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Weekday dinner inspirations: Braised Broccoli Rabe With Orecchiette and more

Mon | Chicken delight

Easy Chicken Parmigiana starts with boneless, skinless chicken breasts dipped in beaten egg, dredged in flour and sauteed on both sides in olive oil. Let brown in the oven-proof skillet, then cover with your favorite red sauce, slices of mozzarella and a handful of grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Heat extra sauce and serve it all with pasta. Or sub steamed broccoli for the pasta.

Tues | Now hear this

Orecchiette has got to be the cutest pasta on the market. It looks just like tiny ears. If you can't find it, use penne for Braised Broccoli Rabe With Pasta (recipe below). For those of you trying to go meatless one or two nights a week, this is an easy vegetarian recipe. Flavorful, too.

Wed | Rotisserie Wednesday

Carve the bird into cubes and use for Chicken Cobb Salad. Pile a serving bowl with ice-cold iceberg lettuce then arrange, artfully of course, rotisserie chicken, sliced hard-boiled eggs, black olives, blue cheese crumbles, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and croutons. Serve with a favorite dressing (we like a creamy Italian or even a blue cheese vinaigrette).

Thurs | Love them tender

Bay scallops are tinier and sweeter than their sea counterparts, and both will work in Baked Scallops Gratin as long as you quarter the larger ones. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place scallops with some white wine and melted butter in a shallow baking dish. Add some fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, mix a bit of melted butter with bread crumbs (I like panko) and a few shakes of Italian seasoning. Sprinkle over the top of scallops; bake for about 10 minutes and broil for 2 to crisp it up. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley. Serve with green salad and bread to sop up the buttery juices.

Fri | Cheese and wine

Salute the end of the week with a finger-food platter of warm Brie, rolls of thinly sliced Black Forest ham, fresh apple slices, toasted baguette slices, shelled pistachios and a simple Caesar salad. A fruity wine pairs well with the cheese and salty ham. Chardonnay for white; Beaujolais nouveau for red.

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

>>EASy

Braised Broccoli Rabe With Orecchiette

1 pound broccoli rabe, tough stems trimmed

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

5 cups vegetable broth, reduced-sodium chicken broth or water

8 ounces whole-wheat pasta, such as orecchiette or penne

1/8 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see note)

Cook broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling water until bright green and still crisp, about 1 minute. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Coarsely chop.

Combine oil, garlic, rosemary and crushed red pepper in a large pot; cook, stirring, over medium heat, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth (or water) and bring to a boil. Add pasta and the broccoli rabe. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve in shallow bowls, sprinkled with walnuts.

Note: To toast chopped walnuts, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Serves 4 to 5.

Source: Eating Well magazine

Weekday dinner inspirations: Braised Broccoli Rabe With Orecchiette and more 05/19/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 5:41pm]

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