Janet is on assignment. This is a classic Stir Crazy column first published on April 1, 2009. New columns will resume next week.
Mon | Chop shop
Big, thick pork chops are the centerpiece of tonight's meal, Honey-Mustard Pork Chops With Roasted Asparagus, inspired by a Pillsbury recipe. Drizzle olive oil over cleaned and trimmed asparagus, arrange in single layer on a baking sheet and pop in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. While the asparagus is cooking, mix ⅓ cup honey, 2 tablespoons yellow mustard and a hefty pinch of cloves in a small bowl. Sear ¾-inch chops in a nonstick skillet, about 3 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat and pour honey mixture over them. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes.
Tues | Eating out, but in
Use your imagination and what's in the fridge for Quick Weeknight Stromboli. Divide 1 pound of store-bought pizza dough into four pieces and roll to a rectangle shape. You can come up with your own combination, but we're using thawed and squeezed frozen spinach, minced garlic, a few shakes of dried Italian herbs, diced ham and shredded mozzarella. Spread it evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border all around, and roll to close. Bake for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Serve with warm marinara and a green salad.
Wed | Rotisserie chicken
Shred the bird and use 2 cups of meat, white and dark, for Chicken Tortilla Pie. Lightly spritz an 8- by 8-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Layer in 4 toasted corn tortillas (you'll need 12 total), 1 cup of the chicken, ½ can of mild, chopped chilies, ½ cup green salsa, a few spoonfuls of sour cream and a handful of shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Repeat once more and top with the rest of the tortillas, more sour cream and cheese. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Slices of cold cantaloupe and honeydew melon on the side.
Thurs | Shrimply divine
Baked Shrimp With Tomatoes and Feta (recipe below) is a simple dish that will elevate a weeknight meal to something special. It takes less than 30 minutes, really less than 20, to prepare. Serve with a green salad and bread sticks.
Fri | Burger, a la Caesar
All hail the end of the week with interesting, yet easy, Caesar Burgers. Grill the patties and dress with big shaves of Parmesan, creamy Caesar dressing and planks of ice cold Romaine lettuce. Toast the buns with a swipe of melted garlic butter for the crouton effect. Potato wedges and strawberries on the side.
Submit your ideas for quick weeknight meals to firstname.lastname@example.org.