If we didn’t like to cook, Direct to the Palate would not exist, but even we get tired sometimes of prepare the food.
As much as we defend the importance of daily cooking, there is not always time to cook, and it’s nice to have resources for those days when you feel like whipping something up really quickly and sitting on the couch.
We have asked the editors of Direct to the Palate for their recipes or resources to solve quick meals and dinners and, although their answers are varied, there are dishes that are repeated.
Eggs, pasta, cooked legumes or rice are the protagonists of the following list of very easy recipes, that we also explain to you how to simplify, to have the food ready in 5 minutes, and with little effort.
1. Mixed sandwich
The mixed sandwich, or bikini, as it is known in Catalonia, is a dinner that is prepared in five minutes and never disappoints. And, although we usually associate it with a last resort cafeteria bite, well done it is a dish more than worthy. You can also tune to taste, I usually add some green, hot sauce or mustard and, if I’m less lazy, a little caramelized onion. But in its simplest version, with the well melted cheese, I still love it.
First, we heat a frying pan over medium heat. While it is getting hot, we assemble the sandwich, putting, in this order, cheese, ham, cheese. We spread the outside of the sandwich with butter and put it in the pan. With the help of a spatula, we turn it over, until both sides are golden brown and the cheese is well melted.
2. Macaroni and chorizo
Pakus tends to draw one of the most popular dishes of Spanish gastronomy, which, well done (and even badly) is a delight. The recipe can be complicated with one or the other addition, but with having a chorizo and a decent tomato sauce we are going to kill ourselves. Our recipe for macaroni and chorizo is a bit more sophisticated, but we leave you here the version “I’m not going to chop onion”.
Ingredients for 4 people: 400 g of macaroni, 200 g of chorizo, 250 g of tomato sauce, salt, olive oil, oregano, grated cheese.
Elaboration: heat water in a large pot with a little salt and cook the macaroni to taste. While they are cooking, in a large skillet, fry the chorizo cut into small pieces, until it is crisp. Add the tomato sauce, and stir well, let it cook for a few minutes over low heat until the pasta is ready. Add it, let everything cook together for a minute, add a little oregano and serve with grated cheese to taste.
3. Microwave white rice
“Since I discovered how to make white rice in the microwave, I have not prepared it in a casserole again “, explains Carmen Tía Alia. “I usually cook it while I have breakfast and it is ready for lunch. When it comes time to sit down at the table, all that remains is to reheat it in homemade tomato sauce (I usually prepare a lot of it and keep it in jars in the fridge to consume throughout the week), fry some eggs and enjoy “.
Ingredients for 2 people: 600 ml of boiling water, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 250 g of round rice, salt, 1 clove of garlic, parsley powder.
Elaboration: We will start by boiling the water in a saucepan. Then we put the rice, oil, salt, garlic and parsley powder in a microwave-safe bowl. We add the boiling water. We cover the bowl with kitchen film and puncture it several times to make small holes for the steam to escape. We cook at 800 W for 6 minutes, then at 600 W for 8 more minutes. Remove from the microwave, uncover and let it warm up a bit before serving.
4. Avocado toasts
Both María Llanos and Liliana Fuchs they always have avocados on hand to fix fast foods. “I try to have several at different points of maturity to distribute throughout the week,” explains Fuchs. “I like the more mature ones to make toasts, because I always have fresh bread or frozen slices of homemade sourdough. To add protein, I usually throw in hard-boiled egg, smoked cod or salmon, or a can of tuna or bonito, and some vegetables” . Llanos likes smoked salmon the most, the recipe for which we will leave you below.
Ingredients for 2 people: 1 slice of loaf bread, 1 avocado, 100 g of smoked salmon, 1 hard-boiled egg, chopped fresh chives, capers, salt, pepper, olive oil.
Elaboration: We cut the avocado in half, lengthwise, and remove the bone. Peel and mash the meat in a bowl. We can season to taste with salt, pepper, olive oil, etc. or leave it as is. We lightly toast the bread slices and top with a generous amount of avocado. We put the smoked salmon on top. Peel the hard-boiled egg and chop, separately, the white of the yolk. Sprinkle on top and decorate with chopped fresh chives. We can also add capers.
5. Sausages with wine
I will not tire of claiming the sausages to wine, a classic tapa from Spain, so mistreated in the bars, as forgotten in the houses. It is a dinner that I love and I am never lazy to prepare, since all the difficulty lies in cutting an onion into julienne strips (if it were in brunoise I would still think so).
Ingredients for 2 people: 1 onion, 6 fresh sausages, 150 ml of white wine, two tablespoons of olive oil, salt, freshly ground black pepper.
Elaboration: We peel the onion and cut it into julienne. Heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan and fry it over a very low heat for about 10 minutes. If we do it with the lid on, the onion will sweat faster due to the effect of the steam and it will be very juicy. Season to taste, but with caution as the wine and sausages will add a lot of flavor to the dish. Once the onion is poached, add the wine and raise the heat. We let the alcohol evaporate for a minute or two before adding the sausages. We turn them so that they brown on all sides, lower the heat and let cook, with the pan covered, for about 25-30 minutes before removing and serving.
We are several editors of Direct to the Palate that we turn to quesadillas to solve a quick dinner. “I always have wheat tortillas in the pantry and there is no week that they do not fall in the form of quesadillas or fajitas, “explains Carmen Tía Alia.” Quesadillas, much faster, are usually filled with refried beans and cheese. The fajitas take a tad more work because you have to sauté onion and pepper (also chicken strips, for my son who is the omnivore of the family), but things are bearable “.
There are many combinations of ingredients that we can use in quesadillas, but we leave you below one of the simplest, emental cheese with avocado.
Ingredients for 2 people: 4 wheat tortillas, 1 ripe avocado, 1 large tomato, 2 tablespoons of fresh coriander, two teaspoons of piante sauce, juice of half a lemon, three or four tablespoons of grated Emmental cheese, granulated garlic, ground black pepper, salt and oil of extra virgin olive.
Elaboration: Open the avocado in half, remove the bone and extract the meat. Smash it with a fork, season with a few drops of lemon juice and season. Spread it on two of the quesadillas with the help of a butter knife. Chop the tomato, removing the seeds, into small pieces. Spread it on top of the avocado. Add chopped parsley or cilantro and a little hot sauce to taste. Finish with the grated cheese and season with granulated garlic and an extra touch of pepper. Cover with the other two tortillas and press well, gently. Heat a little olive oil in a good nonstick skillet and cook one quesadilla at a time over medium heat. Heat for about 5 minutes, making sure they do not burn, turn and brown on the other side. Cut into four parts and serve with sauce to taste.
7. Spaghetti carbonara
Since we were told that carbonara pasta was not made with cream, we have covered the original recipe for a certain unfounded sophistication. In Italy, it is a cheap dish, which any student makes on a hangover Sunday and it is prepared in a matter of minutes. The original dish is made with guanciale, a type of bacon that is difficult to find in Spain, but it can be made perfectly with bacon or natural bacon. In my house we always do it with Soria marinated bacon and I have no doubt that it is better than the one they use in Italy.
Ingredients for 2 people: 3 egg yolks, 100 g of bacon, 50 g of pecorino cheese (or Parmesan, easier to find), salt, water, 300 g of spaghetti.
Elaboration: Cut the bacon into small pieces and fry until they start to brown. On the other hand, beat the 3 egg yolks with the freshly grated pecorino cheese until making a somewhat thick mixture. Add a few hints of black pepper to this mixture. Meanwhile, put the pasta to cook in plenty of salted water, and take it out when there are a couple of minutes until it is al dente. In the pan where we had reserved the bacon or the sautéed guanciale, we will add the drained pasta to which we add the mixture of eggs, cheese and pepper, mixing well. We also add a ladle of the cooking water for the pasta. We stir while the different ingredients are being integrated and a kind of sauce is made by slightly curdling the egg with the hot cooking broth. Serve by sprinkling a little more grated pecorino and giving a couple more turns of ground pepper.
8. Russian salad
As Jaime de las Heras points out, the salad “is a quick and fresh remedy, especially when you are just on time and it is hot. “In addition, he explains, allow the dressing or the ingredients you want. On the basic recipe for Russian salad, which has potato, carrot, egg and mayonnaise as main ingredients, you can add other types of vegetables, pickles, seafood, tuna …
Ingredients for 6 people: 3 potatoes, 4 eggs, 2 large carrots, 300 g of homemade mayonnaise, salt, 15 ml of white wine vinegar.
Elaboration: Cook the potatoes and carrots, unpeeled, in a saucepan with plenty of water. We do it over a low heat, without haste, and we remove the vegetables when we notice that, when piercing with a skewer, they are al dente. The carrots will be ready before the potatoes, although everything …