Radically Simple Cooking: Chic Suppers on the Cheap

Create restaurant-worthy meals from everyday ingredients. By Rozanne Gold
Rozanne Gold

Anyone can make delicious recipes using costly, rarefied ingredients. But my greatest inspiration comes from transforming humble foods into enticing meals. Using a bit of ingenuity, I created these budget-friendly dishes, each with an unexpected "grace note" that makes the recipe feel celebratory despite the no-frills approach and simple preparation.

Roasted Cauliflower Fettuccine is a great example of a simple recipe transcending the sum of its parts. Commonplace cauliflower is roasted into addictive nuggets, while a touch of garlic and sunny citrus tie the flavors together. Good Parmigiano-Reggiano is expensive, but just a couple ounces make a big flavor statement. Serve with a romaine salad with cherry tomatoes.

Simple chicken and rice get an Asian transformation with soy, scallions, rice wine, and healthy faux-fried rice, enhanced with the last of summer's fresh corn and a profusion of fragrant basil. Chicken thighs are less expensive and more flavorful than breast meat, so they anchor the dish. A bowl of miso soup would make a delicious beginning to this late-summer meal.

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