The "Lazy" Comfort Food Chrissy Teigen Makes When She Doesn't Have Time to Cook
Two and a half years after Chrissy Teigen's first cookbook, Cravings, hit shelves, the model, television personality, mum, and food genius is finally sharing more delectable recipes, from nostalgic favourites like shake-and-bake chicken to updated versions of her mum's classic Thai dishes, in her second cookbook, Cravings: Hungry for More.
Although there are a lot of delicious recipes in Teigen's new collection (including the infamous Twitter banana bread), we're partial to her "lazy" comfort food recipes—the quick-and-easy recipes that encourage cutting corners (like crumbling Cool Ranch Doritos over a taco salad for added crunch) and only require 20 minutes of active time (at the most).
Ahead, we're sharing three "lazy" comfort food recipes straight from the pages of Chrissy Teigen's new cookbook, including a jalapeño parmesan-crusted grilled cheese guaranteed to make your mouth water.
Cool Ranch Taco Salad
"Have I ever told you about the time Taco Bell invited me to their headquarters for a Taco Bell Friendsgiving? I'd never seen anything like it. They had the head chef, who develops all their menu items (yes, he is a real chef, assholes), give all the Thanksgiving trimmings a Taco Bell spin. I laughed at how gross this sounded but … oh, how I was wrong. After the epic dinner, they showed us all the secret items they were testing and I was lucky enough to try, and fall in love with, the Doritos Locos Taco.
"I had dreams of finding out what the hell is in the seasoning for Cool Ranch Doritos, but even if I did find it, I can't do that to you. Forcing you to make Cool Ranch dust for this downhome, family-staple taco salad would be very Book 1. Book 2, post-Luna Chrissy says to buy a bag and crush them up. Who knows what laziness Book 3 Chrissy will come up with, at this baby-making rate."
Serves 6 as a main course, or 8 to 10 as an appetiser
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
Ingredients for the dressing*:
2⁄3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Ingredients for the beef mixture:
2 large ears corn, husked, or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed and patted dry
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 pound ground beef
1 tbsp. paprika**
2 tsp. ground cumin**
2 tsp. garlic powder**
2 tsp/ dried oregano**
1 tsp. cayenne pepper**
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt**
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper**
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Ingredients for the salad:
1 large head iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 beefsteak tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 large avocado, cut into chunks
1/4 cup sliced black olives (optional)
2 cups Cool Ranch Doritos (or other tortilla chips if that's what you've got)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup sour cream
*Look, it's a taco salad. We're gonna make it delicious, but go ahead and just get yourself 1 cup of Catalina dressing out of a bottle if you're too lazy.
**Or a 1.25-ounce packet of taco seasoning.
For the dressing: In a screw-top jar, shake to mix the oil, ketchup, vinegar, sugar, salt, and cayenne.
For the beef mixture: Heat a large dry skillet over high heat until really hot. Put the whole ears of corn in the pan and DFWI (Don't F*ck With It!!) until the underside is charred, about 3 minutes. Keep cooking, turning two more times, until the corn is charred in spots all over, 8 to 9 minutes. Remove to a plate. (If using thawed frozen kernels, char them in the dry skillet in a single layer, only stirring once or twice, until slightly blackened, about 6 minutes.)
Let the pan cool a bit. Add the oil and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering-hot. Add the meat, breaking it up, until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes.
Drain most of the liquid from the pan but leave enough to keep the meat juicy. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Add the spice mixture to the meat along with the black beans and 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring gently, 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly, and stir in the cilantro.
For the salad: Arrange the lettuce in a big salad bowl and top with the beef-bean mixture. Cut the corn from the cobs and add it to the salad with the tomatoes, avocado, and olives (if using). Pour the dressing over the salad and crumble the chips all over the top. Sprinkle with the onion and top with the sour cream.
Shake & Bake Chicken With Hot Honey
"'First you shake. Then you bake … And I helped!!' I love fried chicken, but sometimes I'm feeling nostalgic. Sometimes I want to go back to the old-school Shake 'n Bake commercial where the little girl helped Grandma secretly bake 'fried' chicken, then spilled the beans to her parents. These commercials worked on my family. We went right to the grocery store so we could buy boxes of Shake 'n Bake to make in our kitchen in Snohomish, Washington. It was a simpler time. And I f*ckin' helped!"
Serves 4 to 6
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour (plus up to 4 hrs marinating time)
Ingredients for the chicken marinade:
1.2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
Ingredients for the breadcrumbs:
1 1/2 cups plain dried breadcrumbs or fine cornflake crumbs*
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper
Oil, for the baking dish
Hot Honey (recipe follows), for serving
*You can buy cornflake crumbs, or if you're feeling your pajamas and don't want to leave the house, pulse cornflakes in a food processor until they reach bread-crumb consistency.
Directions for the chicken:
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, onion powder, sugar, dried herbs, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Transfer to a huge zip-top plastic bag or bowl. Add the chicken and smush around to coat. Marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
In a large zip-top plastic bag, combine the bread crumbs, flour, paprika, sugar, salt, black pepper, and cayenne.
Working with one piece at a time, remove the chicken from the marinade, shake off the excess, place it in the bag of crumbs, and shake it, pressing on the bag a little to make the coating stick to the chicken.
Lightly oil a large (10 x15-inch) glass or metal baking dish and arrange the chicken, skin-side down, in the dish. (You want to go top-side down because you're going to flip it later for serving.) Bake for 25 minutes, then take the dish out, flip the chicken, and bake until the top is golden and crispy, another 20 to 25 minutes. Serve it with hot honey.
Active time: 8 minutes
Total time: 8 minutes
1 cup honey
1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
In a small saucepan, bring the red pepper flakes and honey to a low simmer over low heat and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool, and use.
Jalapeño Parmesan-Crusted Grilled Cheese
"Once upon a (brief) time, I was on a daytime television talk show with three really wonderful people. One of my favourite things I had … got … to do was a food truck takeover: the famed L.A. Grilled Cheese Truck. (GET THE TATER TOTS IF YOU SEE THIS BABY PULLED OVER!) My mouth was treated to a 'Grilled Chrissy' that I will never forget. In an American era where we stuff anything we can with cheese, it never crossed my mind to both stuff AND coat something in it. But this is how we live now, people."
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
3 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
4 slices soft sourdough bread
1 small jalapeno, sliced into thin rings
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
Spread one side of each slice of bread with about 2 teaspoons softened butter. Arrange 4 or 5 jalapeno rings over the butter on each slice, pressing down to make them stick. Place the Parm in a shallow dish and press the buttered, jalapeno side of each slice of bread into the Parm. Scatter 1/2 cup cheddar on the unbuttered side of each of 2 slices, then close the sandwiches (all the Parmed sides on the outside).
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the sandwiches and cook, covered, until the underside is golden but not burnt, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook, covered, until the underside is golden but not burnt and the edges are crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.
Reprinted from Cravings: Hungry for More by Chrissy Teigen with Adeena Sussman. Copyright © 2018 by Chrissy Teigen. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Aubrie Pick. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.