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Genius Recipes aren't always about quick and easy, lightweight, 2-ingredient cooking hacks. Sometimes, when it's worth it, they take the slow boat (see: oven-roasted vodka sauce, no-knead pizza, broccoli cooked forever). I'd also like to point out that there are 25 ingredients in this hamburger, and it's 100% genius.
But we all have those sapped nights after work when we need a leg up, and Genius Recipes can be really great for those, too. Below are 9 of my favorite shortcuts to weeknight dinner success—real deal polenta that cooks in 15 minutes, pasta sauce that's actually just Greek yogurt, extra-crispy grilled cheese that cooks faster without burning thanks to mayonnaise, herb pastes to keep in your freezer for fried rice or mix with hot water for near-instant soup.
Now tell me yours.
Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at firstname.lastname@example.org.