This week, menu planning is complicated by a couple of factors. First, its the week school starts again for my son (huzzah!) and second, I have been asked by my parents to cook meals we can share with them three nights this week because they are both recovering from foot-related ailments that make it hard for either of them to stand and prepare food. Throw in three 5:30-7:30 football practices and a couple of evening meetings, and I’m looking at some careful planning. I still plan to stick to my usual rules: use what’s fresh and in season, no more than 2 red meat meals and at least one veggie meal, and use what’s on sale.
Although I had been trying to introduce a seafood meal into the mix, last week’s pan-fried fish was a colossal disaster, and we are at a stand-off: Rob mostly likes fish deep fried, and I see no health benefits from eating it that way. There may be some delicious way that I can prepare fish that everyone will love it, but even on sale, its an expensive experiment. If shrimp or scallops were on sale we could have compromised (we both like either of those grilled, baked and sauteed), but there’s no seafood on sale other than fish. Maybe next week. Here’s what we’re eating on Forest Street this week:
Chicken Salad, Cheddar Blops and Mixed Fruit Salad
I’ll make my regular chicken salad with cashews and avocadoes, unless I am inspired by some other fruit or vegetable at the Farmer’s Market that would make it more interesting. The Cheddar Blops are biscuits with some sharp cheddar in them, and I’ll buy whatever fruit looks good and in season at the market for salad. (I make tons and eat the leftovers with Greek Yogurt). This is will be an easy one to take to my parents’ house.
Dinner at a Family Picnic; I’m Bringing a Caprese Salad
Dinner will be pretty substantial (brats in buns, corn on the cob, pie) so I’ll just mix some chunked heirloom tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, shredded basil and a little olive oil, Balsamic vinegar and kosher salt.
Grilled Chicken, Baked Garden Tomatoes with Cheese; Cornbread
I’ll marinate the chicken with something basic and herbal before grilling. The baked tomato recipe is a new one, and, as always, I’ll share if we like it. I just can’t get enough tomatoes right now, and I’m dreading the day when there’s nothing but the round, pink sponges from the grocery store. I make my cornbread in a cast iron skillet in the oven, and I like it un-sweet.
Thai Red Beef Curry, Sticky Rice and Melon
This is the curry I made Rob for his birthday, because we really loved it. I’ll make it the same as I did then, using carrots and onions in place of the mushrooms and spinach. I’m also using boneless chuck steak because its on sale, but it tends to be tough, so I’ll allow time for it to simmer long enough to get tender.
Pasta with Grilled Vegetables & Feta; Grilled Peaches
A veggie meal, one we’ve already tried and loved, something that makes good use of seasonal veggies and the grill, and a good one to take to my parents’ house.
BLTs, Baked Chips and Fruit
Tomatoes are beautiful right now, bacon’s on sale this week, and there’s really nothing better in the whole world. If I’m feeling expansive, I might make the bread and the mayonnaise, but these will still be delicious if I’m exhausted and I “bring out the Hellmans'” and a loaf of Pepperidge Farm sandwich bread. I’ll make a batch for my folks at their house during football practice, and then come home and make ours. A milkshake might be good, too….
Cook’s Night Off