Janet K. Keeler is on assignment. This column was first published on Dec. 10, 2008. New columns resume next week.
Mon | Love me tenders
Make a salad with zing by scattering spicy chicken tenders over sturdy romaine. Buffalo-Inspired Chicken Salad can be made with takeout fingers or nuggets. Make your own by dipping chicken pieces in beaten egg and dredging in seasoned flour. Saute until brown on each side and bake for about 10 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Coat with a mixture of hot sauce and melted butter. Lay over greens that have been mixed with shredded cheese, diced cucumber and celery. Serve with blue cheese dressing.
Tue | Something fishy
Crunchy Parmesan Fish Fillets only seem fried. Dredge firm fish (like cod, grouper or halibut) in beaten egg then coat with a mixture that's half grated Parmesan cheese and half crushed cornflakes (or panko). Add a little cayenne to the mix if you want some heat. Coat a baking dish with nonstick spray and bake the fillets for about 10 minutes at 450 degrees. When halfway through, flip. They are done when the fish is flaky and opaque. Serve with macaroni salad and fresh fruit.
Wed | Rotisserie chicken
Buy the bird and make Pasta With Fresh Herbs (recipe below) to go with. This is a great recipe for using up leftover fresh herbs, but forgo the rosemary. Its powerful taste will muscle out anything else. A good combo is parsley and basil, with a bit of thyme.
Thur | Between two slices
Roast Beef Sandwiches go uptown with a slather of blue cheese dressing, sliced red onions and creamy butterkase cheese. (Okay, use cheddar if you want; hold the singles, please.) Pile it high on hoagie rolls or even split Cuban bread. Serve with pickled green beans, okra or even asparagus.
Fri | It's snowing somewhere
So make some soup to offer long-distance support. Quick White Bean & Ham Soup starts with a cubed ham steak. In a pot, saute minced onions and chopped celery in vegetable oil. Add the diced ham and 1 teaspoon of dried herbs (nearly anything you have on hand or a combination). Add vegetable broth and 2 cans of drained and rinsed white beans (Great northern or cannellini). Heat through. Serve with rolls.
Janet K. Keeler can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8586. Follow @roadeats on Twitter.