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Cheese and Pepper Mini Frittatas

barbecued salmon
Barbecued Salmon

polenta bacon sage
Creamy Polenta with Bacon and Sage

beans tomatoes
Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes, Shallots and Basil

Menu Plan for the week of Sept. 6, 2013: Friday's Recipes

Cheese and Pepper Mini Frittatas
Barbecued Salmon
Creamy Polenta with Bacon and Sage
Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes, Shallots and Basil

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

     If you have leftover frittatas they are perfect for a snack or quick breakfast.

Cheese and Pepper Mini Frittatas                 Preparation and cooking time:  25 minutes
    Mini Frittatas are wonderful, little egg muffins: great, warm, for a starter; great, cold for an on-the-go breakfast.  Pepper is often underrated as a seasoning....

3 eggs
2oz (60gr) shredded or finely chopped Gruyère 
1/4 tsp pepper, freshly ground if possible
2 tsp olive oil
butter or cooking spray if needed

Butter or spray a nonstick muffin (tartlet) pan - one that holds 6, or use a silicone pan (which should not need any butter). Divide cheese and add to the muffin cups.  Crack the eggs into a large bowl, add olive oil, pepper and whisk well.  Using a ladle or spoon divide eggs evenly between the muffin cups. Bake at 400F (200C) for 14 - 17 minutes or until set.  Frittatas will puff up considerably and then fall when removed from oven.  Allow to cool 5 - 10 minutes before removing from pan - they will start to come away from the sides of the pan as they fall making them easier to get out.  Serve, garnished with a few cherry tomatoes, warm or at room temperature.  

Barbecued Salmon                                         Preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes
  You could also use salmon steaks, or another firm-flesh fish: tuna, swordfish, halibut.  The sherry and soy sauce make a nice counterpoint to the salmon's richness.

2 salmon fillets, 6oz each (180gr each)
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbs soy sauce
4 tbs ketchup
2 tbs sherry
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder

In small bowl mix all ingredients except salmon and paprika.  Sprinkle paprika over salmon.  Put salmon in a grill basket if using barbecue grill or on mesh grill pan if you don't have a basket.  Brush fish with part of the barbecue sauce.  Cook on barbecue grill for 10 - 14 minutes with cover partially closed, basting with the rest of the barbecue sauce towards the end of cooking time.
put on baking sheet, spoon sauce over 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 serve, sliding it off the skin if needed.

Creamy Polenta with Bacon and Sage            Preparation and cooking time:  15 minutes
   Use quick cooking polenta.  Check the package directions for quantity proportion - you may have to add more (or less) liquid to get a soft consistency.  It can be adjusted at the end, before serving.  You can add a bit more milk to thin.  It should be like mashed potatoes - but studded with crisp bacon and fragrant sage!

1oz (30gr) bacon  1 - 2 slices
1 tbs chopped fresh sage   substitute 1 1/2 tsp dried
1/4 cup quick-cooking polenta
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock
1/4 cup (2oz, 60gr) milk  
1/4 cup (1oz, 30gr) Parmesan

Slice bacon crosswise into 1/4 inch strips.  Sauté in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. 
Pour off all but 1 tsp fat from pan.  Add sage to pan and sauté briefly.  Add stock and bring to a boil.  Slowly pour in polenta, whisking constantly - or it will have little volcanic eruptions spewing polenta all over your cook top.  Turn heat down and cook about 5 minutes (or whatever your package tells you), stirring constantly.  When done, stir in milk, Parmesan and bacon. Serve.

Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes, Shallots and Basil             Time:   35 minutes   
   A perfect showcase for summer's bounty: Tender green beans braised with ripe tomatoes and finished with fresh basil!  I often make enough to have the next day, cold.

8oz (240gr) green beans
2 medium shallots (3oz, 90gr) shallots  or 1 small onion
1 medium tomato, (5oz, 150gr)
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs freshly snipped basil

Top and tail beans... cut off the ends.  Cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths (4cm).  Thickly slice shallot.  Roughly chop tomato.  Snip basil.  Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add shallot and sauté until tender and transparent.  Add beans and tomato, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 - 25 minutes, until beans are tender and done.  If they start to dry out add a tbs of water or chicken stock.  When beans are done, uncover, stir in basil and serve.

Cooking Schedule: 40 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
scissors, small bowl, medium bowl, whisk, small
saucepan with lid, small skillet with lid, muffin pan,
barbecue grill with basket or mat

Turn oven on 400F (200C)
Butter or oil muffin pan unless silicone
Cut cheese, divide, add to muffin cups
Whisk eggs, oil, pepper
Ladle egg into cups, bake
Grate Parmesan
Cut bacon, sauté
Slice shallots,  sauté
Top and tail beans, cut
Chop tomato
Snip all herbs

Remove bacon, drain fat
Add sage to pan, sauté
Add stock to pan, heat
Add beans, tomato to shallot, cover, simmer
Turn on / light barbecue grill
Make barbecue sauce
Prepare salmon, brush with sauce
Remove frittatas, allow to cool slightly
Add polenta to stock, whisk, cook
Stir in Parmesan, milk, bacon, cover, keep warm
Start to cook salmon
Mind the beans
Plate frittatas, garnish if you like, serve
   Done? Mind the salmon
Finish beans, polenta
When salmon is done, remove

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