The theme for this week’s meal plan was The Food Network. A Long Time Ago, Katie* posted about how she had gotten her hands on a copy of Great Easy Meals: 250 Fun & Fast Recipes.
After I got done raising an eyebrow, I got jealous. Quickly.
Yes, dinner is a priority for us every night. But sometimes it’s not The Priority. While I love all of the cookbooks that we own (I like to think we have a pretty hardy collection going on), a large number of them involve stuff like foresight, sourcing ingredients, and TIME.
S0 after reading all of the reviews on Amazon and talking myself in and out of buying it more times than I could count, I asked for it as a birthday gift. Adam and Michelle delivered.
In the spirit of giving a proper test drive, this week is dedicated to that book.
The verdict thus far? BUY IT NOW.
Tuesday – Hoisin Chicken with Cucumber Salad AND Garlic Green Beans from Great Easy Meals
It has been just AGES since I’ve cooked anything with white rice, which is quite possibly Marcus’ favorite food of all time. When I came across this chicken recipe, I pounced.
Our modifications: We cut two boneless thighs into pieces and let them sit in the marinade/sauce for a half-hour in the fridge. Since we were sans-limes so we settled for bottled juice. Instead of processing everything, we grated the ginger and sliced the garlic, jalapenos and green onions to no ill effect. Rather than grilling, I yanked the chicken out of the sauce, seared it in a medium-hot pan and then incorporated the rest of the sauce and simmered it uncovered through completion.
Oh, and we tossed in the last handful of a bag of frozen peas. It only seemed right.
Garlic Green Beans, you are so simple and yet The Most Forgiving Method for cooking freezer burned vegetables that I have ever come across. For 10 minutes of effort, we were richly rewarded with a dish that was warm, salty and slightly sweet because of the sauteed garlic slices.
Our modifications: We used 1/4 t of cayenne instead of a pinch, because let’s be serious, this is how Marcus and I operate now. I omitted the pecans because I just wasn’t in the mood. While I understand how they would have likely made the dish even better, sometimes laziness wins.
Thursday – Flank Steak with Salsa Verde from Great Easy Meals and The Pioneer Woman’s Marinated Tomato Salad with Herbs, Steamed Broccoli, Baked Potatoes
Instead of flank steak, we used about a half-pound of the steak that we sourced at ALDI during their Day Before We’re Closed On Labor Day Meat Sale. While we were in the melee, I unapologetically grabbed about four pounds of the stuff and then proceeded to portion it out and freeze it the moment we made it home.
The steak required zero attention (besides seasoning, cooking and allowing to rest), but the salsa verde required some. Which is to say that I had to action an immersion blender-style treatment on it.
Our modifications: We omitted anchovies and capers in the salsa verde because we didn’t have those on-hand and instead incorporated a jalapeno. Just for a little something extra. Or just because it was in the crisper. Your call.
Re: PW’s Tomatoes, I was extremely skeptical about combining balsamic vinegar and brown sugar since Marcus prefers neither of those things in the wild. Mais, non. He wholeheartedly approved and I was even able to sneak a container of them into his lunch today.
I’m under the impression that this one will get a whole lot harder to make once the basil goes out and disappears from grocery store shelves so run, don’t walk if this strikes your fancy.
How do you get dinner on the table quickly?
What foods do your dining partners Avoid At All Costs?