By Samantha Simma
Weeknight dinners don’t have to be overwhelming. After a long day at work or playing in the mountains, cut yourself a break by enlisting your favorite local restaurant to do (most of the) work for you. Takeout-friendly options can be made into a multi-course meal with the addition of a homemade recipe that’s quick and easy to execute. We’ve rounded up some of the best pairings around to give you a no-brainer dinner on the fly that’s easy on both your pocketbook and your prep cook’s sanity.
Pica’s Mole Enchiladas with Guacamole and Chips
Enchiladas are typically slathered in red sauce, right? Not at Pica’s in Jackson, where they’re shaking things up by including chicken mole in their enchilada repertoire. Their traditional mole poblano sauce originates from Tlaxcala, Mexico. It’s a rich, savory-sweet sauce made from multiple types of chilies, smoky spices, and unsweetened Mexican chocolate. While mole needs no counterpart, you can still whip up our guacamole recipe (complete with a secret ingredient) to enjoy with tortilla chips for a simple side.
3 avocados, peeled, pitted, and mashed
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon salt, or more, to taste
1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
½ cup red onion, diced
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno chili, stems and seeds removed, minced (optional)
Pepper, to taste
- Combine lime juice and salt with mashed avocados in a medium bowl. Mix in Greek yogurt.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients.
- Serve immediately with your favorite tortilla chips or refrigerate minimally in an airtight container.
Pizzeria Alpino’s Buttermilk Polenta Calamari with Bruschetta
The menu at Pizzeria Alpino in Driggs, Idaho, brims with traditionally prepared Italian fare—with a twist. Their buttermilk polenta calamari is a spin-off on the customary preparation, with the addition of artichokes and pepperoncini, as well as two dipping sauces—a classic marinara and a sundried tomato aioli. Pair it with homemade bruschetta (perhaps made with Vertical Harvest’s tomatoes) for an Italian night made easy.
1 460 Bread baguette
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for baguette toasting
1 ½ cups tomatoes, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup basil, minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette
Salt and pepper to taste
- Slice baguette and brush the slices with olive oil. Grill or broil the slices until toasted on both sides.
- In a medium bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients.
- Top each slice of bread with tomato mixture and serve.
*Optional: Garnish with additional basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Cutty’s Philly Cheesesteak with a Side Salad
Once you’ve had a Philly cheesesteak from Cutty’s Bar & Grill in Jackson, you’ll have zero doubts that the owners’ Philadelphia roots run deep. There’s no better combination than half-a-pound of shaved steak served on a 12-inch Amoroso roll. Pair it with an at-home twist on a Caesar salad for a guilt-free comfort food meal.
Twisted Caesar Side Salad
2 tablespoons Caesar dressing, bottled
1 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette, bottled
2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
½ cup cucumber, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons pecans, halved
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Whisk together the two dressings until fully combined.
- Toss together the salad ingredients.
- Dress the salad and top with parmesan.
Chiang Mai Kitchen’s Khao Man Gai with Mango Sticky Rice
When it comes to Thai takeout, Chiang Mai Kitchen’s delicious Khao Man Gai is a local’s favorite. Combining elements of traditional Thai spices and crispy fried chicken, this dish is a family pleaser. Serve it alongside mango sticky rice for a meal that’s sure to be a hit with the kids.
Mango Sticky Rice
1 cup glutinous (sweet) rice
1 ½ cups water
1 ¼ cups unsweetened coconut milk
½ cup granulated or raw sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup coconut cream
1 or 2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, and cut into thin slices
- Rinse rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Then, soak it in cold water for 30 minutes or longer (up to 24 hours).
- Drain the rice, then add the water and simmer for 30 minutes, or until tender.
- While the rice cooks, combine coconut milk, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
- Transfer rice to a serving bowl and fluff with a fork. Pour coconut milk mixture over the rice and stir well. Allow rice to absorb the mixture for 10 to 30 minutes. Then, stir in the coconut cream.
- Serve warm or at room temperature topped with mango slices.