• Cookie’s Cooks: Easy Weeknight Dinners for Fall

    Cookie’s Cooks: Easy Weeknight Dinners for Fall

    Fall is right around the corner, which means dinners on the grill might not cut it anymore. These recipes are perfect for easy weeknight dinners that are short on cooking time but big on flavor.

    Roasted Chicken and Cauliflower

    With a recipe that calls for just four ingredients and one pot, this roasted chicken and cauliflower dinner, adapted from a Rachel Ray recipe, couldn’t be any easier. Be liberal with the garlic and make sure to deglaze the pot after quickly searing the chicken to grab all those extra bits of yummy flavor.

    chicken-cauliflower-rachel-ray
    Photo Credit: Rachel Ray

    What You’ll Need

    4 whole chicken legs
    3 tablespoons EVOO
    4 cups cauliflower
    12 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

    Directions

    1. Pat chicken dry and season while preheating oven to 400 degrees.
    2. In large skillet, heat EVOO over high. Add chicken, skin side down and cook each side until browned. Transfer to plate. 
    3. Add cauliflower and garlic to skillet and cook until cauliflower begins to brown.
    4. Top cauliflower mixture with chicken and bake 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

    Sheet Pan Potatoes and Sausage

    Roasting the green beans with butter and pecans and swapping traditional breadcrumbs for panko makes this dish adapted from The Kitchn a quick gourmet meal with wide appeal.

    sheet-pan-potatoes-sausage
    Photo Credit: The Kitchn

    What You’ll Need

    1 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes
    3 tbsp. olive oil
    1 clove garlic, minced
    Salt and black pepper
    2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
    12 oz cooked chicken sausages

    Directions

    1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees and cook potatoes over low heat, 12 to 15 minutes.
    2. Drain potatoes and arrange on half of sheet. Press each with palm of hand until smashed.
    3. Mix oil and garlic together, then brush over top and bottom of potatoes. 
    4. Roast potatoes until bottoms are browned, then sprinkle with cheese. add chicken sausage pieces to other half of sheet.
    5. Bake another 15-20 minutes or until top of potatoes are golden and crispy. 

    Panko-Crusted Pork Chops with Green Beans

    There’s nothing easier than cutting up some potatoes and roasting them in the oven. This brilliantly simple recipe from Southern Living takes it another level by using the leftover pan space to roast a couple of sausages. Pro tip: use pre-cooked sausages for an even quicker cook time.

    crusted-pork-chops-and-beans
    Photo Credit: Jennifer Davick

    What You’ll Need

    2 (12-oz.) packages fresh cut green beans
    1 tbsp. olive oil
    1 tsp. salt, divided
    4 (4- to 6-oz.) bone-in center-cut pork chops
    1/4 tsp. pepper
    1/2 cup Japanese breadcrumbs (panko)
    1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    1 tbsp. lemon zest
    1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1/4 cup chopped pecans
    1/2 tbsp. butter

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 450°. Combine beans, olive oil, and 3/4 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Spread beans in a single layer in a jelly-roll pan. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until beans are tender and slightly browned.
    2.  Sprinkle pork chops with pepper and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt. Mix breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and lemon zest, and thyme in a large bowl and dredge pork chops.
    3. Cook chops in 1/4 cup hot vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until done.
    4. Stir pecans and butter into beans; bake 5 to 6 more minutes or until pecans are golden.

    Adrienne McIlvaine is a freelance writer who loves being the cool New York City aunt to her nieces and nephews on Long Island. When she’s not watching movies or catching up on podcasts, you can find her reading a good science-fiction novel. She has two stray cats that she feeds every day even though they won’t let her pet them.

    Topics: All, Food

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