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Menu Plan and Recipes

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chickpea salad
Chickpea, Egg & Herb Salad / Parmesan Crisps

lamb chops
Grilled Glazed Lamb Chops

pimiento potato saladPotato Salad with Pimento Dressing

 

Menu Plan for the week of August 30, 2013:  Saturday's Recipes

Chickpea, Egg & Herb Salad / Parmesan Crisps
Grilled Glazed Lamb Chops
Potato Salad with Pimento Dressing

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

     We're having a hearty, vegetable salad to start so I didn't do another side vegetable.  Feel free to add something....  The Parmesan Crisps will keep for a day or two in an air-tight container. 

Chickpea, Egg and Herb Salad with Parmesan Crisps                     Time: 20 minutes
    A simple salad, but full of flavor from the herbs and tapenade.  The Parmesan Crisps, made from puff pastry with a bit of oil and Parmesan, are so delicious no one will believe they're so simple to make. 

2 eggs, hard boiled
15oz (450gr) chickpeas, garbanzo beans
2 tbs freshly snipped parsley
2 tbs freshly snipped chives
4 tsp green or black olive tapenade or finely chopped olives
2 tbs good olive oil

Hard-cook eggs. 
Drain and rinse chick peas.  Snip the herbs.  Put chickpeas and herbs in a small bowl.  Add tapenade, olive oil and mix well.  When eggs are done, rinse with cold water, peel and chop.  Add to bowl and mix lightly.  Divide between 2 small plates, garnish with Parmesan Crisps and serve, remaining Crisps on a plate for further munching.    

Parmesan Crisps                                                             Time:  15 minutes plus 5 earlier  
   Easy to make and a great way to use up the leftover bits of puff pastry.  You could also make them sweet: brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar; serve for dessert with coffee.  I have no idea how long they will keep... we ate them all!  I ignored the fact that my pastry was actually a semi-circle and sliced the crisps from the 'straight' edge.  I was able to use almost all of it....

puff pastry sheet, roughly 10 X 6 (25 X 15cm)
1 - 2 tsp olive oil
2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese

Cut a rectangle of puff pastry. Lightly drizzle 1 - 2 tsp olive oil over the pastry.  Sprinkle 2 tbs of Parmesan evenly over the top.  Make a mental note (or mark it) of where the middle of the pastry is.  Starting at the short ends, roll the puff pastry to the middle until the two rolls meet.  Wrap in cling film and refrigerate until used. 
It should be chilled at least an hour and can be made 2 days ahead. 
To Bake: Remove from fridge and slice 1/4" thick (.6cm).  Lay on a baking sheet and bake, 400F (200C) for 8 - 12 minutes, until pastry is golden and cheese is a bit darker.  Remove and serve immediately or allow to cool and store in airtight container. 

Grilled Glazed Lamb Chops                                        Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
 
   We don't normally marinate lamb chops, but this add a light flavor and a slightly caramelized crust to the finished chop.  If you are not ready for the barbecue grill, they can be broiled (grilled in the oven) or pan-fried.

4 - 6 center-cut lamb chops - depending on size, 16oz (480gr) total   substitute pork chops
3 tbs sherry
2 tbs sherry wine vinegar
1 tbs honey
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried rosemary

Mix all ingredients except chops in a small bowl.  Put chops in a dish large enough to hold them in a single layer.  Pour marinade over, turn chops a few times to coat well, and set aside.  Can marinate for several hours in the refrigerator or for 20 minute at room temperature. 
Cook on barbecue grill for 2 - 5 minutes per side depending on thickness and desired degree of doneness.  We do ours on a hot grill 2 minutes per side for medium rare.  When you think they might be close take one off, cut into center and peak.  You can always put them back on to cook more - you cannot undo...  When done to your liking remove from heat and serve. 
Or you can broil or sauté in non-stick skillet for about the same amount of time - until done.  Pork chops will take 6 - 8 minutes per side.

Potato Salad with Pimento Dressing               Preparation and cooking time:  25 minutes
  Pimientos or pimentos are similar to roasted red peppers.  They are a heart-shaped red pepper that is a bit more flavorful and spicier than a red bell pepper. They are almost always found, roasted and peeled, in jars.  Use whole if you can, or strips.  Substitute roasted red peppers if you can't find the pimientos. You can use more for a stronger dressing...    

2 medium potatoes, about 12oz (360gr)
Pimiento Dressing
2oz (60gr) pimiento (pimento) or roasted red peppers, plus a few pieces for garnish
1/4 cup (4oz, 125ml) plain or Greek yogurt
1/4 cup (4oz, 125ml) mayonnaise
1 tsp fresh chopped oregano  or 1/2 tsp dried
2 tsp fresh snipped chives
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil

Slice potatoes into small pieces, for salad.  Cook in boiling, salted water, partially covered, until done, 12 - 15 minutes.  When done, drain, toss a bit to cool, and put into serving dish.  Add dressing and stir gently to coat.  Serve.
Pimiento Dressing:  
Snip/chop herbs.  Drain pimento.  Put pimento and yogurt into a blender and purée. Pour the yogurt mixture into a small bowl.  Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, olive oil and herbs, stir to combine. 

Cooking Schedule: 35 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
2 small bowls, medium bowl, baking sheet, blender,
small saucepan with lid, dish for marinating, barbecue grill or large skillet, wire rack

Light/turn on barbecue grill
Turn oven on 400F (200)
Hard cook eggs
Make marinade, spoon on chops
Slice Parmesan Crisps, lay on baking sheet, bake
Cut potatoes, cook
Snip all herbs
Remove Parmesan Crisps to wire rack, allow to cool
Make Pimiento Dressing

Mind the eggs
Drain potatoes, toss a bit to cool
Drain chickpeas, rinse, drain
Cool eggs, peel
Combine potatoes, Pimiento Dressing, garnish, set aside
Combine oil, tapenade, chickpeas, herbs
Chop eggs, add to chickpeas, stir
Divide salad on two plates, add Parmesan Crisps
Serve salad
    Done?
Cook chops
    Admire sunset
Turn chops
Remove chops
Serve all