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Superfast Garlic

Superfast Garlic


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Many of our recipes in Cooking Light call for minced garlic. You'll see it particularly often in the Superfast and Dinner Tonight columns. Sometimes people turn to Pre-minced garlic as a shortcut, but I don't recommend it. In my experience, what you save in time (a few minutes at most), you lose in flavor.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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Pre-minced garlic sold in the bottle is usually packed with an oil to preserve it. The result is an ingredient that not only lacks the flavor of fresh garlic, but doesn't really even look like minced garlic.

In the TK, we use a ton of minced garlic. Here's how we save time without turning to a flavorless shortcut: We often buy a small bottle of pre-peeled garlic cloves, then quickly mince the garlic ourselves. When it comes up in a recipe, it is already minced and ready to go. Here's another shortcut that can help you save time if you use a lot of minced garlic, too:

1. Spray the inside of a mini-chopper or blender with cooking spray.
2. Add your peeled garlic cloves and pulse until minced.
3. Return minced garlic to original bottle or small zip-top plastic bag.

Your garlic will be much fresher and tastier than the pre-minced variety.

Photo: chopping garlic, courtesy of zenobia_joy on Flickr.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 ½ pounds fresh asparagus spears
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Snap off and discard woody bases from asparagus. Place asparagus and garlic in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.

Roast for 10 to 15 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender, stirring once halfway through roasting. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.


Superfast Weeknight Paella

My favorite trick to make sure I can get dinner on the table, fast, every night is to keep a list of go-to weeknight recipes displayed on the refrigerator. I continuously add to it whenever I try a new recipe and everyone loves it. The dish gets bonus points if it can be made in advance and produces leftovers.

I cook for a living, which means we often have leftovers to enjoy for dinner, but on some nights, nothing&rsquos lined up. Those are the days my do-to list comes in handy. Because I make these recipes so often, I very often have everything on hand to whip them up. I keep a variety of fresh veggies in the fridge, jars of different rice varieties in the pantry, and basic meats and seafood in the freezer. These ingredients help me assemble dinner in no time.

This Weeknight Paella is one of my family&rsquos favorite dishes. Now I know associating the words &ldquoweeknight&rdquo and &ldquopaella&rdquo could be considered heresy, but I thought it sounded more appealing than &ldquoSpanish-Style Rice Dish.&rdquo I call it a paella because it uses ingredients usually associated with the dish: saffron, garlic, tomatoes, shrimp, chorizo, and chicken all contribute to pile on the flavor in record time.

Making this Weeknight Paella takes 40 minutes from start to finish, most of it hands-off, and produces 6 generous servings. Paella is one of those dishes that develops even more flavor as it sits, so leftovers are just as delightful&mdashdare I say, even more flavorful&mdashthan when the dish is freshly made. It&rsquos a spectacular weeknight meal and an unfussy dish to serve to company.


Recipe Summary

  • ¾ pound ground turkey breast
  • ¾ pound ground round
  • ⅓ cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Cooking spray
  • ¾ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Madeira wine or dry sherry
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (10 1/2-ounce) can condensed French onion soup (such as Campbell's)

Combine first 4 ingredients. Divide meat mixture into 6 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add patties cook 6 minutes or until browned, turning after 3 minutes. Remove patties from pan keep warm. Stir in water and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil add patties. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Uncover and cook until wine mixture is reduced to 3/4 cup (about 10 minutes).


Grilled Swordfish With Tomatoes

If you’re new to grilling fish, swordfish steaks are the perfect place to start—sturdy, skinless, and meaty, they take to the grill like a champ. The key is to not overcook them. You’re shooting for an internal temperature that’s just shy of 135°F, which will yield meat that’s just-opaque and juicy. If your fish is sticking to the grate once your timer dings, don’t panic: As long as your steaks are properly oiled, they’ll release easily when they’re ready.

I like to finish my fish with a relish-y tomato topping flavored with saffron, almost-crispy garlic, and buttery olives for a superfast and summery dinner that begs to be eaten outdoors. Multi-colored cherry tomatoes from the farmers’ market make for the best presentation, but aren’t strictly necessary a cold bottle of wine at the ready, on the other hand, is non-negotiable. —Kendra Vaculin

This recipe is part of Short Is Sweet, our collection of summer dishes that deliver a whole lot of deliciousness in 30 minutes or less.

All products featured on Bon Appétit are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through the retail links below, we earn an affiliate commission.


Related Video

I made this exactly as directed, except that I used pizza dough I bought at a local pizzeria. This was very good but I think fresh corn could sub for crookneck squash in summertime and would be even better.

We LOVE this pizza. But am I the only person whose tomatoes burn a little? I prepare this per the recipe, but each time I have this problem. Any suggestions?

This is super good and really easy. It has a really nice spiciness. It definitely requires a fork though, because it's piled high with stuff.

I couldn't find yellow squash so doubled up on the zucchini. I also used plain tomato pizza sauce, as I couldn't locate mushroom pizza sauce. I only used half of the specified amount of sauce. I baked on a pizza stone. After baking, I drizzled with balsamic glaze and then topped with chopped fresh basil. The presentation and taste were terrific.

Made as written except used tomato sauce that came with boboli and added mushrooms with other vegies. Yummy.

This was fast, easy, and a big hit at my impromptu pizza party! (Discriminating taste buds and all!)

Loved this easy and very fast to make pizza! I used triple mushroom pasta sauce by Classico as I could not find mushroom pizza sauce. It was great. Next time I would mix the sun dried tomatoes in with the vegetables and then top the pizza rather than laying the strips of tomatoes on top. That way they won't dry out. Bring on the garlic! Will definitely make this again..

Loved this pizza. Quick, healthy, and full of flavors. Next time would tone down the garlic as it was a bit overpowering.

I received rave reviews on this dish and it took only 40 minutes to prepare (includes cook time).

its really very taste and very delicious to eat.its easy to cook . i am sure anybody who makes it ones will try it again

Really good and really fast and easy. Great meal in a pinch.

Delicious. Fast. Easy. WOW! I added sauted mushrooms and added more garlic than specified. Great recipe! Make this tonight!

This pizza was delicious! I also sauteed some fresh mushrooms with the squash. I'll definitely make this again, maybe adding some chicken or sausage. Yum! :o)

This was good. I did not use mushroom sauce - just Classico plain tomato & basil. Also, I did not use sun-dried tomatoes (although that would have been really good). A nice change from greasy sausage or pepperoni. Very quick and simple for weekdays.

I added some fontinella cheese along with the mozarella. And I used mushrooms and zucchini only. Truly a great treat.

Great pizza. I used a tomato portobella mushroom sauce. Replaced mozzarella cheese with friulano. Topped rest of ingredients with leftover tomato,feta salad,delicious. Everyone asked for it again the next day so I substituted asparagus for the zucchini and left the tomatoes off. Put circles of goats cheese on the top and slices of roasted peppers. Once again, delicious.

I softened dried mushrooms and added them to the boboli sauce. The garlic didn't spread easy and was too spicy so I will mix it into the sauce next time. I also added 1 sliced,habanero smoked chicken sausage on top. This is a very tasty pizza that really didn't need meat!

This was suprisingly fabulous! I added mushrooms and onion while sauting and everyone asked for the recipe. They too were suprised how simple the recipe was.

Had a little pizza party and served a number of homemade pies. Of all the pies I made, this one made such a hit, that numerous people took the recipe home with them. It's extremely moist and very elegant. I used plain pizza sauce and suateed fresh mushrooms along with the squashes. Find canned and jarred mushrooms very rubbery. Also, used part skim mozzarella, instead of the whole milk one. This substitution didn't affect the flavor or texture one bit. Bon apetit!

An excellent pizza-one of the best I've made! I added chopped vidalia onion with the squash, and canadian bacon for my meat-eating husband. We both really enjoyed it. This is one of those dishes where the whole is more than the sum of the parts. And so easy for a weeknight supper!

Used as 1 of 4 appetizers in dinner for 30. Most enjoyed moderately but not "rave" reviews.


Ingredients

  • 1 small tin of Pilchards - in tomato sauce
  • 1 small onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Thumb of ginger
  • 3 birds-eye Chilli Peppers
  • 1 small Courgette
  • 1 handful of baby leaf Spinach
  • 1 teaspoon whole Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander - seed
  • 6 cardamon - pods
  • 8 Curry Leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Curry Paste - Just a simple one
  • 2 tablespoons of Ghee

Chop the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies finely – don’t overdo the onion.

Grind the cardamom pods in a mortar and pestle and remove the shells.

Put the ghee in a large, heavy frying pan at a medium to high heat. Add the seeds and curry leaves and fry for a minute or so – don’t let them burn!

Add the onion, garlic and ginger and fry for another couple of minutes.

Add the curry paste and fry for a few seconds.

Add the courgette and chillies and fry till the courgette is a little soft. Four or five minutes, depending on how thick you cut it!

Add the tin of Pilchards and stir in gently so that the fish keeps most of its shape.

Add the spinach and stir till it has wilted.

Take off the heat and serve immediately. Eat just as it is or with some bread.

Speed is important as you want this as fresh as possible. The courgettes should still have some bite and the spinach not completely disintegrated. The tinned pilchards are already cooked, so you only need to heat them through.

You can also do this with tinned mackerel – though if it does not have tomato sauce, add a bit of purée and a little water. This recipe is very hot, though it has a fresh sort of heat that you don’t get in your average Indian restaurant. However, if you don't want the heat, adjust the chilli quantity or remove them, though they are part of the taste.


Other Recipes You Might Like

I know that for most of the country, zucchini is a summer produce, but Californians are spoiled. We get zucchinis all year long and I am not going to wait for summer to savor this amazing squash.

Pairing the green zucchini, yellow squash and cherry tomatoes, I have this scrumptious dish.

This recipe is so easy and makes a perfect side dish. There is no oven roasting, just a simple saute on a skillet, and the dish is done in practically 10 minutes.

Easy peasy, no pre-heating of oven, no messy cleanup and completely hassle free.


Garlic bread pizzas

Tip all of the base ingredients into a mixing bowl. Pour over 300ml warm water – not too hot. Stir quite hard with a spoon until the mixture comes together.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 2-3 times until the mixture forms a ball. Divide dough into 8 equalsize pieces. Take 1 piece, leaving the remainder loosely covered with oiled cling film. Lightly flour the surface again and use a rolling pin to roll out dough into a round about 15cm diameter or as thin as you can. Put pizza on a baking sheet.

Mix together the butter and crushed garlic, then spread a little over the pizza. Tear the mozzarella into thin strips and scatter over. Repeat for the remaining pieces of dough. You should be able to fit 2 pizzas per baking sheet depending on how many baking sheets you have, you may have to cook in batches.

Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9. Bake pizzas for 12-15 mins until crisp and cooked through. Meanwhile, mix together the remaining ingredients, then season well. When the pizza comes out of the oven, top with the tomato mixture and serve straight away.

RECIPE TIPS
THIS DOUGH'S A DODDLE

Making dough from scratch might seem like hard work, but it tastes so much better than ready-made versions and costs less than a packet of bread mix. We’ve made it extra simple by cutting down on kneading time and not leaving the dough to rise. This saves you time in the kitchen and makes the dough easier to roll out. Plus, the pizza comes out of the oven with an authentically crisp base.


Creamy Superfast Oats

Mornflake Superfast Oats are a source of wholegrain and protein.

We carefully cut the oats into three before gently rolling them. The smaller oat flakes absorb the water or milk quicker, making them cook superfast, perfect for smooth and creamy porridge oats.

Ingredients

2 leeks chopped into slices
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic sliced
1 large carrot chopped finely
1 sweet potato peeled and chopped into small cubes
125 mixed mushrooms finely chopped
6 tomatoes chopped roughly
250ml veg stock
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp sea salt
Black pepper
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
Pinch chilli flakes – optional

For the crumble topping
100g Mornflake Creamy Superfast Oats
3 tbsp chickpea flour
100g hazelnuts blitzed in a mini chopper or crushed
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients

2 leeks chopped into slices
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic sliced
1 large carrot chopped finely
1 sweet potato peeled and chopped into small cubes
125 mixed mushrooms finely chopped
6 tomatoes chopped roughly
250ml veg stock
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp sea salt
Black pepper
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
Pinch chilli flakes – optional

For the crumble topping
100g Mornflake Creamy Superfast Oats
3 tbsp chickpea flour
100g hazelnuts blitzed in a mini chopper or crushed
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

In a large pan, add the oil and leeks and fry until soft and caramelising. Now add the garlic and stir.

Add the chopped carrot and sweet potato and fry for a further 5-6 minutes until the veg softens a little.

Add the paprika, balsamic, tomato purée chopped tomatoes, mushrooms and stock. Stir, cover and cook and for 10 minutes until everything softens. Seasonal well.


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