Easy Recipes For Dinner

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easy recipes for dinner

HOME COOKING: Easy Recipes for Fantastic Family Meals – Or A Romantic Dinner For Two – Mexican Shake & Bake Chicken – Italian Fried Chicken & more

“If you can cook, money isn’t a problem. If you can cook — you can whip together a tasty, wholesome meal in a few minutes, that’s cheaper than anything you can get at MacDonald’s.” –The Naked Chef

 

The other day, while shopping at the Mall, I overheard a mother tell her children, “C’mon. we’re going to MacDonald’s.”

One of her children said, “I don’t want to go to MacDonald’s!”

To which she replied, “Well, we’re going. I’ve got coupons.”

 

With the current financial Recession, MacDonald’s sales — as well as those of other Fast Food Outlets — have increased big time. Business is good — it’s just the fat-rich, nutrient-poor “product” that is not.

But any professional cook will tell you this: “You can prepare an easy, fast meal for your family that is nutritious, delicious — and cheaper — than any fast food meal out there.”

Chefs will tell you that for years they’ve been hearing their kids’ friends saying, “Wow! You’re always having these fantastic meals at home — how can you afford it?”

And the chef will reply, “Actually — these meals are cheaper than any meal you can buy out there — fast food joints — TV dinners — you name it.”

IF YOU CAN COOK AT ALL — YOU CAN CUT DOWN YOUR MEAL COSTS DRASTICALLY — WHILE INCREASING THE NUTRITIONAL QUALITY… YOU CAN DO IT ALL!

I’ve been a pro cook for over 30 years, and I’ve been doing just that.

So — if you want to impress family or friends — or if you have a hot date, maybe that special you-know-who you just met on WUVING.com  or somewhere and you want to prepare  a romantic dinner…  For you — here are a few of my favourite easy recipes that have also been Family Favourites:

 

–Mexican Shake & Bake Chicken–

1 Chicken, cut up

4 Cups Flour

2 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper

1 Cup Bran Flake Cereal (crushed)

2 Tbls. Parsley Flakes

2 Tsp. Garlic Powder

1 Tbls. Onion Powder

2 Tsp. Chili Powder

2 Tbls. Taco Seasoning

1 Tsp. Ground Pepper

1 Tsp. Curry Powder

1 Tsp. Basil

1 Tsp. Oregano

Mix together well. Preheat oven to 400F

Dredge the chicken pieces in above mix. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a shallow 9 x 12 baking pan. Place chicken skin side down and baste top with melted butter from the pan. Bake uncovered for 25 min. Turn skin side up, reduce heat to 350F and bake until tender; 30 – 35 minutes.

 

You can serve Mexican Shake & Bake Chicken with:

– Red Chili Beans and Rice–

2 cups Uncle Ben’s long grain rice (cooked)

1 – 16 oz. can Red chili beans in chili gravy

1 teas. Chili powder

1/4 teas. Cumin

Dash garlic salt

In saucepan, heat beans without letting them boil. Stir in chili powder, cumin and garlic salt. When piping hot, add warm rice and gently mix.

1 Chicken, cut up

4 Cups Flour

2 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper

1 Cup Bran Flake Cereal (crushed)

2 Tbls. Parsley Flakes

2 Tsp. Garlic Powder

1 Tbls. Onion Powder

2 Tsp. Chili Powder

2 Tbls. Taco Seasoning

1 Tsp. Ground Pepper

1 Tsp. Curry Powder

1 Tsp. Basil

1 Tsp. Oregano

Mix together well. Preheat oven to 400F

Dredge the chicken pieces in above mix. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a shallow 9 x 12 baking pan. Place chicken skin side down and baste top with melted butter from the pan. Bake uncovered for 25 min. Turn skin side up, reduce heat to 350F and bake until tender; 30 – 35 minutes.

 

You can serve Mexican Shake & Bake Chicken with:

– Red Chili Beans and Rice–

2 cups Uncle Ben’s long grain rice (cooked)

1 – 16 oz. can Red chili beans in chili gravy

1 teas. Chili powder

1/4 teas. Cumin

Dash garlic salt

In saucepan, heat beans without letting them boil. Stir in chili powder, cumin and garlic salt. When piping hot, add warm rice and gently mix.

Serve the above two with nachos, and you’ve GONE MEXICAN!

 

–Top Chef’s Beef Cabbage Soup–

1 lb lean ground beef

1/2 head medium cabbage, shredded or chopped

2 ribs of celery sliced

1 small bell pepper (cut up into small pieces)

1 medium onion diced

1 16 Ounce can kidney beans

1 28 oz. can tomatoes (cut up the tomatoes if whole)

4 beef bullion cubes

1/4 tsp. garlic power

1/4 tsp. garlic salt

salt and pepper to taste

Brown ground beef and drain. Add to ground beef remaining ingredients adding 28 oz. of water using the 28 oz. tomato can. Bring to boil and simmer for at least one hour or until veggies are tender.

 

– Italian Fried Chicken–

4 lb. Chicken — cut up

3 cups Self-rising flour

1 cup Cornstarch

3 tbl. Seasoned salt

2 tbl. Paprika

1 teas. Baking soda

1 pk. Italian Salad Dressing Mix Powder

1 pk. Onion Soup Mix — (1 1/2 Ounces)

1 pk. Spaghetti sauce mix — (1/2 Ounce)

3 tbl. Sugar

3 cups Corn flakes — crushed

2 Eggs — well beaten

1/4 cup Cold water

Combine first 9 ingredients in large bowl. Put the cornflakes into another bowl. Put eggs and water in a 3rd bowl. Put enough corn oil into a heavy roomy skillet to fill it 1″ deep. Get it HOT! Grease a 9x12x2 baking pan. Set it aside. Preheat oven to 350~. Dip chicken pieces 1 piece at a time as follows: 1-Into dry coating mix. 2-Into egg and water mix. 3-Into corn flakes. 4-Briskly but briefly back into dry mix. 5-Drop into hot oil, skin-side-down and brown 3 to 4 minutes on medium high.

Turn and brown other side of each piece.

Don’t crowd pieces during frying. Place in prepared pan in single layer, skin-side-up. Seal in foil, on 3 sides only, leaving 1 side loose for steam to escape. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes removing foil then to test tenderness of chicken. Allow to bake uncovered 5 minutes longer to crisp the coating. Serves 4. Leftovers refrigerate well up to 4 days. Do not freeze these leftovers. Leftover coating mix (1st 9 ingredients) can be stored at room temp in covered container up to 2 months.

 

Serve Top Chef’s Beef Cabbage Soup or Italian Fried Chicken with hot Biscuits:

–Quick Down-East Biscuits–

4 Cups Bisquick

4 Ounce Sour Cream

1 Cup Club Soda (room temp)

1 Stick Margarine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix Bisquick, sour cream and club soda together. Pour onto floured surface and knead very lightly. Roll out to about 1/2″ thickness and cut with cutter. Melt butter and pour half into a glass casserole dish. Place biscuits in dish and pour remaining butter over top of biscuits.

If you would like to use less butter, do not put butter in bottom of the pan; just pour a little over the top. Also, make sure that the club soda has never been refrigerated and still has a lot of fizz. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

It’s easy.

 

If you don’t have all of the ingredients at home, it’s worth the initial expense getting them.

Those ingredients will save — and so will you, because your family will be asking for more!

Enjoy!

- Brian Alan Burhoe  www.brianalanburhoe.com

 

 

About the Author

A Graduate of the Holland College Culinary Course, Brian Alan Burhoe has cooked in Atlantic Coast restaurants for over 30 years. He is a member of the Canadian Culinary Federation. Brian’s articles reflect his interests in food service, dreamstudy, imaginative literature and our best friends — our dogs. His Home Page is A CULINARY MYSTERY TOUR – A Literary Chef

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