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Weekday dinner inspiration: Julia Child's Homemade Hash Browns, and more

Mon | Meatless meal

Tabbouleh Pockets With Feta can be accompanied by fresh fruit for a satisfying meal. Buy prepared tabbouleh at a deli or grocery store or use a kit from the natural food aisle of your grocery. If you use a kit, read the instructions at the store; you'll likely need tomatoes and perhaps other ingredients, mint maybe. Split pita pockets (toast if you like) and stuff with tabbouleh and feta cheese.

Tues | Seafood delight

A bowl of Garlicky Shrimp and Rice is a pure Stir Crazy dish. Quick, fast and good. Get your rice — white or brown, whatever — going in one pan then melt butter with olive oil in a large skillet. Add several cloves of minced garlic and keep stirring so it doesn't burn. Cook for less than a minute. Stir in peeled shrimp and cook until pink. Scatter sliced scallions over the top and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over all. Season with salt and pepper and dump over the rice. Serve with baked egg rolls if you'd like.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Forget those frozen hash browns. It's easy to make your own, or at least it was for Julia Child, whose favorite recipe for Hash Browns accompanies this column. Carve the bird and serve with your homemade, golden taters. Green beans on the side.

Thurs | Super fast

On a recent weeknight when I was really pressed for time I leaned on Tampa food manufacturer Alessi for Sausage and White Bean Tuscan Soup. The dried soup mix is Alessi; the addition of sausage is me. In a large, heavy soup pot, saute 1 pound of sliced turkey sausage (or kielbasa or bratwurst) in a bit of olive oil until the cooked sausage is browned. Pour in the prescribed amount of water on the package instructions (I use half chicken broth/half water), bring to a boil and add dried soup mix. The whole pot only takes 12 minutes to cook. They'll think it's homemade. I serve it with biscuits.

Fri | Something different

Grill some steaks and serve them with Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad. To make the salad, parboil 6 small, peeled carrots until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. (This is enough for two people.) Drain well, brush with olive oil and roast at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes with lemon halves. (Discard lemons when done.) Let cool slightly and arrange on two salad plates. Add sliced, peeled avocado and dress with a simple citrus vinaigrette. If you can't find one commercially, whisk together ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil with 1 tablespoon orange juice (or another citrus) and a small, minced garlic glove plus salt and pepper to taste.

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


Julia Child's Homemade Hash Browns

1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

Freshly ground pepper

Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan, add 4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Simmer, partly covered, until almost tender. Drain and pat dry.

Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet. Add the vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter. When the foam subsides, add the potatoes and cook, tossing, until lightly golden. Season with salt and pepper and roughly mash the potatoes with a spatula. Dot the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter over the potatoes, cover and cook until crusty on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Slide the potatoes onto a plate and invert them back into the pan. Cook until the underside is nice and crusty. Slide the potatoes onto a platter and serve.

Serves 2.

Source: Julia Child via Food & Wine magazine

Weekday dinner inspiration: Julia Child's Homemade Hash Browns, and more 02/26/13 [Last modified: Monday, February 25, 2013 1:13pm]
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