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Weekday dinner inspirations: Chicken Korma and more

Mon | Shroom, shroom

Mushroom and Spinach Quesadillas are a delicious offering for meatless Monday. Saute lots of sliced button mushrooms (or splurge for wilder varieties) in olive oil; add some minced garlic toward the end of the cooking when the mushrooms have given up most of their liquid. Pile the drained mushrooms on flour tortillas along with Jack cheese and baby spinach. Cook in a skillet, flipping halfway through, until cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream mixed with hot sauce or a smashed chipotle pepper. On the side, tomato and avocado salad.

Tues | Pasta that squeals

Pasta With Bacon and Tomato Sauce is simple comfort food. Quick, too. While penne or other short pasta is simmering, cook 4 to 5 strips of chopped bacon. When done, set aside. Add 1 small chopped onion to the rendered fat and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cloves of garlic, then a large jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce. Cook until heated through. Add drained pasta and coat. Sprinkle with bacon bits and lots of grated Parmesan. Serve with green salad and bread.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Make a Hash Brown Casserole to go with a carved rotisserie chicken tonight. Mix a 2-pound bag of hash browns (frozen is okay) with 1 cup sour cream, 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup, 3 thinly sliced scallions and 2 minced garlic cloves. Add 1/4 cup melted butter. Spread in casserole dish and cover with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Assuage your guilt with green beans.

Thurs | Indian wraps

Korma is a northern Indian dish and it is typified by a yogurt sauce. For Chicken Korma (recipe below) in pita bread wraps, you'll be able to find everything you need at the grocery store because there aren't any specialty spices required. If you haven't cooked Indian food before, this is a good starter recipe.

Fri | Warming trend

Fire up the barbecue tonight for strip steaks. Serve them with a relish of corn kernels, diced red onion, diced jalapeno and green peppers. Douse the mixture with lime juice and some good olive oil. Serve your spicy steak dish with simply steamed broccoli spears and ranch-style pinto beans sprinkled with chopped cilantro.

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>>MODERATE

Chicken Korma

1 large red onion, 1/2 chopped, 1/2 sliced

1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Kosher salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for brushing

3/4 pound ground chicken

1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt, plus more for garnish

1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

4 pocketless pitas or flatbread

Chopped cashews and/or hot sauce, for garnish (optional)

Puree the chopped onion in a food processor with the ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup water.

Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and cook until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the spice paste and cook, stirring, until slightly dry, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chicken and cook until opaque, breaking up the meat. Mix the yogurt with 1/4 cup water, add to the pan and simmer over medium-low heat until the meat is cooked through, 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the peas and cilantro and season with salt.

Meanwhile, heat another skillet over high heat. Brush the pitas with oil, season with salt and toast in the skillet, about 1 minute per side. Divide the chicken mixture among the pitas. Top with more yogurt and cilantro. Garnish with cashews and/or hot sauce, if desired.

Serves 4.

Source: Food Network magazine

Weekday dinner inspirations: Chicken Korma and more 03/16/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 5:30am]

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