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50 Superfast Dishes

When guests are knocking and you haven't begun to cook, you can panic—or you can turn to one of the 50 fast and superfast dishes here, from the F&W staff and friends.


Appetizers

Fast: On the Table in Less Than 30 Minutes

Superfast

01 cheese bread Butter sliced peasant bread and sprinkle with Asiago cheese and oregano; toast.

02 pita crisps Brush pita with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, sesame seeds and curry; toast until golden. Cut into wedges.

03 avocado salsa Mix store-bought salsa with diced Hass avocado and chopped cilantro.

04 smoked-fish pâté Puree smoked trout with cream cheese, lime juice and chives. Pulse in chopped smoked salmon.

05 baked goat cheese Spread fresh goat cheese in a small baking dish, top with chopped chives and oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes and bake.

06 spiced edamame Sauté sesame oil, garlic, ginger and coarse salt; toss with hot steamed edamame.

07 curried popcorn Sprinkle hot oil-popped popcorn with melted butter, Madras curry and salt.

08 soppressata chips Lay thinly sliced soppressata on a baking sheet; bake until crisp.

09 foie-gras toasts Lay sliced foie-gras terrine on toasts. Top with shaved fennel; splash with balsamic vinegar.

10 raclette Melt sliced raclette cheese on heatproof plates. Serve with cornichons, steamed baby potatoes and prosciutto.

11 fennel salad Arrange thinly sliced fennel with Parmesan shavings. Top with olive oil, sea salt and pepper.


Sides

Fast: On the Table in Less Than 30 Minutes

Superfast

01 ham salad Toss julienned ham and Comté cheese with slivered green olives. Dress with olive oil.

02 endive salad Microwave walnuts for two minutes on high. Toss with endive leaves, Gorgonzola and pears; dress.

03 tuscan salad Mix chopped salami, shaved Parmesan cheese, sliced boiled eggs and roasted peppers. Top with olive oil and red wine vinegar.

04 nutty green beans Brown butter in a saucepan, add toasted pine nuts and spoon over steamed green beans.

05 herbed radicchio Brush radicchio wedges with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped thyme. Broil until tender.

06 baked fennel Drizzle trimmed and halved fennel bulbs with olive oil and bake until tender. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and bake until the cheese bubbles.

07 creamy carrots Sauté grated carrots in butter and stir in cream. Spread in a gratin dish and bake.

08 buttery asparagus Brown butter in a saucepan, stir in balsamic vinegar and spoon over grilled asparagus.

09 minty peas Mix warm cooked peas with butter, chopped mint and crispy fried pancetta.

10 tex-mex beans Drain canned black beans. Heat with lime juice, minced onion and cilantro. Serve with sour cream.


Main Dishes

Fast: On the Table in Less Than 30 Minutes

Superfast

01 crabmeat pasta Toss pasta with olive oil, crabmeat, steamed chopped asparagus, chopped chives and Parmesan.

02 tortellini gratin Spread boiled cheese tortellini in a baking dish with cream, sprinkle with Parmesan; bake.

03 baked eggs Spread creamed spinach in a baking dish, make hollows, crack an egg into each, cover and bake.

04 ham steaks Sauté ham steaks with mushrooms, cream and Madeira. Top with parsley.

05 spicy shrimp Sauté shelled shrimp with sesame oil, small dried chiles and garlic. Serve with rice.

06 crispy fish Spread snapper fillets with mayonnaise. Press on Japanese bread crumbs. Bake until cooked through and crisp.

07 salmon wraps Butter salmon fillets, wrap in drained brined grape leaves, top the leaves with butter and roast.

08 fish packs Wrap cod in greased foil packets with white wine, butter, baby spinach and thin carrot sticks; bake.

09 chicken sandwiches Toss shredded roasted chicken with barbecue sauce, mound on rolls with coleslaw.

10 chicken tacos Sauté chicken; season with lime juice. Roll in tortillas with salsa, avocado and sour cream.

11 chili fajitas Sauté leftover steak with chili powder. Serve with tortillas, roasted peppers, refried beans, avocado and salsa.


Desserts

Fast: On the Table in Less Than 30 Minutes

Superfast

01 gingersnaps and berries Crumble gingersnaps over berries. Top with yogurt and honey.

02 trifle Spread pound cake slices with jam and layer in a bowl with whipped cream. Top with fresh berries.

03 pavlovas Spread whipped cream or lemon curd on store-bought meringue cookies. Top with raspberries.

04 dipped strawberries Dip strawberries in caramel, then in chocolate and chill.

05 honeyed cheese Drizzle honey on rounds of fresh goat cheese; sprinkle with toasted almonds.

06 prunes in armagnac Splash prunes with Armagnac and serve with St. André cheese.

07 banana puffs Fill puff-pastry squares with apricot jam and banana slices, fold in half and bake.

08 parfaits Layer whipped cream, meringues, chopped chocolate and raspberries.

09 chocolate bonbons Freeze ice cream balls. Dip in melted chocolate, roll in chopped pistachios; refreeze.

10 ice cream pie Crush cookies and press into a pie plate with melted butter. Fill with ice cream, top with toasted coconut and freeze.

Published December 2003
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