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Weekday dinner inspirations: Black bean succotash and more

Mon | Fridge cleaner

The family will think you're crazy if you serve Popsicles for dinner, but doesn't that sound good on a hot August night? Chef salad is the ticket tonight. Use what you have in the fridge: cold cuts or leftover meat, cheeses, carrots, squash, scallions, radishes, avocado, cucumber, pickled beets (just kidding). Hard-boil eggs in the morning and chill them in time for dinner. Pile high on iceberg with dressing of choice. Crackers and rolls on the side.

Tues | Jump start

"Saute" comes from the French word for "jump" and in cooking it means the pan is so hot that the food literally hops around. Make peeled shrimp and scallops dance by sauteing them in olive oil and a dab of butter. Flavor with lots of lemon (juice and zest) plus capers at the end of cooking. Serve with asparagus and rice.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

If your grocery store makes mojo-flavored birds, grab a couple and serve them with Black Bean Succotash (recipe below). There is plenty of flavor and color, owing to the green, red and yellow peppers. If the price is too much for the pepper trinity, just use green. It'll change the flavor but still be plenty tasty.

Thurs | Sophisticated

Okay, maybe kids won't like Warm Spinach Salad With Fried Egg and Potatoes, a la Martha Stewart, but I do. Saute small cubes of potato in olive oil (you could even use frozen); season with salt and pepper. Make a dressing of 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 1 minced shallot. When potatoes are done, put them in a bowl with a bag of baby spinach; the heat will wilt the leaves. Plate salad individually and serve with a fried egg on the top. So posh.

Fri | Deep freeze

Get help from the freezer at the end of a busy week. Make meatball pizza by thawing and halving frozen meatballs and placing them, flat side down, on your favorite cheese pizza. (Use the remainder for meatball soup next week; see you back here for details.) Add more cheese for good measure. Cook the pizza according to package instructions. Green salad on the side.

Read Stir Crazy online at www.blogs.tampabay.com/food. Submit your ideas for quick weeknight meals to jkeeler@sptimes.com.

>>EASy

Black Bean Succotash

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 cup diced red onion

1/2 cup diced red pepper

1/2 cup diced green pepper

1/2 cup diced yellow pepper

3/4 cup lima beans (drained and rinsed if canned)

3/4 cup black beans (drained and rinsed if canned)

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons chopped chives

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm oil. Add garlic and saute for 15 seconds. Add red onions; mix well and saute for 15 seconds. Add peppers; mix well and saute for 30 seconds. Add lima beans; mix well and saute for 30 seconds. Add black beans and stock, then bring to boil for 1 minute. Turn off heat; add fresh herbs and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Serves 6.

Source: Chile Pepper magazine, July

Weekday dinner inspirations: Black bean succotash and more 07/29/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 4:30am]
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