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Weekday dinner inspirations: Buffalo chicken tenders and more

Mon | Seafood, eat food

Make a quick seafood pasta by sauteing minced garlic and a bit of shallot in equal parts butter and olive oil. Add some chicken broth and toss in bay scallops, shrimp and small broccoli florets. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook through and serve over angelhair pasta with a sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley. French bread, spinach salad and chardonnay complete the meal.

Tue | Say cheese

Bake family-sized frozen macaroni and cheese (our Taster's Choice panel rates Publix brand tops), but make sure to move it to the refrigerator from the freezer in the morning or it will take forever to heat through. About 10 minutes before it's ready, top with sliced tomatoes and return to the oven. Serve a fresh green veggie on the side and you won't feel so bad that the entree is not homemade.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

How about a chicken taco bar tonight? Shred the chicken and keep warm, then arrange bowls of thinly sliced scallions, lime wedges, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, sliced tomatoes, sour cream and guacamole. Warm flour tortillas. Prepare a simple guac by mixing smashed avocados with a favorite salsa. Dress a salad of corn kernels, red and green bell peppers and red onion with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Thur | Soup's on

Make a quick-step Cuban gallego soup by first adding cubed potato pieces to a pot of simmering chicken broth, then tossing in a bay leaf or two, sliced cooked sausage and a can (or two) of rinsed and drained great Northern beans. When the potatoes are done, add a bag of baby spinach.

Fri | Hot and spicy

For once, everyone is home tonight. Make Martha Stewart's buffalo chicken tenders (recipe below). Serve with dipping sauces or over salad with extra blue cheese crumbles. Slice ice-cold watermelon and set out a bowl of fresh strawberries.

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All-American Buffalo Chicken Tenders

1 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 4 ounces)

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders

1/2 cup vegetable oil, such as safflower

1/3 cup hot sauce

2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet; transfer to oven. In a medium bowl, stir together blue cheese and 1/2 cup buttermilk. Season dip with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Place flour and remaining 1/2 cup buttermilk in separate medium bowls; season with salt and pepper. Set out another rimmed baking sheet alongside. Dip chicken in buttermilk (allowing excess to drip off), then in flour (shaking off excess); place on sheet.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry chicken until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to rack in oven to keep warm.

In a large bowl, stir together hot sauce and melted butter. Add chicken, and toss to coat. Serve tenders with blue-cheese dip.

Serves 4.


Weekday dinner inspirations: Buffalo chicken tenders and more 06/17/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 10:44am]
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