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The Cookstr Weekly: Dinners Without the Oven

May 23, 2013

Living in a one-bedroom New York City apartment, cooking is inevitably a challenge. Around the corner from my galley-kitchen-front-hallway combo sits a standalone butcher cart (its two tiny drawers attempting pathetically to make up for the fact that there isn’t a single drawer in the actual kitchen space), more often covered in unread mail and abandoned change than food. I’ve been known to set a cutting board across the sink as an emergency counter. I simply can’t store a humble five-pound bag of potatoes or onions. These are all minor setbacks, not enough to keep me from getting dinner on the table.

But in the summertime, there are three little words that have the power to send me scavenging for old takeout menus or heading down the block for dinner at a restaurant. Three words that, September through April, I barely even register when reading a recipe: Preheat. The. Oven.

So below we present ten weeknight dinners, most completed between 30 minutes and an hour, that require only stovetop cooking, no ovens whatsoever. Throw the windows open and have dinner finished without breaking a sweat.

Warmest regards,
Kara Rota
Editorial Director

by Nigella Lawson

Several years after its release, Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Express remains a go-to resource in many kitchens. This simple springtime pasta dish has been a favorite of mine for years: mushrooms are lightly marinated in a dressing of oil, garlic, lemon, and thyme, then tossed with hot pasta and Parmesan cheese. Cremini mushrooms are best, but plain button mushrooms would certainly do the trick. And I have to call out one particular comment on this recipe, submitted on Cookstr by thecrabbycook: “My husband won’t eat mushrooms. My daughter won’t eat pasta. My other daughter won’t eat cheese. I’m going to make this for myself. Can’t wait!”

More Oven-Free Dinner Recipes from Cookstr

Braise of Fingerling Potatoes with Sea Bass by Matt Wilkinson


Aloo Gobi by Marlon Braccia


by Matt Wilkinson

Our latest addition to the Cookstr library is Mr. Wilkinson’s Vegetables, published this past February by Black Dog & Leventhal. Yorkshire-born, Melbourne-based chef Matt Wilkinson is passionate about cooking in season, and it shows in this summery dish of Roasted Cucumber, Quinoa, Freekah and Herbs. Roasting cucumbers might sound unusual, but the innovative method is worth a try. Freekah, or cracked wheat, joins quinoa for a whole-grain double-header. 

Contact Us

We want to get to know our users as cooks, eaters, and full participants in the Cookstr vision. We are eager to hear from you and learn how we can make even more helpful and enjoyable. Let us know what your favorite features are, what works for you, and what doesn’t. Tell us what your digital culinary journey is lacking on the web, in the kitchen, and everywhere in between. Cookstr is consistently striving to develop new technologies that make your experience of food and cooking more accessible, intuitive and rewarding – and we can do that best when you let us know what you want!

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