Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday and another week of menus

Hey peeps! Time for another week of menus. Then next week, I have some catching up to do with regular blogging. I know you've all missed my fabulous photographs! And I'm sure you're all burning with curiosity about how my ukulele lessons are going? Of course you are. But you'll have to sit in suspense a few more days on that, because you've got meals to plan and groceries to buy. So here you go!

Day One:
I've included a salad you have to make in this one. You can, of course, ignore me and concoct your own, but this is a good one, and the soup is so ridiculously easy that you'll have time to put this salad together too.
Almond Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
White Bean Soup with Kale (Yes, kale. I know, some of the kids won't like it, but try it. It's really good! Tell the boys it's chopped up frog and they'll go to town on it.)

Day Two:
Pork Chops with Caramelized Onion and Smoked Gouda
Bay-Steamed Broccoli
(You could also serve with mashed potatoes, if you like. Remember to add potatoes to the grocery list if you do.)

Day Three:
Green Salad
Mac and Cheese

Day Four:
Spicy Korean-Style Pork Medallions with Asian Slaw

Day Five:
Chicken Stew with Spinach, Potatoes and Porcini

Day Six:

Day Seven:
Invite yourself to some friends' place for dinner!

Day One:
Almond Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbs orange juice
1 tsp orange rind, grated
1/2 tsp poppy seeds
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper (does anyone measure this? A pinch! A pinch!)
1 head bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1 head leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 each green onion, chopped
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped

1. Whisk the olive oil, wine vinegar, orange juice, orange rind, poppy seeds, salt and pepper in a measuring cup.
2. Toss the fruit and lettuce in a salad bowl with the onions. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat.  Top with almonds.

White Bean Soup with Kale
One of my favorite meals - I absolutely love white bean soup. And talk about easy!
1 Tbs olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 slices bacon or pancetta, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 15 oz. cans navy beans or other white beans
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups black kale, washed, dried, de-stemmed and chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Grated parmesan cheese

Heat a medium pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and onion and celery. Saute' onion and celery until limp, about 4 minutes. Add bacon or pancetta and brown with onion and celery mixture, about another 4 - 5 minutes. When browned, add the can of beans and the chicken stock. Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer about 15 minutes on low heat. Add the kale. It will take up a lot of the pot, but not to worry. That kale will wilt and come into line in no time. Simmer it another 15 minutes and stir occasionally. Serve and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Day Two:
Pork Chops with Caramelized Onion and Smoked Gouda
This is an old one from Bon Appetit

3 Tbs vegetable oil
4 each pork chops, one inch thick rib cut
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus 2 Tbs
2 tsp. paprika
4 cups onions, sliced
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp garlic, minced
2 cups beef broth, approximately
1/2 cup smoked gouda cheese, grated
1 Tbs butter

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Season pork with salt and pepper. Dredge in 1 cup flour; shake off excess. Working in batches, add pork to skillet and sauté until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Arrange pork in single layer in 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon paprika over pork.
2. Discard contents of skillet; wipe clean. Add 3 tablespoons oil; heat over medium-high heat. Add onions; sprinkle with sugar and sauté until well browned, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add 1 teaspoon paprika. Place onions over pork. Pour enough broth over so that chops are almost covered. Cover with foil. Bake until pork is tender, about 45 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Uncover; cool slightly. Cover; chill. Rewarm covered pork in 350°F. oven, about 20 minutes.)
3. Reduce oven temperature to 200°F. Using tongs, transfer pork to large
bowl, leaving onion mixture in baking dish. Pour contents of baking dish
into strainer set over medium bowl. Return onion mixture to same baking dish, spreading evenly (reserve cooking liquid). Arrange pork atop onions; sprinkle cheese. Cover dish with foil; set in oven to keep warm.
4. Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add 5 tablespoons flour. Cook, until mixture just begins to color, whisking often (mixture will be dry and crumbly), about 4 minutes. Gradually whisk in reserved cooking liquid. Bring sauce to boil, whisking constantly. Boil until thickened, whisking often, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Transfer pork and onions to plates. Spoon sauce around pork and serve.
Bay-Steamed Broccoli
Everyone has bay leaves in their pantry, and they hardly ever get used. Pull 'em out! They add a nice flavor to the broccoli.

2 heads broccoli
1 1/2 cups water
4 fresh bay leaves
4 Tbs butter
3/4 tsp salt

Peel the broccoli stems. In a pot wide enough to hold the broccoli heads,
bring the water, bay leaves, butter and salt to a boil. Add the broccoli and
cover. Cook over moderate heat, turning once, until tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer the broccoli to a warmed platter and cover it with foil.

Boil the cooking liquid until reduced to 1/4 cup. Pour the liquid over the broccoli. Discard bay leaves and serve.

Day Three:
Green Salad (make up your own that your family will like)
Mac and Cheese
(Now listen: You COULD sneak some cauliflower in here as you boil the pasta. That's a little idea I swiped from Marc during his cooking class last week, which I will tell you about later. Just make the florets small enough to pass for deformed pasta and don't tell the little people. Or my husband. Who happens to hate cauliflower as much as any six-year-old. And is almost as loud about it.)
1 lb elbow macaroni
14 Tbs butter
6 Tbs all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 pinch nutmeg
6 cups sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated
1 1/4 cups bread crumbs, coarsely ground
1. Heat the oven to 375F and butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the macaroni; cook according to package directions until just tender and drain well. (
This is where you could add some cauliflower - while the pasta is boiling.)
3. Melt 12 Tbs of the butter in a heavy-based medium saucepan over medium
heat. Add the flour. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring constantly to make a roux. Slwoly whisk the milk into the roux until smooth and blended. Raise the heat to medium high; whisk until the mixture boils. Cook for 3 - 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Lower the heat and continue simmering for about 10 minutes.
4.Remove from heat. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg and cheddar, stirring until the cheese is just melted. Toss the pasta with the cheese sauce and pour the
mixture into the baking dish.
5. Melt the last 2 Tbs. butter and toss with the breadcrumbs. Spread the buttered crumbs over the casserole. Bake until sizzling and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Day Four:
This is one of my favorites from Fine Cooking - Tony Rosenfeld never does me wrong. I always perk up when I see one of his recipes in there. This one is excellent. Even if you forget to marinate the pork like someone I know. *cough*
Spicy Korean-Style Pork Medallions with Asian Slaw
Recipe By : Tony Rosenfeld
1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 Tbs light brown sugar
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 Tbs fresh ginger, minced
1 Tbs sesame oil
1 Tbs chili sauce
1 lb napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup carrot, grated
4 each scallions, trimmed and sliced
5 Tbs canola oil

1. Trim the pork of any silverskin and excess fat, and cut on the diagonal into 1/2 inch thick medallions.
2. In a small measuring cup, whisk together the soy sauce, 2 Tbs. of the rice vinegar, 2 Tbs. of the brown sugar, the garlic, ginger, 1/2 Tbs. of the sesame oil, and 2 tsp. of the chile sauce. Toss 1/2 cup of this mixture with the pork medallions in a large bowl. Reserve the remaining mixture to use as a sauce. Let the pork sit at room temperature for 25 minutes or refrigerate up to 2 hours.
3. In another large bowl, toss the cabbage and the carrot with half of the scallions, 1 Tbs. of the oil, 1 tsp. salt, and the remaining 2 Tbs. of rice vinegar, 1 Tbs. brown sugar, 1/2 Tbs. sesame oil, and 1 tsp. chile sauce. Let sit for 15 minutes, toss again, and transfer to a large serving platter.
4. Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 12 inch, heavy basked skillet over medium high heat until shimmering hot. Remove the pork from the marinade, shaking off the excess and transfer the pork to a clean plate. Discard the marinade. Add half of the pork to the skillet, spacing them evenly. Cook them until well browned, about two minutes. Flip and cook until done. Set the pork on top of the slaw. Pour the oil out and wipe the pan with paper towels. Return the pan to medium high heat. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. oil, and cook the remaining pork, and pour the reserved sauce over the medallions.
5. Top the slaw with the remaining pork, and pour the reserved soy-ginger sauce over the pork. Serve sprinkled with the remaining scallions.

Day Five:

What a surprise! Another one from Fine Cooking!
Chicken Stew with Spinach, Potatoes and Porcini
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 slices bacon or pancetta
6 each chicken thighs without skin I use boneless
kosher salt
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry sherry or dry white wine
2 large yukon Gold potato, diced
2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 1/2 tsp chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 Tbs sherry vinegar
1 cup bread crumbs, coarsely chopped
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1. Soak the porcini in 1 1/2 cups boiling water for 20 minutes. Strain them reserving the soaking liquid) and chop them.
2. Heat 2 Tbs. of oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 7 minutes; transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Season the chicken well with salt and pepper. Add half of the thighs to the pan and well, 2 - 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate. Brown remaining thighs and reserve with the rest.
3. Add the onion and half of the garlic to the pan and season well with salt. Cook, stirring wiht a wooden spoon and scraping up any browned bits, until the onion softens and darkens slightly, about 7 minutes. Add the chopped porcini and cook for another 1 minute. Pour in the sherry and cook, stirring occasionally, until it's almost completely reduced, about 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, thyme sprigs, chicken broth, reserved porcini water, and vinegar and bring to a boil over high heat. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover the pan and cook until potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs.
4. Puree the 1 1/2 cups of the chunky potato mixture in a blender. Return the pureed mixture to the rest of the broth, nestle in the chicken and add any accumulated juices. Cover with the lid slightly ajar. Stew the chicken thighs at a bare simmer, turning them occasionally, until they're cooked through, about 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet, heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil over medium heat. Add the remaining garlic, saute until it starts to color, about 20 seconds, and then add the breadcrumbs. Cook, stirring often, until they turn golden brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in 1/2 tsp of the chopped thyme, season lightly with salt and pepper, and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
6. When the chicken is done, fold in the spinach and stir until wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the remaining 1 tsp. chopped thyme and the pancetta; season well with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, sprinkled generously with the breadcrumbs.

Shopping List:
1 head bibb lettuce

1 head leaf lettuce
1 package baby spinach
1 bag or box salad greens
2 small bunch black kale
1 lb Napa cabbage
2 heads Broccoli
1 head Cauliflower (if you plan on sneaking some into the mac and cheese)
1 bunch celery
1 lb. carrots
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 head Garlic
1 piece fresh ginger
1 ea Green bell pepper (you can use red or yellow. I hate green bell peppers)
1 bunch Scallions (green onions)
6 - 8 medium yellow onions
2 large yukon Gold potatoes
1 orange

1 pint beef stock

1 qt. Chicken stock
1 package Bay leaf
1 bottle Black pepper
1 jar Ground nutmeg
1 jar Ground ginger
1 jar Paprika
1 jar Poppy seed
1 lb Brown sugar
1 bag Unbleached all-purpose flour
1 pint Canola oil
1 bottle extra virgin olive oil
1 bottle chili sauce
1 bottle soy sauce
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 bottle dry white wine
1 can mandarin oranges
2 15 oz. cans navy beans or other white beans
1 oz Porcini mushrooms, dried
1 bottle Red wine vinegar
1 bottle Rice wine vinegar
1 Bottle Sesame oil
1 bottle Sherry vinegar
1 lb. elbow macaroni

1/2 gallon 2% milk

1/2 gallon whole milk
1 lb butter
1 package Parmesan cheese
3 lbs. of sharp cheddar cheese

Deli and bakery
8 oz smoked gouda cheese

1 loaf White bread

Meat and poultry
1 package bacon

6 each chicken thighs without skin
4 each pork chops, one inch thick rib cut
1 lb Pork tenderloin

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