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Need to make an impressive meal in an hour

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This Sat I will have guests visiting. We are planning on going sightseeing all day and getting home around 6 -6:30 in the evening. I want to make a nice dinner but be eating within an hour of getting home. I was thinking of risotto but need something else with it. I don't have a slow cooker but do have a pressure cooker. I also don't want to cook shrimp as I have a toddler who has not been exposed to shellfish and would like to have him eat dinner with us. Any menu ideas?

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  1. But risotto will take a long time, not to mention babysitting it the whole say.

    I'd suggest fish, if your toddler can eat that. Get some salad in a bag, toss with some persimmons or peas and candied pecan dressed with balsmic dressing.

    Mix some oil in a bread crumb herb mixture, top salmon and bake for 10-15 minutes.

    Buy some premium ice cream and serve inside crepe, which is super easy to make, and can also be made ahead of time.

    1. You could also prepare something in advance, like lasagne or short ribs, and then all you'll have to do is heat it up.

      1. I would make a soup the day before- then reheat quickly- nice if you have been out most of the day.

        followed by some sort of fish filet- I second the other salmon suggestion- so easy- you could prep in the morning.

        serve with cous cous (5 minutes) with winter flavors- dried cranberries and almonds - maybe and steamed vegtables or a simple sautee of whole green beans and garlic (prep the garlic and beans ahead)

        for dessert- visit the local baker or make something on Friday.

        Have fun! let us know what you make!

        1. Pork tenderloin roasts very fast (like, 10-20 minutes) in the oven, and can be pre-prepped.

          The night before, or that morning before leaving, rub a large tenderloin (1 lb feeds 2-3 people, in my experience) with a dry rub of peppercorns, star anise, cumin, allspice and a tiny drizzle of sesame oil (enough to make a paste). Refrigerate until you get back.

          Throw the tenderloin into a hot, ovenproof skillet and sear off on all sides, to a nice brown. Put the roast in a 450-degree oven until it registers 150 or so. After carryover, you'll get to 160.

          You can do any number of sides to go with the pork.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Fatemeh
            j
            Jeremy Newel

            I think the OP will be happier with those pork tenderloins if she takes them out of the oven when they reach 140° or, at maximum, 145° and then lets them rest.

            1. re: Jeremy Newel

              I agree, and that's what I would do.

              However, she has a toddler, and she will most likely want to make sure the meat reaches a full 160° per USDA guidelines.

              It's not a sure bet that the internal temp will increase by 15-20° while resting.

          2. How about something with couscous instead of risotto since that cooks oh so quickly.

            At the risk of creating a flame war of sorts, I might suggest getting some ideas from Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals archives... some of her stuff ain't so bad, and you might get a base for inspiration. The first thing on the link below is titled Company's Coming...

            Link: http://www.foodtv.com/food/show_tm/0,...

            1. I just made a really great lamb steak recipe from epicurious. I put the rub on sliced lamb tenderloin (on sale at Whole Food this week) in the AM, grilled them with a stove-top grill, and served with red chard sauteed with a pinch of chile flakes, some garlic and golden raisins -- I didn't have time for the quince compote and the sweet counterpoint of the raisins worked very well. I served zatar-flavored bulgur pilaf, but couscous would work and is much faster. It was excellent with an Amador Valley Zin.

              I like the ice cream and crepe dessert idea.

              Link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...