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Weekday dinner inspiration: Horseradish Shrimp Caesar Salad and more

Mon | Meatless Monday

Corkscrew pasta gives Pasta With Kale and Chickpeas visual interest while red pepper flakes, garlic and grated Parmesan provide the flavor. Start cooking the pasta in boiling water. While it's cooking, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet and add 4 minced garlic cloves along with 6 cups of chopped kale and 1 can of rinsed and drained chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper and a couple of pinches of red pepper flakes. When the kale wilts, add about 1 cup of the hot pasta water. Let liquid reduce, drain pasta and add to kale mixture. Toss liberally with grated Parmesan cheese.

Tues | Spiced-up salad

Horseradish Shrimp Caesar Salad (recipe below) is a versatile recipe that can be used, sans salad, as an appetizer or main dish served with rice. I like how the hot shrimp, made spicy with horseradish, slightly wilts the ice-cold lettuce. You can also let the shrimp cool and plop them on the greens then. This is a super-simple dinner for a busy night.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

How about a quick, but satisfying, Chicken Noodle Soup tonight? Shred the chicken and set aside. In a soup pot, saute finely chopped onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add a couple of sliced celery stalks and diced, peeled carrots. Cook for another few minutes. Add a box of chicken stock and 1 chicken bouillon cube and season with pepper and more salt if you'd like. Stir in the shredded chicken (you'll have enough to save some for chicken salad). I like to cook the noodles separately and add at the end so they don't get overcooked. Serve with biscuits.

Thurs | Southern update

Tonight's Pork Chops and Gorgonzola Grits brings contemporary flair to a classic Southern dish. Lightly bread boneless chops and brown on both sides, then finish in a 350-degree oven. If they are 1 inch thick, they'll need about 20 minutes. Make the grits according to package instructions and add ¼ to ⅓ cup crumbled Gorgonzola at the end of cooking along with some chopped fresh parsley. Place a scoop of grits on each plate, top with pork chop and serve alongside sauteed spinach.

Fri | With a grain

Marinate boneless, skinless chicken breasts in an herb melange (something like Lawry's herb and garlic with lemon juice) then grill. Serve with Carrot and Couscous Salad, a Stir Crazy favorite from Mark Bittman of the New York Times. Cook plain couscous according to package directions, then add 4 shredded carrots, the juice of 1 lemon, a few splashes of orange juice, ¼ cup of olive oil, salt, pepper and a couple of shakes of cumin. Add a handful of raisins. Fluff and serve.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at jkeeler@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8586. Follow her on Twitter at @roadeats.

>>EASY

Horseradish Shrimp Caesar Salad

For the shrimp:

¼ cups tomato paste

¼ cup horseradish, drained

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

¾ teaspoon hot sauce

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails left on)

Juice from ½ lemon

For the salad:

1 large head Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces

Caesar salad dressing

¼ cup grated Parmesan

½ cup croutons

Mix the tomato paste, horseradish, olive oil, hot sauce, 1 ½ teaspoons salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl; add the shrimp and lemon juice and toss. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour.

Preheat the broiler. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Spread out the shrimp on the baking sheet and broil until just cooked through, 4 to 8 minutes (no need to turn).

While shrimp are cooking, make Caesar salad by dressing lettuce first. Add Parmesan cheese and toss, then top with croutons. Plate the salads individually and then top with warm shrimp.

Serves 4 to 6.

Source: Adapted from Food Network magazine

Weekday dinner inspiration: Horseradish Shrimp Caesar Salad and more 12/11/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 3:30am]
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