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Sara’s Weeknight Meals Season 1

Chicken with Sausage and Hot Cherry Peppers

Makes 4 servings Hands-on time: 20 minutes Total preparation time: 50 minutes This is based on an Italian dish called scarpariello – sort of a “turf and turf.” I love the combination of chicken and sausages to begin with, and when you throw in the pickled peppers, the whole dish takes on…

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Poblanos Stuffed with Spinach and Goat Cheese (Chiles Rellenos de Espinachas)

Makes 6 servings Hands-on time: 20 minutes Total preparation time: 45 minutes Seven 6 ounce bags (or six 7 ounce bags) baby spinach or 2 1/2 pounds loose baby spinach or 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen 6 large poblano chiles (about 1 1/4 pounds) 1/4 cup mild olive oil 1/2 cup raisins…

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Swiss Enchiladas (Enchiladas Suizas)

Makes 6 servings Hands-on time: 20 minutes Total preparation time: 40 minutes plus prep time for salsa if making 4 cups Cooked Green Salsa (recipe follows) or store bought green salsa 2 poblano chiles, roasted (see page 21), peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped. 1 cup heavy cream 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas 1/4 cup…

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Adobo-marinated Chicken Quesadilla (Quesadilla de Pollo Adobado)

Makes 2 to 4 servings Hands-on time: 10 minutes Total preparation time: 10 minutes plus prep time for chicken and sauces 1 1/2 cups coarsely shredded queso Chihuhua (about 6 ounces) Adobo-marinated chicken, cut into 1/4 inch slices Four 10-inch flour tortillas Pico de Gallo Guacamole Pasilla de Oaxaca Tomatillo Salsa Make…

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Adobo-marinated Chicken (Pollo Adobado)

Makes 4 servings Hands-on time: 15 minutes Total preparation time: 30 minutes plus marinating time For the adobo: 2 guajillo chilies, wiped clean, stemmed, seeded and toasted very lightly 2 chiles de arbol (with seeds) or less, depending on heat, wiped clean and well toasted 3 large garlic cloves 1/2 teaspoon cumin…

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Grilled Lamb and Onion Kabobs with Olive Aioli

Makes 4 servings Hands-on time: 10 minutes Total preparation time: 35 minutes 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…

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Korean-style Beef with Spicy Cabbage

Makes 4 servings Hands-on time: 25 minutes Total preparation time: 25 minutes Skirt steak is one of those ingredients you would have to be very talented to mess up. It is a well-marbled (butcher’s way to say there is significant fat running through it) tough cut of meat that should be cooked…

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Pork Tournados with Sage and Prosciutto

Makes 4 servings Hands-on time: 20 minutes Total preparation time: 20 minutes This is a take off on the Italian dish called saltimbocca, which literally means “jump into the mouth,” because that is how tasty it is. The traditional dish has veal scaloppine, prosciutto, and sage. This variation, made with pork tenderloin,…

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Vegetarian Yemista

Makes 5 servings Hands-on-time: 30 minutes Total preparation time: 45 minutes 4 cups short grain white rice 5 Beefsteak tomatoes 5 yellow bell peppers 5 eight-ball squash Extra virgin olive oil 1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets 1 medium sweet onion, chopped 8 porcini mushrooms, chopped 1 medium carrot, chopped 1 stalk celery stalk,…

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Yiouvarelakia (Meatball Soup)

Makes 8 Servings Hands-on-time: 30 minutes Total preparation time: 60 minutes 2 quarts chicken or beef stock 5 bay leaves Kosher salt Finely milled black pepper 1 pound loaf country white bread, crusts removed 2 cups whole milk 1 1/2 pounds ground beef 1/2 pound ground pork 2 large eggs 1/4 cup…

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Lamb Yiouvesti

Makes 6 servings Hands-on-time: 30 minutes Total preparation time: 1 1/2 hours 18 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped 2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped 2 parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped 2 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped 2 sweet onions, coarsely chopped Extra virgin olive oil 6 lamb…

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Quick Salmon Cakes with Corn Salsa

Makes 4 servings Hands-on-time: 20 minutes Total preparation time: 25 minutes Canned salmon has come a long way in terms of quality, and when combined with chiles, crushed tortilla chips, and cumin, moistened with mayonnaise, and topped with corn salsa you almost wouldn’t know that it was canned. I have long…

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Linguini with White Bean, Sun-dried Tomato, and Olive Sauce

Makes 4 servings Hands-on-time: 10 minutes Total preparation time: 20 minutes Mashing up white beans instantly produces a creamy pasta sauce – without cream – that’s capable of binding together all the ingredients in a dish. Here I’ve “beefed up” the sauce with sun-dried tomatoes and olives from the pantry. Of course,…

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Fried Rice

Makes 4 servings Hands-on-time: 15 minutes Total preparation time: 15 minutes If you order Chinese takeout (and who doesn’t?), chances are you often have cooked white rice on your hands. I can’t think of any better use for it than to transform it into fried rice. The kids love it. I have…

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Det Burgers

Makes 4 servings Hands-on time: 25 minutes Total preparation time: 25 minutes My first official cooking job was in the midseventies at a bar in Ann Arbor, Michigan (where I went to college), called the Del Rio. They featured live jazz on weekends. It was a democratic place; all decisions…

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Asian Turkey Burgers with Wasabi Sauce

Makes 6 servings Hands-on time: 20 minutes Total preparation time: 30 minutes Sure, ground turkey is a nice lean alternative to ground beef, but its very leanness guarantees that it will usually be quite dry. How to juice it up? Vegetables – in this case Napa cabbage, which gives off moisture…

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Portobello Burgers with Red Pepper and Gorgonzola

Makes 4 servings Hands-on time: 20 minutes Total preparation time: 30 minutes plus 1 hour marinating This is an absolutely wonderful meatless summer sandwich. In the center is a marinated and grilled Portobello mushroom cap. It is filled with melted Gorgonzola, topped with roasted red peppers, and lathered with just a…

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Parsley Pesto

Makes 1 1/4 cups Hands-on time: 5 minutes Total preparation time: 5 minutes This recipe has all the elements of traditional pesto with a couple of crucial substitutions – parsley instead of basil and walnuts instead of pine nuts. Still, it goes wherever a basil pesto would. Toss it with cooked…

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Giant Stuffed Mushrooms

Makes 4 servings Hands-on time: 15 minutes Total preparation time: 25 minutes When I was growing up, one of the more exotic items in my mom’s culinary repertoire was stuffed mushrooms. She would make them with cultivated white mushrooms, which were considered very elegant at the time, and stuff them simply with…

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Grilled Shiitake, Sweet Potato, and Eggplant Kabobs

Makes 4 servings Hands-on time: 10 minutes Total preparation time: 50 minutes including marinating time 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,…

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Cheatin’ Jambalaya

Makes 4 to 6 servings Hands-on time: 15 minutes Total preparation time: 15 minutes In its authentic form this Cajun specialty is so wonderful that Hank Williams wrote a love song to it half a century ago. My version is much simpler than the classic. It does indeed boast many of…

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Green Posole with Chicken

Makes 4 to 6 servings Hands-on time: 25 minutes Total preparation time: 30 minutes Posole is a hearty soup from the Jalisco region of Mexico that is traditionally made with pork and hominy. Hominy is dried corn kernels from which the hulls and germs have been removed. (In its ground…

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Easy Buffalo Chicken Wings

Makes 4 servings Hands-on time: 5 minutes Total preparation time: 30 minutes If you are a fan of Buffalo Chicken Wings you will not be disappointed by these, even though they are a much-simplified version of the original, which involves deep frying, sauces, and celery stalks. You will be happy…

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Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

Makes 4 servings Hands on time: 10 minutes Total preparation time: 40 to 45 minutes 1 cup yogurt 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste Freshly ground black pepper 3 1/2 pounds chicken,…

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