I have been doing a lot of cooking from Mark Bittman's books lately. How to Cook Everything covers a huge range of food and delivers easy, non-fussy directions (a big plus when a hopeful cook is making something for the first time). I think my favorite Bittman recipe of all time comes from The Minimalist Cooks Dinner, however. The original title is "Pork Cutlet with Miso-Red Wine Sauce," but since the first time I cooked this dish (immortalized in this post), I've varied the fluids (white wine, sherry, beer, chicken stock, various mixtures), the miso (depending on the other ingredients, white miso may be a better choice than the red miso called for in the recipe), and the meat (turkey or chicken work equally well, though I think beef would be pushing it). Not only is it a good recipe in its original form, it lends itself well to mixing and matching different ingredients.
Last night I made it again. This time I seasoned and pan-seared three chicken cutlets in extra virgin olive oil and removed the cutlets from the pan to rest. Then I added a sliced onion and some smashed and minced garlic to the pan, following them with some sliced baby portobello mushrooms. After sauteeing all of this for a bit (until the mushrooms were sweating), I added a cup of white wine with two tablespoons of red miso dissolved in it and cooked everything down for a bit. Then I added the chicken cutlets and their juices. I was planning on serving this with spinach fettuccini, so when the pasta was done before the sauce, I just drained it and then added it to the pan too.
As usual, the end result was a rich and delicious meal that tastes like something from a fancy restaurant, but which takes so little effort to put together that it's an ideal weeknight dinner.