Thursday, August 8, 2013


It's a slow, warm Thursday - a good day to transfer this piece from Latelife Recipes:
These are the quick savory recipes from Fast Food My Way. Again, read through these recipes and be thinking of how you could adapt them and make them your own, depending on what you regularly stock in your kitchen. Even more so than with the quick savory recipes, the variations are endless.

Shrimp burgers. I discovered these at Dr. Taco while vacationing at Playa del Carmen in Mexico. Put a couple of slices of manchego or mozzarella cheese in a nonstick skillet and place over moderate heat. As the cheese begins to melt, add a few small raw shrimp or pieces of shrimp, salt, some hot salsa or cracked pepper, and some chopped scallions or chives. Cover and cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, then slide the cheese-shrimp burger onto half a toasted bun topped with a lettuce leaf and tomato slices.

Baby mozzarella salad. As a first course, a baby mozzarella salad is great. Make use of the bounty of your supermarket deli counter: small mozzarella balls (boconccini), diced red pimientos, pitted black and green olives, sun-dried tomato halves, and capers, if available. Mix these ingredients with a little extra-virgin olive oil, cracked pepper, and a dash of vinegar and serve cupped in a leaf of radicchio on individual plates.

Red beets in sour cream. For a winter salad, drain a can of sliced red beets and combine the slices with sour cream, cracked pepper, salt, and a dash of red wine vinegar. Serve over endive leaves, with a sprinkling of flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, or basil leaves on top.

Ham cornucopias. For a first course, roll up individual slices of ham into a cornet or cornucopia shape and place each in a flat-bottomed rocks glass or on a plate on top of baby spinach or watercress. Mix diced feta cheese, pitted black olives, and marinated mushrooms--all from your supermarket deli--with a dash of olive oil, cracked pepper, and salt. Spoon into the ham cornucopias and serve.

Tuna tomatoes. In summer, when good tomatoes are available, mix a drained can of tuna (preferably packed in oil) with some minced scallions, pitted Kalamata olives, diced anchovy fillets, chopped parsley, and cracked pepper. Cut off the tops of ripe tomatoes and hollow them out with a spoon, reserving and lightly crushing the tomato pulp with a fork and mixing it with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper to create a sauce. Fill the hollow tomatoes with the tuna mixture and serve with some of the sauce for a first course.

Lavash pizza. You can make homemade pizza in no time at all using flour tortillas, pita bread, or--my favorite--lavash. After oiling a cookie sheet, I press one of these large flatbread rectangles on the sheet, then turn it over, so it is lightly oiled on both sides. Cover it with sliced tomatoes, some grated mozzarella and Parmesan, cracked pepper, anchovies (optional), and a few dashes of olive oil. Bake in a 425-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes, then sprinkle with lots of basil leaves torn into coarse pieces.

Peasant soup. For this soup like one my mother used to make, prepare croutons by baking slices of leftover bread in a conventional oven or toaster oven until brown and crisp. Divide the toasted bread among soup bowls, breaking the slices into pieces if they are too large, and grate a generous amount of Gruyère or Jarlsberg on top. Bring a good homemade chicken stock or canned broth to a boil and pour over the croutons and cheese in the bowls. Sprinkle with cracked pepper and a few chopped chives and serve.

Cannellini and chorizo soup. I always have the ingredients for this fast, satisfying soup in my pantry and refrigerator. Puree a can of cannellini beans in a blender with enough chicken stock to make a creamy soup. Transfer to a saucepan, add diced chorizo sausage, bring to a boil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and finish with a little heavy cream. Garnish with chopped chives and croutons.

Cold black bean soup. When friends drop by in the summer, I like to make cold soup. One combination that I love is made in a food processor. Puree a can of black bean soup with a little olive oil, Tabasco, a couple of tablespoons of chopped onion, a crushed clove of garlic, salt, and enough chicken stock to make the mixture creamy. Serve in soup plates, topping each serving with a ribbon of sour cream diluted with a bit of water and garnish with a few slices of banana and a couple of cilantro leaves.
I added thse two recipes much later. They are other examples of Pépin's quick and wonderful ways with food:

Julia and Jacques Onion Soup - 1 lb. onions, sauté in olive oil, s & p, thyme slowly 8 to 10 minutes, until caramelized. Put in 4 cups stock, red wine, heat it a bit then serve. Can coarsely grate Swiss cheese, put on top, in 350 oven for 35-40 minutes

Jacques – Mustard Sauce for Asparagus (or what-have you?) 1C mayo, 2T Dijon, red wine vinegar, cracked pepper

And here is the complete entry - sweet and savory - from KQED, which produced Fast Food My Way. There are some I didn't copy for myself, but you may like to use them.

"Happy Cooking!"

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