To get this week started on a happy note, I’m going to give away a neat little paperback cookbook called “Twenty Dollar, Twenty-Minute Meals” by Caroline Wright. I’ve been leafing through this book and finding quite a few recipes I’d like to try. It isn’t written just for cooking in the summertime, but many of the dishes appeal to me as the kind of quick and easy meals I like to toss together on a summer evening after work.
These meals all serve a family of four, so the cost breakdown is $5 per person. You couldn’t do much better than that, price-wise, at a fast-food restaurant. Plus these dinners call for healthier and more interesting ingredients than you’ll find on fast-food restaurant menus.
A few examples from the book: panzanella (bread salad) with green olives, mozzarella, prosciutto and tomatoes; grilled gazpacho; marinated cucumber and feta sandwiches; grilled vegetable sandwiches with fresh aioli; linguine with braised Swiss chard and poached egg; cast iron pan pizza with pesto, mozzarella and salami; omelets with asparagus and fresh goat cheese; polenta with mushrooms and taleggio.
If you see something there that appeals to you, enter to win the book by leaving a comment on this blog entry and telling me what is one of your go-to meals to cook on an evening when you don’t feel like spending a lot of time or money? It doesn’t have to be anything fancy! Maybe in the process of giving away this book, we’ll all gather some new ideas for dinner.
I’m going to share a couple of recipes from the book so you guys can see how simple they are. Enjoy!
Deadline to enter: 5 p.m. on Thursday. Winner announced: By 5 p.m. on Friday.
Note: This is how the recipes are written in the book.
Panzanella with Green Olives, Mozzarella, Prosciutto and Tomatoes
Tear about 10 oz. stale crusty bread (from a 6-oz. loaf) into bite-sized pieces.
In a large bowl, combine the bread with 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and cracked (about 8 whole); 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces; 4 oz. prosciutto, torn into pieces; 4 plum tomatoes, cut into rough chunks; 1 can (15 oz.) butter beans, rinsed and drained; and 1 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves.
Drizzle the salad with 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar and 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper, toss and serve.
Cast-Iron Pan Pizza with Pesto, Mozzarella and Salami
Preheat the broiler with a rack in the top position. Place a large (10-inch) cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 3 minutes.
On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll 8 oz. pizza dough into a circle roughly 12 inches wide.
Place 2 Tbsp. olive oil in the hot skillet. Transfer the dough to the skillet, carefully pressing the dough up the sides of the pan with a wooden spoon. Spread 3 Tbsp. prepared pesto over the dough, then scatter with 1/2 cup coarsely grated low-moisture mozzarella (about 2 oz.) and 2 oz. thinly sliced salami, torn into pieces. Broil until the dough is cooked, the cheese is bubbly and the salami is browned in spots, about 4 to 5 minutes.