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asparagus prosciutto
Asparagus with Prosciutto
and Chevre

tuna with lemon
Grilled Tuna with Lemon

barley spring pilaf
Barley Pilaf with Spring

Menu Plan for the week of May 10, 2013: Friday's Recipes

Asparagus with Prosciutto and Chevre
Grilled Tuna with Lemon
Warm Barley Pilaf with Spring Vegetables

Cooking time:  30 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

   This is our favorite asparagus starter, equally delicious with white or green asparagus.  As it only uses the tips, the rest will be used in the Barley Pilaf. It's hard to give a 'weight' for the asparagus for the first course - I used a 16oz (500gr) bundle for this dinner, between the 2 dishes.

Asparagus with Prosciutto & Chevre               Preparation and cooking time: 20 minute
  Quickly blanched, the asparagus spears are then wrapped in Prosciutto with a dollop of goat cheese at the base

12 asparagus spears- thickness of a pen is best; 4" (10cm) tips only
1/3 box (2oz, 60gr) soft chevre (goat cheese) (the little cartons of creamy goat cheese, 5oz (150gr) Chavrie in the U.S., Chevraux in Europe)  
1 tsp water
1 tbs snipped fresh basil   substitute 1 tsp dried
1 tbs snipped fresh chives   substitute 1 tsp dried
3 thin slices of dry-cured ham, Pro sciutto, Serrano, Bayonne
olives for garnish  optional

Snap off bottom ends of asparagus.  If using white asparagus peel half way to tip.  Cut off 4 inch (10cm) tips and refrigerate rest of the stalks for another use.  Bring a medium pan of water to boil and blanch the asparagus tips for 2 minutes if slender, 3 minutes if thick.  Drain and rinse well with cold water. 
Snip/chop basil leaves (hint: I hold the leaves together and snip with a scissors).  Put chevre in small bowl, add 1 tsp water and the basil leaves.  Stir to mix.  Cut the ham in half the short way - you should have a slice that is about 2" X 3" (5cm X 7.5cm) - not important but you get the idea.  Put a heaping teaspoonful of chevre mix on ham slice, add 2 asparagus spears so that half is sticking above the ham, and roll ham around bottom of asparagus and chevre so you have a little bundle with the asparagus tops sticking out the top.  Repeat with remaining ingredients.  Put 3 bundles on a plate, garnish with olives and serve.  Can be made a couple of hours ahead and refrigerated.

Grilled Tuna with Lemon                                 Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
If you get sushi-grade tuna you will definitely want to have this rare (it has to be graded to a higher standard so it is okay to eat raw).  Regular tuna we normally have medium.  Well done tends to make it rather dry.  This is a simple preparation, finish with a bit of sea salt.

2 tuna steaks, 6oz each (180gr each)
1/4 cup white wine
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs fresh tarragon, snipped   substitute 1 tsp dried
sea salt

Put tuna in a dish with deep sides.  Mix all ingredients for marinade, pour over fish and let marinate for 10 - 20 minutes, no longer.  Remove from marinade and cook on barbecue grill for 4 - 6 minutes per side (depending on thickness) for regular tuna, 2 - 3 minutes for ahi. - or until done to your liking. Remove and serve. 
Can also be cooked under broiler or sautéed in nonstick pan for roughly the same amount of time.

Note:  A grill basket, skillet or mat makes working with fish easier.

Barley Pilaf with Spring Vegetables                Preparation and cooking time:  25 minutes
   Chewy barley makes great pilaf and salad.  It has a bit more substance than rice and is a nice alternative from pasta.  This is meant to be served warm or room temperature. 

2/3 cup quick-cooking barley
1 1/3 (11oz, 330ml) cups chicken stock
6oz (180gr) asparagus, white or green
3oz (90gr) snow peas, mangetout
3oz (90gr) cherry tomatoes
1 tbs snipped fresh basil   substitute 1 tsp dried
1 tbs snipped fresh chives   substitute 1 tsp dried
1/2 tbs Dijon-style mustard
1 tbs sherry vinegar
2 tbs good olive oil
1 tsp dried Herbes de Provence  

Cook barley in stock until done, stirring occasionally. If all stock is not absorbed, drain.
Trim mangetout and slice into thirds.  Trim asparagus and cut into 1" (2.5cm) lengths.  Cut cherry tomatoes in half.
Bring a medium pan of water to boil and blanch the asparagus for 2 minutes if slender, 3 minutes if thick. Add the snow peas for the last 1 minute of cooking time.  Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, but leave them a bit warm.
Vinaigrette: In a small bowl whisk together mustard, Herbes and vinegar.  Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly.
To finish:
Put barley into a medium bowl.  Add drained vegetables, chives and Vinaigrette, stir well to combine.  Add tomatoes, stir gently and serve.

Cooking Schedule: 30 minutes for menu
Assemble all ingredients and utensils
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
scissors, 2 small bowls, whisk, large saucepan, dish for
marinating tuna, small saucepan with lid, grill pan and
barbecue grill or large skillet

Put saucepan half full of water on high heat for veg.
Trim asparagus, cut for starter, pilaf
Trim, cut snow peas
Snip herbs
Start to cook barley
Turn on / light barbecue grill if using
Make marinade for tuna, add tuna
Make vinaigrette

Blanch asparagus
Add snow peas
Drain vegetables, rinse with cold water, drain
Pick out asparagus tips for starter, lay out to cool
Mix chevre, herbs, water
Cut Prosciutto
Mind barley: when done, drain if needed
Assemble asparagus bundles, arrange on plates
Make barley pilaf, set aside
Garnish Asparagus if desired, serve
Relax, enjoy...
Done?   Cook tuna
Turn tuna
Remove tuna, serve

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