Mon | Meatless meal
At Stir Crazy this week, we're going global to celebrate the London Olympics with food that can be eaten in front of the TV. Our weekly meatless meal comes from the cookbook Food for Friends by Levi Roots, who has a prime-time BBC cooking program. Caribbean Tamarind Chickpeas (recipe below) served over rice is a melange of island flavors, including tamarind paste. Look for it at Asian markets and if you can't find it, the recipe includes an easy substitute.
Tues | Le cordon bleu
Make this tweaked French classic, an Open Face Monsieur, and serve with a lightly dressed salad of peppery arugula and tender baby lettuces. To make the sandwich, preheat broiler. Broil sturdy bread slices on each side until lightly brown; about 2 ½ minutes total. Spread with a mixture of mayo and Dijon mustard (or spring for a bottle of Dijonnaise). Top with 2 slices Canadian bacon, thin tomato slices and a few tablespoons of shredded Swiss cheese. I like Gruyere. Broil until cheese melts.
Wed | Rotisserie chicken
Asian-Style Chicken Lettuce Wraps make good use of your store-bought bird, plus they are easy to eat while rooting for your favorite competitor. (There are medal rounds today for men's all-around gymnastics and lots of swimming finals.) Remove the meat from the chicken, dice fairly small, then heat with diced red pepper, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots along with sliced scallions. For a whole chicken, you'll need to season with ¼ cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger and 2 cloves minced garlic. Heat through and serve with soft butter lettuce leaves for the wraps. Crushed peanuts are a good garnish.
Thurs | Numero Uno
Make like you're at an Italian soccer game and serve Meatball Sliders, a mashup of American convenience with Italian flavors. On small rolls, load up cooked meatballs with hot red sauce and shredded Romano cheese. Serve with a green salad loaded with veggies and dressed with balsamic vinaigrette, of course. For dessert? Store-bought gelato.
Fri | American gold
American food tends to borrow heavily from other cuisines but we do like to claim the Cheeseburger as a red, white and blue icon. Grill some patties and drape with American cheese, then garnish with sliced tomatoes, lettuce and onions plus mustard and ketchup. Add pickles on the side and a big scoop of potato salad. It might not be what fuels athletes, but it's pretty good eats for those of us cheering them on.
Janet K. Keeler can be reached at [email protected] and (727) 893-8586.