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I'm Ree Drummond.
I'm a writer, blogger, photographer,
I live on a ranch in the middle of nowhere,
and all my recipes have to be approved
by cowboys, hungry kids, and me.
When life is hectic and busy around here
and I've got to get dinner on the table fast,
I whip up one of my 16-minute meals.
with a great pico de gallo on the side
make a perfect super-fast supper
when Ladd and the boys get home from football practice.
It's really good.
An incredible stir fry of beef and snow peas
really does the trick for me and the girls
when we get home from soccer practice.
And chicken Florentine pasta
makes the most incredible last-minute dinner for company
when I spring an impromptu dinner invite
on my friend Hyacinth.
She's on the road from town, so the pressure's on.
When life is busy, 16-minute meals save the day.
Welcome to my frontier.
-- Captions by VITAC --
Closed Captions provided by Scripps Networks, LLC.
The girls are doing their homework.
Ladd and the boys called,
and they're on their way home from football practice.
By my estimate, they'll be here in approximately 17 minutes,
so I've got exactly 16 minutes to get a really good meal ready.
I'm gonna make chicken quesadillas.
It's a no-brainer, really fast recipe,
and my entire family loves them.
I'm gonna get the pan going.
[ Oven clicks ]
Put it on pretty high and drizzle in some olive oil.
And I'll let that start getting hot.
And I'm gonna season the chicken.
I've just got three boneless, skinless chicken ***.
And I just season them with a little salt and pepper.
And then the secret ingredient --
packaged taco seasoning.
It's really all the chicken needs.
It's so, so good.
Sprinkle it on both sides.
Get it all rubbed in.
Fun fact --
Quesadillas were my number-one pregnancy craving
with all four of my kids.
I don't know why.
And I haven't stopped loving them.
All right. I'm gonna let those cook
for about three to four minutes per side
until they're totally done.
I'm gonna wash my hands.
It's necessary when you're working with chicken.
It looks like the chicken's ready to turn,
so I flip that over.
Ooh. It's got such nice color.
I'm gonna wind up chopping up the chicken,
but the more color you have on the outside,
the more flavor the quesadillas will have.
I'll just let the chicken finish cooking,
and I'm gonna go ahead and grate the cheese.
I'm using Monterey Jack,
but you can use any kind of cheese you want.
I really like grating my own cheese for most anything.
It just has a much better texture.
It's a lot more meltable than the stuff in the bag.
Okay, I think that's gonna be enough cheese.
I've got 2 cups, maybe a little more.
Okay, it looks like the chicken's done.
I love quesadillas.
They're the perfect 16-minute meal
because you can basically use whatever you've got on hand.
Now I'll drizzle a little more olive oil into the pan.
And I've got a sliced onion and then a sliced red bell pepper,
yellow bell pepper, and green bell pepper.
I love the colors.
Sometimes I just do chicken and cheese,
but I had these peppers on hand, and I just couldn't resist.
Now I'm gonna dice up the cooked chicken.
Did y'all enjoy your practice?
Think you're gonna be ready for your game?
Are you hungry?
That looks good.
Stir the peppers a little bit more.
Ooh. They're looking really good.
All right. I'm gonna set those over to the side.
I'll grab a griddle.
Now it's time to assemble the quesadillas, my favorite part.
I'm just gonna turn the heat on about medium-low.
Now I'm gonna butter the pan.
Okay. Now, I've got two flour tortillas,
and I'll just plop them down.
And I'll start with the cheese.
It's best to put the cheese on first
because then it's closest to the heat
and it'll melt faster.
All right. Now I'll sprinkle a little chicken on each one.
Sometimes, I customize these.
The ones for my husband and boys,
I put a little more chicken on, a little less peppers.
These look so good, and they take no time at all to make.
Now, just because a quesadilla can't have too much cheese,
sprinkle on a little more.
Then I'll grab two more tortillas, set them on top.
Okay, the quesadillas are ready to flip.
Nice and golden brown on the other side.
And by the way, if you see cheese oozing out
of the sides of the quesadilla,
then you're doing it right.
Now, to go with the quesadillas,
I have pico de gallo in the fridge.
Pico de gallo is pretty much a condiment around here,
and I always have some ready to go.
To make it, you just have equal parts onions,
tomatoes, and cilantro.
Squeeze some fresh lime juice over the top.
Sprinkle with a little salt.
And then for heat, I add a diced jalapeño.
Toss it up. So perfect.
Girls, quesadillas are almost ready!
Ooh. These look good.
ALEX: It's, like, my favorite.
It is my favorite.
LADD: I'm ready to eat.
We don't have to wait for Daddy and the boys, do we?
Sounds good to me.
You guys were really quiet in there.
We were working hard so we could eat quesadillas.
REE: We already started without you.
I hope you don't mind.
Are you guys starving?
How was football practice, Coach?
It was good.
Hey, dig in. We're just eating off the board.
You girls like it?
It's really good.
Is it good?
You can't beat quesadillas with pico.
Hey, Bryce, guess how long it took
for to make these quesadillas.
[ Laughter ]
two more of my favorite 16-minute meals --
my beef with snow peas,
then I'm whipping up chicken Florentine pasta
for my best friend, Hyacinth.
I love 16-minute meals. They make my soul happy.
When I've had a crazy day
and I want to get one of my 16-minute meals
on the table,
it's all about having everything I need
so I can just grab it and start cooking.
Italian food is a great category of recipe
'cause you can make really delicious things
in a really short amount of time.
The basics of Italian food --
of course, tomato products of every kind,
garlic, of course,
pastas, every shape and size.
And then I've got vessels -- things to put recipes in or on.
Flour tortillas, corn tortillas, potatoes, of course -- yum --
different kinds of rice.
I have long grain and jasmine rice.
I'm gonna need this.
And then I've also got the category of bottled oils
and sauces and vinegars --
things that add a lot of flavor to really quick recipes.
I've got Worcestershire sauce, teriyaki sauce, mustards,
soy sauce -- I'm gonna need this --
I am getting ready to whip up
one of my all-time favorite stir fries for me and the girls,
and I am getting hungry just thinking about it.
The guys are away,
and the girls and I just got back from soccer practice,
so I'm gonna whip up beef with snow peas.
It is so delicious, so quick.
And that's a good thing
because our favorite TV show's about to start,
and I don't want to miss it.
Now, to go with the stir fry,
I'm gonna make some jasmine rice.
I've got some water already going,
so I'll just measure about a cup...
...and pour it in the water.
Get the lid on. Get that going.
Now I've got to get some things out of the fridge --
delicious flank steak, snow peas,
ginger, and scallions.
The beef with snow peas starts with a great marinade.
I'm gonna pour ½ cup of low-sodium soy sauce
into the pitcher,
and then I'll add about 3 tablespoons of cooking sherry.
And then, for some yummy sweetness,
about 2 heaping tablespoons of brown sugar.
And then I'll add 2 tablespoons of corn starch,
and that just gives the sauce a nice glossiness,
a little bit of thickness.
All right. Now I'll whisk this together.
[ Spoon whisking ]
Now, I have some fresh ginger.
I've already got a little chunk peeled,
so I'm just gonna cut it into strips
and mince it up a bit.
You can also grate it on a small grater,
but when I do that,
my fingernails tend to end up in the ginger,
so [Laughs] I'm gonna chop it up.
Okay. The ginger is minced.
Oh, that smell -- I just can't get over how delicious it is.
And now I'll get the beef ready.
I'm using flank steak.
You can also use skirt steak.
Now, the secret to stir fry
is slicing the beef very, very thin.
So, flank steak has a grain,
and what you want to do is cut it against the grain
and as thinly as you can.
And this is where having a very, very sharp knife comes in handy.
This is about a pound and a half of flank steak --
plenty to feed my girls and me.
The girls are so excited
'cause we have a new addition to our canine family.
His name is Bruiser.
He's a Jack Russell, and he's totally taken over things.
[ Laughing ] You're crazy.
[ High-pitched voice ] Bruiser.
The meat's all sliced,
so I'm gonna throw it into a bowl,
and then I'll just pour probably 1/3 of the marinade
over the top.
Okay, now I'll just give the meat a toss.
Let the meat marinate for a minute.
And now I'm gonna crank up the skillet to high
and start on the snow peas.
I'm gonna drizzle in 2 or 3 tablespoons of peanut oil.
Peanut oil is great for stir fry
'cause it doesn't get smoky as quickly as olive oil would.
And then I have about 8 ounces of snow peas.
And I just need to cook these for probably less than a minute.
The point is just to stir them around,
let them get just a little bit of color,
let them start to cook.
One secret to stir fry is a super-hot skillet,
and that's why everything cooks so quickly.
Okay, the snow peas are done.
I told you it didn't take very long.
So, I'm gonna throw those onto a plate.
And now I'll get started on the meat.
I'm gonna do half the meat at a time
'cause I don't want to crowd the pan.
If I crowd the pan, the meat won't get great color on it,
and that's my goal here.
Use the tongs to get it into a single layer.
Now, I'm not gonna touch the meat for about a minute
'cause I want it to get really great color.
So, while the meat is browning,
I'm gonna quickly slice up some scallions.
And then I'll take half the scallions
and throw them in with the meat.
All right. That's looking good.
All right. This batch of meat's all brown.
So, I'll just add it to the plate with the snow peas.
Oh, it smells so good.
Flank steak is so flavorful.
It's one of my favorite cuts of beef.
All right. Now I'll add in the rest of the meat...
...and the rest of the scallions.
It's so funny whenever I pick up my girls from soccer practice.
They're the ones that have been practicing for two hours,
and I'm always the hungry one.
I'm like, "Hurry up, girls. I'm starving."
The second batch of meat is nice and brown and yummy-looking.
So, I'm gonna turn the heat down to about medium-low,
and then I'll just throw in that first batch of meat
and the snow peas,
and then I'll take the marinade that did not go on the meat,
and I'll just pour it in.
And this will become the sauce.
And for a little spice,
I'm gonna add in just a sprinkle or two of crushed red pepper.
All right. The beef with snow peas is totally ready.
Hey, girls! Time to eat!
Oh, girls, you better hurry.
I'm starving, and the show's about to start.
How much you want, Paigey?
I'll have a little more than that.
[ Laughs ] I thought so.
That's the Paige I know and love.
Okay. Get in there.
[ Chuckles ] How hungry are you, Alex?
All right. There you go.
I'll see you in there.
A night at home with the girls
watching TV and eating stir fry --
I don't think life gets any better than this.
I'm cooking against the clock at the lodge
and whipping up chicken Florentine pasta
for my B.F.F., Hyacinth.
She's on the road to the ranch, so I'd better hurry.
All right. Here's the situation.
My best friend, Hyacinth, just called.
She picked up my boys from football practice,
and she's bringing them home 'cause Ladd had a meeting.
Hyacinth fed the boys, but she didn't eat dinner,
so I'm gonna whip up a surprise pasta dinner for her.
I'm making chicken Florentine pasta.
It's one of my all-time favorite 16-minute meals.
It's big on flavor, and it takes no time at all to make.
I'm just gonna crank up the heat,
get the pan going,
and I'm gonna slice up some chicken.
I've just got four boneless, skinless chicken ***,
and I'm gonna cut them into just sort of a medium dice.
I've got some garlic already chopped.
As with most of my 16-minute meals,
I actually invented this pasta dish one day
when I only had spinach, tomatoes, and chicken,
and, of course, pasta,
and I was starving.
It's been one of my favorite things to make ever since.
It's really colorful with the green spinach
and the red tomatoes.
Really, really flavorful. It really packs a punch.
All right. The chicken's all chopped up.
The pan is hot. I can feel it.
So, I'm gonna drizzle in a couple tablespoons of olive oil
and then half a stick of butter.
It's really soft,
so it should really start sizzling when it hits the pan.
[ Butter sizzling ]
I love that sound.
All right. Now, I'm just gonna throw the chicken
into the skillet in a single layer.
Just sprinkle it all around the pan.
I want the chicken to cook really quickly,
so if it's all against the heat of the skillet,
that'll happen a lot easier.
Plus, I want the chicken to get great color on the surface,
so I'm just gonna let it sit here undisturbed
for about a minute.
Sprinkle on some salt and pepper.
I don't have time to season things on the cutting board.
I'm just gonna do it right here in the pan.
[ Both singing ]
I'm hoping that Ree and I will have a chance
to catch up a little bit.
You guys wouldn't mind playing a little bit, would you?
Okay. The chicken is ready.
It's got a gorgeous, dark golden brown color --
totally done all the way through.
The pan is still really hot, and that's exactly what I want.
I love chicken cooked in butter and olive oil.
So much flavor. Yummy!
All right. Now, I'm gonna set this over to the side,
and I have four cloves of minced garlic.
Quickly stir it around so it won't burn.
And now with the pan really hot --
this is one of my favorite things to do --
I'm gonna pour in about 3/4 cup of wine.
[ Wine sizzling ]
I love it when that happens.
I'm also gonna pour in the same amount
of low-sodium chicken broth, and this is just gonna make
a really nice, flavorful, light sauce.
Scrape the pan just a little bit
and make sure all that flavor comes up.
And then this just needs to bubble up and reduce,
but I don't have any time to sit and babysit this
'cause I've got to get started on my tomatoes.
Hyacinth will be here any minute,
and I've got no time to waste.
I'm pulling out all the stops
to get my 16-minute meal of chicken Florentine pasta
on the table.
I'm almost at the finish line.
For recipes from this episode,
go to foodnetwork.com/pioneerwoman.
[ Laughs ] What?
My best friend, Hyacinth, is on her way out to the ranch.
She's giving my boys a ride home from football practice.
She fed them dinner, but she hasn't eaten,
so I'm surprising her
with one of my favorite 16-minute meals --
chicken Florentine pasta.
It's just about done.
I just sliced up a bunch of grape tomatoes,
and those go right into the gorgeous liquid in that pan.
Oh, my goodness.
Wine and broth -- delicious.
Now, I'm gonna throw the cooked chicken into the pan.
Get all the juice in there.
Now, I also have a regular, old bag of spinach.
And I'm just gonna pour it right in
on top of the chicken and the tomatoes.
Now, it looks like a lot, and it is,
but it's gonna wilt up here really nicely in a second.
I'm gonna grab the hot pasta, and it is done.
Just give it a shake.
And I'm just gonna pour the pasta
right over all the ingredients in the pan.
That's why I love this dish.
It is so easy.
Now, I'm just gonna give it a quick toss.
And the pasta is so hot,
it's almost gonna instantly wilt the spinach.
And I didn't even have to cook the tomatoes
'cause all of this heat's gonna do that for me.
Now, the only thing I need is some parmesan.
And you can grate it in,
but I like grabbing a vegetable peeler
and just peeling in really big shavings.
You get a little bit more *** for your buck with the parmesan.
You get some nice pieces in the bites that you take.
Okay. Now I'll just toss the parmesan in.
And, oh, my goodness. This looks gorgeous.
I am hungry.
Okay, guys. I'm gonna go see Ree.
You all just [Claps hands] have at it.
BRYCE: Let's play.
[ Boys cheering ]
Stop the clock. I'm done just in time.
[ Laughter ]
BOY: Come on! Quit!
Well, hi, Hy. How are you?
What is that divine smell?
I made you dinner.
I did. I did.
What warrants dinner?
You saved me a trip to town.
Thanks for bringing the boys.
I made you some pasta.
It's one of my 16-minute meals.
16 minutes? Are you serious?
Are you hungry?
Well, I am now.
You said you didn't eat with the boys.
Oh, and there's a wine glass.
Yeah, grab those, too.
Does that have any meaning?
[ Laughs ]
Bring them on over.
Bring them on over.
We'll just fill them, huh?
Ooh, how fun.
Yay. And it's a school night.
Can we do this? Is this legitimate?
We set the rules.
I say yes.
All right. Thanks. Good.
I don't even think we need to sit down, do you?
Mmm. Ree -- delicious.
16 minutes -- This is impressive.
How do you like that?
It's good. What can you do in 12 minutes?
I can do peanut butter and jelly.
I'll take it.