Quick Dinner Ideas

Bottom of the Refrigerator Stew

Put a pound of burger in the microwave to defrost.  Saute a diced onion and a couple cloves of garlic in chicken fat or olive oil in a cast iron pan.  Crumble burger into the pan and brown.  Add some kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, and oregano.

Dice whatever other leftover vegetables you have in the fridge and put them in the pan with the burger.  Frozen vegetables are fine too.  Cover and let vegetables cook.

When vegetables are soft, add a small can of stewed tomatoes.  Let it cook to reduce.  Taste for spices, add more spice if you'd like.  Serve with a big salad to complete the meal.


Fragrant Burger and Rice

Heat a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet.  Add a small yellow onion, diced, with a pinch of salt.  Cook until soft but not brown.  Add a couple of minced cloves of garlic, cook another 30 seconds.  Add one lb ground beef, 1/2 t cinnamon, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.  Brown the beef, stirring to mix.  Add a 14-oz can of tomato sauce, stirring in and cooking to reduce slightly, tasting to see if more salt, pepper or cinnamon is needed.  Let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and a sprinkling of pine nuts, put under the broiler to brown.  Serve over rice with a nice salad on the side.


Easy Lemon Chicken

Defrost a half chicken cut up.  Rinse and pat dry.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Warm 1/4c olive oil in a saucepan.  Add 3 T minced garlic and let brown slightly.  Remove from heat, and add 1/3 c dry white wine, 2 T lemon juice, 1 T lemon zest, 1 1/2 t dried oregano, 1/2 t dried thyme, and 1 t salt. Pour into 9" x 13" baking dish.

Place chicken pieces in baking dish, brush with olive oil, sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.  Slice lemon into wedges and tuck among the pieces.  

Bake 30-40 minutes until done.  If you want the skin a bit more brown, put the chicken under the broiler for a minute or two.  

Cover the pan tightly and let rest while you make a salad.  Serve with pan juices, salad and new potatoes pan-roasted in olive oil on the side.