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Dinner inspirations: Lemon-Herb Fish in Packets and more

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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Broccoli Rabe and Cannellini Beans

Over Garlic Bread

1 bunch broccoli rabe, washed

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; more for drizzling

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

2 cloves garlic, minced, plus 1 whole clove to rub on the toast

Dried red chili flakes to taste

1 cup water, plus more as needed

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 to 4 thick slices sturdy country-style bread

Lemon wedges

Peel larger stems of broccoli rabe and slice thinly. Chop leaves coarsely. Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet. Add onion and rosemary and cook over medium-high heat until onion softens and begins to color, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and a pinch or two of chili flakes and cook 1 minute longer. Add chopped rabe leaves and stems along with 1 cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, until rabe is wilted, 5 minutes.

Add beans (and more water as needed) until greens are cooked, another 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

As greens are cooking, toast bread on the grill or under broiler. Rub one side of toast all over with reserved garlic clove.

Set bread on each plate. Spoon beans and greens over toast. Drizzle olive oil liberally over beans and greens. Top with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Serves 2.

Source: Fine Cooking

Dinner inspirations: Lemon-Herb Fish in Packets and more 07/13/10 [Last modified: Monday, July 12, 2010 6:36pm]

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