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Weekday Dinner Inspirations: Shrimp With Bacon and Spinach, and more

Mon | Eat cheaply

Time to make amends for that weekend shopping with economical Rice and Bean Soup. Saute chopped onion and minced garlic in oil, add 1 cup of rice and brown slightly. Pour in 2 cups water and 4 cups chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, add 2 teaspoons of dried herbs (basil, oregano, thyme or a mixture), diced carrots and a can each of diced tomatoes and great northern beans and cook 20 minutes. Serve with bread and butter.

Tues | Shrimply delicious

Shrimp With Bacon and Spinach (recipe below) is a super-quick weeknight meal. Did I mention simple, too? I like mine with a few dashes of chipotle-flavored Tabasco sauce. The hot sauce adds a smoky kick.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Chicken With Couscous and Basil celebrates convenience and flavor. Prepare couscous according to package instructions, then add 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, 2 or 3 chopped plum tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and a small handful of chopped fresh basil. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with toasted pita bread.

Thurs | Free-range cooking

Measuring cups? We don't need no stinking measuring cups, because tonight we're cooking on instinct. To make Lemon Chicken and Smooshed Tomatoes, saute thin chicken cutlets in olive oil and minced garlic. When cutlets are brown on both sides, add a healthy splash of white wine, a few squeezes of lemon, some capers and a handful of cherry or grape tomatoes. Cover and cook until the tomatoes are softened. Serve with sauteed spinach and a salad.

Fri | Living it up

The overspending of last weekend has been forgotten. Tonight, we splurge. Throw steaks on the grill (we like the New York strip or T-bone) when your oven-baked potatoes are nearly done. Top the steaks with crumbled blue cheese and the potato with whatever suits you. Caesar salad on the side.

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>>easy

Shrimp With Bacon and Spinach

1 ¾ cups water

1 cup long-grain white rice

4 slices bacon, thinly sliced crosswise

1 garlic clove, minced

1 medium yellow onion, diced medium

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes

1 bag baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco, for serving

In a small saucepan, bring 1 ¾ cups salted water to a boil. Add rice and return to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon, stirring occasionally, over medium until browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Add garlic and onion to skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until spinach is tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Wipe skillet clean.

In skillet, heat oil over medium-high and add shrimp. Season with salt and pepper and cook, undisturbed, 2 minutes. Add spinach mixture and cook until shrimp are opaque throughout, 2 minutes. To serve, spoon mixture over rice and top with bacon and a few dashes of hot sauce.

Serves 4.

Source: Adapted from Everyday Food

Weekday Dinner Inspirations: Shrimp With Bacon and Spinach, and more 09/28/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 5:30am]

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