Chungah Rhee, author of the blog Damn Delicious, has been creating recipes and taking photos of food for five years, all with the goal of helping people figure out what to make for dinner. The blog began as a way to track the recipes she was making, but quickly gained a following on Pinterest, thanks to her short ingredient lists, popular dishes, and bright photography.
As we take a look at the concept of miracle meals this week — those dinners that come together despite all the odds against them — we chatted with Chungah about her favorite miracle meal, what she keeps in her pantry, and what doesn't make it on the blog.
What makes a recipe easy and elegant and why are you drawn to those two elements in a recipe?
For me, I like simple. I need simple. I want my recipes to be easy and accessible for everyone, whether that's cooking for yourself or when you have friends and family over for dinner. A recipe is "easy" if it requires minimal prep time and ingredients you already have on hand — not ones where you have to visit eight different speciality stores. A recipe is elegant when it impresses your guests, except they have no stinking clue how easy it was to put together!
Easy and Elegant Meals to Make For Dinner
What's Your Miracle Meal?
Definitely a one-pot meal. The last thing I want to do is spend 30 minutes cooking, and then another 20 minutes cleaning. That's why this one-pot pasta comes to the rescue all the time. All you need is five minutes of prep, one pot, and 15 minutes cook time. Done and done.
Our Favorite One-Pot Pastas
What are 5 things you keep in your kitchen to pull off last-minute meals?
1. Any type of pasta
2. Crushed tomatoes
4. Greens (spinach, Swiss chard, baby kale)
5. Cheese (mozzarella, fontina, Parmesan)
What do you make when you have a lot of time to cook?
Risotto! Risotto is one of my all-time favorite dishes, but it's so time-consuming and tedious so I tend to save that for when I really have time to spend in the kitchen. My favorite risotto combination is with sweet potato, white wine, and bacon, of course!
Get Your Risotto Fix
What sort of recipes don't make it onto the blog?
Desserts, unfortunately. I used to be a huge baker back in the day, but my niche has become quick, savory dishes so desserts like banana bread and chocolate chip cookies are usually baked in the kitchen for fun.