Wednesday, July 27, 2011
36 Summer Meals Fast!
Tired of cooking in a hot kitchen this summer? Well these meals are fast and won't keep you in there long! These recipes aren't formal recipes; they are a general outline and are meant to be tweaked to your taste. With some creative thinking, or maybe a salad or loaf of bread, these meals will be better than any takeout and won't heat up your kitchen.
1. Make six-minute eggs: simmer gently, run under cold water until cool, then peel. Serve over steamed asparagus.
2. Toss a cup of chopped mixed herbs with a few tablespoons of olive oil in a hot pan. Serve over angel-hair pasta, diluting the sauce if necessary with pasta cooking water.
3. Open a can of white beans and combine with olive oil, salt, small or chopped shrimp, minced garlic and thyme leaves in a pan. Cook, stirring, until the shrimp are done; garnish with more olive oil.
4. Make pesto: put a couple of cups of basil leaves, a garlic clove, salt, pepper and olive oil as necessary in a blender (walnuts and Parmesan are optional). Serve over pasta (dilute with oil or water as necessary) or grilled fish or meat.
5. Pan-grill a skirt steak for three or four minutes a side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, slice and serve over romaine or any other green salad, drizzled with olive oil and lemon.
6. Call it Panini: Grilled cheese with prosciutto, tomatoes, thyme or basil leaves.
7. Stir-fry a pound or so of ground meat or chopped fish mixed with chopped onions and seasoned with cumin or chili powder. Pile into taco shells or soft tacos, along with tomato, lettuce, canned beans, onion, cilantro and sour cream.
8. While pasta cooks, combine a couple cups chopped tomatoes, a teaspoon or more minced garlic, olive oil and 20 to 30 basil leaves. Toss with pasta, salt, pepper and Parmesan.
9. The New York supper: Bagels, cream cheese, smoked salmon. Serve with tomatoes, watercress or arugula, and sliced red onion or shallot.
10. Dredge thinly sliced chicken breasts in flour or cornmeal; cook about two minutes a side in hot olive oil. Place on bread with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise.
11. Cut Italian sausage into chunks and brown in a little olive oil; chop onions and bell peppers and add them to the pan. Cook until sausage is browned and peppers and onions tender. Serve in sandwiches.
12. New Joe’s Special, from San Francisco: Brown ground meat with minced garlic and chopped onion. When just about cooked, add chopped spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted. At the last minute, stir in two eggs, along with grated Parmesan and salt and pepper.
13. Quesadilla: Use a combination of cheeses, like Fontana mixed with grated pecorino. Put on half of a large flour tortilla with pickled jalapenos, chopped onion, shallot or scallion, chopped tomatoes and grated radish. Fold tortilla over and brown on both sides in butter or oil, until cheese is melted.
14. Fast chile rellenos: Drain canned whole green chilies. Make a slit in each and insert a piece of cheese. Dredge in flour and fry in a skillet, slit side up, until cheese melts.
15. Cobb-ish salad: Chop bacon and begin to brown it; cut boneless chicken into strips and cook it with bacon. Toss romaine and watercress or arugula with chopped tomatoes, avocado, onion and crumbled blue cheese. Add bacon and chicken. Dress with oil and vinegar.
16. Sauté 10 whole peeled garlic cloves in olive oil. Meanwhile, grate Pecorino, grind lots of black pepper, chop parsley and cook pasta. Toss all together, along with crushed dried chili flakes and salt.
17. Fried rice: Soften vegetables with oil in a skillet. Add cold cooed rice, chopped onion, garlic, ginger, peas and two beaten eggs. Toss until hot and cooked through. Season with soy sauce and sesame oil.
18. Taco salad: Toss together greens, chopped tomato, chopped red onion, sliced avocado, a small can of black beans and kernels from a couple of ears of corn. Toss with crumbled tortilla chips and grated cheese. Dress with olive oil, lime and chopped cilantro leaves.
19. Raita to the rescue: Broil any fish. Serve with a sauce of drained yogurt mixed with chopped cucumber, minced onion and cayenne.
20. Sauté shredded zucchini in olive oil, adding garlic and chopped herbs. Serve over pasta.
21. Not takeout: Stir-fry onions with cut-up broccoli. Add cubed tofu, chicken or shrimp, or sliced beef or pork, along with a tablespoon each minced garlic and ginger. When almost done, add half cup of water, two tablespoons soy sauce and plenty of black pepper. Heat through and serve over fresh Chinese noodles.
22. Put a stick of butter and a handful of pine nuts in a skillet. Cook over medium heat until both are brown. Toss with cooked pasta, grated Parmesan and black pepper.
23. Put a tablespoon of cream and a slice of tomato in each of several small ramekins. Top with an egg, then salt, pepper and grated Parmesan. Bake at 350 degrees until the eggs set. Serve with toast.
24. Brown small pork (or hot dog) chunks in a skillet. Add white beans, garlic, thyme and olive oil. Or add white beans and ketchup.
25. Dip pork cutlets in egg, then dredge heavily in panko; brown quickly on both sides. Serve over lettuce, with fresh lemon, or bottled Japanese curry sauce.
26. Brown bratwursts with cut-up apples. Serve with coleslaw.
27. Peel and thinly slice raw beets; cook in butter until soft. Take out of pan and quickly cook some shrimp in same pan. Deglaze pan with sherry vinegar, adding sauce to beets and shrimp. Garnish with dill.
28. Pasta with fresh tomatoes: Cook chopped fresh tomatoes in butter or oil with garlic until tender, while pasta cooks. Combine and serve with grated Parmesan.
29. Rich vegetable soup: Cook asparagus tips and peeled stalks or most any other green vegetable in chicken stock with a little tarragon until tender; reserve a few tips and purée the rest with a little butter (cream or yogurt, too, if you like) adding enough stock to thin the purée. Garnish with the reserved tips. Serve hot or cold.
30. Near instant mezze: Combine hummus on a plate with yogurt laced with chopped cucumbers and a bit of garlic, plus tomato, feta, white beans with olive oil and pita bread.
31. Liverwurst on good sourdough rye with scallions, tomato and wholegrain mustard.
32. Combine crab meat with mayo, Dijon mustard, chives and tarragon. Serve in a sandwich, with potato chips.
33. Cut the top off four big tomatoes; scoop out the interiors and mix them with toasted stale baguette or pita, olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs (basil, tarragon, and/or parsley). Stuff into tomatoes and serve with salad.
34. Pasta frittata: Turn cooked pasta and a little garlic into an oiled or buttered skillet. Brown, pressing to create a cake. Flip, and then top with three or four beaten eggs and loads of Parmesan. Brown other side and serve.
35. Veggie burger: Drain and pour a 14-ounce can of beans into a food processor with an onion, half a cup rolled oats, a tablespoon chili powder or other spice mix, an egg, salt and pepper. Process until mushy, then shape into burgers, adding a little liquid or oats as necessary. Cook in oil about three minutes a side and serve.
36. So-called Fettuccine Alfredo: Heat several tablespoons of butter and about half a cup of cream in a large skillet just until the cream starts to simmer. Add slightly undercooked fresh pasta to the skillet, along with plenty of grated Parmesan. Cook over low heat, tossing, until pasta is tender and hot.