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What is your favorite 'go to recipe' for a quick meal on days that you are pressed for time or that you just don't feel like cooking?


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We all have days when we forgot to take the meat out of the freezer, just got in from outdoors, or just didn't feel like cooking. Do you have a favorite that gets you in and out of the kitchen in record time? I know that I do, mine is frittata. It's also a great way to use up little bits of vegetables in the refrigerator and leftover cheese. My family absolutely loves them and I get out of the kitchen almost guilt-free.

Edited by Tropicalsenior (log)
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One of three things in order of time: A protein shake, chicken with sauce, or takikomi.

 

For the chicken, chicken breast in the grill. In a bowl, I put yogurt and some gran masala spice OR sriracha sauce, and I chop the chicken and combine. (Takes 5 minutes.)

 

Takekomi (there's a recipe here some where) is just rice and chicken/fish + veggies in the rice cooker. It's a much faster version of a slow cooker meal. (Ready in 22 minutes.)

 

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like tonight?

 

1/2 box of excellent frozen ravioli from Raffetto's in Greenwich Village.

 

Tomato sauce made by sautéeing a minced shallot in olive oil and adding this...

 

image.thumb.png.25b9de8042e4c2c7c70e6d202dfa9eda.png

 

From Gustiamo.

 

Cook and spider out the ravioli into pan with sauce.  Toss. Plate. Grate some parm over. Done.

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Pasta with vodka sauce is a no-brainer.     Half a jar of Rao's marinara sauce, large glug of vodka, somewhat more heavy cream than vodka.    Boil pasta, done.    If energy allows, add sausage balls or peeled prawns.  

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Pasta con Costco

 

Cook pasta and toss with stuff out of those big jars of marinated artichokes, olives, sun dried tomatoes, grilled red pepper, whatever. Three bean salad? Sure. Grate some Parmesan on top. 

 

Add some salami or chorizo if you want meat. 

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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About every two or three weeks, I make a big batch of wontons/ravioli and freeze them. They cook from frozen in just two minutes. Just bring a pan of water to the boil and chuck them in. When the water comes back to the boil start your timer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and they should be floating. that means they are done. Drain and serve.

 

Depending on your mood, they can be Italian or Chinese.

 

Some uses:

 

Drizzle with olive oil and black pepper.

 

1176392191_WontonswOliveOil.thumb.jpg.01f8c584d94834b73b588ca852cad817.jpg

 

Eat them with a home made, spicy tomato sauce from the freezer.

 

Cook them in a broth with noodles and some greenery.

 

2050339869_wontonswbabybokchoy.thumb.jpg.97188ef577fb7222edbe7c93e21d3524.jpg

 

Fry them.

 

I like them undressed with a dip of Sriracha sauce. Or soy sauce and black Chinese vinegar.

 

2060863168_piripiriwontons2.thumb.jpg.b5ce3fcd62cbb861df67473c5818bb23.jpg

 

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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5 minutes ago, Tropicalsenior said:

I like that idea. What type of filling do you put in them?

 

It varies between a simple pork and cabbage filling to what are known as three delicacy wontons (三鲜馄饨 - sān xiān hún tun), the delicacies in question being minced pork, shrimp and shiitake.

But it can be anything you like.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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If I were cooking for myself, I'd just sautee some chicken livers with way too much garlic and pepper, served on whatever bread is available or none at all. If I need to be civilised, a pasta carbonara. No, I don't have guanciale in the fridge.

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2 hours ago, Kerala said:

No, I don't have guanciale in the fridge.

Sad face.

 

14 hours ago, weinoo said:

Cook and spider out the ravioli into pan with sauce.  Toss. Plate. Grate some parm over. Done.

 

Et voila...

 

IMG_4323.thumb.jpeg.941e9211b8676696182c516ae9ec3e66.jpeg

 

No herbs were harmed.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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I've been giving this a lot of thought and can't come up with anything.  Ed does all the short order cooking and I do all the batch cooking.  Therefore at any time, the freezer is full of a large variety of cooked dishes, some of which can be defrosted quite quickly.  And supper is always either soup...again lots of frozen ones...or a salad or steamed vegetables.  

 

Actually if Ed is out and won't be home in time to eat, my go-to meal is usually a can of chickpeas heated with a simple lemon juice, olive oil and garlic dressing.  I have no idea why.  Just is...

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learn, learn, learn...

 

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2 hours ago, Kim Shook said:

What's the old joke?  Reservations.  Seriously, 75% of the time in that situation it's restaurant food at some level. 

That's us too... but rather than go out, we wind up ordering delivery or if it's around the corner, I'll run out and pick it up.  But we're really lucky - there's a ton of fantastic, affordable options within a 5 block radius.  We could theoretically order in 2 meals a day and not repeat ourselves all week long.

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19 minutes ago, KennethT said:

we're really lucky

How lucky you are! Within a 12 block area of where I live, there are eight chicken take-out places and four Chinese restaurants. Other than one typical Costa Rican restaurant where I wouldn't order takeout for my dog, that's it.

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My shameful defaults:

 

Pasta with Karam's garlic sauce and a salty cheese (parm/asiago/feta/etc).

 

Rice with ranch dressing, canned tuna, and black pepper.

 

Rice with sauteed summer sausage, cheddar cheese, and green olives and/or jarred jalapenos.

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On 6/12/2021 at 8:58 AM, liuzhou said:

I make a big batch of wontons/ravioli and freeze them. They cook from frozen in just two minutes. Just bring a pan of water to the boil and chuck them in. When the water comes back to the boil start your timer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and they should be floating. that means they are done. Drain and serve.

 

I had just such a day today. Here are the wontons with the soy and black vinegar dip.

 

ht.thumb.jpg.1e9072744d40ad499cdb135b8cd1b1e8.jpg

 

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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2 hours ago, liuzhou said:

Here are the wontons

They look delicious. I like the way that you wrap them. They seem to have an extra little tuck that would keep the filling in better. Do you make your own wrappers or do you buy them?

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2 minutes ago, Tropicalsenior said:

They look delicious. I like the way that you wrap them. They seem to have an extra little tuck that would keep the filling in better. Do you make your own wrappers or do you buy them?

 

I have made them in the past but not for a while. I can buy them more cheaply and with less effort in the local market.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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1 hour ago, liuzhou said:

 

I have made them in the past but not for a while. I can buy them more cheaply and with less effort in the local market.

A neighborhood dim sum house used to make fabulous shrimp cakes, but they were a little greasy for my taste.   Then I found that they actually fried them twice and that I could buy them after the first fry which allowed me to pan grill them without additional oil.   Such  a treat, and as you suggest very little work.

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  • 2 months later...

Most of my dishes in this category involve pasta or toast.  I like to keep some tinned mussels in escabeche in the cupboard.  They can go on little toasts with aioli or into a quick pasta like I made last night:

IMG_4224.thumb.jpeg.eaa85cbba382f8b99b58709219805397.jpeg

Cook pasta, drain and return to the pot with all the liquid from the tinned mussels.  Add a splash of pasta cooking water, a dollop of heavy cream or tomato sauce and heat until the sauce comes together.  I like to add diced salt-preserved citrus rind and some of the pulp if it needs salt.  Add the mussels to the pan just long enough to warm them up. 

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21 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

I like to keep some tinned mussels in escabeche in the cupboard.

I was raised to understand that nobody promised me a rose garden or that life would be fair but really? People who have access to the most amazing fresh food also have access to the most amazing canned food? Sheesh!  

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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Bouncing of blue_dolphin, I have only recently learned that I can freeze fresh clams and mussels for a close to instant pasta.    I select them from a tank at a neighborhood seafood shop, and just plop them in the shell into the freezer.   No noticeable change in quality, texture or flavor.  

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