This is a pretty simple and straightforward entry. But here are my picks for tools that any cook should own and that which will make all your meals easier and better prepared. I’d consider them the first step to leveling up your cooking beyond boxed meals.
A probe thermometer.
This you can use to precisely manage temperatures of things in the oven. When cooking a steak in the oven you can make sure it comes out exactly when it’s ready.
A digital scale
Digital/Analog. Whatever. Just having a scale allows you to more precisely manage your ingredients and your food. The minimal amount of math required to manage flavor is made easier with the metric system.
An immersion blender
Finally. You can whip together the ideal scrambled eggs. That homemade dressing will never stop being a colloid.
An infrared thermometer
There’s nothing more annoying than putting an egg in a pan and realizing the pan isn’t hot enough. Now you have to wait and your perfect yolk is not to be. This stops that. This allows you to take easy spot temperatures. This doubles as a toy for the cat.
These chicken enchiladas are something that my mother has made for years and I’ve only slightly changed to align with my adult tastes. But they are easy enough and tame enough that even the most picky eaters will be pleased with your effort and you’ll not break a sweat.
Here’s what you’ll need:
A large casserole dish (8″ x 12″-ish)
A skillet and butter
1 package of at least ten ‘burrito’ sized tortillas
1 10oz. can of chicken breast
1 10.5oz. can of cream of chicken soup
18oz sour cream
1 7oz. can of green diced green chiles (get the smaller can if your brood is ultra sensitive to the slightest spice)
This is a dish that my family has been making for a while as the breakfast for christmas morning. It’s an easy enough dish to do when you need it or, as I like, to do the night before then bake the next morning. Whichever you prefer I promise you that this is dish which will make everyone happy. It serves 8-10 and is hearty enough that you shouldn’t need more than a cup of coffee to rip through the gifts under the tree after.
Enough Dr. Pepper to cover them (2 Liters should be good)
1/4 C. Salt
1/2 C. & 1 t. Chili powder (May need more depending on the amount of spareribs.)
1 T. Oil (Vegetable, Canola, Peanut, etc.)
1/2 C. Sweet Onion (Finely Chopped)
5 Garlic Cloves (Minced)
1/2 C. Ketchup
1/4 C. Molasses
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. Apple Cider Vinegar
To start out put your spareribs in the baking dish you have. Then add the salt and pour Dr. Pepper in until you’ve covered the ribs. Don’t worry about being to precise about covering them because it is likely that they will float. Just ensure that the Dr. Pepper is at a level higher than they were before you started pouring and that you have at least 1/2 C. left for the sauce. Then, cover, and place in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours. I would suggest overnight though.