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Weekday dinner inspirations: Shrimp Fried Rice and more

Mon | Rice bowl

Shrimp Fried Rice (recipe below) goes together quickly on a manic Monday. Make the rice the night before and you'll have dinner on the table in no time. Use brown rice to make the dish more healthful, and cut the sodium by using light soy sauce.

Tues | Nibble night

Prepare a big antipasto platter with sliced salami and ham, rolled smoked provolone slices, cubes of fresh mozzarella, olives, roasted red peppers, pickled carrots and green beans and marinated artichoke hearts. Serve with hunks of crusty bread.

Wed | Rotisserie Chicken

Serve Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches tonight. Combine shredded chicken from a rotisserie bird with shredded carrot and julienned red pepper and cucumber. Toss with a ginger vinaigrette. (I like Annie's Naturals' Lite Gingerly Vinaigrette; Newman's Own also has a light version.) Stuff the dressed chicken mixture into soft hoagie rolls or 6-inch baguette lengths. Top with chopped Romaine lettuce and fresh cilantro. These sandwiches are traditional Vietnamese street food and are a meal in themselves, but I think I'd serve them with some spicy potato chips, such as Archer Farms' (Target) zippy kettle chips.

Thurs | Fast fish

Forget meals in 30 minutes. How does 15 sound? Saute salmon fillets seasoned with salt and pepper in olive oil, about 4 minutes a side. Remove from skillet and add grape tomatoes, a bit of butter, fresh lemon juice and capers. When tomatoes go soft, dump it all over the salmon and serve. Five-minute couscous on the side.

Fri | Penne for your thoughts

A creamy mustard sauce complements Spicy Sausage With Penne in this recipe from Food & Wine. While a pound of penne is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Squeeze hot Italian sausage from its casing and brown. Add 3/4 cup dry wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add 3/4 cup heavy cream and 3 tablespoons grainy mustard. Stir in the drained, cooked pasta and 1 cup of thinly sliced basil. Mangia!

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Shrimp Fried Rice

4 tablespoons soy sauce, divided

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup finely chopped carrots

1/2 cup minced green onion

5 cups cooked long-grain white rice, chilled

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

2 teaspoons oyster sauce

Frozen egg rolls, cooked (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce and shrimp, tossing gently to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add eggs, cook, stirring frequently, until eggs are set but moist. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet, and heat over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until shrimp are pink. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil to skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add carrots and green onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add rice, and cook stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until rice is heated through. Stir in peas, and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, oyster sauce, eggs and shrimp. Serve immediately with egg rolls, if desired.

Serves 6 to 8.

Source: Cooking with Paula Deen, September/October

Weekday dinner inspirations: Shrimp Fried Rice and more 09/16/08 [Last modified: Monday, September 22, 2008 4:45pm]
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