Easy Weeknight Meals

Sherry Braised Chicken Thighs with Meyer Lemons and Green Olives

April 12, 2011
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One of the questions people frequently ask me is “do you cook every night?” The short answer is “no” but what I really want to say is “define cook.” We certainly don’t eat out every night and even when I don’t cook a full meal, there’s almost always something to forage from the refrigerator rather than eat fast food. Sometimes dinner is a mixture of home cooked and store bought. And speaking of fast food, while I haven’t eaten anything from a large chain fast food place in over 2 years, we often go to our local Vietnamese, Thai and Mexican places which dish up a pretty darn fast bun cha, tom kha gai, or burrito mojado. That’s my idea of fast food now.

When I do cook dinner at home, it’s often something quick because, like many people, I work a full time job with …

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Cambodian Roasted Eggplant and Pork plus a Giveaway!

November 1, 2010
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There are certain combinations of flavors which are considered classic and always paired together; chocolate and peanut butter, tomatoes and basil, or tequila and lime. For me, eggplant and pork have always been a favorite. It’s not uncommon to see this pair across many different cuisines; it’s common in Chinese stir-frys, Thai curries, Italian pork stuffed eggplant, and Latin American stews. One of the first recipes I put on this blog was a pasta with eggplant and pancetta.

We saw eggplant and pork frequently on menus in Cambodia and ordered it often. It can be found everywhere from street stalls to high-end Khmer restaurants. As many times as we ordered it, each verson was different; sometimes the pork was ground and other times it was sliced. Most of the time the eggplant was roasted, but occasionally it was cubed.

This dish is my take on the Cambodian Roasted Eggplant with …

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Pizza with Prosciutto, Artichokes & Pesto

September 23, 2010
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Sometimes you really don’t need a recipe. Just do it.

pizza dough (fresh, use store-bought or make your own)
tomato sauce (any kind you want, I use my marinara)
fresh mozzarella, sliced
prosciutto, thinly sliced
marinated artichoke hearts
pesto

Assemble. Bake at 475 for about 15 min or until done. Eat!

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Cooking Your Own Fast Food; Pizza with Fresh Sausage, Mushrooms and Olives

April 26, 2010
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In his book Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, Michael Pollan says “Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.” His theory is if you have to make the french fries yourself, you are less likely to eat them as often as you would if you got them from the drive-thru window.

This rule resonates with me on many levels. People tend to say they “don’t have time to cook.” I think that may be true sometimes, but nowhere near as often as people use it as an excuse to eat poorly. With a little preparation and planning, so many healthy meals can be cooked and on the table in less than a half an hour. For example, this pizza can be made in the time it takes to have one delivered. Pizza dough can be made in advance and stored in the …

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Gemelli with Butternut Squash and Bacon and Review of “Thirty Minute Pasta” by Giuliano Hazan

January 5, 2010

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Bacon

Giuliano Hazan is a member of Italian culinary royalty. His mother, Marcella Hazan, is credited with bringing authentic Italian cooking to the United States. In fact, even though I grew up eating my grandmother’s Sicilian-American food, Marcella’s cookbook, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, was one of the first Italian cookbooks I owned which talked about Italian food beyond tomato sauce. Giuliano Hazan has certainly taken to the “family business”; he is well-respected regardless of name, writing several cookbooks of his own, appearing on TV, winning awards, and running a cooking school for part of every year in Verona Italy. 

His latest book, Giuliano Hazan’s Thirty Minute Pasta: 100 Quick and Easy Recipes is filled with simple, elegant, and appealing recipes meant to be accessible to busy cooks. Most can be assembled in the time it takes to boil water and cook the pasta.
I like his approach to recipes …

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Sometimes Dinner Really Is Just This Simple

October 31, 2009

cheeseplattersm

I think the title and the photo speaks for itself, no?

Salami, cheese (soft goat cheese, cave aged Gruyere and a sharp white cheddar), olives, mom’s home smoked salmon and some marinated artichokes. Add to that a loaf of freshly baked bread (buy it or make it yourself) and a good bottle of wine and you have a meal ready in 5 minutes. I love to eat this way.

What do you do make when you don’t feel like cooking?

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