Like most moms, I’m always scrambling for simple-but-healthy meals I can throw on the table between baseball practice and homework crunch time. So at first I was jazzed to come across Mark Bittman’s article, “Summer Express: 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less” while cruising around www.nytimes.com.
But, Mr. Bittman! You’re making me feel pathetic. My idea of quick and simple is ground-turkey tacos. Or a jar of pasta sauce tossed in the crock pot with a couple of sliced turkey sausages. (OK, that’s cheating, I guess. The sauce cooks all day and the final prep takes 10 minutes. But it takes a whopping three minutes to throw that stuff in the crock put.)
Here are some of Bittman’s suggestons:
° Put three pounds of washed mussels in a pot with half a cup of white
wine, garlic cloves, basil leaves and chopped tomatoes. Steam until
mussels open. Serve with bread. (To me, simple means working with what’s in the cupboard, fridge and freezer, not heading off to the store to buy fresh mussels — and then wondering what to do with the ones that don’t open. Pitch ‘em, right?)
° Put a few dozen washed littlenecks in a large, hot skillet with olive oil. When
clams begin to open, add a tablespoon or two of chopped garlic. When
most or all are opened, add parsley. Serve alone, with bread or over
angel-hair pasta. (I’m seeing a trend here. More “openings” to worry about. And more fresh stuff to buy at the last minute…)
° Boil a lobster. Serve with lemon or melted butter. (OK, now I’m picturing that great scene from “Annie Hall.” I’m Woody Allen.)
And my personal favorite…
° Sauté squid rings and tentacles in olive oil with salt and pepper. Make a sauce of minced garlic, smoked pimentón, mayo, lots of lemon juice and fresh parsley. Serve with a chopped salad of cucumber, tomato, lettuce, grated carrot and scallion, lightly dressed.
Sigh. Scrambled eggs and hash browns, anyone?