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Menu Plan and Recipes

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spinach salad
Spinach, White Bean, Red Pepper Salad

glazed salmon
Grilled Glazed Salmon

pasta wit herbs
Pasta with Olive Oil, Herbs and Parmesan

asparagus with tarragon yogurt sauce
Sautéed Asparagus with Tarragon Yogurt Sauce

Menu Plan for the week of May 24, 2013: Friday's Recipes

Spinach, White Bean, Red Pepper Salad
Grilled Glazed Salmon
Pasta with Olive Oil, Herbs, Parmesan
Sautéed Asparagus with Tarragon Yogurt Sauce

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

   Serve the asparagus hot or barely warm.   Boil the eggs for Sunday's salad along with the egg for this salad.  I learned a new trick for hard-cooked eggs: Steam them for 16 minutes (after water boils), then cool in cold water for 3. They peel very easily every time.

Spinach, White Bean and Red Pepper Salad        Preparation, cooking time: 25 minutes
    Maple syrup adds a bit of sweetness to this putting a different spin on the traditional spinach salad.  You can substitute honey if you don't have it.  The diced red pepper are sautéed briefly in the skillet after the bacon is removed, just to soften them a little. 

4oz (120gr) fresh spinach  
1/2 cup (4oz (125gr) white beans, cannellini
2oz (60gr) bacon 2 strips
1/2 red pepper
1 egg
6 - 10 fresh basil leaves, torn if large
1 tsp olive oil
Maple Vinaigrette
2 tbs maple syrup   substitute honey
1 tbs cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
2 tbs good, salad olive oil
Greek or other olives to garnish,  optional

Hard boil egg.  Chop red pepper.  Open, drain and rinse beans. Refrigerate unused portion.
Sauté bacon until crisp.  Remove, drain on paper towels and crumble. Drain bacon fat from pan. Add olive oil, red pepper and sauté briefly over medium heat, about 3 minutes,  Remove and set aside. 
Wash spinach if necessary. Tear, if needed. Peel egg when done and cut into chunks.  Make vinaigrette. 
The finish:  Put spinach and herbs into a large bowl.  Add dressing and toss well to coat - tongs work well.  Add red pepper and beans and toss well to combine.  Add bacon and egg, toss once or twice to combine.  Arrange on 2 plates.  Garnish with olives and serve

Maple Vinaigrette
n a small bowl mix maple syrup, vinegar and mustard.  Slowly add olive oil, whisking constantly until well combined.

Grilled Glazed Salmon                                              Preparation and cooking time:  20 minutes
    Using a natural sweetener like maple syrup or honey brings out the sweetness in the salmon.  Combined with a bit of Balsamic it creates a rich, thick glaze, keeping the salmon moist and tender.

2 salmon fillets, 6oz each (180gr each)
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp maple syrup or honey
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs lemon juice   fresh is good

In small bowl mix all ingredients except salmon and lemon.  Drizzle over salmon and allow to marinate for 15 minutes or so.  Put salmon in a grill basket if using barbecue grill or on mesh grill pan if you don't have a basket.  Grill for 10 - 12 minutes, skin-side down, with the grill cover closed.  Be careful not to overcook. 
OR put on baking sheet and roast in 400 F oven for 15 - 20 minutes, depending on thickness.  In both case salmon will be done when it flakes easily, slightly pink in the center is fine.  Remove from heat and slide the salmon off the skin if needed.  Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve.

Pasta with Olive Oil, Herbs and Parmesan     Preparation and cooking time:  25 minutes
   Simple pasta, tossed with a fruity olive oil, some herbs and an optional bit of garlic.  Finish it with some freshly grated Parmesan and you have a side dish worthy of the most discriminating palate.  In summer I use lots of fresh herbs; in winter I use dried and add the garlic.

3/4 cup uncooked pasta - fusilli, penne, something bite-size
1 tbs olive oil
1 - 2 tbs fresh herbs   oregano, basil, chives, parsley,   whatever is on hand
1/3 cup (1.5oz, 45gr) Parmesan, grated

Cook pasta according to package instructions.  Drain. 
For summer: Put pasta in a bowl, add olive oil, herbs and cheese.  Stir to combine and serve.

Sautéed Asparagus, Tarragon Yogurt Sauce       Preparation, cooking time: 15 minutes
     Along with the chives, tarragon is one of the first herbs to appear in the spring.  It's traditional with fish and chicken, but also does well with most vegetables - especially the early spring vegetables. 

10oz (300gr) asparagus, green or white
2 tsp olive oil
Tarragon Yogurt Sauce
3 tbs Greek or plain yogurt
1 tbs mayonnaise
1 tbs white Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
2 tsp fresh, snipped tarragon
1 tsp fresh, snipped chives
1 tbs good olive oil

Snap off ends of asparagus. If white use vegetable peeler and peel the bottom half of stalk, laying the asparagus flat to prevent breaking. Heat oil in a large skillet.  Add asparagus and sauté over medium heat until starting to brown and blister, 8 - 10 minutes. Remove, spoon Yogurt Sauce over and serve.
Tarragon Yogurt Sauce
Whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar and mustard. Drizzle in oil, whisking.  Stir in snipped herbs. 

Cooking Schedule: 35 minutes for menu
Assemble all ingredients and utensils
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
scissors, 2 small bowls (1 used 2 X), whisk, plate for
salmon, small saucepan, lid, 2 medium skillets, pot
and colander for pasta, barbecue grill and mat /
basket or baking sheet / oven, salad bowl

Cook egg  cook 2 for Sunday also
Put water on high heat for pasta
Light / turn on barbecue grill
Make marinade, spoon over salmon
Slice pepper
Prepare spinach, wash, spin dry if needed
Trim asparagus
Snip / tear all herbs
Grate Parmesan
Open, drain, rinse beans, refrigerate unused
Sauté bacon
Make yogurt sauce for asparagus
Egg done?  Cool in cold water

Turn bacon
Make vinaigrette
Tear spinach if needed, put in salad bowl, add basil
Remove bacon, drain fat, sauté pepper, briefly
Crumble bacon
Peel egg, chop
Add vinaigrette to spinach, toss
Add pepper, beans to spinach, toss
Add bacon, egg, combine gently
Start to cook pasta (assuming 12 minutes, min.)
Put salmon on barbecue
Sauté asparagus
Serve salad, relax, enjoy....
    Interrupt once to check salmon, turn asparagus
Drain pasta, add oil, herbs, mix well
Top pasta with cheese
Remove asparagus, spoon sauce over
Remove salmon, sprinkle with lemon

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