All work and no play makes Janet very cranky. Still, there is dinner to be made while she's on vacation. This Stir Crazy column first ran July 1, 2009. New columns resume July 28.
Mon | Fish in foil
If you can stand the heat, fire up the grill for Lemon-Herb Fish in Packets. Place firm white fillets on a bed of sliced onions and julienned carrots. Sprinkle on lemon-pepper seasoning and Italian dried herb blend. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over all and add an ample drizzle of olive oil. Close packets and grill for about 15 minutes. Toss some corn on the cob on the barbie, too. Slices of watermelon are a cool accompaniment.
Tues | Going meatless
Broccoli Rabe and Cannellini Beans Over Garlic Bread (recipe below) is a good recipe to add to your meatless repertoire. The greens and beans melange sits on toasted bread, providing a light meal for a hot night. Are we sensing a trend here? Pour a glass of crisp, cold pinot grigio to go with.
Wed | Rotisserie chicken
There's not much we can do about the heat, but cooking without the oven and stove might help a bit. Carve up the bird and use it for Chicken and Greens Summer Salad. Lay the meat over mixed greens (baby spinach, Romaine and any fresh herbs you might have). Add avocado slices, halved grape tomatoes and knobs of soft cheese (blue, feta or goat). Crunchy croutons and whatever dressing you like. Rolls or breadsticks on the side.
Thurs | Fusion food
An Italian Tostada, borrowed from Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express (Simon & Schuster), crosses a traditional Mexican dish with Italian flavors. Heat oven to 400. Brush flour tortillas with olive oil and bake for a few minutes to firm. Spread tortillas with thinly sliced mozzarella, chopped tomato and slices of prosciutto. Bake until cheese melts. Mound arugula on top and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Return to oven to wilt greens a bit.
Fri | Splurge meal
Throw steaks on the grill and cook them alongside cut-up fruit. We like peach halves and pineapple rings. Brush the fruit with a bit of melted butter and balsamic vinegar before setting them on the grill. They'll be sweet and soft in about 3 minutes a side. Make a big Caesar salad and that completes your TGIF meal.
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