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Weekday dinner inspirations: Spicy Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup, and more

Mon | Meatless

Garden-Fresh Ratatouille can be served over penne pasta for a one-dish meal. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Add diced eggplant, bell pepper, tomatoes and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper, plus dried Italian seasoning blend (basil, oregano and thyme). Cook for about 15 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is soft. Finish with fresh chopped parsley. A few shaves of Parmesan to garnish.

Tues | Show us your mussels

Mussels in Garlic and Wine is a delicious and fast meal. Heat olive oil in a heavy pan with a lid. Add chopped garlic and onion, saute for about five minutes. Dump in a can of chopped tomatoes and a bit of white wine (or broth). Add a pound or two of cleaned mussels and put the lid on. They'll open when ready. Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.

Wed | Rotisserie Chicken

Spicy Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup (recipe below) is a treat I usually save for eating out. But it's easily made at home with a rotisserie chicken. You'll have to buy some ingredients that you may not normally use, such as fresh ginger and lemongrass, both readily available these days. Use unsweetened coconut milk, not Coco Lopez, the creamy mix that goes into pina coladas.

Thurs | Dinner on a stick

Crank up the grill for Spicy Chorizo and Shrimp Kebabs. Thread chunks of cured chorizo alternately with peeled shrimp that's been brushed with olive oil mixed with garlic and grape tomatoes. Grill for about 3 minutes per side, until shrimp is pink. Serve with seasoned rice and steamed broccoli.

Fri | Fish on bread

Get the boiling water ready for the corn to serve alongside Easy Friday Fish Sandwiches. Coat thin fish fillets in an egg wash and seasoned flour and saute in olive oil. Load up toasted buns with coleslaw and add the fish. This meal calls for ice-cold melon slices, too.

Read Stir Crazy online at www.blogs.tampabay.com/food. Submit your ideas for quick weeknight meals to jkeeler@sptimes.com.

>>easy

Spicy Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup

2 tablespoons canola (or vegetable oil)

2 shallots, finely diced

2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lemongrass (use the root end, not the reedy stalks)

2 small hot chilies, finely sliced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (skin removed)

1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Juice of 2 limes

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided use

Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the shallots, ginger, lemongrass and chilies and sprinkle with the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are translucent, soft and just starting to brown in places, about 4 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

Stir in the chicken, coconut milk and soy sauce, and cook for 10 minutes to heat the chicken through. Stir in the lime juice and half the cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of the remaining cilantro.

Serves 2 to 3.

Source: 150 Things to Make with Roast Chicken by Tony Rosenfeld (Taunton, 2007)

Weekday dinner inspirations: Spicy Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup, and more 07/14/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 6:02pm]

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