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Easy weeknight meals: Tilapia With Bacon-Corn Saute and more

Mon | Meatless meal

Frozen cheese ravioli are the base for Ravioli With Smooshed Tomatoes and Basil. Cook ravioli according to package instructions. While the pasta pillows are simmering, saute grape tomatoes in olive oil, adding some minced garlic after the tomatoes have been cooking for a bit. Season with salt, pepper and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. (If it looks dry, add some of the hot pasta water.) When the tomatoes begin to break apart, add the ravioli. Top with ribbons of fresh basil. Serve with green salad. (Make a few hard-boiled eggs for tomorrow night.)

Tues | Heat reflector

On a hot summer day, who really wants to heat up the kitchen, and since you boiled eggs the previous night, you won't have to for your Chef's Salad. Pile up the lettuce in a wide, shallow bowl. I like a mix of Romaine and tender spring leaves. Add tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions and radishes to the base. Top with julienned tavern ham and Swiss cheese, and artfully arrange those sliced eggs. Pickled beets? Heck, yes. Thousand Island is traditional but you can dress it up however you'd like.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches are on the menu tonight. Shred the meat of a rotisserie chicken and heat it in a saucepan with the barbecue sauce of your choice. Pile it on a soft bun with coleslaw. If you're using store-bought coleslaw, you might want to doctor it with small dices of pineapple. Keep eating with your hands with corn on the cob on the side.

Thurs | Getting fishy

For Tilapia With Bacon-Corn Saute (recipe below) you can use fresh or frozen corn kernels but I don't recommend canned for this recipe. If you use fresh, you'll need four ears. Also, you can substitute halibut or another mild fish for the tilapia.

Fri | Flex those mussels

Put Mussels in Tomatoes on the menu if the kids are going to a sleepover tonight or if they're adventurous eaters. In a deep pot with a lid, saute minced fresh garlic (at least 2 good-sized cloves) and 2 diced shallots in olive oil for about 3 minutes. For every pound of mussels in the pan, add ½ cup of white wine and a 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes, seasoned if you want. Put the lid on and in a matter of minutes, the mussels will open. (Those that don't should be discarded.) Dump it all in a big bowl and serve with crusty bread to sop up the delicious broth. A side of sauteed spinach.

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

>>MODERATE

Tilapia With Bacon-Corn Saute

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 center-cut applewood-smoked bacon slice

2 ¼ cups corn kernels (about 4 ears fresh)

1 ½ tablespoons butter

¾ cup (1-inch) sliced green onions

4 lime wedges

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle fish evenly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add fish to pan; saute 4 minutes on each side or until golden and flaky. Remove fish from pan; keep warm.

Reduce heat to medium. Add bacon to pan, cooking 4 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, then crumble. Add corn to drippings in pan, cooking 3 minutes or until beginning to brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in butter and cook 1 minute or until butter melts. Stir in crumbled bacon and green onions. Top fish with sauce and serve with lime wedges.

Serves 4.

Source: adapted from Cooking Light

Easy weeknight meals: Tilapia With Bacon-Corn Saute and more 07/22/13 [Last modified: Monday, July 22, 2013 3:50pm]
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