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Dash and Dine


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Recently the food editor of our local newspaper did an article on what he calls "Dash and Dine" cooking --dashing into the grocery store for just a few items, and then taking them home and making them into a quick meal.

Not surprisingly, the suggested recipes make liberal use of potatoes in boxes, bottled salad dressings, and other items that eGulleters are loathe to use.

So my challenge is to post your dash-and-dine recipes. Here are the ground rules:

1. You can purchase no more than 5 items. You may incorporate any other ingredients you normally have in your kitchen.

2. Dinner is to be ready to eat 30 minutes after you plop the bag of groceries on the counter. Okay, you can stretch it to 45 if you have to.

3. No pre-planning. No soaking beans; no chicken waiting in the fridge.

Here's mine:

Purchases: bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts; mushrooms, tomatoes, fresh tarragon or thyme.

On hand: white wine, olive oil.

Method: Brown chicken breasts in a little olive oil. Reduce heat to medium. Pour 1/2 to 1 cup white wine over, depending on how many you're fixing. Add mushrooms cut into bite-size chunks. Slice tomato(es) in half, squeeze to rid of seeds, cut into chunks, and add to pan. Throw in about a 1" to 2" stem of tarragon or thyme. 20 minutes later, dinner should be ready.

Your turn!

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Most of my meals might be described as dash and dine. When I come home from work there isn't always much time to prepare dinner. One meal that comes to mind as being very fast is grilled flank steak with garlic mashed potatoes and salad. Grilled fish, boneless ckn breast can also be done in a flash. Really there are too many to list

For those needing inspiration :laugh:


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Spaghetti carbonara! Requires only spaghetti, egg, bacon, cheese, and scallions, if I'm feeling festive. (We're not counting S&P, right? If we are, I need those, too. :wink:) I have all of those on hand the vast majority of the time, and dinner takes as long as the pasta takes to cook. I usually make a salad (could just be romaine and onions) at the same time.

Dinner is SERVED! :wink:

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Spaghetti carbonara!  Requires only spaghetti, egg, bacon, cheese, and scallions, if I'm feeling festive.  (We're not counting S&P, right?  If we are, I need those, too. :wink:)  I have all of those on hand the vast majority of the time, and dinner takes as long as the pasta takes to cook.  I usually make a salad (could just be romaine and onions) at the same time.

Dinner is SERVED! :wink:

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Fastest of all:

Buy fresh angel hair pasta. Cook ever so briefly, toss with white truffle oil and grate some parmigiano over. Narrr.

I'll agree and say most of the stuff I cook is pretty fast and reasonably simple, although a lot of it relies on my pantry staples.

Also, larb is superfast, easy, and awesome. See the larb laab larp thread.


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My alltime favorite go-to dash & dine dinner:


1 can of chickpeas

1 can of tomatoes

1 piece of chorizo sausage, dry or fresh both is good

bunch of parsley

(bag of salad leaves if I feel I need the vegetables)

I have in the house:



Chop up the chorizo and fry slowly until most of the fat has rendered out and it's a bit crispy.

Take out of pan and drain off some of the fat.

Fry chopped onion in the fat until soft. Add tomatoes and simmer 10 minutes until nice & thick. Add chickpeas and chorizo and simmer 5 more minutes.

Make 'holes' in the sauce (what would be the proper english word for this) and break eggs into them. 1 per person at least, 2 is better.

Put lid on pan and cook until whites are set but yolk is still runny. This is crucial!

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

A piece of crusty old toasted bread on the side is nice but not necessary. Same for a leafy salad.

(The dressed up version, which takes considerably more time, has cubes of fried potato and cubes of fried eggplant in the sauce as well.)

Edited by Chufi (log)
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Finally a word to describe what we do all the time! :biggrin:

And I love chickpeas too!

I dash home from work and have to feed cranky self

and family within a short time with minimum effort, and

yet it has to be "cooked" (i.e. not totally from a box).

It has to be a complete menu!

This is what I often make:

1. Set rice on to boil (the whole process takes ~ 15 mins for 2 cups basmati rice).

2. Make sundal:

2 cans chickpeas drained and rinsed.

Tarka: oil, hing, mustard seeds, 2-3 dry red chillies broken into the oil,

1 sprig curry leaves from freezer.

If I have it - 1/2 onion finely diced.

When the tarka pops, add the onion, toss, add the chickpeas, toss,

add salt, splash of lemon juice, and (if it's the right season) add

1/2 cup diced unripe (sour) mango.

Garnish with grated coconut (from my freezer) and chopped cilantro.

Can be served hot or cold.

Can "cheat" and gussy this up with more spices (minced ginger and green chillies

and some diced tomatoes).

This whole thing takes about the same 15 minutes as the rice.

I have a few other dal recipes that can be made in a similar

time frame - not canned - here's where a pressure cooker is

a godsend!

2. Make a "sabzi" (veg) - this is the most time consuming,

as I have to chop something - broccoli? cauliflower? some such thing.

Quick to cook - ~ 15 minutes of sauteeing - the chopping takes time....

3. I always have yogurt in the fridge (I make ours as we go through

a huge amount each week).

Voila! complete meal. Takes about 30 minutes.

Sometimes I can do pasta and a very simple sauce in a similar

time, but only in the summer when the tomatoes are at their best.....

No known sauce - I just wing it.....

Needless to say, any food (whether quick or slow) has to

taste good or none of us are going to be happy!


Edited by Milagai (log)
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My three faves-

1)canned beans, usually chickpeas black beans drained and sauted briefly with garlic and some hot red pepper w. some rice (those precooked bags of rice are great for the lazy and cook in 90 seconds), and some bagged salad.

2)Quesadilla-cheese tortilla salsa and frying pan.

a tad classier

2)spaghetti with clam sauce-garlic, white wine(or not), one can of chopped clams, Parsely (optional), and red pepper flakes--I posted this recipe eons ago on the recipe gullet.



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1. Roma tomatoes

2. Fresh mozzarella

3. Excellent basil

4. Arugula

5. Prosciutto

6. Ripe cantaloupe (or peaches, figs....)

Omit arugula if you have to be strict about the five.


1. Good crusty bread

2. Italian parsley

3. Spinach

4. Oranges

5. Bittersweet chocolate

Pantry & fridge: Oil-packed tuna, capers, garlic, EVOO, red wine vinegar, canned Italian plum tomatoes, dried pasta, anchovies, lemons, cheese for grating, red wine, tea. S & P

Summer: uncooked sauce of chopped fresh tomatoes, minced garlic, EVOO, grated Parm, mozzarella and torn basil. (Variation: Sub arugula for basil, ricotta salata for mozzarella.) Boil water as assembling. Arugula with simple vinaigrette on side as salad. Wrap ham around melon.

Winter: Boil water, wash spinach. Make quick sauce by sauteing chopped garlic, add a few canned tomatoes, then oil-packed tuna and capers. Set aside. Cook pasta. Saute more garlic with anchovies in EVOO till they dissolve, then add spinach. Dress with lemon when done and serve on side. Toss pasta with reheated sauce and minced garlic. Eat chocolate with oranges.

Then, there's always scrambled eggs, toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, fish, rice.... Mark Bittman's skirt steak with onions is great. Broccoli and rice on side.

ETA: Kent, that looks fabulous. Gotta have potato chips.

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Here in the UK there is a popular daytime TV program called Ready Steady Cook where the chefs ae presented with a mystery bag of ingredients and have to cook a 3 course meal in 20 minutes

Recipes and more on http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/tv_and_radio/rea...ook_index.shtml

The classic book is Eduard Pomaine's "Cooking in Ten Minutes"

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Latest dine and dash - Pasta with Bread Crumbs

A couple of slices of quality bacon (even better if you've made it yourself), some stale baguette crumbs, garlic, an anchovy fillet, some olive oil, parmasan cheese and pasta of choice.

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Thai Beef Salad.

Things I might need to buy that I don't always have in the house: limes, cucumber


First 10 minutes (all this happens simultaneously):

- start gas grill preheating (takes all 10 minutes)

- defrost beef if not defrosted (up to 8 minutes), salt and pepper both sides

- start making the dressing: juice of a lime, 5 tbsp fish sauce, seed/chop 1 jalapeno, 1 clove garlic smooshed somehow, grated ginger, sugar/splenda to balance.

Next 8 minutes:

- cook beef: 4 minutes on side 1, 4 or so on side 2, depends on thickness, I wing it.

- finish dressing if not done

- arrange lettuce on plates, add tomatoes, cucumbers

- chop green onions, go fetch mint and cilantro if they're growing, wash and cut up if you are using them.

Next 8 minutes:

- let beef rest. This is the hardest part.

- finish prepping salad ingredients as above

Last 4 minutes:

- slice beef, arrange over lettuce and vegetables above

- pour any accumulated beef juices into the dressing. Dress the salads.

- toss green onions, mint, cilantro artfully over the beef. Top with peanuts

- serve, eat.

It was hard to write out this chart because a lot of stuff goes on simultaneously, but it's 30 minutes max from when I open the freezer and take out the beef to when the salad is on the table ready to eat. But I've made this so often that I know the timing and the order of prep in order to have it all come together at the end. The cooking/resting of the beef is the gating factor for everything - the rest of the prep happens while that's happening.


Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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Quesadillas. Takes tortillas and cheese. The onion, salsa, tomatoes, tomatillos, red peppers, asada, chicken and other possible trimmings are all optional.

Assuming you have a hungry person (or four), you need 1-3 tortillas per person, about 8 oz grated cheese, and any trimmings desired. If I'm doing it out of on hand staples, the trimmings will probably be sliced chicken thighs, onion and a bit of salsa.

Get in, toss the chicken thighs into a skillet to cook. Figure 1 per person being fed. While they're cooking, slice an onion or two, and toss that in to cook with the chicken. Hitting the chicken with chili powder, salt, pepper, cumin or other seasonings is not a bad plan. Just salt is fine too. When the chicken is done, let it cool a bit and slice. Or you can shred it with 2 forks while it's hot.

Now toss a tortilla in the skillet. You want a flour tortilla, not a corn one. Let it warm, flip to the other side and check that it puffs. Once it starts puffing, start throwing fillings at it, fold it in half over the fillings and let it go til the cheese is melting. You may need to flip the folded quesadilla once before serving. Once the cheese is melting, eat. Try not to burn your fingers. I usually make anyone else eating quesadillas with me be in charge of flipping their own.

If you are using handmade tortillas, they'll be thick enough that you don't have to fuss with the warming and flipping. Regular supermarket tortillas need it tho, or they have a weird raw flour taste and the interior doesn't end up properly cooked. Don't ask me to explain *why* the thinner tortilla is more work, it just is. Oh, and you want taco sized tortillas, not burrito sized ones.

You'll generally end up on your second quesadilla around the 45 minute mark after starting to cook, maybe a bit longer depending on how many people you're feeding and how much prep the fillings take.


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I get home at 9:30 or 10:00 pm each night, and I haven't eaten since 3 or so. So quick meals are important for me. I can usually get a take-out fried pho or what-have-you from across the street, but sometimes I like to cook for myself. My answer to this dilemma? Kimchi Bokkumbap.

I always have eggs, onion, ham, and kimchi in the fridge. The only picky thing is cold rice, but I often have some hanging around from leftovers. The ham can be anything - bacon, sandwich meat - I usually have smoked tenderloin slices. In Korea, it's usually made with cubed Spam. As you will.

Fry up onions, ham product in sesame oil. When it's cooked down, add kimchi, which has been cut into small slices (I often use scissors for this task, and do it in the bag to reserve precious kimchi juice.) along with kimchi juice. Cook briefly, and add rice. Fry until rice is a happy fried rice texture. Pop it all in a bowl, and fry up an egg in the pan. Keep the yolk runny! Serve with the egg on top of the rice; pierce the yolk so it runs over the rice and cooks slightly. Top with toasted sesame seeds, if you're feeling festive.

An excellent way to use up the end of a really old head of kimchi.

Omelettes are an old standby, and my husband has been known to make Chicken Marsala. Not exactly healthy, but great with a loaf of bread.

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Black Bean Burritos

-2 cans of black beans (on hand, thanks to BJ's)

-1 onion (on hand)

-chopped mushrooms


Optional: Sour cream, corn, salsa, cheese, sauteed spinach

I make this often, even when I'm not in a rush. It's healthy and absolutely delicious!

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During the week I pretty much Dash and dine everyday :smile:

It is the weekends when I love (and actually can fit in the time) spending hours cooking for fun.

I think one of my easiest is tilapia in a foil packet on a bed of spinach.

Drizzle with olive oil, red pepper flakes, kosher salt- stick in oven.

Sometimes I add other seasoning, depends what I am in mood for.

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It's hard to beat a nice steak in this situation: pick your favorite cut, season, sear on a cast iron skillet, and you're done.  My go-to starch would be a quick couscous, with some diced tomatoes.

I agree with the steak...........rubbed with evoo and S&P, with some lemon squirted on after. Bread. Maybe some spinach sauteed in the juices as the steak sits.............

Sam Gugino has two books I love:

Cooking to Beat the Clock: Delicious, Inspired Meals in 15 Minutes and Low Fat Cooking to Beat the Clock

both of which give excellent recipes for 15 minutes cooking......and they are NOT processed crap !

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Spaguetti alla Amatriciana

You probably don't even need to go to the store:

For 2 servings:

1/2 onion, chopped

3-5 strips bacon bacon, in lardons (small strips)

canned chopped tomatoes (small can, 14.5 oz)

1 TB tomato paste (optional)

Spaguetti or other long pasta (buccatini is the traditional)

salt for pasta water

parmesan or romano cheese

Start water for spaguetti; heat pan for the sauce

Chop onion and bacon

Start spaguetti boiling and set timer

Sautee bacon until some of the fat is rendered

Add onion before the bacon is crisp and saute onion until soft (none or minimal color)

Add tomatoes with their liquid. Add tomato paste. Bring to a boil, then cover and put heat on low until the pasta is ready.

Drain pasta, toss into the pot with the sauce and serve with the grated cheese.

Amounts are, of course, variable. The "real" recipe is with pancetta or guanciale, but I had it in Italy that way and it was very good, but for me, made with American bacon is just as good. And I almost always have bacon in the freezer.

The sauce does not need any salt -- the bacon and cheese season it perfectly.

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