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Dinner Rush! Grilled Carne Asada Tostadas

The tostada is to Tex-Mex what the club sandwich is to a chrome-and-neon diner. This open-faced sandwich comes high-brow or low-brow however you want to have it, served up on a flat (or sometimes slightly concave) crisp tortilla. Enjoy one for a snack, two for a meal or three for those moments of absolute desperation.

Like that famous mile-high diner staple, tostadas come with an almost unlimited potential for toppings and flavors. It sounds cliche to say “make it your own” and “have it your way,” but seriously, it’s true. Your only prerequisite is a crisp and crackly tortilla base. Anything after that is up to you.

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Dinner Rush! Honey-Bourbon Chicken + Herbed Salt Potatoes

Summer state fairs are a big deal in my stomping grounds of New York and New England. Concerts, ring tosses, red wine slushies (yes, they’re a thing) and the state’s finest butter sculptures — they’ve got it all. The best part, though, is the fair food. Footlong hot dogs and funnel cakes are fine, but the real jackpot is the salt potatoes.

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Dinner Rush! Tomato-Cantaloupe Salad w/ Lemon Grilled Shrimp

Melons, melons, everywhere, so what do we do now? If you’re tired of eating them as simple wedges, try incorporating them in your savory dishes.

When paired with fresh zucchini, corn or, in this instance, tomatoes, melons make an affordable and delicious side salad that’s perfect for lazy backyard barbecues. They’re adaptable, versatile and practically begging to be tossed with fresh herbs and fruity olive oil.

While the combo in this recipe uses cantaloupe, feta and tomatoes for heartiness, you can lighten things up with watermelon or go green with a blend of honeydew, cucumbers and basil. Just be careful with all of this experimenting — you might never be able to look at a wedge of melon the same way again.

Tomato-Cantaloupe Salad with Lemon Grilled Shrimp

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Dinner Rush! Tagliatelle with Four-Herb Pesto

Here’s a simple bit of arithmetic: What do you get when you combine a day that is 110 percent full with zero time to make dinner and an average air temperature of 89 degrees plus 75 percent humidity? If we’re both doing our math correctly, near effortless pasta with a four-herb pesto sounds like a pretty solid answer.

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Dinner Rush! B.E.A.T. (Bacon-Eggplant-Avocado-Tomato) Sandwiches

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the BLT had better feel mighty flattered. That timeless stacking of smoky bacon, tangy tomato and crisp lettuce is beloved the world over. It’s also the perfect canvas for our “remixed and reimagined”-crazed palates, so let’s give a warm welcome to the B.E.A.T.

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Dinner Rush! Mustard-Thyme Pork Chops w/ Fennel, Cucumber + Nectarine Salad

Summer is the season of the salad. We’ve all had the classics — potato, macaroni, simple green — so shake things up with this amazingly easy shaved-vegetable variation.

The secret to the texture and quickness is a trusty mandoline. An adept hand can certainly do it all equipped with a chef’s knife, but this is a good time to conquer your fear of the mighty mandoline.

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Dinner Rush! Grilled Ratatouille w/ Tomato Vinaigrette

They always say we should eat more vegetables. And whether “they” are doctors, nutritionists or the infamous veggie marketing people from Portlandia (apparently celery is the new thing), making an all-vegetable dinner that’s both delicious and good for you isn’t too hard at this time of year.

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Dinner Rush! Grilled Shrimp Florentine Pizza

That grill’s starting to get a workout, huh? You’re grilling chicken, you’re grilling steaks, you might even be grilling your salad*. Might as well throw a pizza on there, too.

When it comes to grilled pizza, there are two schools of thought.

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Dinner Rush! “Shore Dinner” Mussels

If you’ve spent any time on a New England beach during the summer season, you’ve likely heard of — or even been to — a “shore dinner.” Along the lines of clam bakes and oyster roasts, alfresco shore dinners are when a group of people get together on the beach, start a campfire and make a seafood-centric one-pot dinner under the summer sun. They’re blissful.

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Dinner Rush! Grilled Steaks with Scallions and Baby Sweet Peppers

Have you seen these baby sweet peppers cropping up in your local market? They’re amazing! So tiny, so crisp, so sweet, so perfect for a Dinner Rush. Typically sold in a pouch containing about a pound of them, these bell peppers en miniature make a great snack on their own, or can be a really fun and colorful remix to classic peppers and onions.

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