Weekly Main Course Recipes:  April 19, 2013

One:  Baked Cod Provençal                                   Preparation and cooking time:  30 minutes
Green garlic, black olives and cherry tomatoes finish this simple, baked fish.

12oz (350gr) cod, halibut, or other firm, white fish
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
4oz (120gr) cherry tomatoes about 1 cup
4 green garlic   or 3 green onions and 1 clove garlic
12 black olives (1/2 cup) I used dry-cured Greek olives
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
1 tbs oil

Place fish on a baking sheet.  Mix 2 tsp olive oil, 2 tsp lemon juice,  Drizzle on fish.  Bake fish, 400F (200C) for 15 - 20 minutes, depending on thickness, until done.  Fish is done when it starts to turn opaque and flakes with a fork.
Trim and slice green garlic, using as much green as you can.  Pit olives if needed and roughly chop.  Cut cherry tomatoes in half.  Heat a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add oil, green garlic and sauté 2 minutes.  Add olives, tomatoes, thyme and heat through.  The tomatoes should just start to soften.  Spoon over fish and serve. 

Two:   Barbecued Pork Tenderloin                     Preparation and cooking time:  35 minutes
  This sauce would also be great on ribs, but a pork tenderloin is a moist, tender cut that cooks quickly.  Put half the sauce in a separate bowl to use for basting and serve the rest at the table.

1 pork tenderloin, (14oz, 400gr)
1 tbs paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
Barbecue sauce
1/2 cup (4oz, 120gr) ketchup
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) tomato sauce
2 tbs cider vinegar
2 tbs molasses
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder

Mix paprika and garlic powder.  Rub over pork.  Put pork on barbecue grill or in 400F oven for 25 - 30 minutes.  Turn occasionally to brown on all sides.  Baste pork with barbecue sauce after 15 minutes. Baste 2 - 3 times. 
When you think pork is done slice into middle to check.  Slightly pink is acceptable now, and that is how we like it.  It stays nice and moist when not overcooked. When done to your taste, slice and serve.
Barbecue sauce: Mix all ingredients in small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring frequently. Simmer 10 - 15 minutes, remove from heat and use when needed.  Sauce will keep for a week or 2 in the refrigerator.

Three:   Beef and Cheddar Quiche                        Preparation and cooking time:  60 minutes
    Brown rice makes a healthy, flavorful crust for quiches and savory pies.  Cook it ahead of time for quicker prep time. Use less cheese if you like  - I was thinking 'cheeseburger' when I made this.

2/3 cup quick-cooking brown rice
1 1/3 cup beef stock
1 egg
1/4 cup (1oz, 30gr) shredded Cheddar cheese
8oz (250gr) ground beef
1 onion
1/2 green pepper
1/2 red pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
2 tbs tomato paste
1 cup (4oz, 120gr) shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tsp olive oil, plus a bit for the dish
3 eggs
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) milk 

The Crust: Cook rice in stock according to package instructions. When done, spread out on a plate for 5 minutes to allow to cool a bit.
Lightly oil a 10" (25 cm) pie or quiche plate. Whisk 1 egg. Add 1/4 cup shredded cheese and the cooked rice. Mix well. Pat into the quiche plate, working it up the sides as best you can. Bake in 400F (200C) oven for 8 minutes. Remove.
The Filling: Roughly chop the onion.  Mince the garlic.  Cut the peppers into strips.  Heat oil in large skillet and add paprika, onion, garlic and peppers.  Sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. Add beef and brown, breaking it up.  Add oregano and tomato paste, stir well.
Whisk eggs and milk together.
To assemble: Spread the beef and peppers over the baked crust.  Top with cheese. Pour the egg mixture over all and bake for 30 - 40 minutes, until center has set. Remove and let rest 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

Note:  I usually put the quiche dish on a baking sheet to make it easier to handle – it gets kind of full…

Four:  Pasta Primavera with Tuna                     Preparation and cooking time:  30 minutes
     I've made this Primavera a little more 'spring-like' and added some tuna to make it a full main course, rather than just a hearty side dish.  It's finished it with a light egg/Parmesan sauce. 

1 1/4 cup bite size pasta, penne, rigatoni  
6oz (200gr) asparagus  
1/2 red bell pepper
1 cup (4oz, 120gr) cherry or grape tomatoes
4oz snow peas, (mangetout)
9oz (270gr) tuna, canned
2 tbs olive oil
1 egg
3/4 cup (3oz, 90gr) Parmesan, divided
2 tbs snipped fresh chives    substitute 1 tbs dried
2 tbs snipped fresh parsley  substitute 1 tbs dried

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
Grate Parmesan. Open and drain tuna. 
Snip herbs.  Trim snow peas and cut into half or thirds, diagonally.  Cut red pepper into matchsticks.  Cut tomatoes in half.  Snap off asparagus ends.  Peel if using white.  Cut asparagus into 1 1/2" (4cm) lengths.
Bring a medium saucepan half full of water to a boil over medium high heat.  Add asparagus and boil for 2 minutes (3 for white).  Remove, drain, rinse thoroughly with cold water and drain again.  
Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add red pepper and sauté 2 minutes.  Add asparagus and snow peas and saute 5 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned.  Add tuna, breaking it into large chunks.
In medium bowl whisk egg well.  Add 1/2 cup Parmesan and whisk. 
When pasta is done, drain, reserving 1/2 or all of the cooking water.  (We only want 2 tbs, but we want it boiling hot.)  Immediately put pasta into skillet with vegetables and toss well.  Add 2 tbs of hot pasta water into egg mixture, whisking.  Pour egg mixture over pasta, tossing well.  (Use tongs).  Toss in skillet 1 minute, to heat through, then quickly put into a serving dish.  Add tomatoes, herbs, toss to combine and serve, remaining Parmesan on the side.

Five:  Chicken, Ginger-Peanut Sauce, Spinach     Preparation, cooking time: 25 minutes
    The chicken is served on barely warmed spinach with a light peanut vinaigrette  I cut the breasts in half, the short way.  They cook a bit faster and it makes a nicer presentation.

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
6oz (180gr) fresh spinach, for salad
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
4 slices fresh ginger
2 tsp oil
2 tsp sesame oil
3 tbs peanut butter
1 tbs soy sauce
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) chicken stock
1 tbs sherry vinegar

Roughly chop onion.  Mince ginger and garlic.  Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet.  Add garlic, onion, ginger and sauté briefly.  Add chicken and brown on both sides.  Add stock and peanut butter, stirring well to combine.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Prepare spinach, wash if needed, and spin dry. When chicken is done, remove to a plate.  Spoon 3/4 of the sauce on top and cover to keep warm.  Add the vinegar to the remaining sauce in the skillet and stir well.  Remove skillet from heat.  Add spinach and toss gently to combine with the vinaigrette until just barely wilted.  Divide the spinach between two plates, top with chicken and sauce. Serve.

Six:   Upside Down Yorkshire Pizza Pie              Preparation and cooking time:   50 minutes
      This is an easy one-dish meal, quick prep work and 30 minutes baking time.  The top is a simple popover batter that puffs up high, and gets a lovely golden brown.

8oz (250gr) sausage, or 2 Italian sausages, casings removed
1/2 onion 
2 cloves garlic
1/2 green bell pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup (8oz, 240gr) tomato sauce 
1/2 cup green or black olives, pitted
1 cup (4oz, 125 gr) shredded cheese, mozzarella preferably
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Peel and chop  onion and garlic.  Chop pepper. Heat 1 tbs olive oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chili powder and sauté 1 minute.  Add onion, garlic, green pepper and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add sausage and brown, breaking it up as it cooks.  When done remove from heat, drain excess fat, and spread in a 10-inch (25cm) glass baking dish.  Spoon tomato sauce evenly over the top.  Sprinkle with herbs.  Slice olives and sprinkle on herbs.  Sprinkle cheese evenly over top. 
In medium bowl lightly beat eggs with wire whisk.  Add milk, flour and salt.  Beat lightly to just combine; a few lumps are okay - over-beating is not.  Pour batter evenly over the top of the 'pizza'.  Sprinkle with Parmesan.  Bake, uncovered, at 425F (215C) for 30 minutes or until edges puff up and are golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve.

Note 1: The quickest way to remove the sausage from the casing is to slit the casing, lengthwise with a sharp knife.  Open the casing like a book and scoop out the sausage.

Note 2: This is just a little too much batter for my taste; but cutting the recipe in half yields too little.  You can use it all, (I have, and it works fine - just a bit too much to eat) but the last time I made it I ladled out 1/2 cup of the batter (and threw it out) before pouring it on top.

Suggested menus:

One:  Asparagus and Avocado Salad
Baked Cod Provençal
Spanish Orzo
Sautéed Snow Peas (Mangetout) with Green Garlic
Two:  Artichokes with Mayonnaise Dipping Sauce
Barbecued Pork Tenderloin
Roasted New Potatoes Dijon
Roasted Asparagus with Fresh Herbs
Three:  Beef and Cheddar Quiche
Four:    Pasta Primavera with Tuna
Five:  Chicken with Ginger-Peanut Sauce on Spinach
Sesame Basmati Rice
Six:  Upside Down Yorkshire Pizza Pie

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