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Weekday dinner inspiration: mashed potato casserole recipe and more

Mon | Penne for your thoughts

It's go-without-meat day and we're doing that with Tomato, Onion and Mushroom Penne. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 cup chopped onion, cooking until translucent, about 5 minutes. Cut four tomatoes in wedges and add them along with two cups sliced button mushrooms, then simmer for about 20 minutes. Sauce will reduce and be thick. Stir in ¼ cup fresh basil and season with salt and pepper. Ladle over ½ pound cooked penne.

Tues | Chopped!

Pork Chops with Buttered Egg Noodles is the bill of fare this evening. Steam some broccoli for color and nutrition. Lightly coat the chops with egg then Italian dried bread crumbs. Brown on both sides, dollop with apricot or peach jelly and splash with a bit of port or red wine. Finish in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes, and serve with buttered egg noodles. While the chops are cooking, prep the Mashed Potato Casserole (recipe below) for Wednesday night.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

About an hour before you want to serve dinner, take the Mashed Potato Casserole you prepped on Tuesday and put it on the counter to bring to room temperature. It'll take about 25 minutes to bake. Serve it with juicy slices of rotisserie chicken, an herb and/or lemon variety if it's available at your store, and green beans, roasted in the oven with the potato casserole.

Thurs | Sliders, deconstructed

Grill mini-burgers on wooden or metal skewers for Caesar Salad Sliders. Serve the grilled meat over the ice-cold, dressed Romaine with lots of shaved Parmesan. You want croutons? Cube hamburger buns, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt, then bake in a low oven until crispy-crunchy.

Fri | Fish, not fry

Orange Salmon is delicious over nutty brown rice that's been mixed with fresh chopped mint. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper and saute in olive oil. After they've been in the pan about a minute, mix the juice of one or two oranges with a spoonful of spicy mustard and pour over the fillets. Flip and let the fish cook through. Remove fish from pan, add orange zest and a tablespoon of butter to remaining juices. Let liquid reduce into a sauce. Serve with the fish.

Read Stir Crazy online at www.blogs.tampabay.com/food. Janet K. Keeler can be reached at jkeeler@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8586.

>>MODERATE

Mashed Potato Casserole

1 ½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick slices

1 ½ pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick slices

5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

¾ cup (6 ounces) -less-fat cream cheese, softened

Cooking spray

½ cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

½ cup panko bread crumbs

4 green onions, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place potatoes, garlic and ½ teaspoon salt in a large saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving ½ cup cooking liquid.

Place a food mill over a large bowl, and place potato mixture in food mill. Press mixture through food mill into bowl. (If you don't have a food mill, mash the potatoes and liquid by hand. You can use a hand mixer but overblending can make mixture glue-like.) Stir in reserved ½ cup cooking liquid, remaining ¾ teaspoon salt and cream cheese.

Spoon potato mixture into an 11- by 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Preheat broiler.

Combine Parmigiano-Reggiano and panko; sprinkle evenly over top of potatoes. Broil 4 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with onions.

Serves 8.

Make-ahead tip: Assemble this dish a day ahead, and bake shortly before serving.

Nutritional information per ⅔ cup serving: 243 calories, 6.5g fat, 8g protein, 3g fiber, 361mg sodium, 40g carbohydrates.

Source: Cooking Light, November 2011

Weekday dinner inspiration: mashed potato casserole recipe and more 02/28/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 3:30am]
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