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lilgiraffe's avatar

Are there any dishes/desserts you know that seem complicated but are actually very simple to make?

Asked by lilgiraffe (283 points ) July 17th, 2009

I found that out about tiramisu when a friend showed me how it’s done. It’s my fall-back dessert to make for parties as I don’t find it a hassle at all!

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21 Answers

lefteh's avatar

Chicken chilaquiles. I just made them today for the first time. Very simple, very delicious.
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chicken-Chilaquiles-4/Detail.aspx

Lupin's avatar

Chocolate truffles. You make different flavors by adding mint extract for peppermint flavor, or almond extract for cherry. Experiment. Roll a few in crushed nuts, some in cocoa, and some in white 10x sugar. It is easy and looks very impressive. 80 calories per truffle.
And if you make them with a friend you can have fun cleaning up the chocolate.

Thammuz's avatar

@Lupin And if you make them with a friend you can have fun cleaning up the chocolate.

And now i have a boner imagining two naked girls playing with chocolate. Thanks.

Deepness's avatar

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. So easy. So yummy in my tummy.

Lupin's avatar

@Thammuz When done correctly the chocolate is semi-solid at room temp and a melty-soft at body temp. How you and your friend clean up is entirely up to you.
It can even be the best part of the process.

janbb's avatar

@lilgiraffe My friend makes tiramisu and it’s very complicated . How do you make it that’s easy.

One easy one for me is hot and sour soup. You make the soup and then add vinegar for sour and peeper for the hot!

lilgiraffe's avatar

@janbb Kay, it’s done this way –
Beat 3 egg yolks and 3 egg whites in two separate bowls till the yolks take a whitish tinge and the whites are peaked (like froth, and will not fall out if the bowl is turned upside down).
Then mix 250g of marscapone cheese into the egg yolk.
Add sugar to egg yolk mixture to taste.
Following that, gently fold in egg white froth into the egg yolk mixture (a few spoonfuls at a time). Make sure it’s well-mixed, but gently done.

Separately, make some espresso coffee and dilute slightly with water. Add a bit of rum if preferred.
Dip in some boudoirs (sponge fingers) in the expresso mixture and use to line the bottom of the serving bowl.

Alternate the egg mixture in layers with the espresso-soaked boudoirs.
Topmost layer should be the last of the egg mixture.
Make 4–6 layers.

Put in fridge and allow to chill for a couple of hours.
Dust with cocoa powder before serving (if you put the cocoa powder on immediately after layering it gets soggy when it’s time to serve).

Enjoy! :)

janbb's avatar

Thanks!

MissAusten's avatar

Homemade ice cream, especially uncommon flavors like cinnamon or brown sugar. Even custard-based ice creams, which involve some cooking, are pretty simple. When I pull out the homemade ice cream, people are so impressed as if I had to slave over it. They don’t seem to realize it only takes a little while to mix up and freeze in the ice cream maker. :)

Blondesjon's avatar

Drunken spaghetti:

Brown a pund of ground beef with some minced chilis and garlic. Add a can of diced tomatoes, 3 Tbsp. Soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire, 1 Tbsp. Sugar, 1 half a can of beer, a splash of both vinegar and lime juice, and pinch of salt.

Reduce it halfway and stir in some fresh basil. Toss it with spaghetti noodles.

It will kick a hangover’s ass.

lilgiraffe's avatar

@MissAusten Sounds yummy! How do you start to make the ice-cream though? With ready-mix of from scratch (if so, with what exactly)?

EmpressPixie's avatar

Biscotti.
Apple Strudel—I made this the other night for the first time and it was ridiculously easy and delicious.
Flavored butters—we did this at Thanksgiving mostly for fun and to spice things up, but Qingu’s family had a total blast with it.
Cake from scratch. So much better than from a box and basically just as easy.
Cream puffs or anything that requires that kind of puff pastry. Easy, easy, easy.

lillylithium's avatar

Minestrone soup. It’s incredibly easy, quick, and cheap. It has recently become my favorite dish to make when I have company coming over. It tastes like it took all day, but really you just dump a bunch of cans into a pot and heat. You need equal parts beef broth and canned diced tomatoes (in juice), one can of garbanzo beans, one can of cannelini beans (white kidney beans), ground beef (usually about a pound, browned and drained), and pasta or noodles you like (cooked and drained in a separate pot), and for a little extra flavor, frozen mirepoix (diced onion, carrot and celery, it’s sold as a “starter” in the frozen veggie section). I cook the frozen mirepoix in with the ground beef as I’m browning it, then drain the beef, open all the cans, and dump the contents into the pot. I usually drain the beans, but everything else goes in as is. While that’s heating up, I cook and drain the pasta, add that into the pot as well, and it’s ready. I also add garlic powder, onion powder, basil and parsley for flavor while the soup is heating. I know the instructions look long, but it really is simple and requires very little prep work. I’m just a wordy person, so this may look a bit imposing.

christine215's avatar

My Italian roast pork sandwiches… http://www.recipezaar.com/Tony-Lukes-Italian-Roast-Pork-Sandwich-The-Real-Deal-109581
Throw the pork and seasonings into a crock pot on low before you go to work and when you come home finish with the broccoli rabe’
I highly recommend you try it!

hannahsugs's avatar

@lilgiraffe: I don’t know how MissAusten makes ice cream, but I’ve never heard of anyone doing it from a mix. You basically just take cream, milk, sugar, and whatever flavorings you want, and mix them up in an ice cream maker. Custard-based ice creams have egg yolk in them, and need to be cooked, then chilled before freezing.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Peach Cobbler (or any fruit cobbler, really)

1 lg. can of peaches
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter

Pour the peaches in a 9×13 casserole, juice and all. Pour the dry cake mix on top. Dot with chunks of butter all over the top. Bake at 350 about 30 min. or until bubbly. SO delicious and crispy crust. And so easy. Serve w/ vanilla ice cream!!

Supacase's avatar

@BBSDTfamily That is what I call dump cake – it is delicious. Mine would have to be these decadent chocolate peanut clusters that I make for Christmas, the dressing I make for Thanksgiving, and a strawberry angel food cake.

MissAusten's avatar

@lilgiraffe, I don’t think there’s a mix for ice cream. The ingredients are so simple for a basic recipe. You whisk together 1 cup very cold whole milk and ¾ cup sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in 2 cups of well-chilled heavy cream and 1–2 tsp of vanilla extract. Then freeze it according to the directions with your ice cream maker (usually takes about 25 to 30 minutes). At that point, it will seem like soft serve ice cream. If you prefer a hard ice cream, just put it into the freezer to cure for a couple of hours.

To make premium ice cream, you combine 1½ cups whole milk and 1½ cup heavy cream in a saucepan. Heat to a slow boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine 2 large eggs, 3 large egg yolks, and ¾ cup sugar in another bowl, beating until thick and smooth. Pour 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. When completely combined, slowly pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the hot cream and stir to combine. Cook over medium low heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat, stir in 1–2 tsp vanilla extract, and transfer into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on top of the custard (which is what you’ve just made), and chill completely. Once it’s chilled, freeze it in your ice cream maker. This kind of ice cream is richer, smoother, and creamier than the basic recipe above.

My ice cream maker (made by Cuisinart) came with several recipes. There are also entire cookbooks just for ice cream. It’s been a while since I’ve made some, and now I have a hankering for it. Time to go to the store…

snurf's avatar

Snurfs Cinnamon Pecan Monkey Bread

Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped pecans
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 pkgs. (10 biscuits each) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup butter, melted
2 Tblsp. cold butter cut into small cubes

Directions:

1. Spray a 10-inch tube pan thoroughly with Baker’s Joy.
2. Mix white sugar & cinnamon in a bowl. Sprinkle 3 Tblsp. of it evenly over bottom of pan.
3. Sprinkle butter cubes evenly in bottom of pan atop sugar.
4. Sprinkle ¼ C. pecans evenly over bottom of pan next.
5. Cut biscuits into quarters. Roll each biscuit piece in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and place in prepared pan in layers – each layer followed by a sprinkling of pecans – until all biscuit pieces & pecans are used and pan is full.
6. In a small bowl stir together brown sugar and melted butter; pour over top layer of biscuits.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until dark golden brown and top springs back when gently touched. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.

Invert onto a serving plate. Serve warm.

VARIATION:
Substitute pecans with dry-frozen blueberries! Skip putting butter cubes, sugar & pecans in bottom of pan. Just layer sugared biscuits with frozen berries & finish with melted butter mixture.

Excellent for breakfast, brunch or dessert.

snurf's avatar

Snurf’s Lemon Baked Fish Filet

Preheat oven to 400f, serves 1

1 large Tilapia filet
1 large lemon
1 tblsp. olive oil
salt
finely ground green peppercorns

1. Slice half the lemon VERY thinly & set aside (4–5 paper-thin slices)
2. In a cup, combine juice of half a lemon, olive oil, and a pinch each of salt & pepper.
3. Liberally coat filet with mixture & place on baking pan. Pour any remaining mixture on top & cover filet w/lemon slices.
4. Bake until fish is done & flakey (time varies w/weight of filet)

snurf's avatar

Snurf’s Fresh Green Bean & Corn Salad

Serves 4–6 adults.

Dressing:
⅓ C. Malt Vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
½ C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon clover honey
¼ C. chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Put all dressing ingredients into a blender and blend thoroughly. Pour into a large bowl & set aside while you prepare and assemble vegetables.

Vegetables:

2 lbs. fresh green beans (not pole or string beans), rinsed & cut into 2 inch pieces
4 pieces thick cut hickory smoked bacon, cut into 1” pieces
5 ears fresh yellow corn, cut kernels from cob
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 medium Bermuda onion, sliced thinly (shaved)

1. In a large stewpot, on medium-high heat, cook bacon pieces until crispy. Remove bacon & drain on paper towels. Leave bacon drippings in pan.
2. Add beans to pan, immediately cover with water (barely), raise heat & bring to a boil uncovered. Cook 5 minutes then add corn and cook 2 more minutes.
3. Drain beans & corn in collander and immediately add hot beans & corn to dressing bowl & toss to coat completely. Refrigerate 20 minutes to cool beans & corn.
4. Add all other vegetables to salad and toss to coat in dressing. Cover and return to fridge for 2 hours.
5. Transfer to a serving dish, crumble bacon on top, and serve.

NOTE: Great left-over & stuffed into heirloom tomatoes.

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