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chickpea spinach salad
Warm Chickpea and Spinach Salad with Chevre

salmon mustard
Glazed Salmon with Tarragon Mustard

polenta cakes
Sautéed Polenta Cakes

Broccoli with Garlic and Parmesan

Menu Plan for the week of Nov. 22, 2013: Friday's Recipes

Warm Chickpea and Spinach Salad with Chevre
Glazed Salmon with Tarragon Mustard
Sautéed Polenta Cakes
Broccoli with Garlic and Parmesan

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

     If you have to buy a larger quantity of spinach, save it for the pasta on Wednesday.  The rest of the chickpeas will be used in the stew on Monday.

Warm Chickpea, Spinach Salad with Chevre  Preparation and cooking time  10 minutes
     Spinach is a cool weather crop that makes great warm or wilted salads in late fall as well as early spring.  A bit of mustard and paprika adds a zesty flavor to the dressing.  Melting goat cheese is the final touch. 

3oz (90gr) spinach
1/2 cup chickpeas  
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbs oil
1 tbs white balsamic vinegar
3oz (90gr) goat cheese  what I use is about 1 1/2" (4cm) in diameter with a thin, edible, white rind
2 tbs breadcrumbs

Wash and stem spinach if needed.  Drain in a colander.  If you don't feel you need to wash it - do it anyway.  We want a little bit of water on the leaves - what ever is left after draining well.  Open, drain and rinse the chickpeas; refrigerate what isn't used.  Slice goat cheese into 4 slices, about 3/4" (2cm) thick.  Dip both sides in bread crumbs, pressing a bit so they stick, and set aside.
In a medium nonstick skillet heat mustard, paprika, oil and vinegar.  Add chickpeas and sauté briefly until heated through.  Add spinach and sauté, stirring constantly, until about half of it is wilted.  Divide and place into 2 flattish soup bowls or salad plates.  Add goat cheese to skillet and quickly fry, just until the edges look runny, turning once, 1 - 2 minutes total time. Remove and place on top of salads. Serve.

Glazed Salmon with Tarragon Mustard         Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
   Salmon is a versatile fish that works well with many different flavors.

2 salmon fillets or steaks, 6oz each (180gr each)
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs white wine
1 tbs olive oil
Tarragon Mustard

In a small bowl mix sugar, lemon, soy sauce, wine and oil.  Put the salmon, skin side down, in a baking dish.  Pour marinade over and let marinate for 10 - 20 minutes, spooning marinade over periodically.  Bake in 400F (200C) oven for 15 - 20 minutes, depending on thickness.  Salmon will be done when it flakes easily, slightly pink in the center is fine.  Serve with Tarragon Mustard.

Tarragon Mustard:
tbs brown or whole grain mustard
1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
3 tbs Greek or plain yogurt
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried chives

Mix all ingredients, at least 10 minutes before using.  

Sautéed Polenta Cakes                               Preparation and cooking time:   35 minutes
   I used metal rings to make these, but they can be free-formed. It's the flavor, not the shape that counts.

1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock
1/4 cup quick-cooking polenta
1/4 cup Parmesan
4 dry-cured Greek Olives, pitted and chopped
1 tbs olive oil

Bring stock and oil to boil in a small saucepan. Add polenta, whisking constantly - or it will have little volcanic eruptions spewing polenta all over your stove. Turn heat down and cook about 5 minutes (or whatever your package tells you), stirring constantly.  When done, stir in cheese, olives and remove from heat.
If using rings:  Place 2 rings on lightly oiled cling film.  Spoon 1/4 of the polenta into each ring and flatten.  Let rest 2 minutes, then remove ring and repeat. (I only have 2 rings). 
If not using rings:  Divide the polenta into 4ths.  Place each 4th on lightly oiled cling film and pat into circles 3 inches (7.5cm) in diameter.
Allow polenta to cool, 10 - 15 minutes (or longer).
Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet.  Add polenta and sauté until browned, turn and brown the other side.  Remove and serve.

Broccoli with Garlic and Parmesan               Preparation and cooking time: 25 minutes
  Watch the broccoli as it can go from perfect to over cooked and limp in a hurry.  Remove it from heat as soon as it's done.  It will be reheated when it's finished, so no need to keep it hot.

1/2 large head broccoli
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs olive oil
3 tbs Parmesan

Mince garlic.  Cut broccoli into bite size florets and stems.  Put broccoli in a steamer basket in a saucepan with an inch of water in the bottom.  Put on medium heat and steam for 12 minutes or just until done.  Remove broccoli and keep warm (not hot).  In same pan heat the oil.  Add garlic and sauté briefly.  Add broccoli and toss to coat and reheat.  Put into a serving bowl, sprinkle with Parmesan and serve

Cooking Schedule: 35 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
2 medium skillets, small saucepan, cling film, baking
dish, small bowl, medium saucepan with steamer
basket, lid
Turn oven on, 400F (200C)
Make marinade, spoon over salmon
Make Tarragon Mustard, set aside
Heat chicken stock for polenta
Wash, drain spinach
Chop olives, grate Parmesan
Make polenta
Make polenta circles, set aside
Open chickpeas, rinse, drain (refrigerate unused)
Cut broccoli, steam
Mince garlic
Slice goat cheese, coat in crumbs

Heat mustard, paprika, vinegar, oil
Add chickpeas, sauté
Add spinach, wilt
Bake salmon
Remove spinach / chickpeas to plates
Add goat cheese to skillet, fry briefly
Put goat cheese on salads
Remove broccoli
Serve salad, relax, enjoy
Sauté polenta cakes
Sauté garlic
Remove salmon, plate
Add broccoli to garlic, sauté
Turn polenta cakes
Finish broccoli, sprinkle with Parmesan
Remove Polenta Cakes

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