What do make for dinner on a Friday night?
- free sample addict aka Tracy L Dec 21, 2013 09:34 PM
My New Years resolution is to only eat out once a month (except for invitations from friends to eat out). I got an early start and I have not had food delivered or bought take out in about 2 months. What do you make after a long week when you are too tired to cook?
My new resolve is not to order pizza out...there really isn't any by me locally that I truly look forward to eating. Instead, I'm going to make pies at home with store bought pre-made dough. I'll wait until the Cheese is on sale and my focus will be on white square pan pies or grilled in a Cast Iron Pan. I'll use up any vegetables and meats I have leftover....which will usually mean Sausage and Broccoli Rabe. I did this recently and it was 25% the cost of ordering take-out.
I also like the idea of Omelets and Soup/Salad.
Things that improve after "aging" in the freezer.
Leftover lasagna, pulled pork or italian beef sandwiches. Lazy mommy's fish tacos (baked fish sticks wrapped in savoy cabbage leaves with sliced peppers, pickled onions, and a spicy tartar sauce) Brats on the grill in the summer.
And some booze
I can't say enough how valuable the freezer is for such occasions. Leftovers that I am tired of, tired moving in the direction of disgusted, emerge weeks later from the freezer to glad cries of welcome. For Friday night if you're a family, pull a variety of has-beens from the freezer, heat everything (oven allows you to do them all at once), and set them up as a buffet (the greater the variety, the better, so it's not cheating to add deli coleslaw, bakery rolls, some baked potatoes, or whatever). People help themselves to their favorites. My now-grown children do not get nostalgic over past Christmas dinners but they still talk about Leftovers Night and have continued the custom with their own families.
I'm sorry but I just had to snicker. Both in envy and ignorance.
I live in BFE outside of a big city. We didn't even have a grocery store until a few years ago. I would love to reverse your resolution and order in more often!! Isn't that always the way. Curly haired people want strait. Strait haired people want curly.
Anyway, when I am beat down from the commute and so forth, I always go for a baked omelet. I whisk up some eggs, add in cooked diced potatoes, cooked onions, etc. Place in pan and top with cheese(which will sink). Bake until barely set.
The other "I'm tired and can't deal dish" is what I call baked eggs. Use leftover tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, or sauce out of a jar. Pour it in a pan. Crack a few eggs on top. Bake until the eggs are set to your liking.
Both are great with garlic bread and a salad.
I can't tell you how many times I've chosen this when I'm just bone tired.
Written in slate: Friday night is cheeseburger night for us. Cooked in a black frying pan on a toasted roll with a bag salad- usually caesar. We used ti go out for a drink first but have moved so have the drink in.
Grocery store rotisserie chicken, either newly purchased/ hot or reheated frozen leftovers of same. Sort of take-out. With a microwaved baked potato.
I've also been known to make a 30-minute steak dinner, which is always a hit with my husband and (since I've got the routine down and keep the ingredients on-hand) is actually easier than going out. Micro-thaw the porterhouse steak, while cleaning & slicing fresh mushrooms. Put steak in the skillet to cook 4 - 5 minutes per side. Saute mushrooms in butter & garlic salt in a 2nd skillet while steak is cooking. Micro-cook potato. Micro cook frozen green beans while steak is resting, set the table, garnish beans with slivered almonds. Pour the wine, put out the butter, sour cream and steak sauce. Call out "Dinner's Ready!"
Scrambled eggs with cream cheese and chives, and a toasted English muffin with marmalade. If I get really crazy, I fry up some bacon.
Or I pull out a small container of meat sauce from the downstairs freezer and make sketti & sauce.
A friend of mine does "open kitchen" night - Kids can help themselves to anything (usually cereal or sandwiches). For myself, it's salad in the summer and sandwiches in the winter / colder months. Monotonous, yes, but easy.
These are the things I can fix that are about as fast/easy as take out:
Tuna salad sandwiches
Amy's black bean soup (freshened with lime and chipotles) topped with a fried egg
Grilled cheese sandwich and soup (usually my own frozen)
Pan seared fish filet (broiler) over bagged spinach, onions, and whatever veg and dressing I've got
Like someone else said, this is when I usually pull out those frozen soups, casseroles, chili, etc from the freezer.
Pasta. My husband is happy with just garlic, olive oil and parmesan cheese. I usually add whatever leftvover roasted vegetables are hanging around. Or, this is when the frozen vegetables get used...crinkle cut carrots, spinach, broccoli. And canned mushrooms (what can I say, I like them with pasta!).
I made Thai Fried Basil on Friday for the 3rd or 4th time. It really doesn't take a long time and is so satisfying. I'm like you -- I'm usually so tired on Fridays I don't like to exert much energy at all. Something simple and a gin & tonic and I'm happy.
I like it because it is a one-dish meal and I'm not having to make several sides, etc.
The Bitten Word: Grilled Thai Chicken and Eggplant with Basil
Aug 26, 2013 - A recipe from The Bitten Word Three things conspired the other day that led to us making this dish for dinner: 1. We were jonesing for some ...
I live alone but like to have lots of ingredients on hand so I can cook both fast & easy, and slower, more laborious meals.
Cooked bacon keeps in the fridge for weeks. I bake a full pound. The other day I caramelized 5# of onions in the bacon fat that remained in the sheet pan. Tonight's dinner took under 10 min. I already had leftover plain pasta. I heated an oiled pan, threw in some frozen green beans. When the pan got hot again, added some of the cooked onion, strip of bacon that I diced up, and a few chicken livers, plus garlic and seasoned pepper. When the livers were nearly done, the pasta and some teriyaki sauce. All stirred up, a yummy one-dish meal.
Friday nights i usually "make" myself a large glass of wine and a snacky dinner plate- some raw veggies with whatever dip i have ( usually some kind of hummus), crackers/pita chips, assorted fancy olives, smoked tofu slices, some almonds or cashews and grapes if they're around.
It makes me feel like i'm having a posh antipasto plate.... ;) and it took zero time
It only takes a few minutes to grill or broil something. I would treat myself to a high quality, thick cut piece of fresh ribeye, maybe some grilled veggies to go along with it, and throw some garlic bread under the broiler. Crack open a bottle of wine to go along with it, and you're done. You'll save a lot vs. ordering that at a steak house.
Marcella Hazan's popular pasta sauce recipe is dead simple too. Just a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), a stick of butter, and half a peeled onion (not chopped). Let it simmer for an hour then scoop out the onion and toss the sauce with some fresh pasta. Some shaved parm and fresh basil to finish it off would make it even better. Granted it takes an hour, but it only takes seconds to throw together - besides, you can go take a relaxing bath while it's simmering.
Friday is pizza night for us. I make dough in large batches and freeze. Friday AM when I leave for work, I pull a ball or two of dough out and plop on the counter. End of the day, it is easy to flatten it out and add toppings, while sipping a glass of wine. So much better than delivery pizza!
What I call "Kitchen Sink Pasta": onions and garlic, can of tomatoes, any combination of capers, olives, anchovies, sun-dried tomatoes, oil-packed tuna, artichokes. Can even skip the onions and garlic if you are really lazy.
We had it last night.
Also, what Ttrockwood said—crackers, cheese, olives, whatever. I call it "Lady Dinner," since it's the kind of meal my girlfriends and I would have more often if we didn't have husbands. Though honestly my husband likes it too.
And I always have a few homemade soups in the freezer, in small portions. That's a meal for us.
Pasta and marinara sauce. Sometimes a homemade pizza using store bought (bakery) dough, and my favorite toppings. I think your New Year's resolution is a great one, buying food out is costly and not always the healthiest option.
Tuna melts are my go-to hot dinner for nights when I'm too tired to cook. Occasionally I might do a can of fava beans or chickpeas and make foul mudammas or a quick fetteh by tossing the beans with pita chips, garlicky tahini sauce, a top layer of rich whole fat yogurt and a generous drizzle of good olive oil.
Friday night is usually the evening I DON'T cook! But when I do, it's often pizza. I taught a pizza class on Friday evenings for 10 years, so that is something I really enjoy. I usually make up the dough earlier in the week and let it sit in the fridge.
I also like to make quick pasta dishes on Friday evenings. I love to make up "sauces" using whatever vegetables I have on hand.