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sesame salmon
Sesame-Crusted Salmon

asian orzo
Oriental Orzo

butternut squash
Sautéed Butternut Squash, Oriental Style

Menu Plan for the week of Oct. 25, 2013: Day 1 Recipes

Sesame-Crusted Salmon
Oriental Orzo
Sautéed Butternut Squash, Oriental Style

Cooking time:  30 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

     Easy dinner with an Asian twist tonight. We'll be using the butternut squash twice more.

Sesame Crusted Salmon                               Preparation and cooking time:  20 minutes  
 The sesame crust adds just the right amount of crunch to these flavorful salmon filets; roasting keeps the crust nicely in place.

2 salmon fillets or steaks, 12oz total weight (360gr total)
2 tbs sesame seeds
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame or walnut oil
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and brown sugar in a small bowl, whisking until sugar and ginger are dissolved.   Put salmon on a baking sheet with a lip.  Divide soy mixture and spoon over salmon, coating evenly.  Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of each filet, pressing them in lightly.  Bake in 400F (200C) oven for 15 - 17 minutes, depending on thickness.  Salmon will be done when it flakes easily, slightly pink in the center is fine.  The sesame coated top should be a golden brown when done.  Remove and serve.

Note:  For easy clean up cover pan with foil first.  This is especially nice if you are using fillets with the skin on.  You can carefully lift the salmon off the skin to serve, leaving the skin on the foil.  Then wrap the whole mess up and toss.

Oriental Orzo                                                            Preparation and cooking time: 25 minutes
   This is so easy to make, put everything in the pan and cook, yet the flavors are complex and pair well with roasted salmon or chicken with an Asian flavor.

1/2 cup orzo
1 1/4 cups (10oz, 300ml) chicken stock
4 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp sesame oil - or walnut oil
2 tsp sesame seeds

Put orzo, brown sugar, soy sauce and stock in a small pan and bring to a simmer on medium heat.  Turn heat to low and simmer until done, stirring occasionally, 15 - 20 minutes.  All stock will be absorbed.  Stir in sesame oil and seeds and serve.

Sautéed Butternut Squash, Oriental Style    Preparation and cooking time:  20 minutes
     Butternut squash sautéed with onion and soy sauce, another simple preparation for this savory fall vegetable.

12oz (360gr) butternut squash  2 - 3 cups small chunks, use the 'bowl' end
1/2 onion
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame or walnut oil

Slice butternut squash, (.5", 1.25cm) then cut into bite-size pieces.  Roughly chop onion.  Heat oils and soy sauce in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add squash, onions and sauté 15 minutes, until squash and onions are nicely browned. 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: 30 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
medium skillet,  small saucepan, baking sheet,
small bowl

Turn oven on 400F (200C)
Peel, clean butternut squash
Cut butternut squash for tonight, refrigerate unused
Chop onion, refrigerate half

Make sauce for salmon
Put salmon on baking sheet
Top salmon with sauce, sesame seeds, bake
Make orzo
Heat oils, soy sauce in skillet
Add butternut squash, onions, sauté
    Pause while it all cooks
Finish squash, orzo
Remove salmon, Serve

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