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leek gratin
Gratin of Leeks with Ham

beef tips
Beef Tips with Mushroom and Shallots

mash potatoes
Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

Broccoli with Lemon Pepper

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

Gratin of Leeks with Ham
Beef Tips with Mushroom and Shallots
Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions
Broccoli with Lemon Pepper

Cooking time:  45 minutes for menu       Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

      Beef Tips or Sirloin Tips are a classic, old Steak House menu item. The Leek Gratin is a French classic.  The Mash with Caramelized Onion is my own classic. Save the leek stock for the soup.

Gratin of Leeks with Ham                                Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
     Leeks belong to the onion family but are much milder.  They are used a lot in French cooking and are often seen as a first course. This is a traditional presentation... updated a bit ;-)

3 medium leeks
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup water
2oz, 60gr) ham
2oz (60gr) cheese, Gruyère would be good
3 tbs white wine
1 tbs Greek or plain yogurt
1/2 tsp tarragon

Cut root end off leeks.  Cut tops leaving 5 inches (12cm) of white to pale green leek.  Cut leeks in half the long way and discard outer leaves.  Rinse under cool running water fanning the layers a bit to get out any remaining sand.  Heat chicken stock and water in a medium skillet to a simmer.   Lay leeks in a row in the simmering broth.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. 
Cut the ham into strips and place in 2 individual baking dishes or one larger one.  You want to be able to lay the leeks neatly.  I used 2 oval dishes that were 5" (12cm) long by 2 1/2" (7cm) wide.  Uncover and remove leeks with a tongs, draining and trying to keep them together. (Reserve broth.)  Place 3 leek 'halves' on top of ham in each baking dish.  Divide the cheese and place on top of the leeks.  Mix the wine, yogurt and tarragon.  Spoon around the edges of the leeks.  Bake, 400F (200C) for 12 - 15 minutes, until heated through and cheese is bubbly.  Remove and serve. 

Beef Tips with Mushroom and Shallots         Preparation and cooking time:   45 minutes
     This uses a better cut of beef, sirloin tips, and is not meant to be braised for a long time. If you get a really nice, tender cut, don't braise at all, keep medium-rare.  Just brown quickly, and add to the sauce at the end to reheat.

14oz (420gr) beef tips or sirloin tips
4oz (125gr) mushrooms
4 medium shallots
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup (3oz, 90gr) dry sherry
1/3 cup (3oz, 90gr) beef broth
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbs water

The beef:  Cut beef into 1" (2.5 cm) cubes.  Heat oil in a medium skillet.  Add beef and brown quickly on all sides.  Remove and set aside.
The sauce:  Trim and thickly slice mushrooms.  Peel shallots and cut into quarters vertically. After removing beef add shallots and mushrooms to skillet, sauté until starting to brown, 5 - 7 minutes.  Add broth, sherry, Worcestershire, browned beef, cover and simmer, 30 minutes. 
To finish:   Dissolve cornstarch in water. Uncover skillet, increase heat, add cornstarch, stirring until thickened. Serve.

Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions   Preparation and cooking time:  30 minutes
    The caramelized onions add a bit of sweet and the horseradish adds a bit of hot, making these a great accompaniment to roast meats... with or without gravy!

2 medium potatoes, 10oz (300gr)
1 large onion
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp prepared horseradish
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
3 tbs milk, yogurt or chicken stock

Peel and cut potatoes into cubes.  Cook in boiling, salted (1/4 tsp) water, partially covered, for 15 - 20 minutes, until very tender.
Peel and cut onion in half through the stem end.  Cut into thick slices, then cut the slices in half.  Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and sauté until very tender and starting to brown, about 25 minutes.  Stir in sugar and cook, stirring, until sugar is melted.  Keep warm.
To assemble: Put milk, horseradish and mustard in a small bowl and stir or whisk well, to break-up mustard.  Add to skillet with the onions and heat through.  Drain potatoes and mash with potato masher or fork.  Add the onion/milk mixture and stir well to combine.

Broccoli with Lemon Pepper                          Preparation and cooking time:   20 minutes
    A bit of lemon perks up the flavor of broccoli and the pepper adds just a touch of heat to make things interesting.

1/2 medium head of broccoli
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs butter
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp seasoned pepper or lemon pepper or 1/4 tsp regular pepper

Cut broccoli into bite size florets and stems.  Put in steamer basket in saucepan with an inch of water in bottom.  Put on medium heat and steam for 10 - 12 minutes or until done.  Remove from pan and set aside, discarding water. 
In same pan heat butter and oil.  Add lemon, thyme and pepper and sauté lightly.  Add broccoli and stir.  Serve.

Cooking Schedule: 45 minutes for menu
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
small bowl, baking dish (es) small saucepan with lid,
medium saucepan with steamer basket and lid,
3 medium skillets, 1 lid

Turn oven on, 400F (200C)
Trim leeks, cut in half
Put leeks, stock in skillet, cover, simmer
Slice onion, sauté
Cut beef
Trim, slice mushrooms
Peel, cut shallots
Brown beef
Remove beef, add mushrooms, shallots, brown
Cut Prosciutto, place in baking dishes
Remove leeks, lay on Prosciutto
Return beef to skillet, add sherry, broth, Worcestershire
Cover beef, simmer
Top leeks with cheese
Mix yogurt, wine, tarragon, spoon around leeks, bake

Peel potatoes, cut, cook
Cut broccoli
Mind the onions
Mix milk, horseradish, mustard, set aside
Dissolve cornstarch in water, set aside
    Pause while stuff cooks
Remove Leek Gratin
Turn onions down
Turn potatoes off if done
Steam broccoli
Serve Leek Gratin, relax... all under control...
Drain potatoes, return to heat briefly to dry
Remove broccoli, drain pan
Add butter, oil, lemon, thyme, pepper, heat
Add broccoli, turn heat very low
Mash potatoes
Add horseradish mix to onions, heat through
Add onions to potatoes, mix well, cover
Add cornstarch to beef, stir to thicken
Serve all

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