Make us your home page
Instagram

Weekday dinner inspiration: Grilled Caesar Salad and more

It's our anniversary!

This May marks five years since I started suggesting easy meal ideas for readers. I've never been particularly good at math, but that will be about 1,300 dinner ideas, with a few repeats now and again. Wow. Even I am surprised by that number. You've heard plenty from me over the years, but now I'd like to hear from you. Tell me: Which ideas have made their way to your dinner table? Are we over rotisserie chicken? What would you like to see more of? And most importantly, I'd like your opinion of the column. Look for your input in a future section.

Email comments to [email protected] and put MEAL IDEAS in the subject line or mail them to Janet K. Keeler, Tampa Bay Times, 490 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Include your name, city of residence and daytime phone number.

Mon | Meatless meal

Speaking of repeat suggestions, this Garden-Fresh Ratatouille from a 2009 column can be served over penne pasta for a one-dish meal. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Add diced eggplant, bell pepper, tomatoes and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper, plus dried Italian seasoning blend (basil, oregano and thyme). Cook for about 15 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is soft. Finish with fresh chopped parsley. A few shaves of Parmesan to garnish.

Tues | Chop chop

Pork Chops With Herb Sauce gives some serious flavor to grilled meat. To make the sauce, mix ½ cup olive oil with the juice and zest of 1 lemon, 3 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of minced fresh mint and 1 tablespoon of minced fresh oregano. After the chops are grilled to your satisfaction, spoon the herb mixture over the top. Let it sit for a minute to wilt slightly. Serve with buttered, small red potatoes and sliced tomatoes.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

It's Taco Salad Wednesday at Stir Crazy, and of course we're starting with shredded meat from a store-bought bird. Pile the lettuce in a large, shallow bowl and add veggies of your choice (we like diced tomatoes and lots of scallions). Scatter seasoned black beans on top, then layer on chicken and shredded cheese. Garnish with salsa, sour cream and even guacamole if you'd like

Thurs | Stick it

Serve Spicy Chorizo and Shrimp Kebabs with brown rice studded with sliced scallions (or very thinly sliced leeks). To make the skewers, thread chunks of cured chorizo alternately with peeled uncooked shrimp and grape tomatoes. Brush them with olive oil mixed with garlic. Grill for about 3 minutes per side, until shrimp is pink. (The kebabs can also be cooked on a stove-top grill pan.)

Fri | Grill it all

Grilled Caesar Salad (recipe below) can be made alongside steaks or pork chops . "Grilled" salad may seem a bit strange but you'll be pleased at the charred, smoky taste the heat gives to the lettuce. It'll just take a few minutes to wilt slightly; don't leave it on too long or you'll end up with mush.

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

>>EASY

Grilled Caesar Salad

2 heads romaine lettuce, trimmed and halved lengthwise

Extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 ounces shaved Parmesan (see note)

1 anchovy fillet, halved (optional)

Preheat a grill or heat a cast-iron grill pan. Brush the cut sides of the romaine with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Grill, cut side down, until charred and blackened in a few places, about 2 minutes.

Transfer the lettuce to a platter. Drizzle with olive oil and the lemon juice, and scatter shaved Parmesan cheese over the top. Garnish with the anchovies, if desired.

Note: To shave cheese, use a potato peeler, gliding it over a chunk of Parmesan.

Serves 2 to 4.

Source: Mad Hungry Cravings by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan, 2013)

Weekday dinner inspiration: Grilled Caesar Salad and more 04/16/13 [Last modified: Monday, April 15, 2013 5:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 20

    Events

    Tim McGraw and Faith Hill: It's been 20 years since the country music star couple started touring together, first on McGraw's solo tours and then on their record-breaking Soul2Soul tours. Now, ten years after the last Soul2Soul tour they're back on the road with opener, LoCash. 7:30 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 …

    Handout photo of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill performing in New Orleans on their 2017 Soul2Soul World Tour. Credit: Becky Fluke
  2. Dia de los Muertos celebration in Dunedin canceled this year by hurricane

    Events

    Chalk up one more closure to Hurricane Irma: The huge Dia de los Muertos Fiesta originally planned for Saturday in Dunedin has been scrapped for what would have been its 25th year.

    At last year’s Dia de los Muertos, Casa Tina owner Tina Marie Avila (crouching) shows her “Ofrenda,” or Day of the Dead alter. What would have been the 25th annual Dia de los Muertos Fiesta on Saturday had to be canceled this year because of Hurricane Irma. The folk festival will be back next year.
JIM DAMASKE   |   Times (2016)
  3. 'Only the Brave' honors sacrifice of front line firefighters amid California wildfires

    Movies

    No one knew that the release date for the forest firefighting movie Only the Brave' would coincide with one of the most destructive wildfires in California history.

    Brendan McDonough (Miles Teller), Chris MacKenzie (Taylor Kitsch), plan to do the backburn at the Chiricahua Mtn. fireline in  ONLY THE BRAVE. (Columbia Pictures)
  4. 'The Snowman' has a star-studded cast based on a blockbuster murder novel, but it's a mess

    Movies

    Mr. Alfredson, you could have saved it. We gave you all the tools — a star-studded cast, a blockbuster best-selling Scandinavian murder novel by Jo Nesbo, and three time Oscar winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker. So why is The Snowman such a jumbled nonsensical mess?

    Michael Fassbender in "The Snowman." (Universal Pictures)  1213107