Quick and Easy
There's definitely a place for multi-hour braises and slow-simmered soups, but sometimes you just need a quick and easy recipe to get dinner on the table. But fast doesn't have to mean skimping on flavor - sometimes it's just a matter of using time-cutting techniques and ingredients. (Simply buying meat and produce pre-cut will save you a huge chunk of time, for example.) There are hundreds of easy chicken recipes you can make in less than 30 minutes, as well as beef, pork, pasta, or whatever else your family likes. Making the most of tools like your microwave and slow cooker can also speed things up. Even if you've had a long day, it's worth a few minutes at the stove to avoid eating dinner out of a box, isn't it?
Soup for supper can be a weekday lifesaver. It's hot and delicious, not to mention quick. But the convenience of canned soup comes with a price in the form of added sodium that makes for a not-so-balanced meal. When you know how to make chicken soup at home, it's easier to control how much sodium goes into your supper. Plus fresh vegetables make for a more flavorful combination than you'll get from a can.
Sure, your friend's Italian-American grandmother knows how to make baked ziti, but why not gather a few tricks yourself? Ziti, a dish that's as beloved as spaghetti with meatballs, is poised to be your next Sunday supper.
As a country, we eat a lot of chicken, so most home cooks are always on the lookout for new ways to prepare it -- that's why you should learn how to make curried chicken. In this recipe, spices, dried fruit, vegetables, and garlic come together for a sweet and savory casserole that's nothing short of fantastic.
Discover how to cook zucchini, and you'll want to stock up on this versatile vegetable during the summer months when it's in abundance. (In fact, it's so easy to grow that you'll often find people giving it away in baskets and wagons in their front yard!)
If you want to know how to make sweet-potato pie as silky smooth and buttery rich as what comes out of a Southern cook's kitchen, this is the recipe for you. Evaporated milk gives it a velvety texture, and a hint of lemon and dash of nutmeg keep the pie from becoming cloyingly sweet.
Vegetable soup is a hearty and comforting way to help work in some of those recommended "five a day" servings of fruits and vegetables. It's light, delicious and a flavorful blend of the season's best harvest. Although the end result is a simmering pot of complex flavors, the process for how to make vegetable soup is surprisingly quick and simple.
Once you learn how to cook a honey-glazed ham in your own kitchen you'll find it's just as easy to make one at home as it is to make the trip to a specialty store for a pre-sliced ham with a packet of glaze. What's more, you'll find the homemade version is considerably less expensive.
In the 1950s, almost everyone's mother or grandmother knew how to make dumplings. Their popularity may have had to do with the way the feathery light, steamed or boiled dough balls helped to extend soups and stews. You could feed more people if you added dumplings to your stew, so they were common on American tables. Stretching your food dollars is still a good idea, but nowadays, dumplings are more likely to be enjoyed as the homey comfort food of a simpler time.
Knowing how to make chocolate pie from scratch is a dying art. Not many of us have the time and patience to cook custard to just the right consistency and painstakingly roll out pie crusts. This quick version of chocolate pie can be whipped up in the morning for the perfect dessert by dinnertime: Pudding mix and melted chocolate chips keep the process fast but maintain the deep, rich flavor of the traditional chocolate custard.
When you're more in the mood for surf than turf, the only thing standing between you and a delicious seafood dish is knowing how to boil shrimp. Boiling is a popular method for cooking shrimp because it's quick (just a few minutes), no-fuss, no-fat, and produces a firm-but-tender texture.
Sometimes the most comforting, satisfying meals happen to be the simplest to put together. Spaghetti and meatballs is a classic favorite for both children and grownups, and you don't even need a traditional Italian mamma to show you how to cook spaghetti. Certain variations of spaghetti and meatballs can be tricky, but if you stick to the basics--including prepared sauce and store-bought meatballs, this dish becomes practically foolproof.
Although one-pot meals have been around for decades, learning how to make broccoli casserole will provide you with one of the most familiar American versions to date.
If you're searching for a quick meal for hectic nights that doesn't taste like it came from a box or a drive-thru window, then you need to learn how to fry pork chops. True, frying pork chops doesn't sound quick and easy, but there are quite a few recipes that take less than an hour to prepare. Once you taste the results, you'll never be tempted to just stop for a burger on your way home again.
Cornbread connoisseurs have a long line of people to thank for making this quick bread a mainstay in American cooking. In fact, this staple of Southern and Southwestern cuisine may be one of the most truly American foods there is. Native Americans used corn, or "maize," in cooking all sorts of dishes--including cornbread--for thousands of years before colonists first set food in what we now know as the United States. Since cornbread is leavened with baking powder instead of yeast, it was easy for early settlers to master how to make cornbread even with limited resources. So, it's no wonder the dish caught on. Its unique flavor and texture have kept it a favorite over the years.
Italian sausage comes in countless varieties, including familiar types like pepperoni and salami; the kind of sausage most people refer to when they speak of how to cook Italian sausage is "sweet Italian," "spicy Italian" or "hot Italian" (the latter two are typically the same), and it's found in the pork section of the supermarket. Typically made with pork, peppers and Italian seasonings, Italian sausage is most commonly used in pasta dishes or as a topping for pizza, but it can be the centerpiece of many other dishes as well.