve been a germ-ridden monster these past couple days, armed and ready to pass on the flu like a hackeysack. But oh, have I been making myself some good eats to treat sorry self.

It all began with a bottle of love; not wine, but Newman’s Own Sockarooni pasta sauce. Everyone has a favorite jarred pasta sauce, even if you usually prefer making your own sauces like me. Identical in taste and texture throughout the years despite who knows what harvests, production changes and nutritional fads have stepped in, it reminds me of the days when I couldn’t pronounce its name. So after a few nights of eating low-key like this, I moved on to other simple, soothing main courses that I can always rely on being able to make with my eyes closed. Of course, eating fresh fruit and veggies are a must for getting back into health. But along with them, a few more satisfying, savory solutions:

1. Chicken Rice Soup

I love transforming a cold pot of tap water into a savory, aromatic brew by throwing in chicken pieces, a halved onion, carrot and celery stick and letting it do its thing. Lately I’ve learned that when you use only drumsticks, it’s much easier to discard the bones, and you only need about five or six of them for a nice big roiling pot of broth. Rice goes in, 20 minutes later soup’s on.

2. Roast Chicken

You can say all you want about the latest stuffings and getting all that butter and fresh herbs lodged underneath the bird’s skin, neck, cavity or anywhere there’s a spare crevice, but roast chicken will always taste pretty much as just that — which isn’t a bad thing. A delight also if you like to eat and pluck at things with your fingers. Sometimes if I need more flavor, I might dip the chicken in a little soy sauce and vinegar — and I suppose melted butter and herbs can be used as a dipping sauce at the eating stage as well.

3. Black Bean Soup

1 can of black beans, 1 can of water, a little onion and garlic, maybe, dash of cumin, a little bit of mashing down the beans, and a classic, hearty soup is had.

4. Spaghetti with your favorite sauce

Even if it’s absolutely got to be imported, canned plum tomatoes simmered for hours, I’m hard pressed to think of anything easier and more satisfying than pasta and sauce. Period.

5. Beer-Braised Pot Roast

This was something I made recently that really seemed too easy to be true. Few ingredients, a couple of hours, and a French masterpiece can be won. Check out the recipe.

What are some of your favorite mindless recipes?

6 Responses

  1. Deborah Dowd

    When I have a cold, I love something like French Onion Soup, or my Make Your Own Chicken- Chipotle soup. These is nothing like soup to ward off sickness!

  2. Nancy

    Ginger & Scallion rice – take that hard block of leftover white rice that you’ve got in the refrigerator and throw it in a bowl with some minced up ginger and scallion. Zap in the microwave covered for 2 minutes while you fry up an over-easy egg and plop on top w/ a little squirt of sriracha sauce over all. The rice is steamed and fragrant and the yolk from the egg coats your first bites awesomely!

  3. slo

    posole in the slow cooker – pork+hominy+onion+oregano+stock=love

  4. Lou

    Linguine with clam sauce: olive oil, garlic, bread crumbs, canned (gasp) clams with thier liquid.

  5. matt

    tempeh chili. Enter the slow cooker. Tempeh, one can diced tomato, one large onion, one large can of kidney beans. cumin, cayenne, oregano, chili powder.

    Pasta with sardines. Pan fry bread crumbs with butter, basil, red pepper, and sardines. toss with pasta.

  6. cathy

    Wow, these all sound really great! Nancy, that sounds like an awesome spiced-up version of plain soupy rice and egg I sometimes eat, I should really try that next time. And posole? That’s one thing I’ve been dying to make… Thanks all!

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