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Weekday dinner inspiration: Steamed Curry-Coconut Shrimp and more

Mon | Meatless meal

You can use fresh or frozen corn to make Spicy Poblano and Corn Soup. Bring 1 cup corn and 1 ½ cups milk to a boil. Microwave 4 seeded and chopped poblano chilies, 1 cup diced onion, and 1 tablespoon water on high for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, place 2 cups corn kernels and ½ cup milk in a blender; process until smooth. Add pureed mixture to corn mixture in pan. Stir in chili mixture and salt, and heat through over medium heat. Serve with grated cheddar cheese.

Tue | Get steamed

Steamed Curry-Coconut Shrimp (see recipe) is best made in a bamboo steamer, though you can improvise with a large pot. Serve the flavorful mixture over udon noodles, with a side of cucumber salad.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Tonight, prepare Quick Chicken Alfredo for the hungry family. It's not the most figure-friendly dish so plan on a good, long walk after dinner. Melt 1 stick butter in a medium, nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add 8 ounces cream cheese and 2 teaspoons garlic powder, stirring with whisk until smooth. Add 2 cups milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in 6 ounces grated Parmesan and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Sauce will thicken rapidly. Thin with milk if necessary. Toss with hot pasta and diced white meat of rotisserie chicken. Green salad, too.

Thurs | The big salad

It's Chef Salad night, otherwise known as a fridge-foraging meal. Here's how I make mine and you can tinker as you see fit: Iceberg lettuce, cucumber slices, sliced scallions, garbanzo beans, quartered hard-boiled eggs, cubed cheddar cheese and strips of deli turkey. I toss on pickled beets if I have them. The dressing? That's up to you but I do love Thousand Island on a chef's salad.

Fri | Pizza night

Friday is takeout pizza night in many households but it's easy to make your own Meatball Pizza. To prepare, brush a pizza shell with olive oil, then top with tomato sauce and sliced smoked mozzarella. Bake until crisp, remove from the oven and top with halved cooked meatballs (if using frozen, thaw first) and grated asiago cheese. Return to oven until heated through.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at jkeeler@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8586. Follow @RoadEats on Twitter.

>>EASY

Steamed Curry-Coconut Shrimp

A bamboo steamer will make this dish come together more easily, but you can use a large pot that will hold a 10-inch pie plate.

¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce (see note)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons seeded and finely chopped red bell pepper

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 ½ pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Cooked whole-wheat or udon noodles for serving

Lemon wedges, fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)

Combine the coconut milk, fish sauce, lemon juice, bell pepper, minced cilantro, sugar and curry powder in a 10-inch glass pie plate. Add the shrimp. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Bring water to boil over high heat in a covered steamer or pot large enough to hold the pie plate. Make sure that the water is not so deep that it overflows into pie plate. Wearing oven mitts, carefully place the pie plate into the steamer. Cover, lower the heat to medium, and steam for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the shrimp are just cooked through.

Using oven mitts, carefully lift the lid of the steamer away from you and remove the pie plate from the steamer. Serve the shrimp over the noodles.

Garnish with lemon wedges and cilantro sprigs, if using.

Serves 4.

Note: Fish sauce is the liquid extracted from fish fermented with sea salt. It is widely available. There is no perfect substitute thought some suggest a light soy sauce, or mixing soy sauce with miso or hoisin to approximate the flavor.

Source: Cooking With an Asian Accent by Ying Chang Compestine (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014)

Weekday dinner inspiration: Steamed Curry-Coconut Shrimp and more 02/17/14 [Last modified: Monday, February 17, 2014 2:14pm]

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