Although none of us wants to devote more than 45 minutes or so to getting dinner on the table during the workweek, we still want to eat well. In Sara Moulton Cooks at Home…
, I included “ four quick chicken recipes” that all start with the same easy prep and become entirely different entrees once the sauce ingredients are added. This is one of them.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 6 ounces each
1/2 cup all-purpose flour more »
Moroccan Spiced Leg of Lamb with Preserved Lemon Relish
Butterflied boneless leg of lamb is a great dish for a crowd. I have used a Moroccan-style dry rub here, but you could substitute any chicken or meat marinade, wet or dry. One of my old favorites is a Jacques Pepin recipe that we ran when I was in the test kitchen at Gourmet. He just threw some raw onion, garlic, soy sauce, homey, jalapeno, and fresh ginger into a food processor and then marinated the lamb in it overnight.… more »
Roasted Ratatouille Crêpes with Goat Cheese
My mom made ratatouille from the New York Times Cookbook…
all the time when we were kids, and I just loved it. This venerable vegetable stew from the south of France with its many flavors layered together has all the complexity of a meat stew without the meat. All the stars of Provençal cuisine play a role—tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, garlic, onions, and bell peppers. Usually the vegetables in ratatouille are sautéed but I thought roasting them might intensify the flavor. more »
Grilled Polenta with Mushroom Ragout
It seems to me that mushrooms must mean to vegetarians what steak means to carnivores. They are both stick-to-your-ribs, center-of-the-plate comfort foods. These days our supermarkets always boast a huge selection of mushrooms, many of which were terribly exotic a generation ago. My advice for this hearty vegetarian entree is to mix together a few of the exotics and add some button mushrooms for filler. But don’t combine too many of the most pronounced in flavor—such as morel and shiitake—because… more »
Baked Whole Fish with Rosemary, Olive Oil, and Lemon
Fish, like meat or poultry, has more flavor when it is cooked on the bone. But many people are daunted by the prospect of cooking a whole fish because they have no idea how to fillet it. In fact, if you wait to fillet your fish until after it’s cooked, it’s a snap – because at that point the flesh is almost ready to fall off the bone. This is one of those fun entrées that you can set up… more »
Escarole Soup with Meatballs
I was working at the Harvest Restaurant in Harvard Square in the late seventies when Peter Vezan, one of the managers, steered me to a little trattoria in Boston’s North End. It wasn’t much more than a hole in the wall, but it boasted some of the best down-home Italian food in the city. My favorite dish on the menu was an escarole soup with meatballs. It was very old hat to Italian-Americans—the equivalent of matzo ball soup to American… more »
Crispy Broccoli with Capellini in Broth
Once you have your pasta water at a boil and your broccoli cut into florets, this dish—a perfect weekday quick comfort meal—takes no time at all to prepare. The star here is the crispy broccoli. You create that crispness by allowing your pan and oil to get a lot hotter than you normally would—to the point where the oil is just about smoking—and then quickly throwing in the broccoli and covering the pan. The broccoli sears around the edges, caramelizes, and… more »
Fried Green Tomato Sandwich with Goat Cheese
Being the ignorant Northerner that I am, I always thought that green tomatoes were transformed at the beginning of the season into fried green tomatoes because nobody could wait for those first tomatoes to ripen. I have been enlightened by my Southern friends and now understand that these tomatoes are actually harvested at the end of the season out of fear of the upcoming frost. I am happy to eat them at either end of the season, particularly gilded with… more »
Kielbasa and Celery Root Salad
When I came up with the idea for this salad I was focusing on the celery root part of it. Celery root, also known as celery knob or celeriac, is the thickened aromatic root of a variety of celery plant with a dense crunchy texture. In France, it is often julienned or shredded and tossed in a mustardy vinaigrette, which was my inspiration for this dish. I decided to start with another sharp flavoring, horseradish, and enhance it with mustard.… more »
Egg Foo Yung
When I was growing up, egg foo yung was a very popular item on Chinese take-out menus and in most Chinese Restaurants. In recent years, however, it seemed to disappear. Reading a recipe for egg foo yung in an old cookbook not long ago, I was struck by its adaptability. It is, after all—a kind of Chinese omelet—and, as with any omelet, the filling possibilities are endless. I have done what I can, however, to improve on the old egg… more »
Brie, Bacon, and Spaghetti Frittata
Here’s how to turn your leftover pasta into a new meal in the form of an Italian omelet. You can bulk it up with just about anything kicking around in the fridge—including leftover vegetables, meat, and poultry. If you have one of those great old cast-iron skillets, use it for this dish. Then you can bring the skillet to the table and serve your frittata family-style. Serve with a tossed green salad and crusty bread.
Makes 6 servings
Hands-on time:… more »
Baked Orzo and Cheese
I can’t tell you how hard I tried when the kids were little to come up with a homemade macaroni and cheese that they would choose to eat over that stuff in the box. They just weren’t interested. But now that they are older and have traveled a little bit, they seem to be open to new tastes. Their affection for this dish is proof.
This recipe is really just a blueprint. It is your basic macaroni and cheese baked… 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 »
Shrimp Niçoise Salad
Niçoise salad, fairly well known in America these days, is a specialty from the city of Nice in the south of France. It consists of tuna, tomatoes, blanched string beans, boiled potatoes, hard cooked eggs, and a vinaigrette dressing. I have adapted it by pureeing the tuna in the sauce and adding shrimp. You’re welcome to replace the shrimp with the leftover-cooked protein of your choice including turkey, chicken, or ham. A cozy way to serve this salad is to… more »
Fresh and Smoked Salmon Salad
I think smoked salmon is a wonderful secret ingredient, it adds not only a unique salmon taste but also an appealing smokiness, and a little goes a long way. This is my favorite way to cook fresh salmon on a weeknight, drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil and baked in a hot oven. You could make just the baked salmon part of this recipe and then top it with any number of the quick sauces found in Sara’s Secrets … 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.