Weeknight party inspiration: Spicy Chipotle Shrimp Salad and more

Mon | Living room tailgate

Break out the slow cooker before you head to work and load it up with a pork shoulder or butt, a couple sliced onions and a can of condensed French onion soup. About an hour before Monday Night Football, drain the liquid, shred the meat and return to slow cooker with your favorite barbecue sauce. Make Pulled Pork Sandwiches on pillowy buns with cole slaw. Serve with potato salad, chips, crunchy raw veggies with dip and beverages of choice.

Tues | Bunco night

Chipotle Shrimp Salad (recipe below) fits the bill for ladies' bunco night because it's light and spicy. Sort of like the popular dice game itself. Serve Mexican beer such as Dos Equis or Corona or a cold white Spanish wine like Albariño. Lemonade cuts the spice of the shrimp dish for teetotalers. After the game? A bowl of berries and whipped cream.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken poker

Poker buddies will go all in for Shredded Chicken Quesadillas that can be cut in triangles and eaten with one hand. To make them, start with light and dark meat from your store-bought bird. Mix shredded meat with green salsa, then spread on flour tortillas. Layer with shredded Jack cheese (or pepper Jack if you want heat). Top with another tortilla and heat in skillet on baking sheet in oven. Flip halfway until both sides are browned. Serve with sour cream. Tortillas chips with guacamole and salsa, too. Beer. Lots of beer.

Thurs | Entertaining the boss

Fra Diavolo Shellfish Pasta is fancy enough for company, especially on a weeknight. In a skillet, saute garlic and onion in extra virgin olive oil. Add a large can of crushed tomatoes, plus salt, pepper and some red pepper flakes and let simmer for about 15 minutes. When sauce is thick, add bay scallops and peeled shrimp. Finish with a couple healthy splashes of white wine. They'll cook in just minutes. Serve over angel hair pasta and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley. Caesar salad, French bread and chardonnay on the side. Key lime pie for dessert. The raise is in the bag.

Fri | Kids' sleepover

Pizza might seem the logical choice, but think about Chinese take-out. Kids love sesame chicken and most noodle dishes. It'll be cheaper to buy frozen eggrolls and bake them yourself rather than order them for takeout. Buy extra fortune cookies.

Sign up for Easy Meal Ideas from Janet's Kitchen at enews.tampabay.com. Get a free recipe e-mailed to you every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Submit your ideas for quick weeknight meals to jkeeler@sptimes.com.

>>Moderate

Spicy Chipotle Shrimp Salad

1½ pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp

teaspoon salt

teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cooking spray

¼ cup finely chopped celery

2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons canola mayonnaise

1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

½ teaspoon ground cumin

8 Boston lettuce leaves

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and black pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add half of shrimp to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove shrimp from pan; repeat procedure with remaining shrimp. Cool shrimp for 5 minutes.

Place shrimp in a medium bowl; stir in celery and next 6 ingredients (through cumin). Arrange 2 lettuce leaves on each of 4 plates; top each serving with ¾cup shrimp mixture.

Serves 4.

Source: Cooking Light

Weeknight party inspiration: Spicy Chipotle Shrimp Salad and more 11/01/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 5:30am]

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