These shortcut recipes will elevate a dish from just OK to truly delicious, says Emily Weinstein
宽e are always striving to give you delicious and interesting ideas for dinner that won’t take too much time to make. I’m talking about the 食谱 with the brilliant twist, the sharp shortcut, the technique that elevates something from just OK to truly good.
We’ve collected some of the best and smartest quick recipes. These are weeknight greatest hits, and we hope you love them as much as we do.
Prawn and tomato pasta
Frozen prawns are a freezer staple that can be counted on to save dinner any night – simply thaw to use them whenever needed. 这里, prawns and spaghetti are tossed with juicy cherry tomatoes, which are gently simmered until they burst and turn saucy. This dish is best with ripe, in-season cherry tomatoes, but the aromatic fennel seeds and garlic infused in the oil will coax maximum flavour out of less enthusiastic tomatoes while adding depth to the sauce.
经过: Naz Deravianf
供应: 4 至 6
Total time: 40 分钟
8 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
450g peeled and deveined frozen prawns, thawed and cut into thirds
3 large garlic cloves, gently smashed with the flat side of a knife
1 tsp fennel seeds
¼ tsp red-pepper flakes, or to taste
900g cherry tomatoes, larger ones halved, small ones kept whole
Handful of basil leaves, torn
1. In a large frying pan, 热 2 tablespoons oil over medium. Add the prawns, season with 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, 关于 3 分钟. Transfer the prawns to a dish and set aside. Discard any excess liquid in the pan.
2. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons oil and the garlic cloves to the same pan and cook over medium-low, turning the garlic a couple of times until light gold and fragrant, taking care not to burn them, 关于 4 分钟. Add the fennel seeds and red-pepper flakes, stir and cook until fragrant, 关于 1 分钟. Increase the heat to medium and add the cherry tomatoes and 1½ teaspoons salt.
3. Cook the tomatoes, stirring occasionally, until they release their juices and get saucy, 25 至 30 分钟. While the tomatoes cook, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil for the pasta. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente, 关于 10 分钟.
4. Transfer the prawns with any juices to the tomatoes to reheat for a couple of minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning.
5. Set the pasta pot next to the saucepan and use tongs to transfer the spaghetti to the tomatoes and prawns. The starchy water clinging to the spaghetti will make for a tasty and silky sauce (you can drain the spaghetti, if you prefer. If you do, reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water to add as needed for a silky sauce). Remove the pan from the heat, add the basil and toss well. Season with black pepper to taste and serve.
In this take on enfrijoladas, chipotle makes the pinto bean sauce slightly smoky and spicy, perfect for dipping pan-fried blistered corn tortillas. If you don’t have pinto beans on hand, use black or mayocoba beans for equally delicious results. Top this dish with quick-pickled red onion, which tastes even better if you make it the day before. For a perfect weeknight meal, garnish with a dollop of sour cream, avocado slices, and a sprinkle of toasted pepitas and coriander leaves.
经过: Jocelyn Ramirez
Total time: 45 分钟
For the pickled red onion:
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
125ml lemon juice
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp red-pepper flakes
1 dried bay leaf
1½ tbsp salt
Pinch black pepper
For the enfrijoladas:
1 whole dried chipotle morita or meco chilli
Drained pinto beans from 1 425g tin or homemade
300-700ml vegetable broth or bean cooking liquid
4 tbsp neutral-flavoured oil, plus more as needed
12 corn tortillas
4 tbsp sour cream, vegan if you’d like
4 tbsp roasted salted pumpkin seeds
Handful coriander leaves
2 ripe medium Hass avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced
1. Make the pickled onion: combine the onion, 柠檬汁, oregano, red-pepper flakes, 月桂叶, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and mix. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to meld together and the onion to soften. The onion can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 至 5 days before serving.
2. Make the enfrijoladas: place the chipotle in a small bowl and add enough hot water to cover (see tip). Let stand to rehydrate for 10 分钟. Once rehydrated and pliable, drain and remove the stem. To a blender or food processor, add the beans, 300ml vegetable broth or bean cooking liquid, and the softened chipotle. Blend until completely smooth. Add more of the broth, ¼ cup at a time as needed, to make a smooth bean sauce. Season to taste with salt.
3. Heat a medium pot over medium-low. Add 2 tablespoons oil and heat, then add the bean mixture. Stir to incorporate; the mixture may sizzle and spatter. Allow the mixture to come to a low simmer and reduce heat to low to keep warm. Add additional liquid as needed to thin to a cheese-sauce consistency.
4. Heat a comal or cast-iron frying pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil, then add 1 至 2 tortillas and lightly fry until softened and blistered, 30 至 60 seconds per side. Transfer the fried tortillas to a plate, and continue to add more oil to the comal as needed to cook all the tortillas.
5. Use tongs to slightly submerge each fried tortilla in the hot bean mixture one at a time. Flip the tortilla over to coat the second side, then fold the tortilla in half, pull out of the pot and place on a dinner plate. Continue this process until all the tortillas are coated in the enfrijolada sauce, dividing them among 4 plates. Spoon any remaining bean sauce over the top of the tortillas. Garnish with the sour cream, pickled red onion, pepitas, coriander and avocado.
Tip: If making a fresh pot of beans, add the dried chipotle to the simmering bean to soften.
Chicken-courgette meatballs with feta
These meatballs harbour a secret: they’re half vegetable, half chicken. More than just a surprise, the grated courgette provides moisture that minced chicken can lack. Roast more courgette next to the meatballs on the baking tray, then top everything with feta tossed with lemon juice. For an easy starch, add chickpeas to the feta, or toast bread or pita on the free rack in the oven.
Total time: 45 分钟
3 large courgette (about 700g)
Salt and black pepper
1 large shallot, halved
1½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp red-pepper flakes
450g minced chicken or turkey
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint, basil, parsley or dill, plus more for serving
60ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing and drizzling
3 tbsp lemon juice (从 1 large lemon)
1. Heat the oven to 220C. Cut 2 of the courgettes into 1.5cm-thick slices. Transfer to a plate, season with salt, and set aside.
2. Working over a large bowl, using the large holes of a box grater, grate the remaining courgette. Grate 1 shallot half into the bowl as well. Add the panko, cumin, ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes and ½ teaspoon salt, and use your hands to toss until combined. Add the chicken and herbs and toss gently until combined.
n3. Lightly grease a baking tray. With wet hands, form the chicken mixture into 16 meatballs (大约 2 至 3 tablespoons each) and place them on one side of the tray. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 10 分钟.
4. 同时, pat the sliced courgette dry, then lightly coat with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with pepper.
5. Coarsely chop the remaining shallot half and transfer to a small bowl. Add the lemon juice, season with salt, and stir to combine.
6. Add the sliced courgette to the other half of the baking tray, moving the meatballs over, if necessary. Bake until the meatballs are cooked through and the courgette is golden on the underside, another 15 至 20 分钟. For more browned meatballs, broil for a few minutes, if desired.
7. 同时, crumble the feta into the shallot mixture. Add the extra-virgin olive oil and the remaining ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes. Stir, breaking up the feta a bit, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
8. Eat the meatballs and courgette with a drizzle of the feta sauce and more fresh herbs.
Baking-tray Cajun salmon
This full baking tray dinner, ready in 30 分钟, couldn’t be any smarter or easier. 这里, salmon, potatoes and asparagus are all added to the same tray at different points for a one-pan meal that makes cleanup seamless. A marinade infused with Cajun seasoning and paprika infuses the salmon, adding smokiness and some colour. The bite in the asparagus plays off the flaky tenderness of the salmon, and the baby potatoes round it out. This meal stands on its own, but you could also put the leftovers over lettuce for a lunch salad the next day.
经过: Millie Peartree
Total time: 30 分钟
4 (225G) skin-on salmon fillets, pin bones removed
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and black pepper
450g baby potatoes
450g thick asparagus stalks, trimmed (see tip)
2 蒜瓣, 切碎的
1. Heat oven to 220C. Place salmon on a plate, skin side up. Using a sharp knife, make a cut into the skin about ⅓cm deep, 在 3 different places, making sure not to cut all the way through the flesh. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons olive oil with the Cajun seasoning, paprika and 1 teaspoon salt. Pour over the salmon to coat it on both sides and set aside to marinate.
2. To a rimmed baking tray, add potatoes, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Toss to coat and roast for about 15 minutes until tender (larger potatoes may take longer).
3. As potatoes roast, toss the asparagus with the garlic, the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste.
4. Move the potatoes to one end of the pan and place salmon skin side up next to them. Add asparagus in an even layer to the other end of the pan, and roast everything together for 10 至 13 分钟, until the asparagus is tender and the salmon is cooked to taste. If you’d like the skin to be crispy, you can transfer the vegetables from the pan to a serving platter and pop the fish under the broiler for 1 至 2 分钟. Serve hot.
Tip: The thicker the asparagus, the better, as the steam from the fish can make thinner asparagus soggy.
This quick lunch or light dinner builds on a sturdy base of crispy, cheesy flour tortillas. A fresh mix of cucumbers, tomatoes and avocado, mounded atop the tortillas, makes you feel like you’re eating a salad with your hands. Feta delivers sharpness and creaminess, as does the simple garlicky yoghurt sauce that drapes each tortizza. A drizzle of honey at the end might sound out of place here, but it really brings together all the flavours, and is a popular dipping sauce for pizza in South Korea.
经过: Eric Kim
Total time: 15 分钟
3 至 4 Persian or mini seedless cucumbers, scrubbed and cut into 1.5cm dice
2 ripe medium tomatoes, cut into 1.5cm dice
1½ tsp salt
8 (15厘米) soft flour tortillas
225g shredded low-moisture mozzarella
2 tsp dried oregano, za’atar or Italian seasoning
250g plain yoghurt
1 large garlic clove, finely grated
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp honey, plus more for drizzling
150g crumbled feta
1 ripe Hass avocado, halved and thinly sliced
Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems
1. Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and heat oven to 200C. Line two large baking trays with baking paper.
2. Toss the cucumbers, tomatoes and ½ teaspoon salt in a colander set in the sink and toss to combine. Let sit to drain excess liquid, 关于 10 分钟.
3. 同时, arrange the tortillas on the baking trays, four per pan, and sprinkle each with the mozzarella and dried oregano. Bake until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, and the tortillas’ edges are crispy but still pale, 8 至 10 分钟.
4. While the tortillas are baking, make the yoghurt sauce: in a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the yoghurt, garlic, 柠檬汁, honey and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
5. To serve, evenly divide the drained cucumbers and tomatoes among the tortillas. Top each with feta, avocado and parsley, and spoon the yoghurt sauce over everything, leaving some back to serve on the side. As a final flourish, lightly drizzle the tortizzas with honey. You can eat these flat like mini pizzas or folded like tacos.