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Weekday dinner inspiration: Not Your Average Tamale Pie recipe and more

Mon | Green hash and eggs

This is a Stir Crazy favorite from 2010 that is worth repeating because Spinach and Mushroom Hash is a good way to get some greens into your diet, plus it's good for ovo-vegetarians or others giving up meat one day a week. No traditional potatoes here, just chopped spinach (use frozen if you like, but squeeze out the water) sauteed with sliced button mushrooms and minced garlic in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with fried eggs on the top. Toast mops up the yolk.

Tues | Make the kids happy

Casseroles fit the bill now that school is back in session, especially if you've got children eating at different times because of extracurricular activities that drip over the dinner hour. Not Your Average Tamale Pie (recipe below) is simple and withstands reheating well. Serve it with slices of ripe Florida avocado.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Look for a chilled rotisserie chicken tonight and shred (or cube) the meat for chicken salad. I make mine with sliced celery and mayo and season with salt and pepper. Use the salad to heap over greens or stuff in tomatoes or avocado halves. (For those of you with trees, they are likely laden with the green bombs now.) I make open-faced chicken salad bagel sandwiches. Toast bagels lightly, load up with salad and top with a slice of provolone. Broil until cheese is bubbly and brown.

Thurs | My favorite sandwich

Mission figs are in season and that conjures a hankering for Fig and Brie on Baguette. Layer slices of Black Mission figs with creamy Brie, salty prosciutto, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a mound of peppery arugula on a baguette. You almost don't need anything on the side, but a few slices of Tasti-Lee tomatoes from Publix — make sure they are ripe — will remind you what tomatoes are supposed to taste like. A drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Good to go.

Fri | Your mother's dinner

Pair Parmesan Chicken with mashed potatoes and steamed green beans for a cozy Friday night dinner. To make the chicken, dredge boneless, skinless breasts (split them lengthwise if they are huge . . . and they usually are) in beaten egg, then in a mixture of grated Parmesan cheese and Italian dry bread crumbs. Oil a baking sheet with olive oil and place the chicken on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. Flip halfway through cooking time.

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Not Your Average Tamale Pie

Cooking spray

1 pound lean ground turkey

1 medium onion, chopped

1 poblano pepper, roasted, seeded and chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 (15.25-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 (8 1/2-ounce) package corn bread mix, such as Jiffy muffin mix, prepared (but not baked) according to package instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Coat a 9- by 13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.

Coat a large saute pan with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, onion and poblano pepper and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is browned throughout, about 7 minutes; drain well. Return the mixture to the pan and add the corn, tomatoes, cumin, chili powder and garlic powder. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Pour the prepared corn bread batter over the top of the casserole. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the topping is cooked and golden brown.

Serves 6 to 8.

Source: The Casserole Queens Cookbook by Crystal Cook and Sandy Pollock (Potter, 2011)

Weekday dinner inspiration: Not Your Average Tamale Pie recipe and more 08/30/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 4:30am]
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