We asked readers to tell us which recipes from Sunset have become their weeknight favorites. We expected to be reminded of easy, delicious dishes that we had all but forgotten, from the decades' worth of recipes in our archives. What we didn't expect was how creatively you have adapted our dishes to your needs, changing the flavor balance of a marinade, substituting ingredients you had on hand, or coming up with innovative ways to save time.
We got submissions from all over the West (and even a few from outside it). From those, we chose these six recipes, which showcase the best of Western flavors, from easy enchiladas to lemon-spiked salmon. Now that you've reminded us of these simple, family-friendly dishes, they've once again become our weeknight favorites.
WEEKNIGHT SURVIVAL GUIDE
Along with recipes and revisions, many readers sent us their strategies for getting dinner on the table fast. Here are some of our favorite tips.
Take advantage of prepared ingredients. Sue Zulauf of Roseville, California, buys peeled, deveined shrimp to save time making shrimp curry. Bagged prewashed greens are another great time-saver.
Save trips to the grocery store by experimenting with what you have on hand. In salad recipes, Carol Murphy-Houck of Stanwood, Washington, substitutes white wine or lemon juice for vinegar. Other readers report that they adapt spices, flavorings, or even the meat in favorite recipes.
Get simple preparations out of the way early. Judith Doherty of Colorado Springs likes to add mix-ins such as ham or vegetables to a quick popover recipe, so she cuts them up in advance and stores them in plastic bags until ready to use.
Involve the whole family. Eleanor Fremgen of Pacific Grove, California, cuts time by having her husband do the chopping for a favorite main-dish salad.
Keep it simple. Many of you pointed out that a quick meal is even quicker if the side dishes are basic. Liz Crain of Capitola, California, appreciates main dishes that can be served with nothing more than a green salad alongside.