How about Italian?.
I've been getting a lot of use out of the recipes I see on FoodTV lately; particularly Giada De Laurentis's Everyday Italian offerings.
Sometimes, I will make every dish she features on an episode. Other times, I'll mix and match.
Recently, I made all three recipes from the "Italian Fast Food" episode; Lasanga Rolls, Fried Zucchini (yes, you read that right), and Italian Doughnuts.
I'm more than willing to slave over the stove for hours on end for a really fabulous meal (and believe me, I've done it!), but I'm just as likely to want something that doesn't take a lot of time...I mean, someone has to watch the always-on-the-go kid!
All three of these dishes came together rather quickly, except for the Lasanga Rolls. But that was more my fault, or lack of planning, than the recipe's. It calls for marinara sauce, and I had none at hand. Which meant I had to make some...that took a couple hours out of my day.
But once the sauce was prepared, the rolls came together pretty fast.
Cooked lasanga noodles, rolled up with a ricotta, Parmesan, spinach and prosciutto filling (Morningstar Farms veggie bacon for mine), placed into a bechamel-covered casserole dish, topped with a small amount of marinara, and then some shredded mozzarella.
Oh, I really like these!
The filling isn't runny, and the flavors are fantastic. The cheese on top browns nicely. Great flavor, but because there really isn't that much cheese in the rolls, they aren't too heavy, either. This one's a keeper.
Fried zucchini...I know, I know. I thought it would be a good way to get us all to eat one of my least-favorite veggies (and this from an almost ten-year vegetarian!).
Zucchini, cut into thin strips, coated in egg, then Parmesan and panko. Fried in olive oil.
My impression? Coating is great. I will use it for other things, but when it comes down to it...it's still zucchini. Hey; I tried!
This was interesting; the doughnuts were made from pizza dough!
That was another time-killer for me; we are not in the habit of keeping frozen pizza dough on hand, nor do we ever buy it, so I had to whip up dough, as well.
Cut into shapes, and fry in a mix of olive and vegetable oils.
They do puff up, and have a nice, and not heavy, taste. It's certainly not what I'm used to as doughnuts. Though, honestly, I'm not a big fan of doughnuts. They kind of make my stomach ache...these? Not even a little. Crunchy on the outside, with a bit of chew inside.
I rolled the holes in powdered sugar and the rings in cinnamon sugar. Nice.