Menu of the Week April 26th

Spring is finally here, I mean really here and I think this time it is staying.  It seems like we are still a couple of weeks behind, but I think maybe we just always think that.  My first tulips bloomed today.  I don’t know how they are yellow as I am not a fan of yellow and wouldn’t have purchased yellow bulbs, but they are definitely yellow like butter cream.  I lean toward the very pink and purple when it comes to tulips.  These were on sale at the end of fall last year.  Lesson learned.  To prove Spring is finally in MI, here is a pic of a morel I found this week in my driveway:

morels 09

I guess I should have looked for a 2009 penny or how will you know it was taken last week?

This week’s host for the menu swap is Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness and she is seeking hosts if any of you are interested.  The ingredient this week is carob, which I don’t have any of on hand, so I will sit this ingredient out unless I run to the health food store.  We have decided to go back to planning our menu as much as possible for all 7 days so we don’t end up without a plan on the weekends and end up with spaghetti again.

Menu:
Sunday: Paella with three types of chorizo, saffron, smoked paprika, tomatoes, chicken, peas and piquillo peppers from Spain.

Monday: Grilled wild sea bass, horseradish dill creme fraiche potato salad and broccoli rabe

Tuesday: Vietnamese Banh Xeo with shrimp, (our) pork and bean sprouts, a side of do cha (diakon radish and carrot pickle) and North Vietnamese style fried spring rolls

Wednesday: Grilled flank steak with Chimichurri sauce (similar to Italian salsa verde) and grilled asparagus

Thursday: Pakistani Kunna: pork braised in a yogurt sauce from Madher Jaffery’s book, along with a fresh chickpea curry with curry leaves

Friday: Black and blue grass fed burgers on the grill (Gorgonzola cheese and plenty of my homemade blackening seasoning which I will post soon – back to the rub of the month time!), fresh cut Michigan fries and a green salad (our greens hopefully, but not likely)

Saturday: Mexican tortilla soup using my brother’s organic chicken as the base and one of the last jars of canned tomatoes from the pantry. My avocado is already ripening. Maybe my cilantro will be harvestable by next Saturday….

i’m out

Menu of the Week March 22: Latin Theme!

Happy Spring!
Here is a photo of my garden to be:
garden starts
One of my favorite themes for cooking here at home is the Americas, South, Central and North. To celebrate, we are embracing not one, but three Latin themed dinners this week (Eby was actually ready to do every night in a Latin theme), somehow they all involve pork or chicken, as of course that is what is in our large freezer.  Elizabeth of Weird and Surprisingly Good is the menu swap host this week.  Make sure you click on over there and check out the Latin-y menus around the Gluten Free blog world.

Sunday: GF Matzo ball chicken soup with dill – first attempt at Mazto balls, GF or non GF and well, it didn’t work.  Tasted good though.

Monday: Arepas with pulled pork and pickled onions maybe some pintos and salsa too.

Tuesday: Thai pad ped with Thai basil, beef and red curry (following my local Lamai restaurant style), fresh spring rolls with veggies and dipping sauce.

Wednesday: Puebla Chicken and potato stew

Thursday: Grilled fish (cod probably) with parsley, garlic, lemon and olive oil, grilled asparagus

Friday: Pork with Negro Mole Sauce ala Rick Bayless and Saveur Magazine.  Not sure what sides we will have, maybe a cucumber salad.

Ending with a photo of Truffle, our kitten laying next to the indoor garden in the sunlight, in bliss.
truffle in sunlight

i’m out

Menu of the Week Feb 22: Umami

We have a yummy menu planned this week.  I guess my cooking mojo is back, I didn’t realize it left, but it was sort of half hearted for a while.  Manda of Asparagus Thin is hosting this week and has picked umami as the secret ingredient.  The menu of the week ingredient has definitly morphed into a concept vs an ingredient and I love the challenge.  I think most of our dishes this week have an umami component to them, perhaps that is why I am so excited about this week’s menu.

steak with bordelaise sauce and pomme frites

Sunday:  Grilled steak with bordelaise sauce, homemade pomme frites, grilled asparagus (grass fed burger for Eby as he doesn’t like steak).  I used my gluten free demi glace (in the bordelaise) that I made a while bake and it was tasty!  We have the pomme frites technique down and they were perfect!

Monday: Pozole with a chile de arbol sauce and  sliced radishes, shredded cabbage, chopped onion and cilantro for garnishes.  Some locally made fresh salsa and chips on the side.  Pozole is the epitamy of umami for Mexican dishes with it’s savory full of flavor broth.

Tuesday: Thai fried rice and Tofu Lard Nah served over the rice instead of noodles as I have a big batch of leftover rice.  Plenty of umami in this dish.

Wednesday: Crispy sticky roast 1/2 chicken with smashed new potatoes (purple ones) and tomatoes.  Using one of Jamie Oliver’s tempting recipes for this dish.  Will roast some broccoli too.

Thursday: Beef Bourguignon and braised collard greens.  I will base my recipe off of Ina’s and Karen’s.  Must get this dish in before it warms up and it looks to be a cold week.

Friday: Mahi mahi with hazelnut romesco,  potatoes and winter slaw.  I finally found some piquillo peppers to use.  We have mahi mahi in the freezer, but if halibut goes on sale, I will use that.

frites

Happy eating!

i’m out

Menu of the Week Jan 19th: (One year of menus) lentils and dal

dal curry with yogurt and cilantro

This week marks one year of posting menus, posting them every week but a couple that we were on vacation or out of town for work. Wow! I keeping thinking I should just go back and recook the same menus, but there are so many more things to experiment with, so many new flavors to try, that I can’t. I have tried not to repeat much in the last year. If we did, it was usually on the off menu day (like a Saturday) or with a slight variation.
You have no reason to be, but I am proud of myself. I might be a little too organized these days. Someone says, hey let’s go out on Friday and I think, no, I already have that meal planned and posted and was looking forward to it. I typically just go out to lunch.
I digress.
This week’s ingredient highlights are lentils and dals and this week’s host is Sea over at Book of Yum. She has a great blog and is always posting wonderful looking international delights that even I can’t pronounce. Make sure you check out her menu as well as the many others that will be posting their menus. I love dals and have a variety of lentils in the house right now. Unfortunately my sweetie won’t even look at them, so I will be eating them alone. Since I have Monday off, I have decided to make an Aloo Dal for my lunch. Added to that, we are going out for Brunch (today/Sunday) to our favorite local Indian restaurant, Sindu’s, where I can typically eat everything that is not naan or deep fried. On Sundays they have dosas! I love dosas! And I love an occasion to go out to brunch, my friend Patty’s birthday. There will be dal there too and plenty of other lentil dishes and I plan to indulge.

Sunday:  lunch: Sindus with friends; dinner: Polpettone Ripieno, with Glutino spaghetti, homemade marinara and arugula salad

Monday MLK Day off:  lunch: aloo dal; dinner: Jagerschnitzel (with our pork) with rotkohl and maybe, maybe some spaetzle too, although I have a tough time making decent gf spaetzle – but I do have gf gnocchi in the freezer and that would be a great substitute.  If make them I will add dill as I am still in a dilly mood.

Tuesday: Singapore noodles with chicken and spring rolls – using brown rice vermicelli for this dish

Wednesday: Corned beef and cabbage, pulling from the freezer stock and I need to use it before it
goes on sale in March again.

Thursday: On the road for work

Friday: Grilled herbed cod, grilled asparagus and grilled polenta

grilled asparagus and grilled polenta

Unfortunately I have no pictures of any of the dals I have made in the past, so you get grilled polenta instead. Thought I would post a pic since I just made it for lunch and it is tasty!
i’m out

Menu of the Week Jan 5th: soup!

Vietnamese crab and squid soup

I love soup.  I could eat it more frequently than I do.  Eby really doesn’t care for soup unless it is full of meat and has almost no broth, or it must be more stew like.  Since that is the case, I will typically cook soups for my lunches if I am working from home that day.  Last week I was craving beans and greens (this week too).  This week I am craving a spicy Asian style noodle soup, like the one above, Vietnamese crab and squid soup.  I would make it, but I don’t think I wrote the recipe down or else I got it from a cook book long returned to the library.  Lessons learned.  Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness is hosting this week’s swap, so if you need some soup ideas, click on over check out all the menus this week, even if you don’t need soup ideas you should check out the menus.  If you haven’t posted your menu before, why not try it this week?  It is really easy once you get the swing of it and helps with grocery shopping as well as meal planning organization.  I have posted one every week since last Feb.  As a result, I can look back over old menus and get new inspiration.  Inspiration also comes from many cookbooks, magazines, fellow food bloggers and internet recipe sources.  Try it for a couple of weeks, you’ll see.

On to the menu.  I used the soup idea to clean out a few items from the freezer yesterday.  Soup is good for that.  It’s sunny, snowy and cold in MI today, and I wish I had some of last night’s soup left, sort of (see below). I have been trying hard to not have many leftovers and it is working finally.  I always want to cook something new the next day and can’t easily take leftovers on the road with me.  It looks to be a pork and chicken week, so I will work some extra veggies and seafood into my lunches (soups I hope).

Sunday: South American veggie and pork soup. This soup celebrates many of the ingredients that came to us via South America: potatoes, tomatoes, corn, chile peppers and would have been even better had I not scorched it while playing on Facebook. We topped it off with cilantro. Tomatoes and potatoes were local or from the garden, garlic too.

Monday: Roast 1/2 organic free range local chicken on a bed of onions, portabella mushrooms (on sale!) celery and parsley. Gluten free waffle stuffing (getting it’s own post tomorrow) with sage, thyme, parsley and garlic, rice (to go with the gravy I hope happens) and roasted brussel sprouts.

Tuesday: Hue (Vietnamese) style fried rice with lemongrass and black pepper or lemon grass chicken or tofu. Some of those pork spring rolls I froze last week will go nicely with this too. I wish you guys could taste them. If I posted the recipe, you probably could. Will work on that.

Wednesday: Company in town, spice him up! My dad is visiting for a meeting. Living two miles from Michigan State University gives us lots of opportunities to entertain out of town guests with meetings on campus. We like reasons to entertain. We are grilling some of our own pork center cut loin on the rotisserie and making risotto along with either broccoli or green beans in some form of healthy casserole, or just steamed. We will use the Fennel Fusion spice rub, oh how I love that stuff.

Thursday:  I am in Chicago for work, but won’t have a lot of opportunity to go out except in the near vicinity of the Sheraton by O’Hare.  Eby is on his own for dinner, which likely means dinner at Arbor Brewing Company, along with some beers.

Friday: Truffade and Pounti ala Auverge region of France and Saveur mag.  Eby picked these out to make.  I already bought the prunes so no turning back now.  Pork and potatoes are from us, green beans or broccoli are not.

Saturday:  Lunch Vietnamese crab soup with tomatoes.  Every since I posted that pic today, I have been searching for a similar recipe and have found 4.  Now I have to cook it again right?

Stop by here again next week and send me your menu swaps as I will be hosting.  The ingredient is “local”.  Source out at least one local ingredient, anything from your garden (fresh, frozen or canned this time of year) certainly counts.  If you need ideas of how to find something local, leave me a comment or email me.  Consider swinging into your local food co-op if you have one near by and those of you in warmer climates probably still have farmer’s markets to visit.  Local anything counts, cheese, meat, tofu, veggies, let your tastebuds and imagination do the cooking!

i’m out