This is a somewhat atypical week for dinner around here. Rob heads to a conference in Detroit on Wednesday night, and Sam and I join him Friday, so we have two “nursery dinner” nights and one night when we’ll all be out of town. Additionally, I have an odd assortment of foodstuffs left over from this week, because we had a couple of unexpected dinners out. I have about two pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs to use up, as well as 2 leeks, a head of cauliflower, 2 cans of kidney beans and a can of dices tomatoes. As you’ll see, I’ve come up with ways to use up most of those things in the context of my usual formula: buy on sale, buy seasonal, no more than 2 red meat meals a week and at least one vegetarian meal. Here’s what we’re eating on Forest Street next week:
Homemade Top-it-Yourself Pizzas, Green Salad, Ice Cream
Sam’s friends “the twins” are coming for a sleepover that includes dinner. We could order pizza, but for considerably less cashola we can make our own and the boys can pick and apply their own toppings. I will probably buy ready made, frozen pizza dough (because I am woman enough to be confident in my ability to make pizza dough if I feel like it), good quality pizza sauce, a block of mozzarella to shred, turkey pepperoni, and Italian sausage. As for me and my half pizza, I will roast some garlic cloves and caramelize some onions; that’s how I roll. The testosterone-y crowd can stuff themselves with meat.
Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Carrots
The meatloaf is part one of Planned-Overs; I will cube and freeze the leftovers, which will reappear as “meatballs” one night next week.
Pan-Braised, Marinated Chicken Thighs, Risotto with Leeks and Cauliflower Arrabiata
This dinner uses up many of my odds and ends from this week: I’ll use a pound of chicken thighs, use the leeks in the risotto and the cauliflower in the “Arrabiata.” I made up the latter, by the way; I decided that cauliflower could generally use a little livening up, so I’m going to blanch it, cut it up into bite-sized pieces, and sautee it with some garlic and hot, red peppers. If that doesn’t make it “arrabiata” I don’t know what will. I could make fun of its mother….
Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil and Spicy Bread Crumbs and Salad
This is our vegetarian meal, which is new to me, but similar to something I just saw Mark Bittman and Mario Batali cook in Italy on PBS. How can I go wrong with Mark and Mario?
Cheese Omelets and Toast
This will be the first of our Nursery Dinners, and gives us a second veggie meal as a bonus.
Chili in Bread Bowls
The Chili will cleverly use up the kidney beans and the diced tomatoes, plus Sam and I really love chili and Rob really doesn’t, so we’ll have some while he’s gone. We just had bread bowls last night (with Brunswick Stew) but the little round loaves are on sale this week, and Sam LOVES eating anything out of a bread bowl, and I’m a big sucker….
Tremendously Expensive Dinner Out in Detroit on the Company’s Tab