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Easy weeknight meals: Swiss Steak and more

Monday: Meatless meal

Pesto doesn’t always have to be made of basil, just fresh herbs, and tonight that means cilantro. Prepare a pound of vermicelli and dress it with Lemon Artichoke Pesto. To make it, place ¼ cup cilantro, 8 medium garlic cloves, ¼ cup lemon juice, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 cup walnuts, ∑ cups each canola oil and extra-virgin olive oil, and salt into a food processor. Pulse until smooth, then pour into a large bowl. Gently stir in chopped 8-ounce box of thawed frozen artichokes and ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Toss with hot pasta.

Tuesday: Comfort food

Here’s something in six-plus years of Stir Crazy columns that I don’t think I’ve ever suggested: Swiss Steak (recipe below). That’s mostly because it’s not a quick dish. Just to be clear, it’s not an invention of a clever cook from Switzerland. Swissing is a process that softens fabrics by pounding or running them through rollers. So, Swiss Steak starts with tough meat that’s tenderized by pounding. (Maybe this will be a question on Jeopardy this week.) I want my Swiss Steak with mashed potatoes.

Wednesday: Rotisserie chicken

Simple Rotisserie Chicken Tacos are on the menu tonight. Remove meat from bird and shred. Heat with green salsa and stuff into hard or soft shells with shredded pepper Jack cheese, fresh cilantro leaves and a healthy squeeze of lime juice. Serve with slices of melon and seasoned ranch beans.

Thursday: Red, white and green

Well, maybe your Sauteed Salmon isn’t exactly red, but it will look mighty festive served with rice and sauteed snap peas. Thaw frozen snap peas and blot with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Saute in a bit of vegetable (not olive) oil and finish with a drizzle of soy sauce and toasted sesame oil.

Friday: TGI-Shrimp

Break the Friday night pizza take-out tradition by making Shrimp Stir-Fry Salad. In a large skillet or wok, sauté peeled shrimp in vegetable oil. Remove shrimp and add chopped peanuts, grated fresh ginger and about ¼ cup Asian sesame salad dressing to the pan. Remove from heat and return shrimp to pan. In a large bowl, toss baby spinach leaves, packaged broccoli slaw, thinly sliced cucumber and red pepper strips with another ¼ cup of the dressing. Toss with warm shrimp mixture.

Swiss Steak

½ cup sifted flour

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon pepper

2 pounds round steak

2 tablespoons oil

1 small onion, minced

2 cups diced tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, salt and pepper. Sprinkle mixture over steak.

Pound mixture into steak with a meat mallet or potato masher. Pound evenly until the meat is about ¼ inch thick. Cut into 4 serving-size pieces.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides (4-6 minutes).

Transfer meat to a shallow baking dish.

In a separate bowl, stir together onions and tomatoes and pour over steak. Cover the dish with foil and bake until the meat is tender when pierced with a fork (about 1½ to 2 hours).

Serves 4 to 6.

Source: Momswhothink.com