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chianti beef
Beef Braised in Chianti, leftovers

butternut with bacon
Butternut Squash with Bacon and Sage

Menu Plan for the week of Oct. 11, 2013:  Monday's Recipes

Beef Braised in Chianti, leftovers
Mashed Potato Patties
Butternut Squash with Bacon and Sage

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

    Dinner from leftovers ....

Beef Braised in Chianti, leftovers                               Time:  10 minutes

leftover Beef Braised in Chianti

Cut beef into smaller pieces.  Gently reheat beef with leftover sauce. Serve over Mashed Potato Patties.

Garlic Mashed Potato Patties                       Preparation and cooking time:    20 minute s
   A great way to use up any left over mashed potatoes.... I always make extra just for this.

1 1/2 - 2 cups leftover garlic mashed potatoes
1 egg
1 tsp dried chives 
1 tsp dried parsley
1 - 2 tbs milk or yogurt
1 tbs olive oil or butter

Lightly whisk egg in a medium bowl.  Mash potatoes with a fork so they are not stiff.  Add mashed potatoes, herbs to egg and mix thoroughly.  Add 1 tbs milk or yogurt.  If they are very stiff add a bit more, otherwise do not.  Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Dividing potato mixture into fourths, spoon into hot skillet and shape into patties with the back of the spoon.  The patties should be about an inch thick (2.5 cm).  Sauté 10 minutes on each side, turning once.  They should be nicely browned.  Be careful turning them so they don't break apart - if they do, just pat them back together.  Serve hot.

Butternut Squash with Bacon and Sage      Preparation and cooking time:  40 minutes
    There is a group of cooks that feel almost anything can be improved with bacon. I'm one of them... Within reason. I love the combination of salty bacon or ham with sweet squash and spicy sage. And I love easy vegetables.  This started out to be a gratin, but I decided to leave the topping off, some things are best simple.

12oz (360gr) butternut squash
2oz (60gr) bacon,  2 - 3 slices
8 - 10 fresh sage leaves    substitute 1 tbs dried
1/3 cup (3oz, 90ml) chicken stock
1 tsp olive oil

Fry bacon until crisp.  Remove, drain on paper towels for a minute, then crumble. 
Cut squash into slices about 1/4" (.6cm) thick.  Snip sages leaves.  Lightly oil the bottom of a baking dish large enough to hold the squash.  I used an 8" (20cm) round glass dish.  Make a layer of 1/3 of the squash slices. Sprinkle with 1/3 bacon and 1/3 sage.  Repeat twice.  Pour chicken stock over the top, cover and bake for 25 minutes, 400F (200C).  Remove and serve.

Note:  To clean butternut squash first peel it, using a potato/vegetable peeler.  If it's large (typically) cut it in half between the 'neck' and 'bowl' ends.  Then cut those in half the 'long' way.  Scoop the seeds out of the round end and discard.  I use the neck end for uniform pieces and the bowl end for soups and smaller pieces.

Cooking schedule: 40 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
medium bowl, small saucepan, large skillet
(used 2 X), baking dish

Turn on oven, 400F (200C)
Fry bacon
Get potatoes, beef from fridge
Slice squash
Oil baking dish
Remove bacon, crumble
Layer squash, bacon, sage in baking dish

Pour stock over, bake
Mash potatoes to break up
Whisk egg
Combine potatoes, egg thoroughly
Heat oil in skillet (same one as for bacon)
Spoon potato mixture in, forming patties
Cut beef, add to sauce, reheat gently
    Wait for patties
Turn patties - carefully
    Wait for everything to cook
Remove patties, spoon beef, sauce over
Remove squash. serve all

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