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Weekday dinner inspirations: Santa Fe Corn Chowder and more

Mon | Meatless pasta

Get a little help from the jar tonight for Penne Caponata. Gently heat two jars of the prepared eggplant appetizer spread while you're cooking penne pasta. Drain the pasta and mix with the warm caponata. If you feel like you need more sauce, add a can of drained white beans. Sprinkle with pine nuts and thick shaves of Parmesan. Serve with a green salad.

Tues | From the deep freeze

Tonight's Crab Cake Caesar Salads start with frozen crab cake appetizers. Cook them according to the package instructions. Place the hot cakes over the cold salad. Bread sticks would add an appetizing crunch.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Don't be put off by the number of ingredients in Santa Fe Corn Chowder (recipe below). Most of the ingredients are dumped in the soup pot with very little prep. If you want to cut saturated fat grams and some calories, substitute vegetable oil for the butter and use fat-free half-and-half. A satisfying hump day dinner.

Thurs | Hoagie heaven

Roast Beef and Blue Sandwiches can be made on traditional sub rolls or Cuban bread. Slather the bread with blue cheese dressing and layer on the roast beef with sliced red onions, creamy butterkase cheese and ice-cold, crunchy Romaine spears. Instead of pickles, serve with pickled green beans or okra.

Fri | Snow? No!

Call the folks up north and brag about the weather. Blue sky, nice temps. Crank up the grill and toss on some boneless, skinless chicken breasts that have been swimming in mojo marinade for a few hours. Cook a pot of yellow rice and black beans — look for a packaged mix — to serve alongside.

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>>easy

Santa Fe Corn Chowder

½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter

1 medium onion, diced fine

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup chicken broth

1 teaspoon dried cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

3 ½ cups frozen corn kernels

1 cup shredded, cooked chicken

1 (15-ounce) can black beans

1 small can diced green chilies

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups half-and-half

1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

¼ teaspoon baking soda

Garnish:

Tortilla chips

1 cup diced fresh tomatoes

1 bunch cilantro, snipped

1 ripe avocado, diced

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until onion is lightly golden. Add broth and stir well, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the cumin and oregano and cook 5 minutes. Add the corn, chicken, black beans and chilies; cook 5 more minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Add the half-and-half, and warm through. Just before serving, add the cheese and baking soda (it helps keep the cheese from curdling).

For garnish, serve bowls of tortillas, tomatoes, cilantro and avocado alongside.

Nutritional information per serving: 510 calories, 24g fat, 22g protein, 63g carbohydrates, 12g fiber, 508mg sodium.

Source: Times wires

Weekday dinner inspirations: Santa Fe Corn Chowder and more 12/07/10 [Last modified: Monday, December 13, 2010 9:06am]

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