Life has conspired yet again over the past couple of weeks to keep us busy on things unrelated to food and blogging, which is turning Communal Table into a sad little corner of neglect in the awesomeness of the World Wide Web. When Jenny and I get sidetracked with work and other duties of life, we don’t spend nearly as much time as we’d like experimenting in the kitchen. Instead, we resort to eating out a bit too often, or cooking the quick, simple standby meals that we’ve already blogged about.
In an effort to give the blog a little love even as our kitchen gets ignored, I thought I’d put up a quick post looking back at some of those easy meals we’ve previously written about here, and which we make often when we’re pressed for time. The idea for this post came from a conversation I had recently with my friend Sofi, who writes the great Sexy Typewriter blog. Sofi and I were commiserating about our lack of time for cooking, and she mentioned that she’d love to read a post where we highlight a few quick recipes she can try out.
The three picks here are my top choices from our recipe repertoire for meals I like to make when I only have a small amount of time and energy available for cooking. While I’m not going to claim that these recipes can be prepared in 20 or 30 minutes, it’s a pretty safe bet they can be completed in under an hour.
As Jenny mentioned when she wrote this post, this is a quick, comforting meal I’ve been eating for years, and it’s one we turn to often when we just want to put something on the stove to cook that we don’t necessarily need to devote all our attention to. The ingredients are simple, and so are the flavours. But it’s delicious, healthy and suitable for even the busiest weeknights. It’s also a great choice for those evenings when you don’t want to eat meat.
This one is basically a take on a Jamie Oliver recipe, who usually finds ways to take a few ingredients and quickly whip up something great with them. It’s definitely a lazy-day meal, but the flavours go so well together and the smoked salmon and herbs really stand out against the potatoes. There’s something very summer about this meal, and it’s one I’m sure we’ll turn to often over the next couple of months.
This one just sort of came to me one day a couple years ago in a moment of creativity and inspiration. It’s delicious and perfect for our occasional red meat cravings. But the best part is how easy this dish comes together. Sear the meat. Saute shallots and grapes for a few minutes. Add port to pan and reduce to make a sauce. Serve over meat. That’s it.