Elise's Simply Recipes

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A family cooking and food blog with hundreds of healthy, whole-food recipes for the home cook. Photographs, easy-to-follow instructions, and reader comments.
Updated: 2 hours 9 min ago

Pressure Cooker Beef Brisket

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 16:30

My family has always cooked our Passover brisket in the oven, low and slow. It’s delicious, but takes over three hours to make! This year, I wanted to see if I could speed up the process using a pressure cooker.

And you know what? You can.

Using a pressure cooker, you can make tender, deeply flavorful brisket with a thick, rich gravy in about half the time!

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Chicken Biryani

Sat, 03/25/2017 - 16:30

Biryani is a beautiful, simple South Asian rice pilaf that’s easy to make at home. It’s typically served at celebrations in India, and my Indian friends here in the United States talk about this dish with such nostalgia.

You can make it with all kinds of meats (like goat or seafood!) or just vegetables. The rice is often golden with turmeric and studded with raisins and nuts.

Biryani can also be a fantastic weeknight meal since it’s made all in one pot and is ready in under an hour. Today, I’m sharing my version of biryani with chicken.

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Scallion Pancakes

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 16:30

One of my favorite dishes to order at a dim sum Chinese restaurant is scallion pancakes. These thin, round pancakes are crispy out the outside and chewy on the inside.

Until I started making them about a year ago, I didn’t realize how easy they were to cook at home!

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Steak Salad with Miso Vinaigrette

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 16:30

I come from California, the land of salad for dinner. You can’t ask for a much simpler homemade meal (I mean, unless cereal counts).

With this easy and delicious steak salad, pan-seared skirt steak sits atop a bed of spring greens, carrots, radishes, and apples. The miso vinaigrette- tangy, sweet, substantial, and full of umami, provides another layer of wow.

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Soba Noodle Bowls with Spinach and Poached Eggs

Sat, 03/18/2017 - 16:30

Is it spring yet?!

Where I live in the Northeast, the sun says it’s spring but the temperature outside says it’s anything but. We could still have a major snowstorm as late as April!

This noodle bowl is perfect for this in-between time. Poached eggs add a satisfying richness to the meal. They are also symbol of renewal, and right about now, I’m ready for one.

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Spinach Risotto

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 16:41

When spring finally makes an appearance around here, it does so with an explosion of green. Trees that have stood gloomily bare for months begin to leaf out all at once, beckoning us to wake up(!) and get ready for the warmer days to come.

Thus the inspiration for this lovely green spinach risotto.

It’s a simple risotto—made in the classic way with risotto rice, stock, wine, and Parmesan—with the addition at the end of a half pound of chopped baby spinach with a little lemon zest and juice to brighten the flavors.

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Roasted Cabbage with Bacon Gremolata

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 16:30

Cabbage doubters, prepare to be seduced.

Here we have thick slices of cabbage roasted until the edges are crispy and golden, and then served with a crunchy, salty, nutty, bacon-y gremolata scattered over top. Plus Parmesan cheese. Helloooo, gorgeous.

This recipe comes from a new cookbook from my friend Andrea Bemis, the farmer and co-owner of Tumbleweed Farm up in Oregon. She lives and breathes vegetables every day, so if anyone knows how to give veggies some serious curb-appeal, it’s her.

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Irish Beef Stew

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 13:48

Americans have a curious way of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. We pinch each other if we forget to wear something green, we make green foods regardless if they have anything to do with Ireland, and we adapt traditional Irish recipes to our own taste.

The last is the case with this Irish beef stew. As any Irish person will tell you, lamb is the preferred meat for a good Irish stew. But here in the states we eat a lot more beef than lamb, so when we want to make a stew to celebrate all things Irish, it’s usually done with beef.

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Brown Sugar Irish Coffee

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 16:30

Irish coffee is an exercise in simplicity. Too much fuss and it loses its character.

You want a strong punch of coffee, a lingering warmth from the Irish whiskey, a touch of sweetness, and some cream to bring it all together.

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Quick & Easy Hamburger Soup

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 16:30

No matter what season, the chances are soup is a good answer to “what’s for dinner?”

It may be the answer on a cold and chilly day, or just when you have no other ideas for dinner and need something fast. Soup is warm, comforting and always delicious.

This hamburger soup is a quick meal when you need it, but that tastes like it has been tucked away on the stove for hours,

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Corned Beef and Cabbage

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 12:38

Once a year, come mid-March, we Americans enjoy the best excuse ever to make corned beef and cabbage, St. Patrick’s Day!

Never mind that the dish isn’t really eaten in Ireland, or at least not with the enthusiasm for it that you’ll find here. We’ll celebrate the day the way we like, and raise a toast with a pint of Guinness as well.

The traditional way to prepare corned beef and cabbage is to boil it, both the beef and the cabbage.

Several years ago my friend Suzanne introduced me to her favorite way of making the corned beef—speckled with cloves, slathered in honey mustard and baked, served alongside sautéed cabbage.

One day we cooked the dish both ways, boiled and baked. The winner?

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Irish Brown Bread

Sat, 03/11/2017 - 17:30

My grandfather was born and raised in Ireland. Although he died before I was born, his Irish roots ran deep in our family. My father and uncles made regular trips to the old country to visit relatives and returned with plenty of amusing stories to tell.

In time, I made several journeys back to Ireland myself and developed a decided kinship to the land of my forefathers. Like every traveller, I was introduced to the full Irish breakfast accompanied by slices of brown bread slathered in thick slabs of butter.

I aspired to master the art of the Irish loaf, and this year for St. Patrick’s day, I’d like to share the results with you!

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Quinoa, Arugula, and Feta Salad

Wed, 03/08/2017 - 17:30

Have you ever seen siblings who are almost identical but have different hair color? That’s what red and white quinoa are like!

The two are nearly identical in terms of flavor and texture — I think red quinoa is every so slightly chewier and nuttier — but one is pale and the other is a distinctive red brick color.

I like using red quinoa because it’s so striking, particularly tossed in a salad with baby arugula and creamy cubes of feta.

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Fish Chowder

Tue, 03/07/2017 - 20:38

My first job out of college was in Boston, in the financial district downtown. My local friends did their best to initiate this wide-eyed Californian into New England traditions of every sort, especially food.

We feasted on as many menu items as we could afford at the Union Oyster House and the No Name Restaurant, and $5/lb lobsters I would buy from the Italian fish monger across the street from where I lived in the North End.

One dish I could never get enough of was “chowdah”. Clam chowder, fish chowder, seafood chowder, whatever, I loved it.

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Chicken Noodle Casserole

Tue, 03/07/2017 - 17:30

It’s hard to find a dish more reminiscent of childhood for me than a good, creamy chicken noodle casserole.

With winter weather still in full effect for much of the country, it’s time to bring this classic back into our kitchens again.

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How to Make Quick and Easy Poached Chicken

Mon, 03/06/2017 - 17:30

I have a lot of recipes in my regular rotation that use just a small amount of shredded or sliced cooked chicken, like my go-to lunch salad, these BBQ burrito bowls, and any number of quick weeknight soups.

If I have some leftover chicken in the fridge, I use that for these easy meals. Otherwise, I use this poaching method to quickly cook a few chicken breasts when I need them!

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Yellow Split Pea Soup

Sat, 03/04/2017 - 17:30

As winter soups go, split pea is definitely in the stick-to-your-ribs category.

Recently, I discovered that green split peas also come in a yellow variety. Simmer these along with a handful of Indian spices, and you have a bright, filling vegetarian supper.

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Kale Pesto

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 22:27

Move over basil, kale would like some room at the pesto table!

I recently needed some pesto for a recipe and thought I would pick some up ready made at the market. Oops! I forgot, basil is a warm weather plant, and it and its pesto are hard to find around here in winter.

No problemo. It’s easy enough to make pesto from scratch with kale. Like its basil pesto cousin, kale pesto is terrific with pasta, potatoes, sandwiches, and with any and everything which calls for pesto.

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Pasta with Turkey Meatballs and Roasted Vegetables

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 17:30

This pasta dinner comes together fast!

Meatballs and vegetables roast together in the oven while pasta boils on the stove, then everything gets tossed with some olive oil, lemon juice, and a handful of parsley.

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Make-Ahead Alfredo Sauce

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 17:30

Here’s a nifty meal helper for when you have a busy week coming up: make-ahead alfredo sauce!

The sauce can be made in about 10 minutes and then stashed in the fridge until you need it. Reheat and toss with pasta, veggies, or anything that could use a little saucy, cheesy assistance to make it delicious.

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