Personal Favorites For Quick


Friends and readers alike ask me for quick and easy recipes. These three are my personal favorite fresh fast entrées that work well for one to four people, and easy to make in less than 40 minutes.

Accompany these entrées with your favorite pasta, couscous, potatoes “baked” in the microwave and finished in the conventional oven, or crusty bread. Add a salad, fruit for dessert and a glass of wine to complete the meal.

This is simply delicious, and deliciously simple cooking.

Bon appétit!

Lime Scented Chicken Breasts With Grainy Mustard(Serves 4)4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and pounded even

2½ tablespoons Carotino (Malaysian canola and red palm oil), or substitute 1 teaspoon smoked paprika whisked into canola, safflower or olive oil

4 tablespoons large grainy mustard, or more to taste

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 limes, one juiced and one cut into wedges for garnish.To prepare:Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Coat the bottom of a shallow baking dish that will hold the chicken in 1 layer, with oil.

If chicken breasts are more than a half-inch thick, place chicken breasts on a cutting board and pound until uniformly even.

Arrange the chicken in baking dish.

Squeeze lime juice over each piece, season with salt and pepper, and spread a thick layer of mustard over the top.

Drizzle oil and more lime juice over the whole affair.

Bake, uncovered, until the juices run clear when pierced with a 2-pronged fork, about 20 minutes.

Actual baking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken.

Remove from oven, plate and garnish with fresh wedges of lime.

Leftovers are great for lunch the next day.Bronzino Fillets With Caper Sauce(Serves 4)4 Bronzino fillets, with skin, or small red snapper fillets

1/4 cup Wondra flour

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil, for sautéing

1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter

4 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup dry vermouth

2 lemons, 1 juiced and 1 cut into wedges for garnish

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsleyTo prepare:Rinse and pat the fish dry.

Make two diagonal slits in the skin of each fillet for even cooking.

Season with salt and pepper, then dust with Wondra flour.

Coat the bottom of a skillet with oil and cook over high heat.

When oil shimmers, place fish, skin-side down in the skillet, pressing on top with a spatula until the skin is set, about 30 seconds.

Sauté until brown and crisp, about 1½ to 2 minutes.

Turn and sauté the other side until light brown, about 40 seconds.

Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Add a little butter and capers to the skillet and sauté briefly, then add vermouth and ignite.

When the flames subside, add a tablespoon of lemon juice, or more to taste.

Swirl in butter and parsley.

Spoon over fillets and serve at once.

Pass crusty bread to sop up the juices.Seared Sea Scallops With Onions And Olives(Serves 2)6 to 8 large sea scallops, washed and patted dry with paper towels

Coarse salt, for sprinkling

Pinch of powdered turmeric, for sprinkling

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

8 to 10 pitted Kalamata olives

4 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

Few parsley leaves, for garnishTo prepare:Remove the tough tendon on the side of the scallops and pat dry.

In a non-stick skillet over high heat, scatter salt on the bottom of the pan.

When hot, add scallops, keeping space between them.

Sprinkle turmeric over the scallops and sear until the edges turn brown, about 1 to 1½ minutes.

Sear the other side for about 30 to 40 seconds, or until light brown on edges.

Transfer scallops to a warm plate.

Add a few drops of oil to the skillet.

Add onions and pepper with pinch of turmeric and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 2 minutes.

Add olives with a tablespoon of their juices and chopped parsley.

Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Transfer everything else to the warm dinner plates with the scallops.

Garnish with parsley leaves and serve at once.

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