Low-key, simple and familiar(ish) are the buzz words for this week, In addition to the press of “Holiday Business,” I have an icky medical thing called Trigeminal Neuralgia that pops up every twelve months or so and makes me feel like my face is being burned off from the inside. I have medication that works, but it leavers me feeling sleepy and forgetful. Definitely not the time to take on Cordon Bleu recipes. As always, I am trying to use what’s on sale, fresh and local, and to have no more than two red meat meals and at least one that’s vegetarian. Here’s what we’re eating on Forest Street this week:
Tagliatelle with Chicken from the Venetian Ghetto and Salad
This is a recipe from Nigella Lawson’s How to Eat. Its a recipe Nigella borrowed from Claudia Roden’s The Book of Jewish Food, hence the reference to the “Venetian Ghetto.”I have made it so many times that the page has fallen out. If you are a good person, you roast a chicken, boil the tagliatelle, take the meat off the bones and add to the pasta, make a sauce from the chicken juice, some rosemary, a handful of raisins and a handful of toasted pine nuts, and mix it all up. I’ll use a rotisserie chicken, and I may put the raisins and pine nuts only in the “grownup” part of the dish. I’m not that good a person.
Macaroni and Cheese; Frozen Peas
Marinated, Braised Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Sauce, Polenta and Salad
I’ll probably use Giada di Laurentiis’ red wine vinegar marinade, deglaze the pan with red wine and add some mushrooms.
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Italian Bread and Salad
I still have chunks of leftover meatloaf in the freezer, and spaghetti in the pantry; the real question is whether I buy jarred sauce or make my own marinara.
Chicken Cordon Bleu, Rice and Carrots
Sam had this at a friend’s house this week and liked it a lot. I don;t plan to use and Official Recipe; I’ll just cut pockets in boneless, skinless chicken breasts, stuff them with ham and swiss cheese, close the opening with a toothpick or two, dredge the breasts in flour, egg and breadcrumbs, and pan fry them until the juices run clear. That’s sufficiently Cordon Bleu for me during this particular week.
Pork Tenderloin, Risotto and Green Salad
I may cut the tenderloin into chops, and I may poke holes in it, stick garlic in, brown it, smother it with onions and white wine and broth and bake it slowly until its tender. Either way, it will come to the table with Risotto a la Milanese and a green salad with oil and vinegar.
Fried Whitefish, Oven-Fried Potatoes and Citrus Salad
Maybe a beer batter and some hot oil, maybe just a quick dredge and a pan with a little olive oil in it; I’m just not sure yet how far I’ll go with this frying thing. I know the potatoes will be par-boiled and roasted until crisp, and that the fruit salad will involve chunks of oranges, red grapefruits and Clementines with maybe a bit of sugar.