I used to post a weekly menu every week, sometimes adding menus or comments about what I was cooking. After a while (particularly as I entered the fresh produce-free winter slump) I decided that no ones’ world would be rocked by the revelation that my family was having chili mac on Tuesday or lemon chicken on Friday. So I stopped, and there was barely a ripple.
Last week, at a party, I spoke with a young friend of mine who is newly married and has an avid and charming curiosity about the world in general, and cooking in particular. She asked me why I had stopped writing those weekly menus, and said that she “just liked to know what other people were eating.” Being fairly nosy myself (I look into windows when I am walking the dogs at night to admire bookshelves and shake my head at bad paint choices) I fully understand this. I am therefore restoring the weekly menu feature, starting today.
Braised Chicken Breasts with White Wine Sauce; Risotto with Asparagus
I don’t really have recipes for either of these; I sautee chicken breasts in olive oil for about 15 minutes (turning every 5 minutes), then I de-glaze the pan with white wine, return the chicken to the pan, season with salt, pepper and maybe some Tarragon, and add enough chicken stock to cover most of the chicken. I then reduce the heat under the chicken to medium-low and let it cook while I make the risotto (usually like this), about 30 minutes tops. I serve the chicken with the risotto and some pan sauce poured over the top. If I’m feeling thin, I add a little cream to the sauce before serving.
Broccoli Cheddar Potatoes and Green Salad
This is simple as can be. Bake big russet potatoes, steam some broccoli, make a cheese sauce (white sauce with shredded sharp cheddar), mix the broccoli into the sauce and serve over baked potatoes. Extra shredded cheese or bacon are lovely flourishes, and leftover ham goes nicely into the mix, although I like to serve this as a vegetarian dinner.
Chicharrones de Pollo, Green Beans and Rice
I have never made chicharrones before, but I found a recipe in the September 2007 issue of “Gourmet” that has been calling to me. It isn’t on “Gourmet’s” website, but I did find it here. I may play with a little saffron action in the rice, and will serve the green beans steamed with a little lemon, butter and good salt.
Pan-Fried Pierogies and Scalloped Apples
Busy day; frozen pierogies. I’ll just sautee them in a pan with some onions, slice and sautee some apples with some butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, and call it good.
Braised Pork Chops with Rosemary; Ditalini with butter and Parmesan and Green Salad
The braised pork chops are prepared much like the braised chicken from Sunday, except that I use Rosemary, and lots of it. I also usually sautee a little garlic in the pan and remove it before starting the pork.
Scrambled Eggs with Chorizo and Tortillas (Migas) and Fruit Salad
I have made my own version of Migas many times, but this recipe was in the same issue of “Gourmet” as the Chicharrones de Pollo, and looked pretty fabulous.
Grilled Burgers, Potato Chips and Fruit
Hey, its a free country. Don’t judge me.
P.S. Is it wrong that I am totally freaked out by the fact that every time the spell-checker finds the word “sautee,” it offers me “suttee” as an alternative?