Mon | Fig-tastic
Fresh figs are in high season now and at my market they are on sale. I love sliced figs on a baguette with Brie cheese, peppery arugula and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. They can also be cut in half and skewered with pork chunks and grilled. Another idea is to stuff them with a teaspoon of goat cheese, wrap in prosciutto (or thinly sliced tavern ham) and bake at 350 degrees until crisp. For more recipe ideas, go to www.calfreshfigs.com.
Tues | Down-home Southern
Spice up the night with a version of Shrimp and Grits (recipe below) that might be considered healthy in some circles. No cream here, just chicken broth to add flavor. Put the Tabasco on the table for those who want even more kick.
Wed | Rotisserie chicken
Some nights, simple is the way to go. Carve up a couple of birds and serve with corn on the cob, which seems to be overflowing the bins at the grocery store these days. Boil the ears or dot with butter, sprinkle with chili powder then wrap in foil and grill. An easy salad of creamy avocado and tomato dressed with balsamic vinaigrette rounds out the meal.
Thurs | Give pita a chance
Go light with a veggie-ful green salad that's studded with baked pita pieces. Brush pita bread with olive oil, cut in bite-sized pieces and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Scatter over the salad after it's been dressed, just as you would with croutons. Add sauteed shrimp or scallops, canned tuna, kidney or garbanzo beans, hard-boiled eggs or sliced cold cuts for protein.
Fri | Our frozen friends
Use frozen fish sticks, popcorn shrimp or grilled fillets as the basis for Seafood Tacos. Gorton's has a wide selection to get you started. Prepare the one you like according to the package directions. Serve the seafood in heated corn tortillas with crunchy coleslaw, lime wedges and a few sprigs of cilantro. (You know my trick with store-bought coleslaw: I always add fresh, shredded cabbage to dilute the dressing.) Serve fruit on the side.
Read Stir Crazy online at www.blogs.tampabay.com/food. Submit your ideas for quick weeknight meals to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent
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