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Aug 5, 2007 05:36 AM

Share your favorite rather simple dinner recipe

Trying to get some new ideas for pretty quick dinners- besides pasta dishes. Please share your favorites for a busy couple who loves good food and eats out way too often.

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  1. One of the quickest and most delicious dinners I've been cooking recently is Ma Po Tofu...I use Mabziegurl's recipe from this board...the title says tofu but there is a small amount of ground pork (or turkey works too) in it.

    Another one we love is Salsa Chicken whereby you take a few pieces of skinless chicken (bone-in for us), season with a mixture of chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder & a little salt...bake that at 375 for about 20 minutes, then spoon your favorite salsa over it...bake for another 15 or 20 minutes and then top with reduced-fat sour cream & grated cheddar cheese & cilantro and bake for about 5 minutes. Okay, this recipe may not fit your "quick" qualification, I don't know.

    Stir-fry meals are always pretty quick to prepare also; anything with shrimp is very quick-cooking also.

    1. One of my faves is "Thai Beef". I think it's a recipe I found in Cooking Light and kinda altered it to my own taste.

      I don't actually measure:

      1 lb of ground meat (turkey works great here) -- browned with one large leek chopped finely
      add -- 8 oz tomato sauce
      brown sugar
      fish sauce
      1 clove garlic
      fresh ginger
      chili paste
      lime zest
      red curry paste

      Cook until reduced by half.
      Add 1/2 a can of coconut milk (i use light)
      Look again until reduced by half
      Add the juice of one lime before serving over rice.

      It's really delicious and only takes about 25-30 minutes. It's great with a simple green salad dressed with rice wine vinagrette.

      1 Reply
      1. re: geg5150

        Oh, and don't forget "Lazy Enchiladas". Use leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, I try to keep poached/shredded chicken in the freezer.

        Store bought enchilada sauce (red or green), but add anything you like to spice it up. I always add garlic, at least, and cumin, pepper, etc.

        Heat in a skillet. Using corn tortilla, just dip and flip the tortilla, do it quickly to make the tortilla more pliable, but you don't want it to fall apart.

        Stacked enchiladas are easiest...just put the tortilla right on the plate, add the chicken, another tortilla and top with cheese! Super easy! If you're feeling like "New Mexican" add a fried egg on top.

        As a matter of fact, that's what we had for breakfast this morning!

      2. I'm really big on frittatas. Very versatile - you can usually throw one together from just about anything you have in the house, even from leftovers of other meals. I even made one from a leftover arugula salad from a restaurant once, that my husband very frugually wouldn't let me leave there. It was already dressed and you know how greens wilt once vinegar hits it? I never would have saved it for the next day but my husband insisted I bring it home. Anyway, I decided to try it in a frittata, with some potatoes and goat cheese and it was really wonderful.

        Another time, we were out for a Spanish meal, and one of our appetizers was chorizo with potatoes. It was a very generous portion, even for the two of us. Next day, those leftovers went into a frittata too.

        One of my favorites is a recipe I have for a fresh corn, scallion, potato and cheddar one. It's one of those "go to" recipes I love.

        Served with a hearty salad and good crusty bread, it's a perfect, simple dinner which doesn't take much time and (usually) has leftovers for another day.

        4 Replies
        1. re: sivyaleah

          I love frittatas I'm very interested in your recipe for the one with fresh corn...would you share? TIA

          1. re: LoN

            It's from Gourmet and is in Epicurous. It actually has mozzerella, not cheddar, I forgot which it was (and I answered my own question actually from earlier, I was looking for something to do with fresh mozzerella I bought yesterday, duh! I hadn't made this yet this summer because my husband has been traveling so much, just haven't had the opportunity). Enjoy!


            We nearly always wind up eating the whole thing - very hard to resist saving any for leftovers :-)

            1. re: sivyaleah

              my goodness, that does look great! I will definitely use Pepper Jack cheese with it and a red bell pepper, I think, when I try it this week. Thank you!

              1. re: Val

                The beauty of frittatas - change them as you go! Enjoy!

        2. This one is perfect for hot weather--only good in the summertime. Take the best tasting tomatoes you can find, hard salami-maybe 20 slices, leaf basil, and any hardish italian cheese you like--I have done this with Motzerella and also with parmesan shavings . Slice the tomatoes and layer the ingredients in a flatish casserole or pan. -one leaf basil, a slice of tomato, cheese, salami, and repeat till done. Sprinkle with your favorite oil and vinigar type dresseing --or a really good tasting Italian bottled if you are tired. Put it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Have a glass of wine and slice up a loaf of good bread. Take out of the fridge. Eat. Good leftover too!.

          1 Reply
          1. re: gungadin

            Awesome warm weather meal!
            I love this kind of dinner. I often arrange platters of cheese, fruit, olives, salami, marinated veggies and bread. Sit out on the deck, drink wine and snack. ;)

          2. Great question! I'm going to keep checking this post to pick up some ideas, too.

            My husband makes fantastic fish tacos--the basic recipe is pretty simple and quick, but you can get fancy if you're in the mood. It is basically breaded, fried fish (something white like tilapia or flounder), with remoulade, and finely shredded red cabbage on soft flour or corn tortillas. If you've got picked onions and cilantro on hand that's good too, but the basic fried fish, remoulade, cabbage and tortilla is great.

            You cut the fish in nuggets or strips, then dredge in flour (seasoned with salt and pepper), egg (seasoned with salt and pepper), and then breadcrumbs (panko, matzoh meal, or plain breadcrumbs, seasoned with oregano, pepper, and maybe basil... don't use Italian flavor breadcrumbs, though.) Deep fry or bake until crispy and golden brown.

            You can make your own remoulade, but we've found that Thousand Island or Russian dressing works just as well and makes it a much less complicated preparation. If you feel like getting complicated, though, here's the remoulade recipe we use:

            Remoulade Sauce:
            1 cup mayonnaise
            1 tablespoon capers, minced
            1 cornichon, minced
            1 or 2 anchovies, minced
            1 shallot, minced
            1 teaspoon minced fresh chives
            2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley leaves
            2 teaspoons ketchup
            Mix to combine... we usually just pulse the capers, cornichons, anchovies, and shallot in a little food processor then add everything else.

            1 Reply
            1. re: matermagna

              I'm the husband mentioned above... last night we made a first time quick stir fry/lettuce wrap thing that we enjoyed a great deal:

              Nice, quick stir fry with a bit of preparatory dicing; full of flavor and quite satisfying. You want to get a fairly small dice on the raw chicken before cooking -- ideally it will give up a lot of liquid to make a sauce, but cook fast enough that it doesn't evaporate off.

              4 cloves garlic
              3 or 4 green onions, diced, white section reserved
              2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts diced
              1 can water chestnuts, rinsed, medium dice
              2 medium carrots, medium dice
              1/4-1/2 cup frozen peas (slightly thawed on counter while preparing)
              Soy sauce
              1-2Tbsp sugar
              Kosher salt
              Washed whole lettuce leaves -- something big and rollable.

              1. Pre-heat cast iron skillet/wok to unfathomable hotness on stove top.
              2. Work garlic and onion whites and a pinch of kosher salt with mortar and pestle (or food processor, chop-o-matic, etc.) into a nice paste.
              3. Add about 2 Tbsp vegetable oil to cast iron skillet, allow it to get hot, then drop in the garlic and onion paste. Stir fry for about thirty seconds, but move on to step 4 if it cooks too quickly.
              4. Add chicken. Stir fry until nearly cooked.
              5. Add a drop more of oil to center of pan. Add carrots and water chestnuts, with fat pinch of salt. Stir fry for another thirty seconds or so (we want these to stay crunchy.)
              6. Add peas, green onion, a couple dashes of soy sauce, and sugar. Stir to combine, then remove from heat. Or remove from heat and stir to combine: if you're cooking in cast iron it doesn't make much difference.
              7. Serve with lettuce leaves -- either roll into a burrito/spring roll sort of thing, or just serve over top. Leftovers can be reheated or served with rice or rice noodles.