Season Five of “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” is on air now; please tune in!
“Sara’s Weeknight Meals” Season Five launched with Episode 501: Sustainable Surf. Sara is passionate about seafood, but also about eating it responsibly, without depleting the vast culinary gift the ocean offers. That’s also the mission of our guest, Top Chef winner Hung Huynh. He brings us a favorite seafood dish with a nod to his native Vietnam – Grilled Shrimp and Lettuce Wraps. Then his Roasted Branzino for a pull out the stops culinary experience for fish lovers!… more »
This dish tastes best when the tomato season is at its height. As with almost any recipe featuring tomatoes, I pre-salt them to remove their excess liquid and concentrate their flavor. You can top them off with any kind of cracker—even plain old bread crumbs would be fine—but I like using Ritz crackers because their buttery taste reminds me of my grandmother Ruth Moulton. This is the kind of dish she would have served.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Hands-on… more »
Falafel are a favorite of connoisseurs of street food from Jerusalem to New York City. Made with ground dried chickpeas or fava beans, they’re hot, peppery, meaty, inexpensive, and satisfying – a handy little meal in a pita pocket. Given that we’re starting with canned beans instead of dried beans and that we sauté the falafel rather than deep-fry it, this version is both quicker to make and less caloric than the standard recipe…but no less lovable.
Makes 4 servings… more »
Grilled Shiitake, Sweet Potato, and Eggplant Kebobs
Shiitake mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and eggplant are all very “meaty” vegetables. Similarly there’s a creaminess to Sesame Miso Sauce, although it contains no cream. Put them together and you’ve got a very filling dish. Tasty too, of course. Grilling these vegetables as kabobs brings out their natural sugars. (You can broil them if you don’t have a grill or grill pan.)
Makes 4 servings
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Total preparation time: 50 minutes including marinating time
1/2 cup soy sauce… more »
Asian Green Beans and Pork
I have always loved the original version of this Chinese dish when I was served it. The only trouble is that the green beans are usually wok-fried in lots of oil. I wanted to lighten it up a bit so I figured out a way to crisp the beans without the fat–by broiling them.
Makes 4 servings
Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Total preparation time: 25 minutes
1 pound lean ground pork, beef, or turkey
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup… more »
In my research for Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals…
I found a recipe for my grandmother Ruth’s “Barbecued Frankforts” on a three- by five-inch index card in an old metal box, handwritten in her own beautiful curly script. Granny was a superb ye olde New England cook, so I gave it a try. In the end I substituted kielbasa for hotdogs and used my own barbecue sauce recipe (although you’re welcome to use your favorite supermarket brand). But what I more »
Asparagus and Goat Cheese Souffléed Omelet
This is a cross between an omelet and a soufflé and doesn’t take too much work as long as you have electric beaters. Make sure you beat your egg whites just to soft peaks; otherwise they won’t fold properly into the egg yolk base. Any leftover cheese or vegetable such as broccoli, spinach or the like would make a fine filling for this souffléed omelet so consider this a clean-out-the-fridge dish.
Makes 2 servings
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total preparation… more »
Nobody ever really gets enough shrimp. Which is why the idea of a scampi hero seemed luxurious to me. (In Italy, scampi is the name for the tail portion of any of several kinds of small lobsterlike creatures. In America scampi is the name for a dish of large shrimp cooked in butter or oil with garlic.) It’ll cut your prep time way down if your local supermarket sells raw shrimp already shelled and deveined—but make sure they smell very… more »
Greek Salad Sandwiches with Feta Dressing
This is a slight twist on a Greek salad. I just put all the elements into a pita pocket and used the feta to make a dressing. If you like Greek salads, you will love this more-substantial sandwich.
Makes 4 Servings
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total preparation time: 20 minutes
4 ounces good-quality feta cheese, crumbled (about 2/3 cup)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves or… more »
Antipasto Salad with Parmigiano-Reggiano Dressing
This is the perfect lazy-day summer salad, since you don’t have to use the oven. You could buy the blanched broccoli or cauliflower and prepared pasta salad at the salad bar and never even turn on the stovetop. But this salad would be equally good on any night, summer or winter, when you are pressed for time. Feel free to substitute other meats or cheeses for the ones suggested below.
Makes 6 to 8 Servings
Hands-on-time: 25 minutes
Total preparation… more »
Grilled Lamb and Onion Kabobs with Olive Aioli
Lemon, olive oil, rosemary, and garlic – this is my favorite marinade for lamb, whether I am cooking a roast or skewering kabobs. They work well together because both the marinade and the lamb are products of the Mediterranean. The sauce, made of garlic and olive-flavored mayonnaise, is also Mediterranean – and a great shortcut, given that mayo is premade. I love grilled onions with the lamb, but you can add other vegetables to the skewers.
Makes 4 servings
Hands-on… more »
Grilled Eggplant Wraps with Lemon Aioli, Feta, and Mint
Many of my favorite flavors from Greece are contained in this one fragrant little wrap. You can make them all summer long using an outdoor grill, but you can also cook them indoors year round using a grill pan or a broiler. Stick a skewer sideways through the onions to keep them together when you cook them. If feta cheese is too salty for you, substitute ricotta salata, this aged ricotta cheese is similar in flavor to feta but not… more »
Grilled Potato and Corn Salad with Chipotle Mayonnaise
The corn in this salad should be grilled, but what’s the best way to do it? In the husk? With some of the husk removed? Stripped naked? My wholehearted vote is for the “naked” or fully husked, method, which creates an unbeatable toasted popcorn flavor.
The secret ingredients here are the chipotles and adobo. Chipotles are smoked jalapenos and adobo is a tomato-based sauce. A little bit of these guys will perk up any dish.
This salad tastes best when… more »
Sautéed Pork Loin with Mustard and Grapes
When I was in High School my Mom and I threw all kinds of dinner parties. (Actually she threw the parties and I helped cook.) Our favorite dish was Veal Scaloppine. I liked it no matter how it was cooked or sauced. It seemed so elegant to us, and there were so manygood recipes for it in our favorite cookbook, Craig Claiborne’s The New York Times Cookbook…
. In retrospect, I realize that my fondness for veal scaloppini is based more »
Creamed Finnan Haddie with Johnnycakes
The smoked haddock known as finnan haddie is a Scottish thing and therefore a New England thing. My Dad (pictured here with me on Labor Day 2001) grew up loving it for breakfast—almost always prepared in the creamed version detailed here—as a kid in Milton, Massachusetts.
I added the johnnycakes to the recipe. Corncakes made from stone-ground flint corn, johnnycakes are another New England family tradition. There is a raging controversy about whether johnnycakes should be thick and fluffy or… more »
Sara’s New Book
|In my newest book, I share more than 200 new family-tested, family-pleasing recipes. Whether you’re new to the kitchen or just looking for a way to spice up your recipe repertoire, my carefully tested quick and easy recipes will help you get dinner on the table every night of the week.