5 Dishes That are Surprisingly Easy to Make at Home
|Flickr user palindrome6996|
|Everything you need to be sucessful|
Yes, I know I went on a big stink about what kind of food people shouldn't make at home. That's not because I hate cooking; that was because some dishes are just bad ideas, whether due to difficulty of technique, time commitment or cost. Plenty of things are really easy to make at home, some of which end up tastier and more economical than at restaurants.
So, fire up your range, 'cause it's a lot easier to do than dealing with an annoying hipster waiter.
|Bread, meat and cheese. Could there be anything better?|
I have never, ever been truly impressed with a burger that I've eaten at a restaurant. It didn't matter how many culinary buzz words there were, how much beer the cow drank or how much cheese was injected into the meat; they're almost always built badly (buns breaking apart from the moisture of the food), uncreative (how many more time do I have to read the words "teriyaki" and "pineapple" next to each other) and, worst of all, much more expensive than they need to be.
They even commit the cardinal sin of food: they tend to become really hard to eat. If I wanted my hands covered in food juice and bits of bread, I could have just fed my baby cousin.
Good thing that, despite how hard fries are to make well, burgers are easy. All you need is good meat (be friendly with your butcher), good bread (potato rolls are perfect) and good taste (I can't help you with this one). Make sure you protect the carbs with a layer of hydrophobic fat like mayonnaise and you're already bounds ahead of most restaurants.
|Flickr user Rainydayknitter|
|Can you tell which are store bought and which are homemade? I can't.|
Three important ingredients make pizza. Literally, only three ingredients. If you can get the crust, sauce and cheese down, there's no reason you should be scared.
The crust is as simple as breads can get: combine water, yeast, salt and oil. Wait a little bit. Punch at it until you're done. You don't even lose much if you're lazy and use store-bought raw dough. The real key to getting the perfect crispy crust is heat transfer. If you don't have a bougie pizza stone, a cast iron pan will work just as well.
Cheese is cheese. You get that shit from the store.
The sauce ends up being the hardest part and all it really is is tomato, onion, garlic and some spices stewed together for a bit.
|Flickr user jasonlam|
|There is no caption that will add to this picture|
This should not have to be a section. Steaks are really easy. You take a cut of meat, add salt and pepper and then put it under some super-high heat. Period.
You want to be fancy? Make some herb butter on it. Melt some butter, chop some garlic and basil, combine, stick it in the fridge.
|Flickr user Dan Zen|
I hate pancakes. They're dry, they're boring tasting and they're super-filing, taking up space where things that actually taste good can go.
Luckily crepes--its skinnier, more attractive European cousin--are just as easy to make. Don't be intimidated by the fancy crepe pans and spatulas you see at malls; they are mostly for show. All you need to do is mix some flour, water, milk, eggs and butter in a bowl and then pour a little bit of it in a non-stick pan. In a fraction of the amount of time that it would have taken to make a fat American stack of pancakes, you can have a dozen crepes ready to pair with your favorite sweet things.
1. Ice Cream
|Flicker user joyosity|
|Can't find Nutella Ice Cream? Make it.|
Okay, Ice cream might seem a little scary but don't worry: it's science. If you can do science, you can do ice cream.
You want to get a liquid (the ice cream mix) to a solid without forming any ice crystals. You can do this one of two ways. The boring, normal way: buying a machine that's going to clutter up your counter space and take more time than just going out to the store and buying a quart. Or, the exciting way.
Hands down my favorite way to make ice cream, and probably the quickest and simplest, is to get a block of dry ice from the grocery store, smash it into dust with something blunt (please don't use your hand) and rapidly stirring the dust into the ice cream mix. It'll bubble for a few moments but you'll end up with whatever flavor ice cream you want, carbonated and in less time than it takes to dig up the permafrost that is the last layer of ice cream in the carton.