"What's for Dinner?!" I'm always thinking about it, thought I'd share.

"What's for Dinner?!" I'm always thinking about it, thought I'd share.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pan Cooked Vegetables with Cornmeal Crusted Fish

4 Tbsp. Peanut oil
4 Green Onions, sliced
2# Combination of winter squash, sweet potatoes, daikon radish, turnip or celery root- trimmed, peeled, and grated
1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
1/4 C. each of Cornmeal and Flour ( I use Rice Flour)
3/4 # Cod or Catfish fillets, cut into pieces ( can sub- shrimp, scallops, tuna, or salmon)
1/4 C. Flat Parsley, leaves only
Squeeze of fresh lemon
1 Tbsp Indian Spice mix - (nutmeg, cardamon, clove, cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, bay leaf, fenugreek)

Combine cornmeal and flour on a large plate.  Season fish with salt and pepper.  Dredge fish in cornmeal mixture, pressing to make sure it sticks, shake and reserve on another plate.

Put 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over med-high heat.  When oil is hot, add half the onion and all the vegetables.  Add garlic and Indian spice, season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring, add small amount of oil if mixture is sticking, until onion are caramelized and potatoes are lightly browned (about 10 mins.)  Taste, adjust seasoning and transfer to a serving platter.

Return skillet to high heat.  Add remaining oil.  When hot, add fish to the pan and cook.  Turn only once, cook until nicely browned on both sides and cooked through.  Place fish on top of vegetables; squeeze a little of fresh lemon juice on fish and garnish with remaining onions and parsley.  Serve and enjoy!

Weekly Menu Apr. 30th - May 6th

Soups for the week:
Chicken Broth with Quinoa and Vegetables

Pan Cooked Vegetables with Cornmeal Crusted Fish
Chicken Cassoulet
Baby Arugula Salad with Red Onion and Strawberry Vinaigrette

Chickpea Stew with Smoked Turkey

Eggplant Parmesan
Chopped Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing

Stuffed Peppers with Brown Rice and Pork

Bouillabaisse with French Baguette

"Cocktail Party" Dinner
Mini Wild Rice Cakes with Onion and Sweet Pea Jam
Serrano Ham with Figs
Margarita Flat Bread
Shrimp with Pesto
Oven Roasted Root Vegetables with a Balsamic Glaze

Friday, April 29, 2011

Bean and Barley Soup

1# packet of mixed beans (I use a 17 bean mix I found at my local market, but any mix will due)
1/2 C. barley
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
8 C. good quality chicken stock
4 slices smoked bacon
1 large onion, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 med. carrots, small dice
2 stalks celery, small dice
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Put bean mixture in large bowl and cover with water, let soak over night.  Drain well. 

If pressed for time or don't want to wait overnight, put beans in stock pot cover with water and bring to a boil.  Turn off heat and let sit for 1 hour.  Drain, they are ready to go.

Heat a large stock pot over med-high heat.  Add bacon and small amount of oil.  Cook until cokked and nicely brown.  Remove bacon and reserve for later.  To hot bacon fat in pot add onions, carrots, and celery, cook until onions are translucent and vegetables start to soften, about 4-5 minutes.  Add garlic and thyme cook for another minute or so.  Add beans, barley and stock, turn heat up to high and bring soup to a boil.  Reduce heat immediately and cook covered until beans and barley are tender but not mushy, about 45 minutes to an hour.  Crumble to cooled bacon and add back to soup.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add parsley, serve and enjoy!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


1 C. dried Chickpeas, soaked overnight (use canned, drained if pressed for time)
2 large cloves Garlic
1 medium onion, rough chop
1 medium Carrot, peeled and shredded
1 Tbsp. (plus for frying) Olive Oil
Vegetable oil, for frying
juice of 1 Lemon
6-8 Tbsp. Flour (I use rice flour, due to a wheat allergy)
1/4 C. Parsley
11/2 tsp.Cumin
1/2-1 tsp. hot pepper flakes
1 tsp. Paprika
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Chopped tomatoes and Onions for garnish
Tahini sauce and hummus, garnish
pickled turnips, garnish (can be found in any Mediterranean aisle of market)

Place Chickpeas in large bowl and cover with water, soak overnight.  Drain well.  Using a food processor fitted with the metal blade, turn on and drop cloves of garlic into running processor.  Stop, scrape bowl and continue until finely chopped.  Stop and add chickpeas and onions, restart processor and continue to run until chickpeas mixture is finely chopped.  Add 1 Tbsp. oil, lemon juice, parsley, carrot, cumin, pepper flakes, paprika, salt and pepper.  Run processor until all is thoroughly blended.  Stop processor, remove bowl and scrape mixture into a mixing bowl.  Add the flour and mix with a spatula.

In heavy saute pan heat 3 inches of oil (1/3 vegetable oil, 2/3 olive oil, helps keep olive oil from burning).  Make small amount of falafel mixture into one small patties (I use latex gloves for this).  Fry small patty and taste to insure correct seasonings, adjust rest of batch if necessary.    Make rest of mixture into patties and fry to golden brown on each side.  Remove and reserve warm on paper towel to remove excess oil.  Once complete, spread small amount of hummus inside half a pita "shell", stuff the pita with falafel, chopped tomatoes, onion and pickled turnips.  Drizzle with tahini thinned with water.  Serve with either Tabbouleh salad or Cucumber and Tomato salad, enjoy!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chicken and Andouille Sausage with Kale Soup

4 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 large Onion, small dice
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Celery ribs, small dice
2 small Carrots, small dice
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
3 Andouille Sausage,
1 Chicken Breast, skinless, boneless, cut into small chunks
2 Cups Kale, sliced thinly, shredded
1/2 C. lentils
1 Bay leaf
5 C. Chicken Stock
3 Tbsp. Parsley, fine chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Place large soup pot over med-high heat.  Add 2 Tbsp. oil and bring to a shimmer (hot), add sausage and cook until brown and fully cooked 8-10 minutes.  Remove and reserve warm.  Add 2 Tbsp. of oil and heat until hot.  Add chicken and cook until golden brown, and fully cooked 8-10 minutes.  Remove and reserve with sausage.  Add onions, carrots, and celery cook for 2-3 minutes until onions are translucent.  Add garlic, cook 1-2 minutes, add tomatoes with juice.  With a wooden spoon gently rub bottom of pot to loosen brown bits.  Cook for 4-5 minutes reducing some of the liquid.  Add lentils, kale, bay leaf, and stock.  Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce heat and simmer.  Slice sausage into bite sized pieces and add with chicken to soup.  Simmer for 30 minutes until kale and lentils are tender.  Remove bay leaf, add parsley and correct seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.   Serve with a crusty piece of french baguette and enjoy!

Weekly Menu: Apr. 23 rd - Apr. 29th

Soups for the week:
Chicken and Andouille Sausage with Kale 
Bean and Barley 

Chicken, Mushroom, Leek, and Date Casserole
Brown Rice with Baby Peas
Chopped Salad with Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette

Butternut Squash Ragu with Lamb over Multi-grain Penne Pasta
Classic Caesar Salad

Roasted Corn and Bean Tortillas
Shredded Salad with a Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

Lasagna Florentine with Roasted Garlic Marinara
Wedge Salad with Red Onion, Grape Tomatoes, and Parmesan  

Falafel with a Cucumber-Dill Yogurt Sauce
Hummus, Warm Flat Bread
Chopped Tomatoes and Cucumber Salad

Smorgasbord Night

"Clean out the Freezer Night" - Anything goes and nobody gets the same thing.  It's a free flowing dinner with lots of passed dishes.  A great way to clean things out for next weeks shop.

Sweet Potato Hash with Mushrooms and Shallots

I needed a side dish for Turkey burgers and came up with this mix.  It was great and complemented the burgers very well.  I included a baby green salad with grape tomatoes, shaved red onion and a champagne vinaigrette as the base for the dish and served this hash on the side.  A lite very flavorful Spring dinner!

3 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 Large Sweet Potatoes, peeled and 1" dice
2 Shallots, peeled and sliced thin
1 Pint Wild Mushrooms, washed and sliced thin (Portabella, Cremini, or Shiitake, a mix is nice too)
1 Tbsp. fresh Thyme, fine chopped
1 Tbsp. flat leaf Parsley, fine chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Heat large saute pan over med-high heat.  Add 2 Tbsp. oil, when oil starts to smoke and is hot, add potatoes.  Cook until brown on all sides 7-10 minutes.  Remove sweet potatoes from pan and reserve warm.  Put pan back on heat, add remaining oil and heat until oil shimmers.  Add shallots, cook 2-3 minutes until they start to turn translucent.  Add mushrooms and a pinch of salt (helps bring the water out of them).  Cook shallots and mushrooms until golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Return potatoes to pan, add chopped herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Continue to cook until everything is hot and potatoes are tender.  Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grilled Salmon with Indian Spices and Raita

Wow!  This might be my favorite preparation for salmon.  It's amazing, I served it with Basmati rice, a great compliment.

From Bon Appetit - May 2011

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped peeled fresh ginger

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil plus more

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon garam masala (I made my own - equal amounts of coriander, cumin, black pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon)  

  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 2-pound center-cut piece of boneless salmon fillet, skin on

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

  • 3/4 cup finely chopped peeled, seeded cucumber

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

  • 2 scallions, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  • Prepare grill (medium-high heat). Purée ginger, 1/4 cup oil, 1 tablespoon garam masala, garlic, coriander, and cumin in a blender until coarse purée forms. Put salmon into a baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Coat salmon with ginger pureée. Let marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.
    Meanwhile, stir yogurt, cucumber, cilantro, scallions, lime juice, and remaining 1 teaspoon garam masala in a medium bowl. Season raita to taste with salt and pepper.
    Brush the grill rack with oil. Brush off marinade for easier grilling, or leave it on for a better crust. Grill salmon, turning once, until it just begins to flake in center, 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer salmon to a platter. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with raita.

  • Saturday, April 16, 2011

    Weekly Menu: Apr. 16th - Apr. 22nd

    Pad Thai with Spiced Tofu
    Thai Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad)

    Fish Tacos
    Marinated Red Onions and Radish
    Warm Corn Tortillas

    Passover Seder (Michael and Barb's house)
    Oven Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms, Leeks, and Dates

    Grilled Salmon with Indian Spices and Raita (Yogurt Sauce)
    Basmati Rice with Ginger and Cilantro

    Vegetarian Chili

    Turkey Burgers with Sun-dried Tomato Aioli

    Dinner Out with Friends

    Vegetarian Chili #2

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
    • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, chopped
    • 3 large jalapeño chilies, seeded, minced (about 4 1/2 tablespoons)
    • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
    • 3 cups water
    • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained
    • 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed, drained
    • 1/2 cup bulgur wheat
    • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    • 5 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 tablespoons chili powder
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, red bell pepper, and jalapeños and sauté until onion and carrots are almost tender, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, 3 cups water, beans, bulgur, white wine vinegar, garlic, and spices. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, until bulgur is tender and mixture thickens, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Weekly Menu: Apr. 10th - Apr. 15th

    Oven Roasted Salmon with Dijon-Honey Glaze
    Quinoa and Roasted Vegetables
    Broccolini and Garlic

    Mahi-Mahi Tacos
    Red Cabbage Slaw with Tequila and Lime
    Mashed Avocados 
    Spicy Pineapple Salsa

    Indian Spiced Garbanzo Beans with Curried Basmati Rice
    Baby Greens Salad with Warm Apple and Ginger Dressing

    Barbecued Pulled Chicken
    Roasted Corn Succotash 

    Vegetarian Lasagna
    Italian Herb Chopped Salad, Basil Vinaigrette

    "Steak and Martini Night"