Quick Friday night dinner ideas, TGIF

Paula Duffy's picture

What's for dinner tonight? By Friday night, cooking can seem like a chore. Here are some quick dinner ideas for you.

At your workplace it might be TGIF, but when you think about dinner on a Friday night it can make you cringe.

Do I really have to cook again?

Many folks make it their dinner-out night or a take-home evening. Pizza, barbecue and family favorites can be a great idea.

If you aren't in a position to do that, don't despair. Friday night dinner doesn't have to be a big deal. Here are a few recipes that will be on the table in 30 minutes or less.

Leftovers

Ready-to-go-bad veggies can be ingredients for a frittata or omelet ---maybe add some cheese too.

Veggie and Cheese Frittata Courtesy of "Everyday Italian"

  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 12 ounces asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tomato, seeded, diced
  • Salt
  • 3 ounces Fontina, diced

Preheat the broiler. Whisk the eggs, cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend. Set aside. Heat the oil and butter in a 9 1/2-inch-diameter nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium heat.

Add the asparagus and saute until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the tomato and a pinch of salt and saute 2 minutes longer. Pour the egg mixture over the asparagus mixture and cook for a few minutes until the eggs start to set.

Sprinkle with cheese. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the frittata is almost set but the top is still runny, about 2 minutes. Place the skillet under the broiler. Broil until the top is set and golden brown on top, about 5 minutes. Let the frittata stand 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, loosen the frittata from skillet and slide the frittata onto a plate.

Got English muffins?

Mini-pizza recipe

  • English muffins
  • Pasta sauce or canned tomato sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • Oregano

Slice mozzarella cheese thin or shred if you prefer. Split the English muffins in half. If you buy Thomas' brand the forking method works nicely. Toast the English muffins until they are light brown and slightly crisp..

Spoon your favorite pasta sauce, prepared pizza sauce or plain tomato sauce like Hunts on top of the muffin. Don't overload it because once you pile on the ingredients it will get messy in the cooking process.

Sprinkle your favorite grated cheese on the sauce and then add the mozzarella cheese. Once again, refrain from piling it high since the final cooking process will melt it over the sides of the muffin.

Spoon a teaspoon of sauce over the cheese and then add a sprinkle of oregano.

Pop them in your toaster oven on the Broil setting. Stand by and be ready to pull them out when the cheese is good and melted.

Chicken fingers the kids will love

Crispy Chicken Strips With Salad Courtesy of Food Network Magazine

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs (preferably panko)
  • 1 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into wide strips
  • 1 5-ounce package mesclun greens
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Note: If you want to cut out the sauce prep and use your own dressing you can cut a few minutes off the 20 minute prep time.

Make the sauce: Mix the mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon dill, 2 teaspoons mustard powder, the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a shallow bowl. Beat the eggs in another shallow bowl. Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dip the chicken strips in the beaten egg and then in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing so the coating sticks. Working in batches, add the chicken to the skillet and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes per side, adjusting the heat as needed. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Place the greens in a large bowl and toss with the tomatoes, the remaining dill and 3 tablespoons of the dill-mayonnaise sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the chicken and salad among plates and serve with the remaining sauce for dipping.

Image: Google Images/Flickr