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Caramelized Onion

fish with mustard sauce
Baked Snapper with
Lemon-Mustard Sauce

creamy polenta
Creamy Polenta

Brussels Sprouts with Prosciutto and Shallots

Menu Plan for the week of Feb. 15, 2013: Friday's Recipes

 Caramelized Onion Crespèu
Baked Snapper with Lemon Mustard Sauce
Creamy Polenta
Brussels Sprouts with Prosciutto and Shallots

Cooking time:  40 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

   Use any fish you like for the main course.  The Crespèu has one side with olives on top; one with onions.... Serve however you like...

Caramelized Onion Crespèu                             Preparation and cooking time:  40 minutes
     Caramelizing onions is a bit time-consuming but not at all difficult.  The slow-cooking allows their natural sugars to surface and brown.  The sweetness is offset by the saltiness of the olives.

1 large onion or 2 small
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs chicken stock
1/4 cup olives, sliced, Kalamata or Greek
a few whole olives for garnish
3 eggs
1 tsp thyme
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs good olive oil

Thinly slice onions and mince garlic.  Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet.  Add onions, garlic and sauté over medium heat until onions are tender and starting to turn golden.  Add chicken stock and cover.  Continue to cook, medium-low heat, for another 20 minutes, until very soft.  Remove cover and cook off any liquid, if necessary.  Slice olives.  In medium bowl whisk eggs and thyme.  When most of the liquid is gone from the onions spread them out nicely in the pan and pour in the eggs.  Turn heat up to medium.  Do not stir.  Sprinkle the olives on top. 
When eggs are cooked through you need to turn it: slide it carefully onto a plate, put another plate on top and turn it over.  Now slide it back into the pan to brown the other side, another 1 - 2 minutes.  Remove and cut into wedges.  Drizzle with the good olive oil and serve, 2 wedges each, garnished with whole olives.  I drizzled with Truffle Oil - if you have it....

Baked Snapper with Lemon-Mustard Sauce   Preparation and cooking time:  15 minutes
Walleye would be my first choice but that's isn't available here.  Any nice filet will work, small cod, tilapia, catfish...

2 nice fish fillets, snapper, walleye,   4 if they are small 12oz (350gr) total weight 
1 tbs butter
2 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp tarragon
1/2 tsp thyme
2 tbs chicken stock
1 tbs whole grain mustard
1/3 cup (3oz, 90ml) Greek yogurt, crème fraiche or sour cream

Rinse fish, pat dry.  Melt butter.  Add 1 tbs lemon juice, tarragon and thyme to butter.  Brush on fish fillets.  Bake, 400F (200C), for 15 - 20 minutes, until fish is done.  It should be opaque and flake easily with a fork 
Or grill the fish in a grill basket, over indirect heat on the barbecue grill for about the same amount of time.
Spoon Lemon-Mustard Sauce on top and serve.

Lemon-Mustard Sauce

Combine remaining 1 tbs lemon juice, stock, mustard and yogurt.  Mix well.

Creamy Polenta                    Preparation and cooking time: 15 minutes if using quick-cooking polenta
    Check the package directions for quantity proportion - you may have to add more (or less) liquid to get a soft consistency.  It can be adjusted at the end, before serving.   This should be like mashed potatoes.

7/8 cup (7oz, 210ml) chicken stock
1/4 cup polenta
1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) milk or cream   or crème fraiche or more stock
1/4 cup (1oz, 30gr) shredded cheese
2 tsp dried chives
pinch of nutmeg

Heat stock and herbs in a small sauce pan over medium heat.  When stock is simmering slowly pour in polenta, whisking constantly.  Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes or until done.  Add milk (or stock) to thin, a pinch of nutmeg and cheese.  Cover and let sit 5 minutes.  Serve.  Can be kept warm over very low heat.

Brussels Sprouts with Prosciutto and Shallots   Preparation and cooking time:   20 minutes
    A bit of Prosciutto can liven up any vegetable but works particularly well with the cruciferous family.  Brussels sprouts are not bitter if not overcooked.  Allow these to stay just on the crispy side - cooked but not overcooked!

12 - 15 medium Brussels sprouts
2 shallots
1 - 2 slices Prosciutto
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup chicken stock

Peel and slice shallots.   Roughly chop Prosciutto.  Slice off stem end of sprouts and remove any wilted or damaged leaves. 
Heat oil in small nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots, Prosciutto and sauté until shallots are transparent and Prosciutto is starting to crisp.  Add sprouts, chicken stock, cover and simmer over medium heat until sprouts are just barely tender, 10 - 15 minutes, depending on size.  Check by piercing with a knife - it should go in fairly easily but with a little resistance.   Try not to overcook or they tend to get bitter.  Remove cover and cook off any remaining liquid.  Serve. 

Cooking Schedule: 40 minutes for menu
Assemble all ingredients and utensils
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
small saucepan, lid, medium skillet, lid, small skillet,
lid, baking sheet, whisk, medium bowl, small bowl

Turn oven on 400F (200C)
Slice onions, mince garlic
Sauté onion, garlic
Make Lemon Mustard sauce, set aside
Trim sprouts
Add stock to onions, garlic, cover, simmer
Slice shallots
Chop Prosciutto
Shred cheese if needed
Prepare fish
Melt butter
Mix lemon, herbs, brush on fish

Whisk eggs
Slice olives
Uncover onions, cook off liquid
Heat stock, chives for polenta
Sauté shallots, Prosciutto
Spread onions, turn heat up, add eggs, olives
Add polenta to stock, whisk
Turn Crespèu
Bake fish
Add milk, nutmeg, cheese, to polenta, cover, keep warm
Add sprouts, stock to shallots, cover, simmer
Remove Crespèu, cut into quarters
Drizzle with oil, garnish, serve
Done?   Stir polenta, add stock / milk if needed
Uncover sprouts, cook off liquid
Remove fish, spoon sauce over
Serve all

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