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Getting you through the workweek.

AS OUR LIVES BECOME busier, it's often difficult to find time to cook a good dinner. Supermarkets recognize the time crunch that many people face and offer a wide choice of foods suited to preparing speedy and convenient meals at home.

Here we offer five entrees, each with menu suggestions, to get you through the workweek. Recipes are designed for two or three but can be easily doubled for a larger group. Most require only one pan for cooking, minimizing cleanup.

In many supermarket produce sections and salad bars, you'll find vegetables and fruit already washed, trimmed, cut, and ready to eat raw or cooked. When you buy this produce, check carefully for freshness. Once cut, most vegetables and fruit deteriorate rapidly; it's best to buy only what you plan to use within a day or two.

Frozen vegetables are another fresh-tasting alternative. They're ready to use (without last-minute shopping) at a momen't notice.

At the meat and poultry counters, many selections are trimmed, boned, and thinly sliced for quick sautes and stir-fry dishes. Some meat, poultry, and fish also come marinated. Throughout the store, quality sauces, dressings, oils, vinegars, cheese, spices, and herbs add instant flavor to many dishes.

Keep in mind convenience costs. If you're willing to spend time to clean and cut vegetables and slice meat, you'll find these dishes are still easy to prepare but at a lower price than if you used presliced ingredients.

Salsa Fish Chowder

Precede or accompany whole-mel chowder with crisp raw vegetables to dip in purchased guacamole. Offer toasted corn tortillas (available in the Mexican section) or tortilla chips to eat with the avocado dip, or crumble the tortillas into the broth. For dessert, fill seeded ripe papaya or small cantaloupe halves with vanilla ice cream or lime sorbet.

3 cups homemade or canned regular-strength chicken broth 1/3 cup regular or quick-cooking long- or short-grain rice 1 cup frozen corn kernels 1/2 pound boned and skinned mild white-flesh fish, such as rockfish or lingcod, cut into 1-inch chunks 1/2 cup refrigerated or canned tomato-based chunk-style salsa or canned Mexican-style stewed tomatoes Lime wedges

In a 2- to 3-quart pan over high heat, bring broth and rice to a boil. Cover and Simmer until rice is tender to bite, 15 minutes (5 minutes for quick-cooking). Add corn, fish, and salsa; cover and simmer until fish is just opaque in thickest part (cut to test), about 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls; add lime to taste. Serves 2.

Per serving: 352 cal.; 29 g protein; 4.9 g fat (1.2 g sat.); 48 g carbo.; 512 mg sodium; 40 mg chol.

Fettucine Cambozola

Creamy cambozola or gorgonzola cheese forms a flavorful sauce as it melts on hot strands of pasta. Serve it with breadsticks and sliced tomatoes or crisp salad greens dressed with olives and marinated artichoke hearts. Conclude the meal with wedges of honeydew with lime.

About 8 ounces fresh fettuccine 1 package (10 oz.) frozen peas 6 ounces (about 1 cup packed) cambozola or gorgonzola cheese, diced Freshly ground pepper

In a 5- to 6-quart pan, bring about 3 quarts water to boiling. Add fettucine and cook until barely tender to bite, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in peas. Drain

Return pasta and peas to pan. Add cheese and 2 tablespoons hot water. With 2 forks, gently mix over low heat until cheese melts and coats past, 2 to 3 minutes. Lift onto 2 to 3 warm dinner plates. Add pepper to taste. Makes 2 or 3 servings.

Per serving: 492 cal.; 27 g protein; 18 g fat (11 g sat.); 56 g carbo.; 918 mg sodium; 131 mg chol.

Mu Shu Sandwiches

For supper sandwiches, tuck a quick stir-fry of meat and vegetables into pocket bread halves. Add pickled ginger and scallions if you like. Look for the pickles as well as the hoisin or oyster sauce in the Asian section of your supermarket. If desired, serve with hot canned broth seasoned with green onions, mushrooms, and more ginger. For dessert, try canned litchis, including their syrup, over ice.

2 tablespoons salad oil 1 1/2 cups (about 9 oz.) thinly sliced onion 1 cup (about 4 oz.) thinly sliced green or red bell pepper 1/2 pound boned and skinned turkey or chicken, or beef, pork, or lamb, cut into thin, bite-size strips 2 tablespoons hoisin or oyster sauce Whole green onions (optional) 2 or 3 pocket bread rounds (6 yo 7 in. wide), cut crosswise Pickled scallions and pickled sliced ginger (optional)

Place a wok or 12-inch frying pan over high heat. When pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon oil, sliced onion, and bell pepper; stir-fry until vegetables are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and add 1 more tablespoon oil to pan. When pan is hot, add meat strips and stir-fry until meat is lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add hoisin sauce and cooked vegetables; stir to mix.

Pour into a bowl; garnish with green onions. Offer pocket bread halves (warm, if desired), scallions, and ginger alongside. Fill bread halves, as desired, to make sandwiches. Serves 2.

Per serving: 338 cal.; 22 g protein; 12 g fat (1.9 g sat.); 36 g carbo.; 640 mg sodium; 52 mg chol.

Sausages with

Hot Slaw

Brown sausages to eat with a warm slaw; serve with buttered rye toast. For a cool ending, offer grapes.

2 Polish (kielbasa) sausages (about 1/2 lb. total) 1 tablespoon salad oil 1/4 cup cider vinegar 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed or caraway seed 1/2 cup (3 oz.) thinly sliced red onion 2 cups (1/4 lb.) shredded green or red cabbage 1 cup (1/8 lb.) shredded carrot or more shredded cabbage Coarse-grain or Dijon mustard

Slash sausages several times on each side. Pour oil into a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. Add sausages and cook, turning often, until hot in thickest part (cut to test), 5 to 8 minutes. Lift out of pan and keep warm on a serving plate.

Add vinegar; sugar, cumin, and onion to pan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in cabbage and carrot. Place alongside sausages. Offer mustard to add to taste. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 501 cal.; 18 g protein; 40 g fat (13 g sat.); 19 g carbo.; 1,017 mg sodium; 80 mg chol.

Hot Steak Salad

Bite-size pieces of salad greens form the base for this main dish. Extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar or a good bottled dressing flavors broiled beef or chicken and the crisp, cool greens. Serve with a crusty baguette or roll. For a no-fuss dessert, offer strawberries to dip into powdered sugar.

2 beef loin steaks (each 6 oz. and about 1 in. thick), or 2 boned and skinned chicken breast halves (each 4 oz.) About 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil or 1/2 cup bottled vinaigrette-type salad dressing 5 cups (about 5 oz.) rinsed and crisped bite-size pieces mixed salad greens (mesclun) 6 to 10 cherry tomatoes, stemmed About 3 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar (only if olive oil is used) Salt and pepper

Brush beef or chicken with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the oil or dressing. Place chicken or beef on a rack in a 12-by 14-inch broiler pan. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat, turning once, until beef is browned on outside but pink in thickest part (cut to test), 8 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is white in thickest part (cut to test), 10 to 12 minutes.

Divide greens between 2 dinner plates. Set hot meat next to or on lettuce. Garnish with tomatoes. Drizzle meat and greens with olive oil and vinegar or bottled dressing and add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving with beef: 682 cal.; 32 g protein; 60 g fat (17 g sat.); 6 g carbo.; 89 mg sodium; 107 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes for five entrees; menu suggestions included
Date:Nov 1, 1991
Previous Article:Fresh ideas with dried fruits.
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