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Weekday dinner inspiration: Spicy Mint Beef and more

Mon | Meatless meal

Everybody loves a grilled cheese sandwich and figuring out a way to make it a little differently is always a challenge. Consider a Green Goddess Grilled Cheese, stuffed with herby goodness. In a food processor, blend 2 tablespoons each of parsley, cilantro, basil, shallots, 2 garlic cloves with a bit of olive oil to make it a paste. Stir in grated mozzarella and white cheddar. Spread this on bread and make the sandwiches as you usually do, spreading the outside of the slices with butter. I use sourdough for this. Serve with a white bean salad made with canned, drained beans; diced red onions; lemon juice; olive oil and; any fresh herbs you'd like.

Tues | One-dish meal

Spicy Mint Beef (recipe below) is fairly simple but will require a trip to an Asian market for some special ingredients, including sweet and black soy sauce. These ingredients make a lot of difference in the finished product. Serve with rice for a one-dish meal.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Israeli Couscous and Chicken Salad is hearty enough for dinner thanks to lots of tasty additions. The larger, pearl-like couscous is more chewy than the tiny pasta grains. Cook it according to package instructions and then add sliced roasted red pepper, 2 diced scallions, crumbled feta cheese, chopped pitted olives, the zest and juice of one lemon and lots shredded rotisserie chicken. Stir in some extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. If you'd like, add fresh chopped herbs such as basil and oregano.

Thurs | Oink, oink

Pork chops are the centerpiece of tonight's meal. Honey-Mustard Pork Chops With Roasted Asparagus is a Stir Crazy fave inspired by Pillsbury. Sprinkle olive oil over cleaned and trimmed asparagus, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and pop in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. While the asparagus is cooking, mix 1/3 cup honey, 2 tablespoons yellow mustard and a hefty pinch of cloves in a small bowl. Sear 3/4-inch chops in a nonstick skillet, about 3 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat and pour honey mixture over them. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.

Fri | TGIF

Spanish Shrimp & Rice starts with a bag of Spanish rice that includes the seasonings. Prepare it according to the package instructions, but add diced red pepper to the simmering mixture. While the rice cooks, saute peeled medium shrimp in a bit of olive oil until opaque and cooked through. Just before the rice is done, add frozen peas. Scoop the rice mixture into a wide, shallow bowl and top with cooked shrimp.

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

>>Moderate

Spicy Mint Beef

This recipe will likely require a trip to an Asian market for sweet soy sauce, black soy sauce and chili paste in soy bean oil. You might also find Thai chiles there.

3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 Thai chiles, such as prik kee noo, or 3 serrano chiles, stemmed and thinly sliced (see note)

1 pound flank steak, very thinly sliced

3 shallots, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, seeded and cut into -inch thick slices

¼ cup fish sauce

2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce

2 tablespoons black soy sauce

1 tablespoon chili paste in soy bean oil

1 ½ cups chopped fresh basil leaves

1 cup whole fresh mint leaves

Steamed white rice for serving

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chiles and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the steak and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the shallots and bell pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the fish sauce, sweet soy sauce, black soy sauce and chili paste. Bring the mixture to a low simmer and cook, stirring frequently until the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the basil and mint until wilted. Transfer to a serving dish and serve over steamed white rice.

Note: Jalapeno or habanero peppers may be substituted. Remember, the heat is most intense in the ribs and seeds, so if you want less, make sure to remove those.

Serves 4.

Source: Food Network magazine

Weekday dinner inspiration: Spicy Mint Beef and more

04/30/13 [Last modified: Monday, April 29, 2013 5:55pm]

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