Desperation Dinners!: Home-Cooked Meals for Frantic Families in 20 Minutes Flat

Desperation Dinners!: Home-Cooked Meals for Frantic Families in 20 Minutes Flat

by Beverly Mills, Alicia Ross
     
 

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What's a Desperation Dinner?

How to feed your family well when your spouse is late, the kids are losing it, and the dog is scratching at the door. Features over 250 tempting, nutritious recipes that take brilliant advantage of convenience foods-from individual quick-frozen chicken breasts to chopped ginger in a jar-plus innovative techniques to cut time and

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Overview

What's a Desperation Dinner?

How to feed your family well when your spouse is late, the kids are losing it, and the dog is scratching at the door. Features over 250 tempting, nutritious recipes that take brilliant advantage of convenience foods-from individual quick-frozen chicken breasts to chopped ginger in a jar-plus innovative techniques to cut time and "push" flavor.

Desperation Dinners Promise:

1. These recipes are not hard.

2. These recipes do not require expensive equipment.

3. These recipes do not lie-every one can be made in 20 minutes, start to finish.

4. Expect to be working, but only for those 20 minutes.

5. These recipes taste good.

A Slightly Desperate Cook's Answer to "What's for Dinner?"

Skillet Shepherd's Pie

Topsail Spaghetti

Pork au Poivre

Chicken Chili Quesadillas

Garlic-Roasted Salmon

Buttered Rum-Glazed Ham

Fish Florentine

Confetti Stuffed Peppers

And When You're Really Desperate

Southwestern Chicken on the Spot

Minute Minestrone

Tuna and Fusilli Alfresco

Miracle Baked Pork Chops

Practically Perfect Peach Crisp

"The dinner dilemma is solved! The Desperation ladies deserve to be stove-side in every busy home." -Nathalie Dupree, author of Nathalie Dupree Cooks Quick Meals for Busy Days

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Editorial Reviews

bn.com
From the creators of the nationally syndicated column of the same name, Desperation Dinners! is a collection of truly realistic recipes that will appeal to the whole family. Relying on timesaving staples like canned beans, frozen vegetables, and preshredded cheese, authors and working moms Mills and Ross make great use of convenience foods without sacrificing flavor and quality.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761104810
Publisher:
Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
01/28/1997
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
497,233
Product dimensions:
7.38(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.94(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

PRESTO PESTO CHICKEN SOUP

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 2/3 pound total), fresh or frozen

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

3/4 cup frozen chopped onions

2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) fat-free chicken broth

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic

1/2 cup half-and-half

1/4 cup commercially prepared pesto

Salt and black pepper to taste

1. If the chicken is frozen, run hot water over it so you can remove any packaging. Place the chicken on a microwave-safe plate and microwave 2 minutes, uncovered, on high, to begin defrosting.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 4 1/2-quart Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-low heat. Cut the chicken (fresh or partially defrosted) into bite-sized chunks, adding them to the pot as you cut. Raise the heat to medium, add the chopped onions, and cook 2 minutes, stirring from time to time.

3. Add the broth and raise the heat to high. Cover, and bring to a boil. Drain the tomatoes and add them to the pot, along with the Worcestershire and garlic, keeping the lid closed as much as possible. When the soup boils, reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to cook at a slow boil until the chicken is no longer pink but is still tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat.

4. Stir in the half-and-half, pesto, and salt and pepper. Let the soup rest off the heat for 1 1/2 minutes, then serve.

Serve 4 generously

HARVEST PORK CHOPS

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) fat-free chicken broth

1 1/2 cups water

2 1/2 cups "instant" (5-minute) rice

4 boneless center-cut loin pork chops (each about 3/8 inch thick; about 1 pound total), fresh or frozen

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1 medium onion (for 3/4 cup slices)

Black pepper to taste

1 large tart apple, such as Granny Smith (for 1 cup slices)

1/2 cup apple juice, white wine, or water

1 tablespoon dark or light brown sugar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar

1 bag (8 ounces) cabbage coleslaw mix

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons water

1. Combine 1 cup of the chicken broth and the water in a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, begin step 2 (if necessary) and step 3. When the liquid boils, add the rice, cover the pan, and remove from the heat until ready to serve.

2. If the pork chops are frozen, run hot water over them so you can remove any packaging. Place the chops on a microwave-safe plate and microwave 2 minutes, uncovered, on high, to begin defrosting.

3. Meanwhile, melt the butter over low heat in an extra-deep 12-inch nonstick skillet that has a lid. Peel the onion, cut it in half lengthwise, and cut each half into 4 crescent-shaped slices, medium and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the pork chops (fresh or partially defrosted) to the skillet, pepper them to taste, and cook until brown on the first side, about 3 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, cut the unpeeled apple in half, core it and cut it into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Turn the pork chops and add the remaining 3/4 cup chicken broth, the apple juice, brown sugar, mustard, and vinegar. Stir well. Immediately add the apple slices and coleslaw mix. Stir to coat the slaw with sauce. Cover the pan, raise the heat to high, and bring the liquid to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, just until the chops are no longer pink in the center, about 8 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water in a small container that has a lid. Shake well until the lumps disappear, then set aside.

7. When the chops have simmered for 8 minutes, uncover the skillet, shake the cornstarch mixture again, and add it to the skillet, stirring constantly. Stir until the sauce is the desired consistency for gravy, about 2 minutes.

8. To serve, place a chop on a bed of rice on each serving plate and top with some onions, apples, cabbage, and gravy.

Serves 4

GINGERED SALMON CROQUETTES

48 small square soda crackers with unsalted tops

1 can (6 ounces) skinless, boneless salmon

1 small onion

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice from frozen concentrate

1 teaspoon bottled chopped ginger

1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon mango chutney, such as Major Grey's

1. Place the soda crackers in a 2-quart or larger bowl and crush with your hands to make medium-fine crumbs. You should have roughly 2 cups of crumbs. Pour 1 cup of the crumbs onto a plate and reserve.

2. Add the salmon and its liquid to the bowl with the remaining crumbs. Peel the onion and grate enough on a handheld grater to make 1 tablespoon with juice. Add the grated onion to the salmon, setting the remaining onion aside for another use. Stir in the sour cream, 1 tablespoon of the mayonnaise, the lemon juice, ginger, garlic, and Worcestershire.

3. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Shape the salmon mixture into four 3-inch patties about 1/2 inch thick. Press both sides of each patty into the reserved cracker crumbs to coat, adding each patty to the hot oil as it is coated. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.

4. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons mayonnaise and the chutney in a small bowl and stir to blend well.

5. Place the patties on serving plates and top each with a dollop of chutney mayonnaise to serve.

Serves 4

Excerpted from Desperation Dinners! Copyright c 1997 by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross. Reprinted by permission of Workman. All rights reserved.

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From the Publisher
"The dinner dilemma is solved! the Desperation ladies deserve to be stove-side in every busy home."
—Nathalie Dupree, author of Nathalie Dupree Cooks Quick Meals for Busy Days

Meet the Author

Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross have been writing together as a team for almost ten years. Their weekly newspaper column, "Desperation Dinners", is syndicated by United Media and appears in over 90 newspapers nationwide. Ms. Mills lives with her husband and two children outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Ms. Ross lives with her husband and two children in Raleigh, North Carolina. Their Web site is www.desperationdinners.com.

Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross have been writing together as a team for almost ten years. Their weekly newspaper column, "Desperation Dinners", is syndicated by United Media and appears in over 90 newspapers nationwide. Ms. Mills lives with her husband and two children outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Ms. Ross lives with her husband and two children in Raleigh, North Carolina. Their Web site is www.desperationdinners.com.

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