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Weekday dinner inspirations: Orecchiette With Peas, Shrimp and Sweet Vidalia Dressing and more

Mon | Grate veggies

Fire up the 'cue for Grilled Vegetables With Couscous and Red Pepper Sauce. Grill a mixture of cleaned and trimmed vegetables (red peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, onions and mushrooms) that have been brushed with olive oil and seasoned with coarse salt. Set aside a couple of pieces of grilled red pepper to make a sauce of pureed peppers, garlic and Greek yogurt. Serve the sweet and soft vegetables with couscous and the sauce. Toasted and buttered pita bread, too.

Tues | Now hear this

I love orecchiette pasta for its cute ear shape and its ability to cradle lots of goodness. Orecchiette With Peas, Shrimp and Sweet Vidalia Dressing (recipe below) is a nice change of pace for dinner and also perfect for a potluck. Biscuits on the side.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Make Asian Chicken Salad with shredded breast meat from a rotisserie chicken, shredded carrots and cabbage, sliced radishes (use them up from Tuesday), pea pods and peanuts. Dress with any Asian vinaigrette that suits you, then garnish with crispy chow mein noodles. (For another version, turn to Page 4E.)

Thurs | Show us your mussels

Mussels in Tomato Sauce With Spaghetti begins with jarred garlic and herb spaghetti sauce. Heat sauce in large pot and add some red wine to bolster flavor. In another pot, cook the pasta. When sauce is heated, dump in a few pounds of scrubbed mussels. When they open, ladle the mixture over the cooked and drained pasta. (Remember, mussels that don't open should be tossed.) Garnish with chopped flat-leaf parsley, and serve with salad and bread.

Fri | Drum roll, please

Oven-Baked Ranch Drumsticks are kid-friendly and busy-cook approved. Mix a packet of ranch dressing powder with 1 1/2 cups of plain bread crumbs. Run the drumsticks through milk then dredge in dry mixture. Place on baking sheet coated with cooking spray and bake for 35 minutes in a 375-degree oven; flip halfway. Corn on the cob and big slices of honeydew melon accompany.

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Orecchiette With Peas, Shrimp and

Sweet Vidalia Dressing

8 ounces uncooked orecchiette pasta

1 cup shelled green peas (about 1 pound unshelled green peas) or frozen green peas

1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup thinly sliced radishes

Sweet Vidalia salad dressing, taste (see note)

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add peas and shrimp during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain.

Combine pasta mixture and radishes in a large bowl. Dress mixture with salad dressing, tossing to coat. Cover and let stand 20 minutes. Serve at room temperature, or cover and chill until ready to serve.

Serves 4.

Note: Ken's Salad Dressings makes a delicious Sweet Vidalia Dressing, and Cardini's has an Aged Parmesan Ranch that would be good, too. Basically, you want a creamy dressing that doesn't fight too much with the shrimp, so stay away from blue cheese.

Source: Adapted from Cooking Light

Weekday dinner inspirations: Orecchiette With Peas, Shrimp and Sweet Vidalia Dressing and more 06/07/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 4:30am]
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