Friday, December 12, 2008

30 minutes (really)

i am back with another 30 minute recipe. and unlike my last attempt in which i cheated a bit, this one really is 30 minutes or less.

earlier this week kris and i were trying to decide what to make for dinner. i wanted something cheap and easy. something that did not require a trip to safeway (because i always get distracted and wander around and buy things that we don't need). i knew we had half a package of spaghetti at home so a quick trip to the corner store for a can of artichoke hearts and i was set! it didn't even occur to me until after that this is a 30 minute meal with 5 ingredients that i turn to a lot.

pasta with artichokes

1/2 package of pasta
1 can artichoke hearts
a few cloves of garlic, minced
crushed red pepper flakes
olive oil, salt and pepper

while your pasta is cooking, heat some oil in a pan and cook garlic for a few minutes. drain artichokes and add to garlic (i like to cut the artichokes in half or thirds but you don't have to). season with salt and pepper and chili flakes. cook until the artichokes get a little brown (or until the pasta is done). when pasta is finished cooking, drain noodles and add to the artichoke pan. add a splash more olive oil and salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste. toss and serve!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

30 minutes (ish)

when erin suggested the 30 minute challenge to me i was excited and didn't think it would be too difficult. but then the five ingredient factor was introduced and i was a bit stumped. but i think i've got a good one!

wild rice bowl

one box wild rice (not the pre-seasoned stuff)
one package grape tomatoes
one onion (i like vidalia or a similar sweet onion)
one bunch asparagus
olive oil, salt and pepper (those can count as one ingredient, right?)

heat oven to 375
cook the rice according to the instructions on the box*
chop the onion into large chunks and the asparagus into thirds.
toss the onion, asparagus and tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet.
roast the veggies until they brown and the tomatoes start to ooze.
when the rice is done, divide among bowls and top with veggies.

*this may put a damper on the 30 minute rule as wild rice sometimes takes a long time to cook. however since you don't have to do anything once the rice is going and the veggies are in the oven you have lots of time to do something while you wait. it's really very efficient!

i love the flavor and texture of wild rice and combined with the flavors that roasting brings out of the veggies this meal requires very little seasoning. easy easy!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

for rachel

We agreed to a little December challenge. Everyone is busy with holiday shopping and parties, end of year work stuff, getting engaged . . . so we decided that in December, we would attempt a few time-saving dishes. The rules are simple: five ingredients or less, prepared in thirty minutes or less. I am always up for a challenge (as is my compatriot) and since I love nothing more than spending several hours in the kitchen, 30-minute dishes (and please, no comparisons to Rachel Ray!) really are a challenge for me! So bring it on.

Here is an adaptation of Chicken Piccata, without the capers. Unfortunately there is not a veggie version of this. I served it with broccoli rabe sautéed in olive oil with lemon zest.

Lemon Chicken

2 boneless chicken cutlets
¼ c. flour, seasoned with salt and pepper

Juice of one lemon
½ c. white wine
1 tbsp butter

Dredge cutlets in seasoned flour.

Heat olive oil in pan over med high heat. Add cutlets, cooking until browned on both sides and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to platter or plate, tent with foil.

Deglaze pan with white wine and lemon juice, and bring to boil. Boil approx 2 minutes, until slightly reduced. Whisk in butter. Pour sauce over chicken, garnish with parsley if desired, and serve!

* while this would put the ingredient total over 5 items, you could also add sliced mushrooms to this dish. You know, if you happen to have them in the refrigerator.

- e

a little thanksgiving recap

Our apologies for not posting for more than a week, but some of us have been busy! (Well, some more than others. wink wink.) I can say it was lovely being home for Thanksgiving, cooking and spending time with family. I grew up watching and helping my mother cook, and she continues to teach and inspire me. So we made a few classics for Turkey Day, and spiced up a few old recipes. So to start, I would like to share Tina’s Cranberry Sauce, a blending of several recipes into one sweet, tart and delicious turkey topper!

Tina’s Cranberry Sauce
1 lb. fresh cranberries, picked over
2 cups sugar
½ cup orange juice
6 ounces orange marmalade
1 cup coconut
1 cup sliced almonds

Stir sugar into orange juice in a 4 quart saucepan to dissolve sugar.

Add cranberries to pot. Cook over medium heat until cranberries start to pop – they actually make tiny squeaking noises! – approximately 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.

Stir in almonds and coconut. Let cool completely before serving.

* We made this the night before Thanksgiving, refridgerated the sauce, and let it come to room temperature before serving. Leftovers keep for about two weeks.

- e