Make Roasted Butternut Squash and Onion Pizza a two-night project for simplicity. When you’re cooking Sunday night supper, roast diced squash and sliced onions drizzled in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper for 20 minutes in a 400-degree oven. Set aside to cool, cover and refrigerate overnight. To make the pizza, roll out prepared pizza dough and scatter with squash-onion mixture plus fresh thyme leaves and dollops of ricotta cheese. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
Tuesday: Under the sea
If I could figure out a way to get shrimp into every meal, I would. That’s how much I like both the shellfish’s flavor and versatility.
Shrimp Spoon Bread (see recipe) served with a green salad is a light and unexpected meal. The recipe calls for tiny cooked salad shrimp. You can find them frozen always, and sometimes you can find them at the fish counter.
Wednesday: Go Greek
RealSimple.com has a nifty idea for Chicken and Dill Souvlaki that calls for the sliced meat of an entire rotisserie chicken.
Make the dressing in a large bowl by mixing 3 tablespoons each extra-virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice and seasoning with salt and pepper. Fold in chicken, 1/2 small sliced onion, 2 cucumbers thinly sliced (peeled or not, your choice) and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill. Divide among four flatbreads and top with plain Greek yogurt. Serve with small roasted, buttered potatoes mixed with chopped parsley.
Thursday: Chop it up
Grilled Panko and Parmesan Pork Chops pair nicely with quick-cooking cheese grits. (Follow instructions on grits package to make them.) The coating for 4 (1-inch-thick) pork chops is 1/2 cup panko crumbs mixed with 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons chopped parsley. Dredge the chops through beaten eggs, shake off excess, then coat with bread crumb mixture. Grill chops on oiled grate for 10 minutes on each side, closing the grill for the last 10 minutes.
Friday: Butter ’em up
Use a bag of frozen cheese ravioli for tonight’s Brown Butter and Sage Ravioli served with Caesar salad. While the pasta pillows are cooking, make the sauce. Melt 1 stick of butter until lightly brown and stir in 1/2 cup fresh roughly chopped sage leaves. Add 1 cup of the pasta water, then stir in 1 cup grated parmesan cheese. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Saturday: Easy Entertaining
Invite guests for Skillet Shrimp Scampi. Cook 12 ounces angel hair pasta according to directions; drain. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium. Add 2 pounds uncooked, peeled and deveined shrimp and 2/3 cup bottled herb and garlic marinade (such as Lawry’s). Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink; stir often. Stir in 1/4 cup thinly chopped green onions. Toss with pasta and serve immediately. Add sugar snap peas and baguettes. Almond cookies and raspberry sorbet make a perfect dessert.
Sunday: Family Day
Treat the family like royalty and serve them Garlic Herb Roast Pork (see recipe). Add mashed potatoes, fresh broccoli spears, a lettuce salad and dinner rolls. Top fat-free vanilla ice cream with strawberries for dessert.
Shrimp Spoon Bread
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup sweet onion, diced
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained
1/2 pound cooked salad shrimp, coarsely chopped
1 (20-ounce) package frozen cream-style corn, thawed
1 (16-ounce) package sour cream
1 (6-ounce) package buttermilk corn bread mix
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, shredded, divided use
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and set aside. In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute 3 minutes, or until tender. Stir in the chiles and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the shrimp, corn, sour cream and eggs. Add corn bread mix and stir just until blended. Add the onion mixture and 11/2 cups of the cheese, stirring just until combined.
Pour into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese. Bake 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving warm. Serves 8 to 10.
Source: “The Complete Southern Cookbook” by Tammy Algood (Running Press, 2010).
GARLIC HERB ROAST PORK
1 (2-pound) boneless pork loin center roast
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage (or 2 teaspoons dried)
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Pat pork dry with paper towels; place in shallow roasting pan. In small bowl, stir together garlic, salt, sage, rosemary, pepper and olive oil to make a paste. Rub garlic paste over all surfaces of pork loin. Place in oven; roast for 15 minutes. Turn oven temperature down to 300 degrees and roast for 15 to 20 minutes. When internal temperature of roast is 145 degrees, remove from oven, tent loosely with foil and let rest about 10 minutes before slicing to serve. Makes 7 servings.
Per serving: 195 calories, 23 g protein, 10 g fat (49 percent calories from fat), 3.5 g saturated fat, 1 g carbohydrates, 59 mg cholesterol, 583 mg sodium, 0 g fiber. Carb choices: 0.
Source: Recipe developed by chef Bruce Aidells.