So soothing, classic chicken Monday. 11/12/18

We are back from our jaunt in the desert to the smoky skies of Northern California. Because I have asthma I will have to stay indoors until the winds shift later this week. John and I make up a menu for the week and then he goes out to the store to pick up the groceries for the week.

It being Monday and especially a Monday after a rather vigorous dining week, the natural choice is for Classic Chicken. John and I share a chicken breast that he sous vides and I make some rutabagas in the Instant Pot and some broccoli on the stove top. It feels like we are in control of our dining destinies again!

Chicken breast, rutabagas, broccoli

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Weekly menu 11/12-17, 2018

Since I have just been through a pretty intensive eating week, I am going with some tried and true selections for this week. My menu is being driven by what we have in the freezer since I need space for Thanksgiving. Also I am looking to see if I can use newly purchased ingredients in more than one way to use them up. For instance since I need some cilantro on Tuesday for the shrimp biryani, I am planning shrimp tacos on Friday to use up the rest of the cilantro. On Friday I need cabbage so I plan on coleslaw on Saturday to use it up.

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Fried scallops, Brussels sprouts, and tots. 11/8/18

Can you tell our son has been visiting all week?! John and he conjured up an all fry meal! Since I cannot deny my son what he wants, I only put my foot down about the tater tots and said that they would have to be made in the oven. The fried Brussels sprouts is an experiment by John to see if we can just fry them up at the last second on Thanksgiving. They came out pretty well but not as good as my usual pan roasted ones.

Fried Brussels sprouts

Fried scallops and tots

We are going to be eating out the next few days on our trip home. No new cooking until Monday!

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Day off for mom. 11/7/18

Usually at our house I am the chief chopper-upper and vegetable maker. Tonight I lounge on the couch while my son and husband take over the dinner duties. John sous vides the steaks and then finishes them on the grill. Our son makes roasted potatoes and broccoflower in the oven and prepares a mustard sauce to go them. So nice to be queen for the day!

Sous vide and grilled ribeye steak with roasted potatoes and broccoflower with a mustard cream sauce

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Shrimp in a white wine and Pernod cream sauce. 11/5/18

Here is a quick and tasty dinner. There is quite a bit of delicate chopping but luckily my son is on hand to do most of it. This is a restaurant quality dish. The recipe follows the picture.

Shrimp in a white white and Pernod cream sauce with basmati rice

The Mixture

1 cup finely chopped tomatoes (if using canned add 1 tsp sugar)

¼ cup finely chopped celery

¼ cup finely chopped onion

¼ cup finely chopped fennel

¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1 cup white wine

1 clove minced garlic

Pinch of thyme

Pinch of oregano

2 bay leaves

Healthy pinch of saffron

Salt and cayenne to taste.

The Rest

1 cup heavy (double) cream

2 tablespoons Pernod

24 shrimp (31-40 count)

Fennel fronds or cilantro for garnish

The Method

Cook “the mixture” until nearly dry. Add 2 T Pernod and cook briefly to get rid of the alcohol. Add the cream. Add shrimp and continue to cook for 2 minutes (until done.)

Serve with rice and garnish with fennel fronds or cilantro.

 

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A favorite. 11/4/18

Whenever our son comes to visit he always requests his favorite. Surprisingly I do not recall making this for him when he was a kid.  This dish is actually just some of his favorite things – meatballs, noodles, gravy, and green beans. As usual we buy the frozen meatballs and jarred savory beef gravy. We add some red wine to the gravy to thin it out a bit. I have decided that the next time I make this for him I am making my own meatballs. I think it will make his favorite dish even more favorite.

Meatballs, gravy, noodles, and green beans

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Lasagna! 11/3/18

 I do not make lasagna often but our son is arriving today for a week’s vacation and I want to make something that I can get most of the prep done ahead and then just pop it in the oven when we know what time we want to eat.

Lasagna

Gosh, doesn’t that look good! I use the Walmart brand of no-boil noodles and they work out fine. I had some frozen meat sauce which I defrost and sauté up some additional ground beef, onions, garlic, and tomatoes to augment. Our son helps by doing the vegetable chopping and John is relegated to cleanup.

I bake it at 425F for an hour, covered. Then I let it sit for 10 minutes covered and 10 minutes uncovered. It is delicious and I have enough leftover for plenty of lunches!

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