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Artichokes with Creamy Dipping Sauce

steak with onions
Pan-Seared Steak with
Golden Onions

parsleyed new potatoes
Parsley New Potatoes

asparagus lemon oil
Asparagus with Lemon
Parsley Vinaigrette

Menu Plan for the week of April 5, 2013:  Saturday's Recipes

Artichokes with Creamy Dipping Sauce
Steak with Golden Onions
Parsley New Potatoes
Asparagus with Lemon Parsley Vinaigrette

Cooking time:  60 minutes for menu     Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

       I'm not going to specify what kind of beef to use for the main course.  Just whatever looks good for the right price.  I used what is called a 'rumsteak' - kind of a fake tenderloin.  The artichokes can be cooked anytime earlier in the day.

Artichokes with Creamy Dipping Sauce          Preparation and cooking time: 60 minutes
          The artichokes take about 45 minutes to steam. This can be done anytime and the artichokes can be served warm or cold. Have a small, sharp knife handy so that when you get all of the leaves off and are at the fuzzy choke you can cut it off and enjoy the bottom.... and put an extra bowl on the table for the 'used' leaves.

2 globe artichokes
1 tbs lemon juice
Creamy Yogurt Dressing

Cut off bottoms of artichokes and remove any tough lower leaves.  Dip in water to which the lemon juice has been added (to prevent discoloration).  For a nicer presentation cut off the tips of the bottom half of the leaves - using a scissors.  Cut the top 1/3rd of the artichoke off and discard.  Don't worry about the choke (fuzzy hairs inside)  Put in a steamer and steam 35 - 45 minutes. 
Serve artichokes with small dipping bowl of sauce, pulling the leaves off, dipping and scraping the edible flesh off of the tough leaf with your teeth. When the leaves are gone, slice off the choke, discard, and enjoy the 'bottom'.

Creamy Yogurt Dressing

1 1/2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp tarragon white wine vinegar
1/2 cup (4oz, 125gr) Greek or plain yogurt
1 1/2 tbs good olive oil
Any fresh herbs you have on hand - chives, dill, tarragon      or 1 tsp dried

In a small bowl whisk mustard, lemon and vinegar.  Add yogurt and olive oil and whisk until incorporated - this will get very thick.  Add chives and stir well to combine.

Pan-Seared Steaks with Golden Onions      Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
     Depending on the cut of meat you use, you can either serve this whole, on each plate or thinly sliced on the bias and served from a platter (a flank steak or skirt steak is best sliced).  Garnish with onions.

1 - 2 steaks, 12oz (375gr) total weight
1 1/2 onions
1 tbs white Balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1 tbs olive oil

Peel and slice onion. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.  Add onion and sauté until starting to brown, about 15 minutes.  Stir in vinegar, mustard and heat through.  Remove onions to a plate and cover to keep warm.  Increase heat to medium-high and add steak.  Quickly cook steaks for 2 - 4 minutes per side depending on type, thickness and personal preference. 
Serve steaks, sliced or not, with onions on the side.

Parsley New Potatoes                                Preparation and cooking time:   30 minutes
     New potatoes are very young potatoes, golf ball size or smaller. Roast them whole unless quite large. Fingerling potatoes would be a good substitute. Actual new potatoes do not keep well and should be used within a few days.

10 - 15 new potatoes (enough for 2 people) substitute fingerlings or regular potatoes cut into chunks
1 clove garlic
3 tbs snipped fresh parsley   substitute 1 1/2 tbs dried
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter

Leave small (an inch (2.5cm) or less in diameter) new potatoes whole.  Cut larger ones in half.  If using regular potatoes cut into quarters or smaller. Put potatoes in a bowl with olive oil and stir to coat. Lay on a baking sheet and roast, 400F (200C) for 30 minutes.
Mince garlic and snip parsley.  Melt the butter in a skillet large enough to easily hold the potatoes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute.  Add the parsley, potatoes and sauté 1 - 2 minutes.  Remove, add some fresh pepper to taste and serve.

Asparagus with Lemon Parsley Vinaigrette     Preparation and cooking time: 15 minutes
     White or green asparagus is simply finished with a light Lemon Parsley vinaigrette. 

10oz (300gr) asparagus, green or white
1 tbs good olive oil
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs fresh, snipped parsley

Snap off ends of asparagus. If white use vegetable peeler and peel the bottom half of stalk, laying it flat on the counter so as not to break it.   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 - 8 minutes, a bit longer for white. 
Vinaigrette: Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and parsley. 
To finish:  When asparagus is done, drain and put onto a serving plate, drizzle with Vinaigrette, add pepper and serve.

Cooking Schedule: 60 minutes for menu
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
scissors, baking sheet, medium bowl, 2 small bowls,
whisk, large pot with steamer basket and lid, large
skillet with lid, 2 medium skillets,

Turn oven on, 400F (200C)
Trim artichokes, steam
Scrub potatoes, toss with oil, lay on baking sheet
Make dressing for artichokes
Snip herbs
Mince garlic
Squeeze 1/2 of lemon  save other 1/2 for Wed.
Slice onions for steak, sauté
Roast potatoes
Make vinaigrette for asparagus
Trim and / or peel asparagus, put in skillet, set aside

   Break while you wait for artichokes
When artichokes are done, remove and allow to cool
Finish onions, cover to keep warm
Serve artichokes
Remove potatoes
Cook asparagus - medium-high heat
Reheat onions if needed, remove, cover
Turn heat up for steak
Sauté garlic for potatoes
Fry steak
Add parsley, potatoes to garlic
Turn steak
Finish potatoes
Arrange steaks, onions on plates
Remove asparagus, drain, add vinaigrette
Serve all!

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