Five foolproof recipes to try even if you think you’re a professional in the kitchen

FFive recipes for beginners are below, and I think you should check them out even if you feel very comfortable in the kitchen. Who doesn’t love simple dishes and brilliant techniques at their fingertips?

Grilled salmon with mustard and lemon

In this easy salmon recipe, a quick pass on the grill transforms the smooth Dijon mustard into a savory caramelized crust, and a splash of fresh lemon juice adds just the right sheen and flavor to the rich, sweet fish. Covering the baking sheet with a protective layer of aluminum foil helps with cleanup, meaning you can have dinner prepped and washed in less than 30 minutes.

By: Melissa Clark

It serves: 2 servings

Total Time: 15 minutes


2 (170-225 g) salmon fillets with skin, each about 2½ cm thick

½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

lemon wedges, to serve


1. Place an oven rack 15 cm from the grill heat source, and then heat the grill. Season the salmon fillets with ½ teaspoon salt and a little ground pepper and place on a foil-lined baking sheet, skin side down.

2. In a small bowl, whisk oil and mustard until well blended. Brush the top and sides of the salmon with this mustard mixture.

3. Grill until salmon is opaque with a dark brown crust, about 6 to 8 minutes for medium doneness (centers of fillets will be dark pink if you pierce one with a paring knife). kitchen and take a look). If your fillets are thinner, reduce the cooking time to 1-2 minutes. If you prefer a more well-done fish, add 1 or 2 minutes to the cooking time.

4. Squeeze a lemon wedge over the cooked salmon fillets, then serve the salmon with more lemon wedges on the side.

vegetable tofu curry

A one pot vegetarian meal that comes together quickly and keeps for days.


This one pot vegetarian meal comes together quickly and leftovers keep for days. Creamy coconut milk is made up of fat and liquid from pressed coconut meat, and this recipe offers its full range of flavors. When you melt the solids out of a can of coconut milk and continue to cook until the liquid evaporates, the oil eventually separates and provides a nutty toast. Here, the onion, of any kind, softens in that tasty fat and the curry powder becomes more fragrant. The tofu soaks up the curry sauce while the vegetables steam over the mixture, then everything is mixed together. Experiment with whatever vegetables you have on hand, cooking them until tender.

By: Genevieve Ko

It serves: 2 to 4

Total Time: 20 minutes


2 heads of broccoli, 225g green beans or 280g frozen peas, or a combination

1 container (400-450g) firm tofu

1 can (380g) coconut milk

1 medium onion, chopped

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon curry powder, plus more to taste

Rice or other grains or cooked noodles, to serve

Hot sauce, for serving (optional)


1. If using broccoli, cut off the ends of the stems and discard, then cut off the stems near the base of the florets. Cut off the thick skin around the stems, then cut into 1½-cm slices. Cut the broccoli crowns into small florets. Drain the tofu and cut into 2½ cm cubes.

2. Open the can of coconut milk and scoop about an inch of the hard white solid into a large saucepan with a lid (if the milk is all runny, add a few tablespoons). Turn the heat to medium-high. When the solids melt, add the onion and broccoli stems, if using, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. The liquid in the coconut milk should have evaporated so the onions should be sizzling in coconut oil and the milk solids should be brown and smell toasty. Scrape up any bits that stick to the bottom.

3. Lower heat to medium-low, add curry powder and stir until evenly mixed, about 10 seconds. Add remaining coconut milk, stir and bring to a simmer. Add the tofu and spread the cubes into an even layer, then top with the broccoli florets or other greens, sprinkle with salt and cover with the lid. Cook until vegetables are tender but still bright green, 5 to 7 minutes.

4. Toss gently so that the vegetables are also covered with the sauce. Taste and add more curry powder, salt and pepper if you like. Serve hot over rice or other grains or noodles, with hot sauce if desired.

Tuna Mayonnaise Rice Bowl

Take canned tuna to richer, silkier heights in this homemade dish.


This homey dish takes comforting canned tuna to richer, silkier heights. The mayonnaise helps hold the tuna together and the toasted sesame oil gives it an incomparable nutty flavor. You can adjust the seasonings to your liking – use as much or as little soy sauce as you like for a savory twist. You can lean into the nutty flavor of this rice bowl by seeding the top with toasted sesame seeds, or amp up the flavor with furikake or scallions. A staple of home cooking in Hawaii and South Korea (where it’s sometimes called deopbap), this easy meal is a workday workhorse.

By: Eric Kim

It serves: 1 portion

Total Time: 5 minutes


1 can (140g) tuna (preferably any variety preserved in oil), well drained

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

½ teaspoon soy sauce

250g cooked white rice (preferably short or medium grain)

Toasted black or white sesame seeds, furikake, or chopped chives, for topping (optional)


1. In a small bowl, stir tuna, mayonnaise, sesame oil, and soy sauce to combine.

2. Add the white rice to a bowl and pour the tuna mixture on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, furikake, or spring onions, if using.

Quesadilla with crispy edges

This easy quesadilla has an unexpected twist


This easy quesadilla has an unexpected twist: a crisp, salty cheese rim that surrounds the tortilla. Achieving it couldn’t be easier; simply press down on the folded tortilla as it heats in the pan so the cheese pours out and browns. A non-stick pan is key here, otherwise the melted cheese will stick to the cooking surface. Medium heat is the right temperature for a quesadilla: it’s hot enough to crisp up the cheese, but low enough to keep it from burning.

By: Melissa Clark

Does: 1 quesadilla

Total Time: 10 minutes


2 teaspoons oil (such as olive, grapeseed, or sunflower oil)

1 (20cm) flour tortilla

80g grated cheese (such as cheddar or gouda)


1. Place a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, then add the oil. Let the oil heat for 20 seconds, rotating the pan so the oil covers the bottom.

2. Place tortilla in pan and sprinkle cheese evenly on top. Once the cheese begins to melt, 30 seconds to 1 minute, use a spatula to fold the tortilla in half. Using the spatula, press down firmly on top of the tortilla until some of the cheese spills into the pan. Let the quesadilla cook until the drained cheese solidifies and browns, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Flip the quesadilla over and cook on the other side for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until the cheese is crisp and golden. Slide the quesadilla onto a plate and serve immediately.

turkey chili

Canned onions and tomatoes provide an umami-rich flavor base for the blank canvas of turkey.


Instead of browning the meat first, which doesn’t do much for the lean turkey meat and can actually make it tougher, this recipe prioritizes cooking the vegetables first. Canned onions and tomatoes fried in olive oil provide an umami-rich base for the turkey’s blank canvas, and the canned chipotle pepper adobo sauce does much of the heavy lifting for this dish. Optional toppings like grated cheese and sour cream help cool down the spice. One of the best ways to enjoy this simple yet powerful chili is with fries topped with melted cheese or mixed with some cooked spaghetti. It’s also great on its own.

By: Eric Kim

It serves: 2 to 4

Total Time: 45 minutes


3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large white onion, diced

1 can (800g) whole peeled tomatoes


2 tablespoons chili powder

450 g of minced turkey meat

1 can (200g) of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

Shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, and whole cilantro leaves, for serving (optional)


1. In a large pot or saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until translucent and beginning to brown around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Use a fork to remove the tomatoes from the can and add them to the pot, leaving the juice for now. Season with salt and cook the tomatoes, breaking them up with the wooden spoon and stirring occasionally, until the jam and its liquid have reduced significantly, 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Add chili powder and cook until fragrant, just a few seconds. Add the turkey mince, season with salt, and stir to combine, breaking up the meat with the spoon (don’t worry about browning or cooking it here, as it will when it simmers). Add the reserved liquid from the tomato can.

4. Use the fork to fish as many chipotle peppers out of the can as you like, starting with two or three, and add to the pot, breaking them up with the wooden spoon, along with all of the marinade. The more peppers you use, the hotter your final chili will be; if you like spice, just add the whole can (store unused peppers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week and in the freezer for up to 2 months). Fill empty chipotle can with cold tap water, shake, and add to pot. Stir to combine.

5. Bring the chili to a simmer over medium-high heat (you should see occasional small bubbles breaking the surface of the mixture), then cover the pot and reduce the heat to continue simmering over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated. reduced and the tomatoes have broken, about 20 minutes. The chili should look thick and shiny, but not so thick that you can’t dump it into a bowl (if it’s too runny, then simmer uncovered for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally). Taste and add more salt if you like. Serve with cheese, sour cream, and cilantro, if using.

© The New York Times

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