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Weekday dinner inspiration: Spicy Meatball Subs and more

Mon | Meatless meal

It's shopping night, so dinner is going to be a simple affair of Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup. Make the sandwich special with thin slices of pear or Granny Smith apples and an extra-sharp white cheddar. The soup? I am still partial to Campbell's, and I add a scoop of creamy cottage cheese for a little heft and tang.

Tues | Get spicy

Spicy Meatball Subs (recipe below) is a pepper-laden take on the Italian meatball sandwich. You can add more jalapenos to the meat mix if you like your food extra-hot. You'll need something cool on the side and I always go to ice-cold fruit for that. Slices of honeydew and cantaloupe provide the yin to the yang.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Carve a couple of birds and make a simple Yellow Squash Casserole, a Stir Crazy favorite. Slice three large yellow crookneck squash and layer in a pie or quiche pan. In a separate bowl, mix 2 large eggs and ½ cup half-and-half or evaporated milk. Season with salt and pepper and add about ½ cup or more grated cheese. Pour over squash. Sprinkle top generously with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

Thurs | Southern flair

Tonight's dinner is Chops and Grits with a side of sauteed spinach. Lightly bread boneless chops and cook in a skillet with olive oil. One-inch chops will take about five minutes per side. When chops are done, deglaze pan with a little wine (or chicken broth) and stir in some Dijon mustard to make a quick sauce. A scoop of grits, a juicy chop and a mess of spinach and dinner is served.

Fri | Getting fishy

It's Friday and we're getting our happy hour rush from Riesling Snapper, an allrecipes.com offering. Pour 1/2 cup Riesling into a large skillet and cook until nearly evaporated. Add 3 tablespoons of butter and one minced garlic clove. When butter is melted, add 4 snapper fillets. Cook about 3 minutes per side then add a handful of sliced almonds. Cook a few minutes more. Make a pot of brown rice and stir in some chopped spinach a few minutes before it's done to wilt the leaves.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at jkeeler@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8586. Follow her on Twitter at @roadeats.

>>MODERATE

Spicy Meatball Subs

For the meatballs:

1 pound ground beef

½ pound ground pork

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

3 scallions, both green and white part, finely chopped

2 eggs

1 cup bread crumbs

5 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped

1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped

Oil for sauteing

For the subs:

½ cup sour cream

½ cup salsa

4 French or hoagie rolls

8 slices hot pepper cheese

Pickled jalapeno slices (optional)

To make the meatballs, mix all ingredients, except oil, until well combined. Shape meat mixture into 1 ½-inch balls. (You should get about 12, three for each sandwich.) Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet while preheating oven to 350 degrees. While oil is hot, brown the meatballs on all sides. Remove to a baking dish and when they are all browned, bake for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the sandwich sauce by mixing sour cream with salsa. Set aside. Just before meatballs are done, pop split rolls in the oven lined with two slices of hot pepper cheese each. Toast and melt then add three meatballs to each roll and spoon over some of the sour cream/salsa sauce. If using, scatter with jalapeno slices.

Serves 4.

Source: Janet K. Keeler, Times food editor

Weekday dinner inspiration: Spicy Meatball Subs and more 12/04/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 11:03am]

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