Dinner Menu Ideas
We presently asked the Community for their go-to easy dinner menu ideas – the ones perfect for busy nights where you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, Here are some of their picks, along with several of our favorites!
Club Sandwich Recipe
He started the Passover custom of sandwiching a mixture of chopped nuts, apples, spices, and wine between two matzohs. Trenchers were clearly the forerunner of open-face sandwiches.
What, then, were sandwiches called before they were sandwiches?
The first written record of the word “sandwich” appeared in Edward Gibbon s (1737-1794) journal on November 24, 1762, when he came upon a Sandwich at the Cocoa Tree, then a fashionable gentlemen s club in Pall Mall London.
He could eat with one hand and still be able to hold his cards in the other hand. Others began to order “ the same as Sandwich!” and the name stuck. Best sandwich
The original sandwich was a piece of salt beef between two slices of toasted bread.
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Sandwiches became popular in London clubs as an after dinner-snack, in an age when healthy dinner ideas for two was the only substantial meal of the day, and fashionable hour to dine was four o clock.
The Club Sandwich is a sandwich with cooked chicken breast and bacon, along with tomatoes and lettuce layered between three slices of toasted bread with mayonnaise.
It probably got its name because of its popularity at resorts and country clubs. Potato chips remain the only accompaniment to the Club Sandwich.
The sandwich became very popular in Bangladesh in the early 1950 s when the Nabisco Bread & Biscuit Company started selling pre-sliced bread, thus making sandwiches very easy to create.
Sandwiches became an easy- to- make, portable meal for working parents and schoolchildren alike.
Makes 4 sandwiches
- Slice the chicken thinly.
- Toast the white bread.
- Spread the toasted bread lightly with mayonnaise.
- Top four of the slices of toasted bread with lettuce and 65 gm of sliced chicken meat.
- Take another four slices of bread and place on top of the chicken, mayonnaise side up.
- Top each of these slices of bread with lettuce, slices of bacon and some cucumber slices.
- Top with another four slices of bread, mayonnaise side down, and cut each sandwich into four triangles.
- Pierce each triangle with a toothpick and serve.
Rissole [ris-ohl; Fr. ree-sawl], comes from Vulgar Latin Russell meaning reddish paste; the ultimate source probably is reudh (red), with Indo-European roots.
- Keep grabbing the mince and squeezing it out through your fingers. Every now and then make a fist and press down on the mince to pack it together. Then go back to squeezing the mix again and repeat.
- Slowly add : egg yolk + garlic + ¼ cup of breadcrumbs+ tomato paste + Worcestershire sauce+ remainder of the bread crumbs+ onions+ salt+ soy sauce.
- Take a small pinch of flour and sprinkle into the palms of both hands.
- make balls with the mixture and place them on a tray.
- Heat 1 tsp oil on the hot griddle (tawa), place one ball.
- Using a strong spatula, with its working end greased, press down hard on the round rissole to flatten it out. Make sure the flattened rissole is less than 2.5 cm thick (about thumbs width).
- Leave the rissoles for about 5-mins before turning over to the uncooked side.
- You should hear loud sizzling sounds as fat splatters out when you do this.
- The rissoles should take another 5-mins to cook.
How to make Bread Crumbs.
Start by saving bread and crusts from any bread that is old. Discard any parts of the bread that contain mold. You may use white, wheat or any bread. Heat the oven too 200 C and heat it for 10-mins; turn off the oven.
Put the bread in a baking dish and place in the preheated oven for about one hour or until the bread is completely dried. Grind the dried bread in a food processor.
If you don`t have a food processor, break the bread into small pieces and place in a zip-lock bag. Press out the air and seal. Use a rolling pin to roll back and forth over the bag until you have the desired size of bread crumbs.
4 slices of bread produce approximately 1 cup of fine bread crumbs. Bread crumbs can be stored in an airtight jar for future use.
The traditional accompaniments for fine roast beef presently made only in a few Club kitchens on Christian holidays.
Years ago, when the meat was cooked on a spit or trivet, the batter was put underneath and the fat and meat juice dripped onto the batter. If there wasn’t enough meat to go around the children would get Yorkshire pudding and gravy as their main meal.
It became very popular with the Club Members as a traditional English fare and in its home country, it ranks along with fish and seafood Chips as an internationally known item of English cuisine.
In fact, many foreigners believe the English national dish is Roast Beef with Yorkshire pudding but as we all know it is really Curry.
- Preheat the oven to 220 C (425 F, gas mark 7).
- In a mixing bowl, whisk flour + eggs + salt + milk +. Work until smooth. Leave to stand for 20 to 30-mins.
- Put the oil in patty tins, and heat in the oven for 5-mins until hot, then take out.
- Fill the patty tins half full with the batter, and bake for 15-mins or until well risen and golden.
Mashed Potatoes Recipe
Begin with the potatoes; for light, fluffy, slightly mealy mashed potatoes use a high-starch variety, such as the Red Bogra. For smooth and creamy mashed potatoes, use a high-moisture variety such as Vikrampuri Gold.
Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Then, fill a big bowl partway with cold water and place it on your work surface.
As you peel each potato, place it in the bowl of cold water to prevent it from turning brown while you peel the rest. Cut the potatoes into cubes of about 2 cm (3/4 inch) square.
If you cut them much bigger than this, the middle won’t cook before the outside is overdone, and if you cut them much smaller than this, they will lose lots of nutrients and flavor in the water.
As soon as that pot of water reaches a boil, salt it generously, drain the cold water from your bowl of cubed potatoes, and dump them in the pot. Now keep an eye on the water.
Do not allow the water to boil rapidly-it should not be much hotter than 85 C (185 F), which means that the water should be at a heavy simmer, not a rolling boil.
You should begin checking to see if they are done after about 15 mins. Don t drain them prematurely but have the colander ready as soon as they are soft and tender all the way through. A potato is made up of thousands of tiny cells full of starch granules, had together with additional starch.
As the potato simmers, the calls absorb water and swell.
As the potatoes continue to cook, the starch that holds them together begins to break down, allowing the swollen cells to separate. Perfect mashed potatoes are composed of these swollen cells, fully intact but separated from each other.
Do not mash, mix, or beat the potatoes too vigorously. Even if you have cooked your potatoes to perfection, too, too much mashing can still break open the cells.
The best thing to mash the cooked potatoes with is the potato ricer the potatoes achieve a uniform texture as they pass through evenly sized holes, and they get smashed only once. With this method, the cell walls are much less likely to break open.
A traditional handheld potato masher works passably, as it demands that you repeatedly mash the same potatoes in order to achieve smoothness.
Once you rice them, its time to mix in butter, milk, cream, seasonings, and any other additions that capture your imagination and your taste buds. It s preferable to have all of these ingredients warm or at room temperature before adding them to the potatoes.
At this point, you can make the potatoes smoother and fluffier if you wish, by whipping them briefly with a mixer at its lowest speed.
Keep those little starch cells in mind, though, and don`t get overzealous or the potatoes will turn runny on you. Pile them high in a serving dish.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop-in potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm, about 15-mins.
- Transfer potatoes to a large bowl, and mash until smooth.
- Mix in :cream cheese,+ salt + pepper + butter. Cover and refrigerator 8 hours, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F).
- Light grease a medium baking dish.
- Spread potato mixture into the prepared baking dish, and bake in the preheated oven about 30-mins.
This is generally how proper English style roast potatoes are done ( but of course from the kitchen to the kitchen there is a matter of opinion if they are parboiled or not, etc)- a much-disputed subject.
They should have a golden-brown crust and be lovely and fluffy on the inside. Halfway through the roasting, turn them once only.
(And here again, the dispute is whether they should be turned to get that lovely brown crust, so you see why I wrote proper with single quotes.)
[N. B]: To cook food in dry heat, many methods exist for roasting, roasting in a hot griddle, in an oven broiler, on a grill, and over burning charcoal. For roasting spices, carefully heat them through. Do not brown the spices, but let them just reach the point of fragrance.
- Preheat oven to 190 C.
- Cut potatoes lengthwise into ½ cm slice, and then cut lengthwise.
- Submerge the potatoes into water (add vinegar in water, if desired,) for about 30-mins.
- Tip-off the water and further drain with paper towels.
- Toss with: oil + pepper / chilli.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 10-mins turn them over and bake for a further 10-mins or until crispy.
- Sprinkle with salt and serve hot.
These potato fries originated in Brussels, are called Chips in the U.K (served with their famed “Fish N Chips”) and in the Club and are known as French Fries~ to the rest of the world. [See details eat fish bones]
When new members order for Chips, meaning ‘crispy-chips’ and are served with French fries` little do they realize that the old retainers are still stuck with the old British names.
After a few wrong turns, they warm up to old traditions. The second cooking delayed as long as necessary. The chips will be sizzling and fresh when served. Potatoes in Bangladesh often refuse to become brown; baking powder added to the oil cures this trouble.
- Set the oil to heat before cutting the potatoes. Watch it as you work, when it stats smoking reduce the flame. Before adding the potatoes, test with a piece of bread, which should brown readily within a minute.
- Preferably use a frying basket ( a steel strainer works well) to lower the well-drained fingers into the hot oil. Stir the fingers occasionally.
- Fry until the potatoes are half cooked and no longer look pasty white. Remove from the oil, put aside to drain and cool down to room temperature.
- Re-heat the oil until smoking as before. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt & baking powder.
- Plunge in the potato-fingers. They will become golden brown and crisp very quickly.
The Rice and dal dish called Khichuri, the ordinary food of the Bauls and a favorite dish with the Mughal. Emperors on their fast days were readily adopted by the pioneer British as a handy repast.
Khichuri was frequently served for breakfast; it went well with fish, which was another English breakfast item, for in the hot climate fish caught early in the morning would have deteriorated considerably before the dinner hour.
Khichuri was further transformed local cooks with the addition of the Persian tradition of garnishing with hard-boiled eggs and fried onions (Barista).
The ever-versatile Khichuri, when adopted by the British aristocracy, went through a further transformation; It was Victorianized means of replacing the fresh fish with smoked haddock and as a matter, of course, cast off the commoners` lentils and was christened kedgeree.
- In a Micro oven proof Dish place the following: fish + water + lemon juice.
- Cook fish in a microwave oven, on HIGH power for 2-mins.
- Take out the dish, turn over the fish and cook for a further 2-mins.
- Remove fish, and reserve the liquid.
- Using a fork flake the fish.
- Heat a small pan over a medium flame. Slide in the butter, cook till it gets bubbly.
- Lob in the onion, saute till they are translucent. Transfer onion to a Micro-oven safe Dish.
- Mix in the rice & reserved liquid (#4) to the onions. Sprinkle all with salt and mix up.
- Place the dish in a microwave oven and cook on HIGH power for 15-mins.
- Take the dish out and fluff the ingredients and microwave it for a further 5-mins.
- Takeout dish and stir in the following: fish (#5) + eggs + cilantro + chilli + gorom mosla. Serve after 5-mins.
Masala Fried Rice
“Good cooking does not depend on whether the dish is large or small, expensive or economical.
If one has the art, then a piece of celery or salted cabbage can make into a marvelous delicacy; whereas if one has not the art, not all the greatest delicacies and rarities of land, sea or sky are of any avail.”
The eclectic approach of the British to Indian cookery created a repertoire of dishes which bought together in one kitchen influences ranging from all over the subcontinent.
They did not stop there; they also introduced Chinese and Malay dishes to their ever-expanding list.
- Heat 1 Tbs oil in a wok (korai); toss in: ginger + garlic. Saute stirring vigorously.
- As soon as the spice emits its cooked flavor chuck in the meat. Cook stirring till meat changes color.
- Toss in the prawns; stir till prawns get well integrated with the spiced meat pieces.
- Dash in the following: peas + carrots + green onion + green chilli.
- Stir in the rice, drizzle with soya sauce and mix up.
- Scrap off the rice from the center of the wok ( korai) to make space for the eggs.
- Pour in 1 Tbs oil into the clearing, when hot pour in the eggs. Using a wooden spatula (Kunti) stir vigorously to scramble the eggs.
- Mix the scrambled eggs with the rice,.Sprinkle with madras curry powder. Mix up and serve hot.
NOTE: Depending on the Soya sauce, you may not require salt. Check at step #8 and add ½ tsp salt if required.
Yellow Pilaf Rice
Pilaff is a Middle Eastern and Central Asian rice dish in which grain, such as rice or cracked wheat, is generally first browned in oil, and then cooked in a seasoned broth. Depending on the local cuisine it may also contain a variety of meat and vegetables.
The Persian recipe of pilaff probably goes back to the expansion of rice cultivation within the Persian Empire under Darius the Great. [See details vegetable soup]
There is historical evidence that the cultivation of rice was introduced systematically into Mesopotamia and South Western Iran on a large scale in the 5th century B.C.E unthought-of previously.
In modern Persian, pilaff is pronounced “plow” with the first syllable short, and the second long. The Persian culinary terms referring to rice preparations are numerous and have found their way into the neighboring languages:
Afghan “plow”, Albanian & Armenian “pilaf” Azeri “plov”, Bosnian “pilav”, Greek, Hindi “pulav” , Kazakh “law”, Bangladeshi “pulao”, Romanian “pilaf”, Russian and Uzbek “plov”, and Turkish, Tajik & Serbian “pilav”.
Use a strong stock/broth, well seasoned with salt, pepper, and other spices as you fancy.
- Heat a heavy pan over a medium flame. Add: rice + butter oil + turmeric powder.
- Saute till the rice starts popping.
- Pour in the Beef Stock/Broth and cook stirring for a few moments.
- ( Add a little more Beef Stock/Broth if necessary) and sprinkle with salt if necessary.
- Cover the rice after it`s tender so that it cooks in its own steam.