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Menu Plan and Recipes

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pimiento pastry
Chevre Pimiento Tarts

shrimp green garlic
Shrimp in Green Sauce

polenta with herbs
Polenta with Fresh Herbs

asparagus
Asparagus with Lemon
and Oil

 

Menu Plan for the week of April 26, 2013: Friday's Recipes

Chevre and Pimiento Pastries
Shrimp in Green Sauce
Polenta with Fresh Herbs
Asparagus with Olive Oil and Lemon

Cooking time:  35 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

   We'll use the rest of the puff pastry next week.  The 'green sauce' is a typical Mediterranean dish, this one a bit Spanish in flavor.  More goat cheese is used Sunday. An easy meal to end the week.

Chevre and Pimiento Pastries                         Preparation and cooking time:   20 minutes
    This is a simple pastry, made with 'pantry' ingredients.... Just assemble and bake.

3oz (90gr) goat cheese  a proper goat cheese: log-shaped and wrapped in paper.  It will have a thin, whitish, rind that is edible, substitute Brie or Camembert.
7oz (210gr) drained pimentos or roasted red peppers  net weight
2 tsp dried oregano, divided
1/2 sheet puff pastry
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) tomato sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar

Thaw the puff pastry, if needed. 
In a small saucepan heat the tomato sauce, Worcestershire, vinegar, sugar and 1 tsp oregano to a simmer.  Cover and keep warm until needed.
Open and drain pimientos or red peppers.  If whole cut in half or slices. Thinly slice goat cheese.
Lay out puff pastry and cut two 4 X 5 inch rectangles (10 X 12cm).    Lay the cut pastry on a baking sheet. With a table knife, score a line around the edge of each pastry, about 1/3" (1cm) from the edge.
Divide the peppers and arrange within the scored lines on each pastry.  Divide the goat cheese and lay on the peppers.  Sprinkle with 1 tsp oregano . 
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400F (200C) for 12 - 15 minutes, until sides of pastry have puffed up and are golden brown.  Remove and serve with Tomato Sauce on the side. 

Shrimp in Green Sauce                           Preparation and cooking time:   20 minutes
    A typical 'green sauce' would be parsley, green onions and garlic.  If you can't get green garlic, use the substitutes.  This is reminiscent of the Italian Scampi, but without the butter....

12oz (360gr) shrimp (prawns), cleaned  
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
4 tbs chopped, fresh parsley
3 green garlic, including green tops  substitute 3 green onions and 2 cloves garlic

Trim green garlic, slicing off the root and removing 1 layer.  Thinly slice as much as you can, including the green tops.
OR trim the green onion the same way and slice; mince the garlic. 
Chop the parsley - I cut with a scissors.
Mix olive oil, lemon, chopped parsley and green garlic (or onion and garlic) in a medium bowl.  Add shrimp and combine.  Put into a small baking dish and bake, 400F (200C) 15 minutes, until shrimp are just cooked through.

Polenta with Fresh Herbs                              Preparation and cooking time: 15 minutes
     This is a simple polenta dish, allowing the flavors of the fresh herbs to dominate.  Check the package directions for quantity proportions. It should be like soft mashed potatoes.

1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock
1/4 cup polenta, quick cooking
1 tbs snipped fresh oregano
1 tbs snipped fresh chives
1 tbs snipped basil

Snip herbs.  Heat stock in a small sauce pan over medium heat.  When stock is simmering slowly pour in polenta, whisking constantly.  Cook, stirring constantly (seriously: constantly), about 5 minutes or until done. Stir in the fresh herbs. Cover and let sit 5 minutes.  Serve. 
If it gets too thick while resting you can thin with a bit of milk or more stock.

Asparagus with Olive Oil and Lemon        Preparation and cooking time:  20 - 30 minutes
    If the green asparagus is thick, peeling will help it cook faster and even the stalks will be tender. I always peel white.  A quick dressing of olive oil and lemon lets the fresh asparagus shine!

10oz (300gr) asparagus - more if you truly love it
1 - 2 tbs salad olive oil
1 - 2 tbs fresh lemon juice (half of a lemon)
salt and pepper

Snap off ends of asparagus.  If white use vegetable peeler and peel the bottom half of stalk, laying it flat to peel to prevent breaking.  Put into a skillet big enough to hold them without cutting, add water to cover bottom by 1/4 inch, cover and bring to boil.  Lower heat and cook just until done, 6 - 10 minutes, longer for white.  When done drain and put into a serving dish, drizzle with olive oil and lemon.  Add salt and pepper if desired and serve.

Cooking Schedule: 35 minutes for menu
Assemble all ingredients and utensils
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
scissors, small bowl, 2 small saucepans with lids,
whisk, baking dish, baking sheet, large skillet, lid

Turn oven on, 400F (200C)
Thaw puff pastry if not done earlier
Peel, clean shrimp if needed
Trim, slice green garlic or onion
Peel, mince garlic if used
Snip all herbs
Trim asparagus, peel if needed
Squeeze lemon
Heat stock for polenta
Put tomato sauce, et al, in saucepan, heat, cover
Cut pastry, place on baking sheet
Score edges of pastry

Open pimento / red pepper, drain well
Cut pepper if needed, place on pastry
Slice goat cheese, place on pepper
Sprinkle herbs
Bake pastries
Combine shrimp, oil, lemon, parsley, green garlic/onion
Put in baking dish, set aside
Add polenta to stock, whisking
Add herbs to polenta, remove from heat, cover
Remove pastries
Cook shrimp
Cook asparagus, medium low heat
Serve pastries, garnished with tomato sauce
Done?  Finish asparagus
Check polenta, add stock if needed, finish
Remove shrimp
Serve all