The weekend has arrived, which means it’s time to kick back with friends and family and enjoy some quality time at home.
Whether you’re grilling on the patio or deck, lounging by the pool or staying in and catching up on DYI home projects, those well-deserved weekends can fly by.
Cooking on the weekends doesn’t have to be a chore — so ditch the long grocery lists and forget about prepping for hours in the kitchen.
Hotel chefs across the U.S. shared with Fox News Digital their favorite no-fuss meal ideas and recipes that will have you at the dinner table or picnic table in record time.
The recipes are centered around three key ingredients and they include some typical pantry items that most people should have on hand.
Digging right in here …
Using eggs as the centerpiece for a quick meal is a great pick because of the current price of eggs and the ease of making this dish.
Michael Klicos, executive sous chef at Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center in Aurora, Colorado, said his go-to three-ingredient dish is a soft-cook frittata.
He uses egg whites, milk and vegetables — and seasons the meal with salt and pepper.
To prepare, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, sauté your vegetables of choice, add dairy to your egg base — and transfer the egg mixture to skillet.
Use a spatula to combine everything while cooking for a few minutes, then transfer it to a hot oven.
Klicos said he typically uses six eggs and will cook his meal in the oven for 8 to 20 minutes.
“This is an easy dish to prepare for a large group of people and is very popular with the brunch crowd,” Klicos said.
Chef Christian Brady, executive chef at Hyatt Regency Conroe and its restaurant Conroux in Conroe, Texas, shared his comfort food recipe with three main ingredients — which are crawfish, whole milk and eggs.
The rest are typical pantry items.
Ingredients include 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 2.5 teaspoons granulated sugar, 5 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon of espelette pepper, 1 cup whole milk, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, three whole eggs and one pound of chopped crawfish meat.
Start in a medium bowl, and sift the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and pepper together.
In a small bowl, whisk the whole milk, whole eggs and Worcestershire sauce together to combine. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet into it. Gently whisk together.
Next, gently fold in the chopped crawfish meat.
Then, add enough oil to come halfway up the side of a deep-sided cast iron skillet. Heat to 325°F.
Working in batches of 6-8 and using a one-ounce ice-cream scoop, carefully drop the fritter batter into the oil. As the fritters float to the top, roll them over in the hot oil to brown them evenly.
When they are golden on all sides, which will take 5-6 minutes per batch, transfer them to paper towels to drain. Season with salt immediately. Repeat until all the batter is gone.
“This recipe is perfect for entertaining because the batter can be made the day before. It’s easy and fast to cook and full of flavor your guests will love. At Conroux, we serve it with a cilantro corn remoulade,” said Brady.
Pasta is always a great option — and this classic and simple Italian dish that highlights the flavors of butter and cheese can come together is a flash.
“It sounds fancy, but it’s a humble recipe that’s easy to prepare and doesn’t require elaborate cooking techniques,” said Ricardo Jarquin, executive chef at the Loews Coral Gables Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida.
Due to the simplistic nature of this recipe, he said he likes to focus on buying the best quality ingredients.
“Good quality ingredients mean better flavor — and the ingredients often come with a story in terms of where they are sourced, cultivated and produced,” he said.
The ingredients are 8 ounces pasta, homemade if possible, but store-bought will work as well (and you can often find fresh pasta in-store); 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (French butter if you can find it, great flavor and fat content); and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
He said that aged Parmigiano or good-quality Padano works well, too.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package instructions until it is al dente (cooked but still firm to the bite).
While the pasta is cooking, cut the butter into small pieces and set it aside to come to room temperature. Grate the Parmesan cheese and set it aside as well.
Once the pasta is cooked, reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, and then drain the pasta in a colander.
In the same pot used to cook the pasta, add the cooked pasta back in along with the softened butter.
Toss the pasta and butter together until the butter has melted and coated the pasta evenly.
Add the grated Parmesan cheese to the pasta and toss again until the cheese has melted and formed a creamy sauce.
If the sauce seems too thick, add a little of the reserved pasta water at a time until you achieve your desired consistency.
Season the pasta with salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste.
“Be cautious with the salt, as Parmesan cheese can be quite salty,” he noted.
Serve the Pasta al Burro in individual plates or in a large serving dish.