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June 15, 2006

Food Network Favorites: Pork Chops Alla Pizzaiola

Very simple to make, and extremely tasty. These pork chops are seared in a hot skillet, and served with a spicy, herby tomato sauce. My only issue: Giada De Laurentiis doesn't seem to allow quite enough cooking time, unless you like rare pork.

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May 31, 2006

Food Network Favorites: Grilled Mushroom Salad Subs

My last test from the Rachael Ray chapter of Food Network Favorites. Portobello mushrooms are marinated and grilled, then mixed while hot with spinach leaves to create a slightly wilted warm salad that's served in a hollowed-out baguette. There are no problems with the recipe; it's a fine, albeit not terribly exciting, sandwich.

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May 25, 2006

Food Network Favorites: Cod with Burst Grape Tomatoes, Parsley-Mint Pesto Broth & Roast Fingerling Potato Crisps with Herbs

Even when Rachael Ray's recipe titles aren't aggressively cute, they're ridiculously long. Once again, however, a few gripes about the title are all I can muster up; this dish is very good, and for once, it actually does take only 30 minutes to prepare.

Well, okay -- I do have a couple of other gripes...

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February 08, 2006

Off the Shelf: Simple Zucchini Pasta

At the end of each chapter in Off the Shelf, there's a page of "Short Order" recipe ideas -- quick dishes that require brief cooking and just a few ingredients. This easy pasta dish takes just minutes to put together and is very satisfying.

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February 03, 2006

Off the Shelf: Garlic Chickpeas with Cumin-Fried Fish

From Off the Shelf, here's a quick and easy dinner for a weeknight when you're tired: open up a can of chickpeas, fry them with leeks and garlic, add a piece of cumin-coated fish, and you're done.

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January 31, 2006

Off the Shelf: Beef and Caramelized Onion Couscous Salad

Another tasty offering from Off the Shelf. The warm couscous and beef wilt baby spinach leaves slightly, creating a delicious warm salad. I had one minor quibble with proportions; otherwise, this is an easy, yummy lunch or dinner idea.

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January 17, 2006

Sara's Secrets: Salmon with Black Bean Sauce

What should be a very flavorful sauce for fish becomes amazingly bland with the treatment that Sara Moulton gives the black beans in this recipe. Remove the unnecessary soaking step, and the sauce is vastly improved.

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January 06, 2006

Sara's Secrets: Green Posole with Chicken

A recipe from the "Shop and Serve" chapter of Sara's Secrets for Weeknight Meals. In this section of the book, Moulton gives several ideas for recipes that can be put together with the help of convenience products from the supermarket. Here she uses a rotisserie chicken for a hearty, tasty soup.

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January 04, 2006

Sara's Secrets: Fusilli with Broccoli and Prosciutto

A tasty pasta offering from Sara's Secrets for Weeknight Meals. Broccoli and pasta are cooked in the same pot (though not at the same time), and tossed with sautéed garlic and prosciutto. Moulton's time estimates were right on the money, and this would be an easy weeknight dinner idea.

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November 22, 2005

Everyday Italian: Lemon Spaghetti

Everyday Italian has a few quick "from the pantry" pasta ideas, including this light, fresh-tasting spaghetti. The book recommends it as a side-dish for fish, and it also makes a lovely light lunch all by itself. All you need is dried pasta, a couple of lemons, some Parmesan cheese, and you're on your way to a quick and zesty meal.

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November 06, 2005

Fast Food My Way: Chicken on Mashed Cauliflower with Red Hot Salsa

It sounds weird, right? I have to admit that's partly why I chose it; chicken and cauliflower with salsa? Really?

But it works. Crazy as it sounds, the combination is a good one. It's easy to put together, and the three elements work together to make a successful dish.

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October 28, 2005

Jamie's Dinners: Paprika Sirloin Steak Wrap

Even more from the "Five Minute Wonders" chapter! This is a quick steak wrap that can be served in a Mediterranean style, as Oliver presents it in the book, or in a more Southwestern style. All you need is steak and tortillas to get started.

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October 24, 2005

Jamie's Dinners: Salmon and Couscous

Yet another "Five Minute Wonders" recipe. I just can't stop making them!

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Jamie's Dinners: Chorizo and Tomato Omelette

Another "Five Minute Wonders" recipe. Oddly enough, I had some trouble with this one.

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October 20, 2005

Jamie's Dinners: Beef with Bok Choy, Mushrooms, and Noodles

Another stellar recipe from the "Five Minute Wonders" chapter. This is a beef noodle bowl, extremely quick to make, and very flavorful.

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October 19, 2005

Jamie's Dinners: Parmesan Fish Fillets with Avocado and Cress Salad

Jamie's Dinners has a chapter called "Five Minute Wonders." These are super-quick dinner ideas that can be pulled together in a flash.

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September 30, 2005

30-Minute Meals 2: Mexican Fiesta Salad

Don't let the weirdly anachronistic name fool you: this is a recipe for pico de gallo. It makes a lovely accompaniment to Rio Grande Spice Rub Strip Steaks.

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30-Minute Meals 2: Cracked Corn and Cheese Squares

A quick and easy way to dress up boxed cornbread mix.

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30-Minute Meals 2: Rio Grande Spice Rub Strip Steaks

A Southwestern-style spice rub adds nice flavor to this simple steak recipe.

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August 24, 2005

30-Minute Get Real Meals: Grilled Tomato Stoup with Prosciutto and Mozzarella Portobellos

Another successful recipe from 30-Minute Get Real Meals, although not completely without problems. I’m not a fan of cutesy names for food. “Stoup” strikes me as... well, dumb. It’s a soup! It’s a stew! It’s “Stoup!” Whatever... Besides, the texture of this “stoup” is nowhere near stew-status. It’s soup. Just soup. Nothing wrong with calling it what it is.

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August 23, 2005

30-Minute Get Real Meals: Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps

At last, success! A recipe from 30-Minute Get Real Meals that didn’t require major tweaking. I think the root of this one’s success is that Ray didn’t have to fiddle with the basic idea to make chicken lettuce wraps fit the book’s low-carb mandate. It’s already a low-carb dish, just by its nature.

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August 21, 2005

From My Kitchen: Chicken Soft Tacos

Virtually no prep required. Start with a grocery-store rotisserie chicken, and buy as many pre-prepped ingredients as you can find. Most stores have bags of shredded lettuce, and some carry pre-diced tomatoes, onions, and peppers, which makes this recipe easy to pull together. Place everything in bowls on the table, and let everyone build their own tacos. Pick and choose which ingredients appeal to you: the tacos could be as simple as chicken and lettuce in tortillas, or you could serve all the ingredients listed for taco-palooza. The amounts can be adjusted upwards or downwards, depending on how many servings you need.

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From My Kitchen: Soup and Salad with Crostini

A very simple way to dress up canned soup. You can assemble the salad while the crostini are baking. Be sure to use high-quality Parmesan cheese. If it's too much of a pain to grate your own, buy it pre-grated in the small containers available in the deli section of your grocery store. Don't ever use the stuff that comes in a green can. That's not Parmesan (it barely even qualifies as cheese) and won't melt properly. Depending on how hungry your family is, you can use three, four, or even five cans of soup. I recommend a tomato bisque or a minestrone, but you can use whatever soup strikes your fancy.

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From My Kitchen: Frito Casserole

Classic Frito pie is just a bag of Fritos topped with chili. This version is a bit more involved, but it's still extremely simple to throw together, and tastes delicious. The amount of spices given below is an approximation; I usually just toss them in until the chicken looks well seasoned. I cook the spices with the chicken for a couple of minutes to tame the harshness of the chili powder and bring out the full flavor of the spices. Preheating the chicken and beans also means the casserole spends less time in the oven.

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©2005 Colleen Flippo. All rights reserved. Contact the author.