Weekly Main Course Recipes:  August 2, 2013

One:  Grilled Salmon with Pesto Sauce                Preparation and cooking time:  20 minutes
     We use a bit of salt for flavor then scrape it off before serving.  You can use freshly made or purchased Pesto.  Salmon should flake easily with fork when done but it should still be a bit pink in the center. 

2 salmon fillets, 6oz each (180gr each)
1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp fresh dill weed,  or 1 tsp dried
1/2 tsp coarse salt
Pesto Sauce
2 tbs pesto
3 tbs Greek or plain yogurt

Sprinkle salmon with dill weed, then salt.  Cook on barbecue grill 10 - 14 minutes, without turning, grill cover closed.  Time depends on thickness and heat of grill.
put on baking sheet and roast in 400 F oven for 15 - 20 minutes, depending on thickness. 
Remove and gently scrape most of the salt and dill off the top.
Pesto Sauce:  Combine pesto and yogurt.
To serve: Spoon half the Pesto Sauce on top of each piece of salmon and serve.

Two:   Lamb and Vegetable Kebabs, Yogurt Dipping Sauce          Time: 45 minutes
   It does look nice to have the meat and vegetable on the same skewers - and you can do that if you partially pre-cook the vegetables.  I prefer to do it all on the grill, and, as the different foods have different cooking times, arranging them on the skewers accordingly.  Serve on a bed of Summer Couscous, Minted Sauce on the side.

lamb shoulder, 14oz  (420gr) (or pork or beef), cut into 1 1/2" (3.75cm) pieces
1 red bell pepper
1 red onion
1 medium zucchini (courgette)
8 - 12 mushrooms, large enough to be skewered use more if small, mine were about 2" (5cm) across
8 large cherry tomatoes
6 - 8 skewers if wood, soak in water while lamb marinates

3 tbs olive oil
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs sherry
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Soak wooden skewers.
In large, deep bowl whisk together all ingredients for marinade.  Cut meat and add to the marinade; let marinate for 20 - 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. 
Clean pepper and cut into 1 1/2 " (3.75cm) squares.  Peel and cut onion into 8 wedges.  Cut zucchini into thick slices, about an 3/4 inch (2cm).  Clean mushrooms.  Add all vegetables to bowl with meat/marinade and stir to coat.
Cooking: Thread meat, mushrooms and tomatoes on 2 - 3 skewers, alternating.  
Thread peppers, onions and zucchini on 2 - 3 skewers, alternating.
Cook vegetable skewers on barbecue grill over direct heat for 10 - 15 minutes, turning once.  When vegetables start to brown move to indirect heat and cook for another 5 - 10 minutes. 
When you move the vegetable skewers, start to cook meat skewers over direct heat. Cook until meat is done to your liking.  We cooked ours for about 8 minutes, turning once
Remove and serve on a bed of Summer Couscous
Could also be cooked under the broiler (grill) for 12 - 15 minutes, or until done

Yogurt Dipping Sauce
1/3 cup (3oz (90gr) Greek or plain yogurt
1 tbs salad olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp snipped fresh mint leaves (spearmint)  if you don't have any, use 1 tsp dried mint or leave it out
2 tsp fresh snipped chives
1 tsp fresh snipped tarragon

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.  Mix well and refrigerate until ready to use.  Serve with kebabs.

Three:   Grilled Chicken Thighs                               Preparation and cooking time:  40 minutes
   We marinated the thighs while the grill heated, then made a basting sauce with the marinade.  Leave the skin on for cooking, remove or not before eating.

4 chicken thighs
2 tbs lime or lemon juice   fresh if you have it
1 tbs white Balsamic vinegar
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Basting Sauce
reserved marinade
2 tbs ketchup
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika

Chicken Thighs: Mix all ingredients for marinade, spoon over thighs and let marinate for 10 - 15 minutes.
When ready to cook, remove thighs and reserve marinade. Cook thighs on barbecue grill for 25 minutes, turning once or twice. 
Basting Sauce: Heat reserved marinade in a small saucepan. Add ketchup, soy sauce, cumin, paprika and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
Start basting the thighs after 10 minutes and baste 2 - 3 times.  They'll be done when they are nicely browned and the juices run clear when pierced with a knife.

Four:  Tuna Barley Salad                                          Preparation and cooking time:  30 minutes
    This is a variation on the traditional Tuna Macaroni Salad. It's lots healthier and we like the chewy barley.... Use quick-cooking pearl barley, which takes about 15 minutes. Use more stock or water if your barley requires it. 

2/3 cup (3oz, 90gr) quick-cooking barley
1 1/3 cup (11oz, 330ml) chicken stock
2 hard-boiled eggs
9oz (270gr) tuna
1 - 2 ribs celery
1 cup peas   frozen, thawed, no sauce
1/2 cup (3oz, 90gr) cherry tomatoes
2 tbs fresh, snipped chives
2 tbs fresh, snipped basil
Creamy Dressing:
2 tbs Dijon-style mustard
4 tbs Greek or plain yogurt
4 tbs mayonnaise

Put barley and chicken stock in a small saucepan.  Cover and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes for quick cooking barley.
Cook eggs. When done, cool, peel and roughly chop.  
Thaw peas by running under hot water; drain well.  Open and drain tuna   Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Roughly chop celery.  Snip chives and basil. 
Make dressing: Put all ingredients into a bowl and stir well to combine.
To finish:  Put barley into a large bowl.  Add tuna, eggs, peas, tomatoes, celery, herbs, dressing and stir well to combine.

Five:  Hot and Sweet Glazed Pork Chops          Preparation and cooking time:  30 minutes
    Fresh, chopped ginger adds a a better, sharper flavor than the powdered. 

2 - 4 pork chops, boneless, 12oz (360gr) total
1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbs sherry    substitute white wine or vermouth
1/2 tsp powdered or 2 tsp fresh, chopped ginger  2- 4 slices, 1/8" thick
1 tsp garlic powder - or 2 cloves minced

In small bowl whisk together the ingredients for the marinade - you need to use the whisk to break up the marmalade.  Pour over chops and let marinate for 10 minutes (or longer...). 
Remove from marinade and cook on barbecue 10 - 15 minutes turning once. Baste with any remaining marinade before turning to give better glaze.  In all cases it depends on thickness of the chops. Test for doneness by slicing and peaking.  Remove and serve.  

Six:   Pasta with Yellow Squash (Courgette), Grilled Chicken         Time:  30 minutes
   This is a warm pasta salad, full of garden vegetables and topped with grilled chicken.

1 1/4 cups pasta
2 chicken breasts
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 yellow squash (courgette)
3oz (90gr) cherry tomatoes
1/2 red pepper   
2 tbs fresh basil
1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr)  shredded Mozzarella  or other cheese
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs white Balsamic vinegar
1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs white Balsamic vinegar
1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
3 tbs good olive oil

Cook pasta according to package instructions.  Drain.
Chicken:  Make marinade and spoon over chicken.  Let marinate for 10 minutes. Cook on barbecue grill for 8 - 10 minutes per side, turning once, or until done.  Remove and let rest 5 minutes.  Slice.
Vegetables: Cut onion in quarters, then slice.  Mince garlic. Roughly chop pepper.  Cut squash in half lengthwise, then slice.  Cut cherry tomatoes in half.
Heat oil in a large skillet.  Add onion, pepper and sauté until tender.  Add garlic, squash and sauté until squash starts to brown.  Add tomatoes and pasta, heat through.
To finish:  Put pasta into a large serving bowl, add basil, vinaigrette and stir gently.  Add Mozzarella, stir gently.  Top with sliced chicken and serve.

Suggested menus:

One:  Caprese Salad with Avocado
Grilled Salmon with Pesto Sauce
Pasta with Pesto Sauce
Green Beans with Bacon and Shallots
Lamb Kebabs
Summer Couscous
Three:  Grilled Chicken Thighs
Pesto Potato Salad
Three Bean Salad
Four:   Tuna Barley Salad
Fresh Fruit
Five:  Hot and Sweet Glazed Pork Chops
Grilled Parmesan Potatoes
Chard with Red Onion
Six:  Chicken and Yellow Squash (Courgette) Pasta Salad
Fresh Fruit

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