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Weekday dinner inspiration: creamed corn and more

Mon | Pesto change-o

Pesto doesn't have to be made from fresh basil. Tonight, serve Walnut-Arugula Pesto over whole wheat linguine with a green salad and bread. To make pesto, process 6 cups of cleaned and dried arugula leaves, 1 1/3 cups toasted and cooled walnuts, 3/4 cup grated Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 large clove garlic in a food processor. Then with the motor running, add 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a stream. This makes enough for 1 pound of pasta.

Tues | Finger-licking

This is a dinner that bears repeating. Make Seafood Taquitos the centerpiece of a finger-food meal. In a bowl, combine tiny salad shrimp or canned crab with sour cream, shredded cheese and 3/4 teaspoon each chili powder and ground cumin. Roll the mixture into softened corn tortillas, secure with a toothpick and fry in vegetable oil until golden. Drain on paper towels. Serve salsa and guacamole for dunking, with jicama, cantaloupe and watermelon slices on the side.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

I don't know who Grandma Moore is, but I love her Creamed Corn recipe (see below). Banish your preconceived notion that creamed corn has a lot of cream in it. The creaminess comes from the milk of the kernels and their web on the cob. The fresher and sweeter the corn, the better this recipe. Serve it with big hunks of rotisserie chicken.

Thurs | Meaty salad

Steak and Blue Caesar Salad will please meat lovers, cheese-heads and salad eaters. Drape slices of grilled flank steak over ice-cold Romaine leaves that have been dressed with Caesar dressing. Garnish with hunky croutons and crumbles of a good blue cheese. I like Maytag blue, which is readily available at grocery stores. Crumble it yourself for freshness.

Fri | Quick chick

Use your instincts, and not measuring cups and spoons, to make Chicken With Smooshed Tomatoes. Saute thin chicken cutlets in olive oil and minced garlic. When pieces are brown on both sides, add 1/4 cup or more white wine, the juice from one lemon, some capers and a handful of cherry or grape tomatoes. Cover and cook until the tomatoes go soft. Serve with sauteed spinach and a salad.

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Grandma Moore's Creamed Corn

6 slices bacon

8 large cobs fresh corn, preferably white, shucked and cleaned

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In a large skillet (cast iron does well here), cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Turn off the heat and transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve the drippings in the pan.

On a cutting board, cut the stalk ends of the corn cobs to make a flat surface; stand them up and shave the corn from the cobs with a sharp chef's knife. Return the skillet to medium-low heat and add the corn kernels. With the back of the knife, firmly scrape the cobs over a shallow plate to extract as much liquid (milk) as possible and add it to the skillet.

Season corn lightly with salt and pepper and cook until broken down and creamy, about 30 to 45 minutes, stirring often; add water if the pan gets too dry.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: Crisp bacon can be crumbled over the creamed corn when serving or reserved for another use. If you have bacon drippings on hand, use 1/4 cup for this recipe.

Serves 4.

Source: Food Network magazine

Weekday dinner inspiration: creamed corn and more 07/12/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 4:30am]
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