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Dinner on the double!

Story and photos by Angie Sutton

www.mothersapronstrings.com

I’ve received an overwhelming amount of reader feedback (which I love) requesting more quick-to-the-table dinner recipes. This article is packed with recipes and I’m planning to do a second edition with more reader submitted recipes. Shoot me an email at mothersapronstrings@gmail.com with your family’s favorite quick meal and it may appear in a future article.

One of Sutton Central’s most frequent dinners is a fantastic smoked pork chop from the downtown meat market. It requires warming up and devouring in about 15 minutes. I like to serve the Swiss Vegetable Medley with this for a complete meal. A lot of quick meals utilize ground beef so I purchase it in bulk and then brown and freeze it in resealable bags.

To make your “dinner on the double” more successful, it is critical to plan your menu ahead. This avoids a last minute run to the store or ingredient substitution that derails your efforts. When we have a busy night scheduled, I will even set out non-perishable ingredients and the pans needed so I can start immediately when I walk in the kitchen.

Keeping cut up fruit or a cold salad made on Sunday in the refrigerator will keep a skillet dinner or casserole from being just one item on a plate. Later in the week a bagged lettuce salad kit or simple gelatin salad provides that crunchy or cold nibble the palate desires. Next week’s article will be chock full of salad recipes.


Cheesy Chicken Rolls

From Deirdre Copelan in Eatonton, Georgia. Deirdre suggests serving this dish with rice and super sweet peas. The kids loved this.

2 large cans of white meat chicken in water; drained or 4 cups cooked boneless chicken breast, shredded
1 (10.5 oz) can of cream of chicken soup
1 c. milk
1 (8 oz.) can of crescent dinner rolls
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Lay out a crescent dinner roll flat. Take a large pinch of chicken and a large pinch of shredded cheddar and put in the center. Roll the dough and pinch so ingredients are sealed in the roll. Place the rolls in prepared baking dish. Bake rolls for 15 minutes and remove from oven. Meanwhile prepare the soup mixture. Mix cream of chicken soup with milk and stir in remaining cheese; reserve 1/4 cup cheese. Cover each chicken roll with the soup mixture. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of each roll. Bake for approximately 5 minutes longer or until bubbly and your preference of browning on top.


Swiss Vegetable Casserole

I like to throw this veggie dish in the oven while I’m pulling together the rest of dinner. It’s a nice twist to offering vegetables.

Source: Julie Hormann

1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. sour cream
1 bag (16 oz.) frozen California blend vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli), thawed
1 can (2.8 oz.) French fried onions
1/2 c. shredded Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Stir together soup, sour cream, vegetables, pepper, 2/3 of the onions and 1/4 c. of cheese. Dump into casserole dish, cover and bake for 40 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Stir. Sprinkle on the remaining onions and cheese, bake another 10 minutes.


Tortellini Primavera

Makes: 5 servings, about 1 1/4 cups each

This recipe can be on the table in just 25 minutes. You can be creative with the vegetables to suit your taste. We like to add grilled chicken to the dish.

Source: eatingwell.com

1 (14 oz.) can vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 c. shredded fontina cheese or 3/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon, dill or chives or 1 tsp. dried tarragon
1/8 tsp. salt
4 c. chopped vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots and snap peas, or (16 oz.) bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 (10 oz.) package frozen cheese tortellini

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Meanwhile, whisk broth and flour in a small bowl. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until just beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broth mixture to the pan, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in cheese, tarragon (or dill or chives) and salt. Add vegetables and tortellini to the boiling water; return the water to a simmer and cook until the vegetables and tortellini are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain; add to the pan with the sauce and stir to coat.


Impossible Rueben Pie

My father-in-law loves corned beef and this is one of his favorite recipes. I can get this on the table in 45 minutes or less using canned corned beef.

Source: Linda Britton

1 (8 oz.) can sauerkraut, well drained
4 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded
3/4 c. biscuit mix
3 Tbsp. chili sauce<
1/2 lb. corned beef, cooked and diced
1 c. milk
1/3 c. mayonnaise
3 eggs

Sprinkle bottome of buttered clear glass 9-in pie plate with corned beef; top with Swiss cheese. Top with sauerkraut. In a blender at high speed, whirl together until smooth: milk, biscuit mix, mayonnaise, chili sauce and eggs (about 15 seconds); pour into pie plate. Bake in 400 F oven for about 30 minutes (bottom and sides will be brown, top is golden). Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.


Beefy Skillet Meal

This is a dish my mom calls goulash (minus the sour cream). I shortcut this recipe by boiling the elbow macaroni while the beef browns. Then I let the mixture simmer about 5 minutes. A friend of mine stretches her skillet dinner by adding protein-packed kidney beans (1 can; drained).

Source: Barbara Geiger

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef
1 c. diced onion
1 c. diced green pepper
2 c. canned diced tomatoes
1 1/2 c. sour cream<
2 c. uncooked spaghetti (broken) or elbow macaroni
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt

In a large skillet, brown ground beef, onion and green pepper. Add tomatoes, sour cream, seasonings and pasta. Cover skillet. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to simmer and steam 18 to 20 minutes.


Chop Suey

This dinner is so easy and the kids love it. This recipe makes 4 to 6 servings. I make extra because they always want seconds.

1 lb. ground beef
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 c. water, divided
2 Tbsp. corn starch
1 can (28 oz.) chop suey vegetables, drained
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
Cooked white rice
Chow Mein noodles

In a skillet, brown beef; drain if needed. Dissolve bouillon in 1 1/2 c. boiling water; add to skillet. Combine remaining water with cornstarch; stir into beef mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Add vegetables and soy sauce; stir and cook until heated through, about 15 minutes. Serve over rice; sprinkle with chow mein noodles.


16th Street Skillet Stew

I clipped this recipe from somewhere so I’m not able to give proper credit. But the dish is good. Of course I use a bit more bacon and sometimes shortcut the recipe with a frozen onion/green pepper mix and a bag of frozen cubed potatoes—just thaw them in the microwave and toss in the skillet.

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
4 bacon strips, diced
1 green pepper, chopped<
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tsp. prepared mustard
3 beef bouillon cubes
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 c. boiling water
6 Tbsp. vinegar

In a skillet, brown ground beef with onion, bacon and green pepper; drain if needed. Add potatoes, mustard, bouillon and pepper. Stir in water and vinegar. Simmer over medium-low heat for 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

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