Sunday marks the ideal time to have a meal that every family member can appreciate at the same time. Here are some easy to make dinners that make it possible for everyone in your family to enjoy delicious food in a low key setting. Spend just a bit of time in the kitchen and the rest of the evening in great company at your family table.
A Few First Courses
The first course sets the stage, many people want to keep this part of the meal to easy to put together. Take advantage of summer’s bounty and find items that cook fast.
Chickpeas are easy to use, widely available and inexpensive. Start with a can of drained chickpeas that you’ve washed. Chop up a medium sized cucumber, a red bell pepper, and a red onion. You’ll need half a cup of chopped olives, a half cup of good quality crumbled feta cheese, and some salt and pepper. Mix the entire thing together with a dressing made from a half cup of olive oil, a quarter of a cup of good quality white wine vinegar, a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice, and a tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley. Refrigerate for one hour and then serve cold.
Spicy Charred Corn Salad
Corn is in full ripeness this time of year. Take advantage of the fresh ears in your local supermarket with this delicious corn salad with a hint of spice. Turn on the grill and grill six ears of whole corn for about fifteen minutes. Let them cool and then shuck. Mix the corn with half a red onion, a chopped and seeded red chili, a quarter cup of lime juice, salt, pepper and olive oil.
Main courses for summer include proteins that are lighter such as fish and chicken.
Honey Lime Salmon
Salmon is an ideal choice, it’s easy to prepare and works well with many kinds of flavor profiles. For this recipe, you should start with four raw six once salmon fillets. This is another great recipe for the grill. Season your fish with salt and pepper to taste. Grill each fillet for eight minutes on a side to ensure it’s fully cooked. Let the fish rest for at least five minutes to seal in the juices.
Mix four tablespoons of butter with half a cup of lime juice and a quarter cup of honey. Mince two garlic cloves. Place all of these ingredients in a sauté pan until it’s all properly mixed and pour over the cooked fish.
Bruschetta is a fabulous way to take full advantage of summer tomatoes. This mixture of chopped tomatoes and spices is perfect for lighter appetites. Make bruschetta with chicken. Begin with four boneless chicken breasts. Pound them thinly so they’ll take flavor more easily. For the topping, you’ll want to have half a cup of olive oil, three of the freshest tomatoes you can find, a teaspoon of lemon juice, two cloves of minced garlic, a tablespoon of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, a teaspoon of fresh oregano and four thick slices of mozzarella. Combine the oil, lemon juice, garlic and oregano in a bag with the chicken for at least half an hour to allow for a proper marinade. Grill the chicken about six minutes on each side. As the chicken cooks, chop the tomatoes and then combine then with the basil. Top the chicken with the Mozzarella until the cheese melts on each breast. Spoon the tomato basil mixture on top and serve immediately.
Shrimp is another light and tasty protein for summer. This recipe adds more body and sauce. Cook a pound of your favorite pasta. In a pan, sauté shrimp in butter for six minutes. Drain but leave the remaining butter in the sauté pan.
To make the Alfredo sauce, you need a clove of minced garlic, an egg yolk and a cup of cream. Mix these ingredients in the juices from the butter in the pan where you cooked the shrimp. Over a low simmer, add in the shrimp and the pasta until it’s thoroughly coated. Serve with chopped parsley.
Any Sunday supper needs desserts. All sorts of wonderful desserts are easy to make using widely available summer ingredients.
Summer Plum Tart
Plums are a delicious summer fruit. Take full advantage of fresh plums, by making a summer plum tart. Combine a cup and a half of flour with two tablespoons of sugar with a fourth of a teaspoon of salt in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds. Refrigerate for thirty minutes. Place the dough in the oven on a pie plate and cook until its slightly brown (about ten minutes.)
Make an easy filling by pitting and cutting up a pound of plums to eights. Combine with a fourth cup of sugar, a tablespoon of cornstarch and a fourth of tablespoon of cinnamon and freshly grated orange zest. Place the filling in the pie plate and fold the dough over it. Cook for about fifty-minutes and then let cool. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Celebrate summer with the campfire cupcakes. Make a devil’s food cake and follow the directions on the box. Place the devil’s food mixture into cupcake pans (you’ll want to make the buttercream in the meantime.) Take a cup and a half of butter. Beat in six cups of powdered sugar. As this mixture is done, you’ll want to add in two teaspoons of vanilla extract, a quarter of a cup of heavy cream and a pinch of salt. You’ll also need orange and yellow food coloring. Dye half the buttercream yellow and the other orange. Place the cream in separate pastry bags. Top the cupcakes with one color of buttercream and then the other. Top with standing pretzel sticks and use toothpicks to secure two mini marshmallows to the top of each cake.