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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-23-2006, 10:03 AM   #21
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

Oh alright, I've got another one.

Can of coconut milk, the full fat, not the light stuff...it sucks. Half teaspoon to a teaspoon of red thai chili paste, drained can of chicken breast meat, few dashes of thai fish sauce if you have some, any bamboo shoots, diced green onions or other flotsam/jetsam you've go lying around that looks vaguely like it should be in a thai soup. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Throw in a couple of frozen shrimp if you've got 'em. Squeeze a half a fresh lime into each bowl or drizzle in a little bottled lime juice.

The basic version of this takes a few minutes. With all the trimmings you can make a half hour out of it.
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-23-2006, 11:17 AM   #22
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

3 standbys:

--------------------------------
Pasta with Tuna Sauce

--Chop one or two cloves of garlic (use a garlic press; it's easier).

--Drain a can of light tuna packed in olive oil (white tuna in water will be tasteless). Good brands are Italian/Spanish/ Portuguese.

--Chop a handful of black olives. Trader Joe's has a decent kind that are already pitted; the wrinkled "al forno" ones have the most intense flavor, otherwise you may barely notice them.

--Fry garlic in some good-quality olive oil. Do not skimp on oil. Don't let garlic get brown.

--Throw in well-drained tuna (watch out - it will spatter) and mash around in the oil. Add the olives and a few capers if you have them. Add some cayenne if you like a bit of bite.

--Dump in a small can of chopped tomatoes. Mash around with other ingredients. Let simmer while you are cooking the pasta: spaghetti or linguine is traditional.

Portions = It depends on how much sauce you like. You could double or halve literally any of the ingredients here and still get something decent-- it's all personal preference / convenience.

---
did I write recipe this already? I seem to remember this general topic..
Anyway, everyone to whom I've shown the above dish has adopted it into their frequent-meal repetoire.


--------------------------------
Pasta Carbonara (for 2 decent portions)
traditionally this is with rigatoni or big ziti; but you can also use spaghetti or whatever you like

-Start water boiling for pasta. Add salt to the water unless you are under strict doctor's orders (in which case you probably shouldn't be making this dish).

-You probably won't be able to find the "guanciale" that is usually used for this dish, so instead use some thick-cut smoked bacon (2-4 slices should do it). Trim lengthwise to discard the fattiest half. Alternatively you could use the little (German-yikes!) prosciutto cubes that are sold in plastic pkgs at Trader Joe's . You want about a handful of bacon-y meat tidbits. Start frying those up.

-Chop 1/2 regular onion and add to frying bacon bits. When onion starts to get cooked/brown, take off the heat.

-Take a nice big bowl and crack 2 eggs into it. Beat as for scrambled eggs.

-Add at least 1/2 cup, maybe 3/4 cup, fresh grated parmesan cheese and mix with the eggs. I judge it by when I get a thick pancake-batter-like consistency.

-When your pasta (about a half-package for 2 meal-size portions) has boiled and been drained, dump immediately into the bowl with the cheese and eggs. Stir vigorously to distribute. You are trying to get a smooth sheeny light coating on the pasta and trying to avoid "overcooking" any of the egg and getting lumps. I should not have to add that you do not rinse the pasta after cooking; just drain it as quick as you can to retain the heat. Add the onions and bacon bits at the end, along with a very healthy dose of freshly-ground black pepper.

There's no such thing as an American- or English-style breakfast here, so when I miss "bacon & eggs" this is a good remedy.


Another good one (not quick overall but quick to prepare, with v. few ingredients and few steps):
--------------------------------
Pork Ribs in Red Wine Sauce (4-6 portions)

--Boil about 5 lb. pork ribs (cut up) in water for 1/2 hour. Drain and set aside.
--In the meantime, take 2 red onions, 2 carrots and 2 celery sticks and chop into bite-size chunks.
--Put a decent amount of olive oil and heat in a dutch oven or heavy covered casserole or frypan. Fry up the veggies for 10-12 minutes or until they are starting to get browned.

--Now put in the drained boiled ribs, along with 2 cups chicken broth, 2 cups dry red wine, 2 cups canned chopped tomatoes, 2 anchovy fillets, and some sprigs of fresh rosemary. (Broth could be from cubes, but only use one cube for 2c. water).

--Bring to a boil then lower heat, cover, and simmer about 1 1/2 hours. Serve with rice or polenta.

The great thing about this dish is that you can "hold" it, reheat it, etc.. so, while the cooking time isn't short, you have a lot of flexibility. I got it from Mario Batali's "Molto Italiano" which I was suprised to find is a very good cookbook. I'm not big on celebrity chefs, but Italians have asked me for this recipe, so I'll give him his props.

Buon appetito.


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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-23-2006, 01:00 PM   #23
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

Hunh. I've held back from this thread because apparently everyone else's idea of "quick meal" does not involve "less than 10 minutes" and a microwave.

Sorry, guys. If you're getting out a skillet then it's not quick. It's not necessarily bad, but it's not quick!
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-23-2006, 01:38 PM   #24
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

OK, here's one maybe not so quick, but easy and tasty.

First, get started with cooking steamed rice.* Then, do the adobo and you can have them going at the same time.

Filipino Adobo--my version

1 to 1 ½ lbs chicken (no skin) and/or pork pieces
3 to 6 cloves garlic, pounded and skins removed
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup vinegar
1 dried bay leaf, tear in half
½ to 1 tsp whole peppercorns

Dump everything into pot/skillet and put lid on.* Bring to boil, then simmer until cooked, occasionally mixing/turning pieces while cooking.

Eat with steamed rice .* Options:* Slice a tomato to go with meal, have fish sauce on the side.

Edited to put Caution:* Try not to bite into peppercorns when eating.* If you want, use ground pepper instead but a lot less--just a few shakes.* Oh yeah, some folks put a bit of sugar into the pot, too, maybe 1/4 teaspoon or so.
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-23-2006, 01:42 PM   #25
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Hunh. I've held back from this thread because apparently everyone else's idea of "quick meal" does not involve "less than 10 minutes" and a microwave.

Sorry, guys. If you're getting out a skillet then it's not quick. It's not necessarily bad, but it's not quick!
Bah! I can make lots of stuff in a skillet in under 10 minutes!
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-23-2006, 01:48 PM   #26
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

Here's my 2 cents worth. Quick breakfast: make sausage gravy. line mini muffin pan with saran wrap and drop a dollop of sausage gravy into each spot, freeze. when frozen, remove from muffin pan and flatten out a canned biscuit and insert dollop into middle of biscuit. pinch shut, turn over (pinched side down) on cookie sheet and bake 10-15 minutes. Refreeze leftovers for a quick biscuits and gravy breakfast.
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-23-2006, 01:49 PM   #27
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

Ummm... nachos.

1 plate covered in tortilla chips
handful of cheese

sprinkle cheese on tortilla chips. microwave till cheese is melted. Serve with taco sauce from a jar or from packets labeled "Taco Bell".

For variety, beans, sour cream, sauteed onions, and/or lettuce can be added to the nachos.

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-23-2006, 02:59 PM   #28
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
For variety, beans, sour cream, sauteed onions, and/or lettuce can be added to the nachos.*
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-23-2006, 05:31 PM   #29
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

Dinner for 2.
2 bags of Microwave Organic Popcorn. 2 minutes 14 seconds each.
4 beer. 4 seconds to open.
Enjoy.
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-23-2006, 06:17 PM   #30
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zipper
Dinner for 2.
2 bags of Microwave Organic Popcorn. 2 minutes 14 seconds each.
4 beer. 4 seconds to open.
Enjoy.








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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-23-2006, 06:25 PM   #31
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

Start boiling water for rice. Add rice once water boils. Simmer.
Chop up veggies of choice (I like bell peppers, mushrooms, asperagus, broccoli, sweat peas, onions, whatever, usually I just use 2 or 3).
Chop up fully defrosted boneless skinless chicken breast.
7 minutes before the rice is done, put your skillet (or wok) over high heat. When it's hot, add some oil.
When the oil is hot, toss in the chicken. Cook until just done (about 2 minutes).
Remove chicken.
Add more oil.
Add in the veggies.
Cook about 3 minutes.
Add chicken, and your favority sauce. Stir-fry sauce is fine, but I've also used bbq sauce and various marinades. Cook for 1 minute.
Eat.

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-23-2006, 06:32 PM   #32
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute n Fuzzy Bun'ny
Oh alright, I've got another one.

Can of coconut milk, the full fat, not the light stuff...it sucks. Half teaspoon to a teaspoon of red thai chili paste, drained can of chicken breast meat, few dashes of thai fish sauce if you have some, any bamboo shoots, diced green onions or other flotsam/jetsam you've go lying around that looks vaguely like it should be in a thai soup. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Throw in a couple of frozen shrimp if you've got 'em. Squeeze a half a fresh lime into each bowl or drizzle in a little bottled lime juice.

The basic version of this takes a few minutes. With all the trimmings you can make a half hour out of it.
Throw some ginger in there too. And a pile of spinach. Good food.
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-23-2006, 09:09 PM   #33
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

Heres a trick for you...wash and then freeze a whole chunk of ginger. Peel if you must, but its not necessary. Use a grater, ideally a microplane, to get as much ginger as you need into a dish. Frozen, the ginger shreds beautifully into long strands, which of course it wont do when fresh...pulp and juice are all you get then.

Fast cut for pastry, in the same vein, is to freeze a stick of butter. When making biscuits or dumplings that call for whapping the crap out of some dough until the butter in the recipe gets pea sized or less? This gives you the small butter bits in 5 seconds. Biscuits or fine dumplings in a few minutes with almost no work...flour, baking powder, grated frozen butter, salt, whatever else you need, voila...into the oven or soup in a minute.

On that popcorn and four beers for two...which one of you gets the four beers and which one is stuck with the popcorn?
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-23-2006, 10:02 PM   #34
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

Man, CFB - you are quite the chef! No wonder the Mrs. is out working (so you'll do the cooking!)

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-24-2006, 05:12 AM   #35
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

hmm. The OP said "kind of like 30-minute meals but maybe quicker".

Nords, under ten minutes and with a microwave, isn't "cooking". It's surviving. Makes me think of either the office or the dorm, two places I'd rather forget.
Even Ramen noodles take around 5 minutes, for gosh sakes..

If that's your criteria, I second the nacho chef (justin). But taking the nacho recipe to new heights, I suggest:
-Take a boneless chicken breast.
-Boil in as much water to barely cover in a small covered pot for ten minutes.
-Turn off heat and let sit covered for 15 minutes.
-Shred up chicken with your hands.
-Apply to nachos along with cheese in toaster oven. Sliced black olives and/or jalapenos if you wish.
-Serve with jarred salsa & sour cream.

For under 10 minutes, I would be exploring the universe of bread and cold cuts.
Or maybe pita-bread "pizzas".
Or a bagged salad with stuff thrown on top.
Or omelets.

My idea of "quick" is whatever I can make in how long it takes the pasta water to boil and the pasta to cook, i.e., 20 minutes roughly.

Along the line of CFB's quick tips to speed prep for "regular" cooking, I'll add this: a lot of the things I make end up calling for a few tbsp of chopped onion, chopped carrot, chopped celery as a base. A drag when you are using small amounts and maybe you forgot to keep the fresh carrot or celery around.. Chop a cup or two's worth in the food processor and save in 1 or 2 tbsp portions. I do it by putting a long strip of plastic wrap on the counter, then making little piles at short intervals, folding over the wrap and twisting each pile around so that I get a length of chopped carrot "sausages" 'that I can put in the freezer and tear off later as needed.

Wait, here's something I made recently. You could accompany with a grilled steak or pork chop:
-------
Bean salad

-Take a small can or two of black beans. Drain and rinse well.
-Chop some peppers. I like a mix of red, green, yellow for the visual. If you use all three, you may only need 1/2 of each.
-Chop some red onion.
-If you have access to fresh sweet corn, slice off the niblets of 1 or 2 ears with a knife. Otherwise use the best canned type you can find, or omit.
-Dump it all in a bowl and season with salt, pepper, olive oil, and a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar. All to taste, of course. A 'gourmet' touch is some chopped fresh cilantro.

Voila'! Guaranteed doable in 10 minutes.
This is great to take to a cookout or picnic 'cause it can sit out a bit without ill effects.

More with beans:
---------------
Fagioli all'uccelletto

-Canned cannelloni (white) beans. Decide how many cans you want to make ('cause it affects the proportions of the rest), drain, rinse well, and put aside.
-Put a couple tbsp. oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and start heating while you peel your garlic (1 clove/can of beans).
-Gently fry up 1 garlic-pressed clove per can.
-Just after putting in garlic in the hot oil, add one or two fresh sage leaves per can of beans. If you have rinsed the sage leaves dry them off, because they hold a lot of water on the surface that will cause them to spatter in the oil.
-When garlic is not even barely getting colored (like 1 minute), put in just 1 or 2 tbsp. tomato product per can of beans (this could be canned chopped tomatoes, puree, or sauce -not tom.paste, though). A relatively small amount; you are looking for a very light tomato sauce, and a final product that is 'pink' rather than 'red'.
-Cook the sauce for about 3-4 minutes.
-Add beans to sauce and cook gently, just enough to heat the beans through.

Another guaranteed under 10' dish. I don't even add salt to this.

If anyone tries any of these, let us know how they came out!*
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-24-2006, 08:56 AM   #36
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

Great stuff posted so far

Unfortunately my idea is to nuke a micro meal(pick your brand) or Taco Bell, Burger King, or Kentucky Fried - all under ten minutes round trip. Half hour - if I call out for pizza.

Now that the remodeling is done inside - perhaps I'll try some of the great ideas posted here.

I used to watch the local cooking shows(New Orleans).

Now we have this forum.

heh heh heh heh
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-24-2006, 09:25 AM   #37
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by unclemick2
Great stuff posted so far

Unfortunately my idea is to nuke a micro meal(pick your brand) or Taco Bell, Burger King, or Kentucky Fried - all under ten minutes round trip. Half hour - if I call out for pizza.
Help me please. I have been brainwashed.
I can't see myself (unless I'm starving or at gunpoint) cooking a meal in a microwave (warming up ok) or buying TBl, BK. MD, KK or Domino etc. I am missing so much of greasy good eating. I need deprogramming real bad.
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-24-2006, 09:58 AM   #38
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

Hmmm

One could do Healthy Choice or South Beach micro's

But for real deprograming - I like black coffee/doughnuts and B.S. with some good old pharts at the local coffee shop.

Haven't found "the one' up here in MO yet (like Slidell) but it's fun looking.

heh heh heh heh - I put cooking in with my hobby stock picking - hormonal, good fun - and possibly a winner someday.
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-24-2006, 01:52 PM   #39
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
hmm. The OP said "kind of like 30-minute meals but maybe quicker".

Nords, under ten minutes and with a microwave, isn't "cooking". It's surviving. Makes me think of either the office or the dorm, two places I'd rather forget.
Even Ramen noodles take around 5 minutes, for gosh sakes..
I understand... I'm just trying to stay on the "quick" part of the topic. After my sea duty time I no longer have the most discriminating of palates, so it's all pearls before swine. When it comes to calories I favor expediency over art.

We've lived in our house for nearly six years now and I figure that I've cleaned up the kitchen over 6,000 times. Not a cheery aspect to the next six decades of ER, but maybe the daily rate will drop when our kid hits the streets. In any case I prefer to spend as little messing/cooking time in the kitchen as possible.

But I'm more than happy to support all the chefs out there with my appreciative appetite. I'll even clean up after you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
Bean salad
I've eaten a lot of strange & unidentified comestibles, even edibles, in my time... but I just can't even stand to smell a three-bean salad, let alone eat one.

This is what the submarine force starts making after six weeks or so at sea when the lettuce runs out. It might be tasty but there's just too many scent memories associated with that in my lower cerebellum...
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
Old 06-25-2006, 07:25 AM   #40
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Re: Quick Meal Ideas

So Nords, those rumors about the food being pretty good in the Navy isn't true?

I had always heard that on top of that, subs had the best food in the Navy

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