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Menu Plan and Recipes

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fried tomatoes
Fried Green Tomatoes alla Romana

sole
Sautéed Sole with Butter and Lemon

broccoli rice
Broccoli Rice Gratin

 

Menu Plan for the week of Sept. 27, 2013: Friday's Recipes

Fried Green Tomatoes alla Romana
Sautéed Sole with Butter and Lemon
Broccoli Rice Gratin

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

     You could use tilapia, walleye, catfish or other filet instead of the sole. The Rice Gratin is assembly only; no pre-cooking making this a very easy dinner.

Fried Green Tomatoes alla Romana              Preparation and cooking time: 15 minutes
         
Okay, so it's not an Italian recipe - but it would be if they'd thought of it....   The last of the green tomatoes from the garden would be perfect, but regular, red ones from the store are fine, also.  For a change, we do not want vine-ripened, juicy, red, perfect tomatoes.

2 large green tomatoes red will work, just on the firm side
1 ball fresh mozzarella
12 fresh sage leaves
3 thin slices Prosciutto or Bayonne or Serrano ham    any dry-cured ham
1 egg
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup corn meal (polenta)
2 tbs olive oil

Cut ham slices in half the short way.  Cut 3  1/3 - 1/2" (1cm) thick slices from each tomato (tossing top and bottom).  Slice the mozzarella - one slice for each tomato slice.  Get 3 flattish bowls or plates.  Put flour in one, corn meal in one and the egg, beaten with a fork in the last.  Put a large, nonstick skillet on medium - medium high heat.  Add oil and heat.  With your fingers (or a tongs) pick up one tomato slice, dip both sides in flour, then egg, then corn meal and place in skillet.  Fry 3 - 5 minutes or until brown, turn with spatula and fry for 3 minutes more.  After turning place 2 sage leaves, a piece of ham and a slice of mozzarella on top of each tomato, cover the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes - until cheese just starts to melt.  Transfer tomatoes to individual plates and serve.

Note:  The tomatoes I used were partially red.

Sautéed Sole with Butter and Lemon            Preparation and cooking time: 10 minutes
     Served whole, the delicate fish flakes easily off the skeleton, which, normally, remains intact for easy removal once you've eaten one side of the fish.  Finished with a bit of butter and lemon for accent, it will simply melt in your mouth.

2 whole sole, cleaned about 12oz (350gr) total weight  or filets
1/3 cup flour
salt & pepper
1 lemon, quartered
3 tbs butter

Put the flour on a plate large enough for the fish to fit. Add salt & pepper to the flour and mix it together.  Over medium-high heat melt half of the butter in a nonstick skillet large enough to hold both fish.  Rinse fish and pat dry.  When butter is sizzling dip both sides of fish (hold it by the tail) in flour and add to pan.  Sauté a minute (or 2) on each side depending on size of fish.  They cook very fast and if you are not careful when you take them by the tail to turn them over the skeleton will come away in your hand!  When nicely browned and done remove to plates.  Melt remaining butter in skillet and pour over each fish.  Serve with 2 lemon quarters each, to squeeze over top.
Note: If you get sole filets, they will cook even faster.  Use a long spatula to turn them carefully.

Broccoli Rice Gratin                                                  Preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes
      This couldn't be easier: stir it all together and bake for 35 minutes.  The rice gets surprisingly fluffy...

1/2 cup (3oz, 90gr) quick-cooking brown rice
1 cup (8oz 240ml) chicken stock
1/2 medium head broccoli, app 5oz (150gr) trimmed
1/2 medium onion
1/2 cup (4oz, 120gr) ricotta
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp thyme
1/3 cup (1.5oz, 45gr) shredded cheese

Chop onion.  Trim broccoli and cut into small florets, with some stem.  Mix rice, onion, stock, herbs and ricotta. Put the rice mixture into a baking dish.  Arrange the broccoli over the rice, pressing it down firmly.  Cover and bake, 400F (200C) for 30 minutes.  Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and bake 5 minutes longer, uncovered.  Serve.

Cooking Schedule: 40 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
large skillet (used 2 X), baking dish, 3 flattish plates,
fork

Turn oven on, 400F (200C)
Chop onion
Trim, cut broccoli
Mix rice, onion, stock, herbs, ricotta
Put rice mixture in baking dish, add broccoli
Cover gratin, bake
Tend to the fish if it needs anything, set aside
Quarter lemon, set aside
Put flour on plate for fish, set aside
Cut ham, tomatoes, mozzarella

Prepare flour, cornmeal, egg
    Pause a bit while the gratin bakes
Heat skillet, dip (flour, egg, cornmeal) tomatoes, fry
Turn tomatoes
Add sage, ham, cheese, cover, cook
Remove tomatoes, serve, relax, enjoy the evening
Done? Heat skillet for fish
Remove Broccoli Rice, add cheese, bake
Fry fish
Turn fish
Remove fish
Melt butter, pour over fish
Put fish on plates, add lemon quarters
Remove Broccoli Rice Gratin
Serve