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What is your favorite "go-to recipe" for a quick meal when you are pressed for time or just don't feel like cooking?


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Early lock-down I over-ordered from a restaurant supply. Three cases of bones--beef and chicken/mixed.-- Necks, carcas, feets. Case of mixed greens. Big lobster pot outside on the deck for simmering stock. Twice. My freezer was empty. Filled up quick. I wanted a good broth if one of us needed to go into the guest room with symptoms. 5 pounds of ginger and 2lbs of turmeric and a case of lemons, 😂.

I had nothing else to do, 😜. Those two batches of broth were so good and full of flavor without much but fresh ginger, garlic, turmeric, and a bit of rice in the pints first so it would not over-cook. No greens. A tBsp of white miso to the cup at serving. Options if we felt ill.

Made so much soup for elderly neighbors. Went through a big back-log of RG beans quick. I hope a distant memory. 

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10 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

but not really an answer to the question posed.

...all made ahead by a month or two when I have the time. Always have cheeses, pate, some fruits, pickles, olives, --but that needs to be taken out, plated, sliced, yada. 

I do make a frittata every few weeks when I have crisper drawer tid-bits that need using ahead of a shopping trip. Quick-ish. Mandoline potato crust, on the stove-top head start, then dig for veg and cheeses I know I have...

Not sure why a quart from the freezer, into a pot in 30 seconds, does not fit the question posted. No effort, and I made it and know what is in it. Often one of our favorite meals as we do like a brothy healthy soup. One pot, two bowls. Easy clean-up. 

 

 

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Just now, Annie_H said:

Not sure why a quart from the freezer, into a pot in 30 seconds, does not fit the question posted. No effort, and I made it and know what is in it.

No effort at all in taking it out but the bulk of your reply was about all the cooking you do to get in INTO the freezer.  Now, I understand your answer is  “when I’m pressed for time or don’t feel like cooking, I grab a quart of deliciousness from my always-stocked freezer,” but what I read was mostly pretty lengthy cooking prep. 

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Angel hair pasta with caramelized shallots tossed in olive oil, red pepper flakes.  Brown in separate pan: panko with crushed garlic.  Top the cooked pasta with the panko, zest of lemon.    

 

We do a lot of last minute cold plates; usually have in fridge prosciutto, a few cheeses, assorted olives, mango chutney, Dijon.  If I plan ahead I will have fresh fruit and deviled eggs.  Serve with good crackers or sliced baguette (often have 1/2 baguettes in freezer).  

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7 minutes ago, Annie_H said:

Not sure why a quart from the freezer, into a pot in 30 seconds, does not fit the question posted. No effort, and I made it and know what is in it. Often one of our favorite meals as we do like a brothy healthy soup. One pot, two bowls. Easy clean-up. 

 

"Easy clean up" - ya hit the nail on the head for me. I think @rotuts has shared eating out  the pot/pan as he is dining alone. Soup with crisper leftovers works even if no freezer stock - Knorr Caldo de Pollo powder plus fish sauce and some egg noodles softened in it. Or if I have MW Kettle Corn - with slice of cheese and handful of cherry tomatoes (always present) Cooking is my creative therapy but sometimes life just jams up.

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14 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

but what I read was mostly pretty lengthy cooking prep. 

When I started this topic my intention was to pick your brains for quick meals that satisfy when you just don't feel like doing anything.

 

10 minutes ago, heidih said:

Cooking is my creative therapy but sometimes life just jams up.

I couldn't have said that better. Thank you. But at 83, some days I just feel like saying, call out for chicken. I have gotten some wonderful ideas from everyone here but I've got to say that standing on the back porch cooking up a pot of stock has not been one of them.

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24 minutes ago, Tropicalsenior said:

but I've got to say that standing on the back porch cooking up a pot of stock has not been one of them.

That was covid look-down. I've not done that previously or since. Once in the pot it has no tending. Just simmers all on its own. Such a big pot I did not want it on my stove top. Outside made sense at the time. I doubt I will ever have that many bones and chicken carcases ever again. Good grief. Why would I do that unless unusual circumstances come up. Covid early in NYC was stressful. We made the best of it and helped neighbors. 

A big stock in a pot does not need tending once in the pot. It simmers for hours. 

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1 hour ago, Tropicalsenior said:

. But at 83, some days I just feel like saying, call out for chicken. I have gotten some wonderful ideas from everyone here but I've got to say that standing on the back porch cooking up a pot of stock has not been one of them.

 

Call out for chicken!!

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Popcorn!

 

Or if I happen to have a ripe avocado in the fridge - make some quac and eat with corn chips.

 

 

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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5 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Popcorn!

 

Or if I happen to have a ripe avocado in the fridge - make some quac and eat with corn chips.

 

 

Absolutely.  And if you're feeling extravagant, popcorn with Campbell's tomato soup.    Feast!

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eGullet member #80.

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12 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Need to ask Tropic and JoNorvelle why they find tomato soup with a big bowl of warm popcorn confusing?    We often gild the popcorn lily with truffle salt.    This really is a lovely lunch or simple supper.

For me, it's not so much the combination as the Campbell's tomato soup. My mother fed us that when we were kids and I hated it. I can't even look at a can of Campbell's tomato soup without gagging. My favorite way to eat popcorn is homemade caramel corn. Not quick, but a big batch will last me a long time. At least a day and a half.

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A funny aside.   Newly married, husband was transferred from SF to Texas.   We lived several hours from his job.   He packed a big lunch.    His favorite snack/sweet was popcorn balls.   I sent two a day with him.   After a month or so, he started experiencing dental pain,    He went to the dentist who asked him his daily routine, including food.   Hearing about the popcorn balls, the dentist went ballistic.   "Well, of COURSE you're having pain.    Stop eating all those popcorn balls."    He stopped and so did his dental problem.

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1 hour ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Need to ask Tropic and JoNorvelle why they find tomato soup with a big bowl of warm popcorn confusing?    We often gild the popcorn lily with truffle salt.    This really is a lovely lunch or simple supper.

 

I should not disparage other people's culinary combinations.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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11 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Need to ask Tropic and JoNorvelle why they find tomato soup with a big bowl of warm popcorn confusing?

I was confused. I’m always up for a big bowl of popcorn. Just wasn’t sure how they are combined. 
Soup poured over a bowl of popcorn like milk on cereal?

A handful of soggy popcorn bobbing about in a bowl of soup?  
Popcorn topped with a smear of salty red Campbell's goo instead of butter?  

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15 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

I was confused. I’m always up for a big bowl of popcorn. Just wasn’t sure how they are combined. 
Soup poured over a bowl of popcorn like milk on cereal?

A handful of soggy popcorn bobbing about in a bowl of soup?  
Popcorn topped with a smear of salty red Campbell's goo instead of butter?  

Same as you might have a sandwich with soup.    Alternating bites.    Husband's discovery.    Works.

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 "Native Americans were eating popcorn when Europeans arrived here, and in New England, colonists ate popcorn with milk as a morning cereal." --from the 'history of popcorn' but I lost the link.

Popcorn soup is found most often now in South America but you might find it in a Peruvian restaurant where I first encountered it. A few garnished on a corn chowder to the table and a small bowl on the side. I like this recipe where some of the popcorn is used to thicken the soup. Sheet pan white cheddar and into the oven to toast the 'croutons'. Mine was pink and a bit spicy. popcorn soup recipe

 

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16 minutes ago, Annie_H said:

 "Native Americans were eating popcorn when Europeans arrived here, and in New England, colonists ate popcorn with milk as a morning cereal." --from the 'history of popcorn' but I lost the link.

Popcorn soup is found most often now in South America but you might find it in a Peruvian restaurant where I first encountered it. A few garnished on a corn chowder to the table and a small bowl on the side. I like this recipe where some of the popcorn is used to thicken the soup. Sheet pan white cheddar and into the oven to toast the 'croutons'. Mine was pink and a bit spicy. popcorn soup recipe

 

That story of popcorn just sounds a bit much to me. Here.  The recipe for popcorn soup sounds like full out cooking to me not something for the seriously hangry. But we are all different and we all have our own idea of what we mean by “a quick meal”. (Full disclosure – – there are few things I hate more than popcorn.)

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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If I am truly looking at something to eat that included no prior prep whatsoever, that is ready to eat in mere minutes, it's tuna. So many better quality canned fish products are readily available, I like tuna over Trader Joe's white beans in tomato sauce. Tuna mixed with diced avocado and tomato served with Wasa. Otherwise it's leftover bits 'n bobs I've saved in the fridge or freezer for the express purpose of making some kind of grain bowl. I specifically cook 4 servings for our 2-person household to allow for freezer stock. As far as popcorn, before I had multiple crowns, popcorn sprinkled with parmesan and washed down with V-8 juice was sometimes a meal.

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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11 minutes ago, BeeZee said:

 popcorn sprinkled with parmesan and washed down with V-8 juice was sometimes a meal.

During my dieting teens a treat lunch was V-8 amped up with Tabasco - warm from a thermos, and a baggie of popcorn to munch alongside sips. (school lunch but good anytime)

Anyone familiar with the Laura Ingalls Wilder books will recall popcorn as a family treat  out on that lonely prairie - Probably learned from the Indigenous people.

http://www.pioneergirl.com/blog/archives/7230

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I think one of the problems of being hangry is that your brain shuts down. You may have a pantry full of tasty snacks and a  refrigerator  full of lovely leftovers but you cannot possibly conceive of how any of this could make a meal. What I’m saying is you really need to keep a list of your answers to a quick meal. Keep it on the fridge or tacked to the inside of a cabinet door. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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