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Weekday dinner inspiration: Chicken and Olive Tamale Pie and more

Mon | Stuff it

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms can be served with a bright fruit salad for a satisfying dinner. Clean the big 'shrooms, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and stuff with cooked quinoa that's been mixed with corn, fresh thyme leaves and feta. Bake in a 450-degree oven for about 10 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

Tues | Salad star

Make Gazpacho Couscous Salad to serve with some grilled protein — steaks, pork chops, shrimp kebabs, even sausages. Make a box of plain couscous according to package directions, then add a can of drained garbanzo beans, diced red onion, diced and seeded tomatoes and cucumbers, halved red seedless grapes and a chopped and seeded yellow pepper. Stir in snipped fresh oregano and tarragon; drizzle with olive oil and a few splashes of red vinegar. Stir to combine; season with salt and pepper if you'd life. This gets better as it sits and is good at room temperature.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Chicken and Olive Tamale Pie (recipe below) calls for prepared green salsa, which is so much easier than making your own from small, green tomatillos. Just removing the papery husks can be a hassle. I am partial to Frontera Tomatillo Salsa with Roasted Serrano and Cilantro, which I buy at Publix. It's pricey but cheaper than the time and effort to make it from scratch. Plus, it's delicious.

Thurs | Oh, snap!

Baked Snapper with Peppers and Onions goes nicely with rice pilaf. Saute sliced onions and yellow peppers in olive oil until soft, about five minutes. Stir in ½ cup white wine and some dried thyme and simmer until the wine is reduced by half. Grease a baking dish and layer in snapper fillets, season with salt and pepper, and arrange peppers and onions on top. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Fri | Something simple

After a hectic week, greet Friday night with comfort food. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwich with a big bowl of soup fits that bill. Get thick slices of country bread, good cheddar and ripe, thick tomato slices. Grill how you like them and ladle up any soup you'd like. Me? I love Alessi's Sicilian Lentil Soup. It takes less than 15 minutes to bring the dried soup mix to life.

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


Chicken and Olive Tamale Pie

½ cup cornmeal

1 (14¾-ounce) can cream-style corn

1 pound shredded cooked chicken (about 3 cups)

1 (16-ounce) jar mild or medium green or red salsa

¼ cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, chopped

1 tomato, thinly sliced

¼ cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese (optional)

Snipped fresh cilantro, green onion, and/or chili powder (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large saucepan, bring 1 ¼ cups water to boil. Gradually whisk in cornmeal; reduce heat. Cook, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes. Stir

in corn; return to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a 1 ½-quart gratin or 2-quart rectangular baking dish combine shredded chicken, salsa, and olives. Spoon cornmeal mixture over chicken mixture. Top with tomato slices. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is heated through.

If desired, top with crumbled cheese and sprinkle with cilantro, green onion and/or chili powder.

Serves 4.

Weekday dinner inspiration: Chicken and Olive Tamale Pie and more 03/26/13 [Last modified: Monday, March 25, 2013 4:41pm]
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