One of the most difficult tasks for many cooks is to get all the components of the meal on the table at the same time.
Jean Hewitt, food editor of Family Circle magazine, make it easy to cook well in the Family Circl Quick Menu Cookbook (Time Books, $10.95). Each of her menu includes the total preparation and cooking time, a market list and a work plan.
All you have to do is cook and eat the food.
Hewitt's menus are for the most elaborate to the simplest. Here is one of the latter:
TOTAL TIME: 30 Minutes
When time is of the essence this menu can be put together in about 30 minutes and if you have 2 pairs of hands working in the kitchen you can cut it to 20 minutes. MARKET LIST 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage 1/2 pint vanilla ice cream 2 large sweet red or green peppers 2 ribs celery 1/2 cucumber 2 tablespoons chopped red onion parsley Lettuce leaves 1 loaf Italian bread 1 small can chick peas Coffee-flavored liqueur Powdered espresso (optional) 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds WORK PLAN 1. Cook the sausage; fix peppers 2. Make salad; Chill 3. Fix dessert; freeze 4. Finish off sausage and pepper dish ITALIAN SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS IN HEROS (2 servings) 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage 2 large sweet red or green peppers, cored and seeded and cut into 1-inch-wide strips 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 clove garlic, crushed 1/8 teaspoon salt Pinch pepper Italian bread
In a small skillet cook the sausages until well done, about 20 minutes. Remove from skillet. Add the oil to the skillet, along with pepper strips, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring until pepper strips are tender but not mushy. Slice sausages into 1-inch lengths and add to skillets. Remove garlic.
Reheat. Pile sausage and peppers into a 4-to-6-inch length of Italian bread that has been split in half lengthwise. CHICK PEA SALD (2 servings) 1 can (1 pound, 1 ounce) chick peas, drained and rinsed 1/3 cup diced celery 1/3 cup dice pared cucumber 2 tablespoons chopped red onion 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon wine vinegar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper Lettuce leaves
In a small bowl combine the chick peas, celery, cucumber, onion and parsley. Beat together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and pour over chicken pea mixture. Toss, chill and serve in lettuce cups. QUICKIE ICE CREAM DESSERT (2 servings) 1/2 pint vanilla ice cream 2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds Powdered espresso coffee
Soften the ice cream. Stir in the liqueur and nuts.Spoon into two dessert dishes, and sprinkle with a little espresso and freeze.