Its Thursday again, and I’m planning menus for next Sunday through Saturday. As always, I’m trying for no more than one or two red-meat meals, at least one veggie meal, and to make good use of summer’s opportunities for fresh produce and grilling. I’m also working with a fairly tight budget, which rules out, say, buying 4-packs of Porterhouse steaks.
I am relying very heavily this week on recipes from the June issue of “Bon Appetit” magazine. I am terrified to copy recipes, because of copyright issues, but I can’t link to the recipes because they don’t exist on-line, and I can’t tell you to buy your own copy because its no longer available for sale. Maybe I’ll just give you a couple, and if the blog disappears you’ll know I’m in Infringer’s Prison….
Here’s what’s cooking this week on Forest Street:
Shepard’s Pie; Green salad with Vinaigrette.
I know how to make a proper Shepard’s Pie, but Sam doesn’t like meatloaf, and the meat layer of the genuine article is too meatloaf-like for him. My “recipe,” such as it is, is to layer the following things in a 9×13 pan in the following order: a pound of browned ground beef, two cans of corn, drained, enough mashed potatoes to cover, and a 2 cup package of shredded sharp cheddar. I then bake at 350 until the cheese is melted. Sometimes I use leftover mashed potatoes, and sometimes, if they are on sale, I will break all of my own rules and buy Bob Evans’ packaged and frozen mashed potatoes which are pretty darned good.
Sweet and Sour Chicken Kabobs; Rice
I have a bag of frozen chicken tenders in my freezer because they were “buy one get one free” last week. I’m going to buy sweet onions, green peppers, and some sweet and sour marinade/sauce (or something Hawaiian). I’ll cut the chicken into chunks and marinate it overnight in half the sauce/marinade, then cut the onion and pepper into chunks, thread chicken, pepper and onion onto pre-soaked wood skewers, and let Rob grill them and brush more sauce onto them while I make rice.
Linguine with Spicy Leeks & Tomato Sauce; Garlic Bread; Green Salad
This is our veggie meal, and also a relatively inexpensive one. Since I’ve never made it before, I’m going to wait until Tuesday to share pics and the recipe (a “Bon Appetit” appropriation) if it turns out that we love it.
Family Fourth of July! My contributions: Potato Salad, Biscuits and Icebox Cake.
I like my potato salad very simple, and I make it just like my mom does. Nothing but diced, boiled potatoes, diced red pepper, green onion and mayonnaise. Maybe a little salt and pepper.
I will make the “Quick Biscuits I always make, which involve nothing more complicated than self-rising flour and heavy cream. Yum!
The Icebox Cake is a family tradition, and after I make it on Wednesday I’ll add a picture. Here’s how to make it:
Banana Icebox Cake
(Plan ahead; this should chill overnight)
- 1 bunch bananas (you’ll need at least eight)
- 1 box Vanilla Wafers (I use Nilla Wafers. This is also spectacular with chocolate wafer cookies, if you can find them)
- 6 cups whipping cream
- Powdered Sugar
In a chilled bowl, with chilled beaters, whip cream until it is, well, whipped cream (the cream should form points when you pull the beaters up and out). Fold in powdered sugar until it is very lightly sweetened. Don’t even think about using Reddi Whip or Cool Whip. I have learned through bitter experience that both are bad choices.
Peel at least 7 bananas and slice into rounds maybe 1/4 on an inch thick. You may need one more later, but wait and see.
In the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish, place a layer of cookies. There will be some spaces and holes, but you don’t need to fill them. Its better to have spaces than to crows the cookies. On top of this, spread a layer of whipped cream, and then add a layer of sliced bananas. Follow with another layer of cookies, another layer of bananas and another layer of whipped cream. Crush any cookies left in the bag and sprinkle the cookie crumbs across the top, cover with plastic wrap or foil, and chill overnight. When its time to eat, the cookies will have soaked up the whipped cream and turned, magically into cake.
Stacked Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde & Cheese; Pickled Red Onions
Another “Bon Appetit” recipe that will use up the remainder of the chicken tenders – I’ll poach them in the crockpot, and have them ready to shred. Again, I’ll wait until I’ve actually made this to see if its worth photographing and sharing.
Grilled Chicken Thighs; Sticky Rice; Quick & Spicy Asian Pickles
All from June’s “Bon Appetit.” This week, bags of frozen boneless, skinless thighs are on sale, so I’ll use a bag for this and have a spare for next week. If we love it, you’ll get a picture and a recipe. Unless I’m already in litigation after posting Tuesday’s linguine recipe.
Breakfast Dinner: Eggs to Order; Bacon; Frozen Belgian Waffles with Butter and Syrup
What more can I say?