By: Dan Gentile
When untrained cooks are in a hurry they usually settle for a rock-bottom meal like a handful of tortilla chips chased with a spoon of peanut butter. But culinary professionals know how to turn 10 minutes into a plate worth Instagramming.
To learn how the pros eat when they don't have time at their disposal, we asked chefs around the country to tell us their favorite quick meals. Some meals are as simple as cheese on bread, others -- like curry in a hurry -- are admittedly more ambitious, but each one should take fewer than 600 seconds and keep you satiated for thousands more.
Credit: Flickr/Bert Wagner
Italian-style tuna melt
"Whenever I'm in a time crunch, I love to throw together an Italian-style tuna melt, made with olive oil, cucumber, and red onion with melted fontina. I'll warm it all up in the toaster, and then top with tomato if it's in season." -- Jimmy Bradley, chef/owner at The Red Cat (New York, NY)
"I always have deli meats on hand, usually a good fancy turkey breast slice, so I'll make a big old white-trash sandwich. Take turkey, sliced cheese, and mustard, roll it up, and I'm out the door. You don't even need bread." -- Kevin Meehan, Kali Dining (Los Angeles, CA)
Fish on bread
"I always have a few tins of preserved fish in my pantry, like smoked oysters or sardines in piquillo peppers. I'll crack a tin of sardines, or something similar, heat it on low temp, then add harissa and a squeeze of lemon juice. Park it next to a wedge of sourdough and dinner is made." -- Robert Stauning, Gran Electrica (Brooklyn, NY)
"I like to make omelets when I'm in a hurry because you can easily throw in whatever ingredients you have on hand and still have a delicious meal. My favorite 10-minute omelets usually include burrata, arugula, fresh lemon, and smoked paprika. -- Jesse Schenker, The Gander and Recette (New York , NY)
Mushrooms and eggs
"I sauté mushrooms (I prefer trumpet royal) and sauté them with garlic, chili peppers, parsley, and olive oil, then crack a couple of eggs over them once the mushrooms are tender, then cover and steam." -- Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia (Chicago, IL)
"If I only have 10 minutes, which is a lot of the time, I scoop an entire avocado into a bowl with fresh pineapple, cilantro, lemon juice, coconut oil, honey, and ancho-roasted pumpkin seeds, which I always keep a stash of for myself." -- Bethany DiBaggio, chef de cuisine at The Peached Tortilla (Austin, TX)
"When I only have 10 minutes, I make truffle spaghetti with mushroom chicken-flavored instant ramen noodles, Parmesan, butter, and canned truffles." -- Chris Jaeckle, Uma Temakeria at Gotham West Market (New York, NY)
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