Cooking dinner for 6, but short on time!

Hi everyone, I'm cooking dinner for 6 people this Sunday, but will be short on time after driving home from out of town- I'll have ~3 hours. Any ideas? I was thinking of going with something Mexican, but also thinking of fish? I don't know. All over the place.

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10 Comments

My F. April 29, 2016
Expanding a bit (okay a lot) on the fish tacos suggestion from CV above:

I love to use catfish because its got such a meaty texture while being affordable AND sustainable. Plus it doesn't have the delicate flavors of more common fish that will get covered up by usual taco toppings. If you don't like/can't get fresh catfish choose another firm, white fleshed seafood (including shellfish). Cut into smaller 1-2 bite pieces and soak it in buttermilk for the first 2 hours as soon as you get home. Then right before or while everyone is arriving dry well, dust with flower, salt, pepper, paprika, ground cumin and gently pan fry. Get a huge package of the smallest size corn tortillas so everyone can try different proportions layering techniques on various 2-bite tacos, very fun.

In the meantime put together garnishes:
-One bold flavored cold garnish is a must for a big pow, think chimichurri (maybe add some tomatilloes to create a cross with salsa verde) or quick pickled radishes and jalapenos (if you have access to a kitchen/ boiling water and fridge on your trip make Ed Lee's Bourbon Pickled Jalapenos now and they will pe perfect: http://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/recipes/a4264/quick-bourbon-pickled-jalapenos-recipe-clv0513/).
-I always have some salvadoran crema, its the perfect balance of creamy and sweet, but it's readily available here in VA. If it isnt for you I'll just say to choose creme fraiche over sour cream to go with fish.
-HERBS!

And Sides:
-Rice and beans is a great go to, but difficult in 2 hours.
-A cabbage slaw with lime juice, agave syrup, rice venegar and sesame seeds or toasted pepitas.
-Chips and guac.

Whatever you choose good luck!
 
BerryBaby April 29, 2016
I would suggest a one pan (roasting) meal. Lots of recipes online for Chicken and Potatoes (or Vegetables). It's all roasted on a sheet pan in the oven and takes about one hour and half from start to finish. I've tried One Pot Chicken and Potatoes from Let the Baking Begin and it is wonderful! Clean up is a breeze as well! Good luck!
 
Kristen W. April 29, 2016
How about salmon cooked en papillote with white wine EVOO, garlic, and lemon, served over a warm couscous salad (cook the couscous in stock) with cut greens beans, slivered almonds, parsley, and a splash of lemon juice (or zest if that's overkill on the lemon?
 
inpatskitchen April 28, 2016
This is our favorite "company" dinner:
https://food52.com/recipes/14754-dad-s-favorite-seafood-stew
Use canned San Marzano tomatoes if tomatoes aren't in season and serve with a simple green salad and some crusty bread.
 
pk April 28, 2016
X. Iggy
 
lloreen April 28, 2016
This Brazilian fish stew is delicious and takes about 1.5 hours, mostly not active cooking time. If you can pre chop your veggies, it would be even faster. You could serve with herbed rice or spaghetti squash. https://food52.com/recipes/4574-salmon-moqueca
If you had any time to cook before going out of town, this beef taco recipe is a winner and can be easily frozen and reheated. https://food52.com/recipes/2731-barbacoa-beef-cheek-tacos
Then all you'd have to do is warm some tortillas, make the pickled onions, and maybe throw together a cabbage salad with a cumin-lime dressing.
 
702551 April 28, 2016
Fish tacos
 
Bascula April 28, 2016
I'd second the idea of roast chicken, but rather than rice I would just throw some potatoes (and sweet potatoes) in the oven to bake at the same time. That leaves you time free to sort out your vegetable. You could even put together some kind of fruit crisp that could also go into the oven, for dessert.
 
Aliwaks April 28, 2016
Fish is great option since it so fast--- you can roast a whole side of salmon -

I'd start with something DIY and from your pantry-- like a pile of toasts with some warmed white beans & sage or whipped greek yoghurt with spiced olive oil & a bunch of radishes + some kind of compound butter

Roasted side of salmon brushed with good olive oil, a sprinkled of maldon and fresh cracked pepper + lemon (meyers if you can find them)-- if you can get your hands on some ramps roast those along side

a bowl of mashed potatoes or a bunch of crunchy roasted potatoes w olive oil & aleppo pepper & piles of fresh parsely tossed with lemon

Big platter steamed asparagus (and fiddleheads?) with fried capers & garlic slivers
For dessert

A soft young fresh goat cheese with lavender honey (or just honey) & some nice crackers then serve up big bowls of chocolate sorbet drizzled with olive oil, sea salt & orange zest + some raspberries and a excellent store bought cookies

Lovely simple & seasonal
 
Carl April 28, 2016
1. simple green salad dressed with lemon vinaigrette (cherry tomatoes and shaved parmesan)
2. baked chicken with jalapeno - cilantro - pecan pesto ( 45 mins to bake)
3. cumin scented white rice (could add black beans if you want)

Simplest vinaigrette ever (lemon juice, s&p, dab of dijon mustard, olive oil)
Pesto (bunch of cilantro, clove of garlic, 1/3 cup pecans, 1 jalapeno seeded, 1/4 cup grated parmesan - pulse in a blender until mostly smooth)
salt & pepper your chicken breasts, spread pesto on top of each breast and bake)
Rice (cook # of servings according to directions, substitute chicken broth for water, add 1/2 tsp ground cumin. When done fluff with fork and stir in 3-4 chopped scallions and a can of black beans warmed and drained)
You can do ALL of that in 1 hour.
 
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