Need to meet the in-laws for dinner in Manhattan. They're on the cheap side (but insist on paying) and not very adventurous in terms of cuisine. Is there somewhere I can take them that that a chowhound might actually enjoy?
You don’t have to nix happy hour to stay on track with your healthy lifestyle. Enjoy a Watermelon Margarita, a Michelada, or a Vera Kollans with zero guilt. You’ll love how easy these are to make and how delicious they are to drink.
Best Chicken Quesadilla
Crunchy, gooey, and crazy delicious, these chicken and cheese quesadillas are super simple to make, and even easier to eat. Before you start, prep some pico de gallo (or whatever kind of salsa you like) and guacamole for topping, and don't forget the sour cream.
Easy Rice Pudding
A simple and supremely satisfying dessert, rice pudding is pure comfort in a bowl. It's easy to get there too! Just simmer white rice with whole milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt until the grains are tender, plump, and creamy, then stir in a little vanilla or almond extract while the pudding's still warm. Top however you like (fresh berries in season, dried fruit, toasted nuts for a crunchy contrast, a sprinkle of cinnamon, etc.) -- you really can't go wrong.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Softened vegetables, including onions and bell peppers, amped up with spices like chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne, form the base of this tortilla soup. Chicken broth and tomatoes are added, along with soft corn tortillas that meld into the liquid to make a hearty, thick meal. Finally, shredded chicken is stirred in, and everything is garnished with crunchy tortilla strips, sour cream, shredded cheese, and scallions (avocados, pickled jalapeños, and cilantro would all work too).
Sweet And Sour Sauce
This comes together in about the time it takes to order takeout, and is miles more nuanced than your average Chinese restaurant's sweet and sour sauce. Ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, and rice or cider vinegar are boiled together with water (though pineapple juice makes for a tasty tropical twist), and thickened to the perfect dipping consistency with a little cornstarch slurry. Serve this with egg rolls, wontons, rangoons, and whatever other fried foods you want to perk up. Feel free to add some heat to the sauce with minced ginger, garlic, or chiles (or all three).
Quick Bites: Richard Blais
Check out restaurateur, Top Chef winner, and cookbook author Richard Blais's honest opinions on a variety of ingredients (like ramps, sea urchin, and bacon), see if you agree with where he sides on classic food debates like cake vs pie and milk vs dark chocolate, and find out which kitchen tool you can pick up for a lot cheaper at a pet store.