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Weekday dinner inspirations: zucchini clafouti and more

Mon | Reuben-esque

Turn the corned beef-sauerkraut sandwich into Reuben Salad, complete with pumpernickel croutons and Thousand Island dressing. First, toast cubes of pumpernickel cut from an unsliced loaf. In a large bowl, mix torn romaine with small cubes of corned beef and Swiss cheese. Add well-drained sauerkraut and dress it all with Thousand Island. Top with pumpernickel croutons.

Tues | Sweet veggies

A clafouti is normally a dessert where berries are baked in a pancakelike batter. Zucchini, Smoky Bacon and Rosemary Clafouti (recipe below) puts a savory spin on the French dessert. It may be more involved than you want for a weekday dish, so tuck the recipe away for later. It can easily be made vegetarian by substituting goat cheese for bacon.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Make Rotisserie Chicken Lo Mein by first stir-frying shredded grated carrots and cabbage, bean sprouts and minced ginger and garlic. Use vegetable oil, not olive. Add shredded chicken. When it's heated through, toss in cooked egg noodles, such as fresh fettuccine. Heat 3/4 cup chicken broth, 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon oyster sauce and 3/4 teaspoon sugar and pour over all.

Thurs | Make it piccata

Chicken, pork or veal cutlets — or even shrimp — are good candidates for the piccata treatment. Dredge the protein (make sure chicken, pork or veal is pounded thin) in seasoned flour then saute in equal parts olive oil and butter. Add some white wine and a squeeze of lemon. Toss in salty capers to finish. Good and plenty with a veggie and buttered noodles.

Fri | Quick and light

Pasta With Ricotta and Basil is a delightful summer dish. Cook whole-wheat bowties according to package directions and save some of the pasta water. To the water, add 1 cup of ricotta, a minced garlic clove, salt and pepper and 1/4 cup chopped basil. A skewer of grilled shrimp would be nice alongside.

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Zucchini, Smoky Bacon and

Rosemary Clafouti

For the batter:

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 medium eggs

2/3 cup milk

2/3 cup water

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons whole grain mustard

For the filling:

3 zucchini, ends trimmed, sliced lengthwise

Extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 pound bacon, diced

1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary

Blend the flour, salt, eggs, milk, water and mustards in a blender until smooth, then let rest for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, heat a grill pan over medium heat. Brush one side of the zucchini slices with oil, season with salt and pepper and grill for about 3 minutes, until lightly colored. Brush the top side and flip, grilling for another 2 minutes.

Also, while batter is resting, fry bacon until lightly colored but not dark.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease an oval baking dish and heat in oven for 10 minutes. Stir the rosemary and half the bacon into the batter in the blender. Pour into the heated baking dish, then scatter over zucchini slices, pushing down so about half of them are submerged. Scatter over the remaining bacon and bake for 30 minutes, until the clafouti has risen and is golden. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Source: Gorgeous Vegetables by Annie Bell (Kyle, 2010)

Weekday dinner inspirations: zucchini clafouti and more 06/29/10 [Last modified: Monday, June 28, 2010 7:06pm]

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