Need a few tricks for making the dinner hour feel less like rush hour? From simple things like prepping the night before to getting creative with leftovers to stocking your pantry with the right ingredients, our tips-and the recipes that put them into practice-will help you pull together satisfying dinners for the whole family in record time.
Got more time to cook on the weekend? Use it to make dishes that can be used in multiple recipes, whether it's a big cut of meat (see Embrace the Leftover, page 2) or a small element that packs a lot of flavor-like the caramelized onions below that can be used a million different ways. What about when your weekend is just as packed as the weekdays? Take just 20 minutes or so to inventory your fridge and plan out your meals for the week-it lets you identify small do-ahead steps that you can knock out in advance, like making a marinade the night before so you can pop in a cut of meat in the morning, or prepping several days of salad greens at once.
|Caramelized Onions||Â||Red Wine and Coffee Marinade||Â||Spicy Mexican Marinade|
|Mixed Green Salad with Grilled Scallions, Mango, and Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette||Â||Mixed Green Salad with Olives, Serrano Ham, and Sherry Vinaigrette||Â||Mixed Green Salad with Nectarines and Gorgonzola|
You can't roast a chicken in 20 minutes, but you can sautÃ© some chicken cutlets or grill small, skewered chunks of chicken. Look to recipes that have you cut your meat (and veggies) into small cubes or thin slices (or consider tweaking recipes that don't), and save those thick bone-in cuts for the weekend. In a similar vein, author Domenica Marchetti's fresh tomato sauce is ready for saucing your favorite pasta in as little as 30 minutes. The secret? Cherry tomatoes, which cook down much faster than Romas.
|Quick-Roasted Winter Vegetables||Â||Fresh Tomato Sauce with Herbs & Olives||Â||SautÃ©ed Chicken with Sherry & Olive Pan Sauce & Toasted Almonds|