Long day? Want to get dinner on the table fast? From simple pasta ideas to comforting soups, vegetables, sandwiches — even shrimp and steamed mussels — here are 14 recipes that you can make in half an hour or less.
Giuseppe's mussels in sambuca: Chef Giuseppe DiFronzo was happy to share his recipe for this simple dish. Mussels are steamed in a flavorful blend of fresh fennel, garlic, leeks, cream and white sambuca, the anise-flavored Italian liqueur. He recommends serving the mussels alongside plenty of crusty Italian bread and a cold glass of Vermentino or Albarino.
Spaghetti with arugula and garlic bread crumbs: A touch of fresh-toasted bread crumbs can transform a dish, whether sprinkling them over vegetables or gratins -- they even work magic drizzled over desserts. They can elevate a simple pasta dish too, as Food columnist Russ Parsons shows in an amazing (and simple) recipe for spaghetti with arugula and garlic bread crumbs.
Broccoli soup: Luxurious yet frugal, this quick soup comes together in almost no time. Broccoli is simmered in chicken broth just until tender, then quickly blended for a thick soup with silky texture. To complement the fresh broccoli flavor, add a squeeze of lemon or a drizzle of grated Parmesan.
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Creamy scrambled eggs: Even scrambled eggs work well at dinnertime. Gently cook them to a soft scramble, sprinkle over chopped fresh herbs and serve alongside toasted baguette slices. It makes for a perfectly light main course.
Hurley's grilled mussels with red wine and chorizo: The mussels in this dish are first grilled to open them, lending light smoky notes to the shellfish. They're then tossed with a flavorful blend of chorizo, a rich wine reduction, tomatoes, parsley and butter. Hungry yet?
Egg salad sandwich with dill: Chopped hard-boiled eggs are tossed with onion, celery, mustard, vinegar, mayonnaise and a touch of salt for a quick egg salad. The salad is great by itself, but spoon it between two slices of bread with shredded lettuce and fresh dill and you've got a meal that's perfect when you're on the go or looking for a quick bite to eat.
Slow-poached shrimp: Only a handful of ingredients are used in this easy recipe. The shrimp and all the flavorings are combined in a resealable bag and slow-poached for maximum flavor while keeping the shrimp tender and moist. It's dinner in 15 minutes, and is perfect served over a bed of rice.
Steamed corn with clams and bacon: Just a handful of ingredients -- including corn, clams and bacon -- combine for a dish that's pure magic. Fresh corn is steamed with clams in a bacon-rich wine broth.
Black mussels with fennel salt: Writes our own
Zucchini, corn and green chile (calabacitas): For those who've never heard of it before, calabacitas is a classic Southwestern blend of stewed vegetables. This colorful mix of zucchini, corn and green chile is simply flavored with bacon, onion, oregano and garlic, with a little fresh cilantro to round out the harmony.
Asparagus with bread crumb-fried eggs: Dinner doesn't get much simpler than a fried egg cooked over crisp bread crumbs, draped over steamed asparagus spears and topped with a drizzle of vinegar for a touch of acidity.
New Mex migas: You say chilaquiles, Food columnist Russ Parsons says migas. Whatever you call them, you can't go wrong with this one-dish comfort food combining eggs, chiles, tortilla chips, beans, cheese, sour cream and cilantro.
Green panini with roasted peppers and Gruyere cheese: This simple sandwich comes courtesy of chef and cookbook writer Deborah Madison and her husband, Patrick McFarlin, in their book, "What We Eat When We Eat Alone." Ciabatta bread is piled with mustard greens, cheese and roasted red peppers, then cooked in a panini maker or skillet, making for a sandwich that is one of McFarlin's favorites.
'Spanglish' BLT with fried egg and melted cheese: Take everything you love about a BLT and add a gloriously messy fried egg. And melted cheese. It's how Thomas Keller dresses up this classic; start to finish, it's ready in only 20 minutes. You can find the recipe below.
'SPANGLISH' BLT WITH FRIED EGG AND MELTED CHEESE
Total time: 20 | Serves 1
Note: From Thomas Keller.
3 to 4 thick slices bacon
2 slices Monterey Jack cheese
2 slices pain de campagne (rustic country loaf), toasted
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
4 slices tomato
2 leaves butter lettuce
1 teaspoon butter
1. Cook the bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels and set aside.
2. Place the slices of cheese on one slice of the toasted bread and place in a toaster oven or under a broiler to melt the cheese.
3. Spread the other slice of toast with the mayonnaise, top with the cooked bacon, the sliced tomato and the lettuce.
4. In a nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Fry the egg, turning over briefly when the bottom is set. (Keep the yolk runny.)
5. Slide the finished egg on top of the lettuce. Top with the other slice of toast, melted cheese side down. Place the sandwich on a plate and slice in half, letting the yolk run down the sandwich.
Each serving (with 4 pieces of bacon): 1,115 calories; 52 grams protein; 50 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 78 grams fat; 30 grams saturated fat; 346 mg. cholesterol; 2,192 mg. sodium.