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Weekday dinner inspiration: Herbed Goat Cheese and Egg on an English Muffin and more

Mon | Meatless meal

Avocado-Veggie Burgers piled high with tomato slices, lettuce and sliced avocado served on whole-grain buns is a tasty Monday meal. There are still piles of fresh corn in the stores and the watermelon looks tasty, too. Serve them on the side.

Tues | Sandwich, elevated

Herbed Goat Cheese and Egg on an English Muffin (recipe included) from Emeril Lagasse's new sandwich cookbook can do double duty in your cooking repertoire as a fancy morning sandwich or a breakfast-for-dinner offering. If you're making it for dinner, serve it with fruit salad and some baked potato wedges.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Parmesan Penne With Rosemary Chicken is a delicious way to use the store-bought bird tonight. Cook a pound of penne, reserving 1 ½ cups of the cooking water. Shred the meat from a rotisserie chicken and set aside. Toss drained pasta with chicken, cooking water, a cup of grated Parmesan and a tablespoon (or more) of minced rosemary. Make sure it's minced fine because the heat from the hot pasta is what will soften the woody herb and allow it to release all its flavor.

Thurs | Seasonal treat

It's fall! Isn't it? This week's food section highlights harvest foods, and here's one more to add to your list, Beer-Glazed Sausage and Apples, inspired by the October issue of Better Homes and Gardens. Heat ½ bottle hearty wheat beer — Blue Moon makes one — in a large skillet with a few shakes of red pepper flakes. When the mixture is hot, add a pound of smoked sausage, sliced into 2-inch pieces, and ½ pound of fresh green beans that have been trimmed. Cook for about 8 minutes. In a separate skillet, saute sliced apples in a couple of tablespoons of butter, until tender. Add drained sausage and green beans to the apples. In the other skillet, pour remaining beer and add 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and some finely shredded orange peel. Let reduce and pour over sausage mixture. Serve with red potatoes.

Fri | Easy does it

Make Friday a fun day with a celebratory meal that doesn't take a ton of time. Pan-Seared Scallops and Scallion Rice is a quick and easy kickoff to the weekend. Start the rice first because the shellfish will take less than 5 minutes. Cook rice in vegetable broth and add chopped scallions and lemon zest toward the end. Sear the scallops in a bit of olive oil, basting with melted butter on each side as they cook. Squeeze lemon juice over scallops and serve with rice. Make a green veggie, too.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at jkeeler@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8586.

>>MODERATE

Herbed Goat Cheese and Egg

on an English Muffin

4 ounces soft mild goat cheese, at room temperature

1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided use (see note)

1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves (see note)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 ounces finely sliced black forest ham

6 eggs

3 tablespoons milk

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 to 6 English muffins or crumpets, split and lightly toasted

Grated Parmesan cheese

In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese with 1 tablespoon of the chives and the tarragon. Set aside, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Heat a large nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add 1 tablespoon of the butter, and when it begins to bubble, add the ham. Cook the ham for 1 to 2 minutes, until it is just golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ham to a paper-towel-lined plate and set it aside. Wipe the pan clean and return it to the stove.

Combine the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl and whisk well to combine.

Heat the saute pan over medium heat and add the eggs to the pan. Allow the eggs to set for 30 seconds, then begin stirring slowly with a heat-resistant rubber spatula. As soon as cruds begin to form, raise the heat to high and, instead of stirring, use the spatula to fold the eggs over themselves. Fold in the goat cheese and the ham, and cook for another 45 seconds, or until warmed through.

Divide the eggs evenly among the English muffins and garnish with the remaining

½ tablespoon chopped chives and grated Parmesan to taste. Serve immediately.

Note: You can buy herbed goat cheese and forgo the step of adding fresh ones to the soft cheese. However, it's nice to have some fresh herbs to sprinkle on the top of the finished sandwich. Fresh chopped parsley is a good substitute for the chives.

Serves 4 to 6.

Source: Kicked-Up Sandwiches by Emeril Lagasse (William Morrow, 2012)

Weekday dinner inspiration: Herbed Goat Cheese and Egg on an English Muffin and more 10/02/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 4:30am]

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