Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Note to Tonight's Quick Weeknight Mealers

Dear Elsaa, Brian, Tracy, Amy, Annie, Nicki, Rebecca, Mel, Cory, Noah, Amanda, and Andy:

Tonight was so fun! Seriously. I had an excellent time - I had an excellent quesadilla - and I so v. much enjoyed meeting you all. Thanks for your participation, your good humor, and your thoughtful questions. You keep me on my toes and that's what makes this job fun!

Thanks also for going back for seconds (and thirds, Cory and Amanda). Makes me more confident that I'm doing something right.

A couple follow-up notes/answers to questions:

1. To make those quick weeknight meals even quicker, raid your pantry: Bring your favorite basic jarred tomato sauce to simmer instead of making your own (10 min tops); if you don't have 20 minutes for chicken or 7 for a sweet potato, smear some canned refried beans with chiles on one side of your quesadilla instead (5 min); omit the noodles and just enjoy your peanut sauce with raw veggies (5 min) or stir-fried veggies with shrimp and/or chicken or tofu cut into 1/2-1" pieces (5-10 min).

2. We omitted cheese from our eggs-in-purgatory (it's in the recipe though) because the pan was crowded and we were going to eat a lot of cheese in our quesadillas. But - as Annie noted - the cheese takes that dish to the next level of richness. Adding a generous amount of ricotta, feta, boursin, or goat cheese if you like it (I don't) would make the meal more substantial. You could also brown some sausage or ground beef and add it to the sauce before adding the eggs. Just make sure there's enough moisture for poaching (i.e. add some water or broth if necessary).

3. The tomato sauce freezes well. The peanut sauce will get weird and gritty if you freeze it. You can store it in your refrigerator for about a week. It also would be easy to make half a batch. (Half a 1/4 cup = 2 tablespoons.)

Tomato-rice soup recipe coming soon! In the meantime... go poach some eggs and impress your friends.



  1. Hi Edith! Noah here, posting as your first student-poster. Had a great time in class tonight; so sorry I had to run. Just that I really didn't want to wind up stranded in Minneapolis. It's a long way from West St. Paul.

    Anyway, definitely looking forward to making the tomato sauce/poached egg bit. I don't have a food processor, so it may be awhile 'til I make the peanut sauce...? Also, cooking a whole chicken has been on my culinary bucket list for some time. Who knows what the weekend will bring.

    Hope our paths cross again in the future. Perhaps here on the blog!

  2. Noah! Thanks so much! Way to deliver on a promise. The peanut sauce would work just as well in a blender, if you've got that. Just chop up your garlic finely before throwing it in. Good luck cooking a chicken and maybe I'll see you at another class. Take care and thanks for being so helpful! (Sorry class ran a little late. It was my first time teaching a 2.5 hr class; they've been 3 hrs before.)