The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.

It's entirely possible to be a vegetarian in Porkopolis. Pop culture reporter Lauren Bishop blogs about products, recipes and restaurants she's tried for others who eat meat-free. E-mail her at lbishop@enquirer.com.

Nicci King is an unabashed foodie and the Lifestyle/Food editor in The Enquirer's features department. She loves to discover new food faves, and she's on a daily quest to answer one burning question: What's for dinner? E-mail her at nking@enquirer.com.

Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.

Food/dining writer Polly Campbell loves every quirk and secret of Cincinnati's food personality, and is on a constant lookout for something good to eat. Keep an eye out for her restaurant picks, or see how she's progressing toward becoming famous for her apple pie. E-mail her at pcampbell@enquirer.com.

Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

15 minutes.

I had a lot of fun thinking of good dinners you could make in 15 minutes for our story today. And believe me, I have made a lot of 15-minute dinners. I have often driven home looking forward to something delicious to putter around with, when it turns out that someone in my family has to be at a meeting or practice in--oh-- 15 minutes. Ir I want the family to sit down together, I have to improvise. (I know, they could have made something themselves, but that's another story.)
Here's some things that come in handy, besides leftovers:
Knowing how to make a good cream sauce or bechamel. Cheese sauce on vegetables, tuna sauce on noodles (or toast), creamed hard-boiled eggs or chipped beef, chicken a la king, the basis of broccoli soup or a souffle. I know, it sounds so retro Home Ec, very mid-century WASP. But it's quick--especially if you use instant Wondra flour. The recipe's on the carton. (You simply mix flour, butter and milk together in a saucepan and heat.)

Thin, quick-cooking cuts of meat, a pan sauce and couscous. Couscous is amazing--it takes 5 minutes, even the whole wheat kind. Finely ground bulgur wheat's almost as fast.
I usually make a pan sauce like this: cook pork cutlets or chicken breast slices or turkey or in butter, remove. Add a minced shallot to pan, cook for a few minutes, scraping up any bits from the meat. Add 1/4 cup or so of white wine, let it bubble off, then add 1/2 cup of chicken stock, let it reduce. Even better if you add a 1/4 cup of heavy cream. (approximate measures, of course) Then put the meat back in and let it all heat up together for a minute. But that's just the basics: add mustard, or herbs, or dried fruit, or saute mushrooms with the shallots or use sherry or red wine instead of white. This could be dinner every night and never taste the same.


at 8:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

15 Minuets

Pan Seared Butterflied Pork Chops on one burner and a pot with apricot preserves,spash of bourbon,spoonful of grain mustard, grey salt, fresh cracked black pepper and a a drizzle of olive oil on the other burner.. it is wonderful on the pork... steam some sugar snap peas ....serve with a nice whole grain crusty bread....

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