Mon | Meatless meal
Hominy is a curious ingredient and most often seen in the Mexican soup posol. Hominy is corn kernels that have been soaked in a an alkali solution, causing them to puff up — sort of like soft popcorn. When dried, hominy is ground for grits. In Quinoa With Black Beans and Hominy (see accompanying), the soft hominy plays nicely with the earthy quinoa and the bright flavors in the dressing. This is one of those dishes that packs well for lunch the next day.
Tues | Soup's on
With that slight fall nip in the air, Turkey Sausage and Gnocchi Soup is a comforting weeknight meal. To make the soup, brown 6 ounces bulk turkey sausage. Add 2 cups water, 16 ounces frozen gnocchi, a 14-ounce can of beef broth and a 14-ounce can of Italian-style chopped, stewed tomatoes with juice. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
Wed | Rotisserie chicken
Thinking about a new kind of mashed side for the Thanksgiving table? How about practicing tonight with Food Network magazine's Mashed Ginger and Orange Carrots served alongside a carved chicken. Peel and roughly chop 2 pounds carrots and boil until soft, about 20 minutes; drain. Puree with 3 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Warm 1 tablespoon olive oil with a teaspoon each grated fresh ginger and orange zest and drizzle over the mashed carrots.
Thurs | Belly up to the bar
The idea of the Baked Potato Bar is certainly a good one for a party but think how festive it would be for a weeknight family dinner. You'll have to limit the offerings but consider Sloppy Joes and shredded cheddar; sauteed onions and sour cream; sauteed ham cubes with brie, then broiled; or maybe roasted veggies and feta.
Fri | Pizza night
Tonight, a tube of refrigerated pizza dough is your friend and Stir Crazy favorite Chicken and Artichoke Pizza will become your BFF. Press the dough into a pizza pan. Spread it with ¼ cup of creamy Caesar dressing that has been mixed with a few tablespoons of grated Parmesan. Top with cooked chicken cubes, marinated artichoke hearts (drained and coarsely chopped), chopped Roma tomatoes and a heaping handful of shredded Fontina or Jack cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in a 400-degree oven.
Janet K. Keeler can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8586. Follow @roadeats on Twitter.