Weekly Main Course Recipes:  February 15, 2013

One:  Baked Snapper with Lemon-Mustard Sauce                              Time:  15 minutes
Walleye would be my first choice but that's isn't available here.  Any nice filet will work, small cod, tilapia, catfish...

2 nice fish fillets, snapper, walleye,   4 if they are small 12oz (350gr) total weight 
1 tbs butter
2 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp tarragon
1/2 tsp thyme
2 tbs chicken stock
1 tbs whole grain mustard
1/3 cup (3oz, 90ml) Greek yogurt, crème fraiche or sour cream

Rinse fish, pat dry.  Melt butter.  Add 1 tbs lemon juice, tarragon and thyme to butter.  Brush on fish fillets.  Bake, 400F (200C), for 15 - 20 minutes, until fish is done.  It should be opaque and flake easily with a fork 
Or grill the fish in a grill basket, over indirect heat on the barbecue grill for about the same amount of time.
Spoon Lemon-Mustard Sauce on top and serve.

Lemon-Mustard Sauce

Combine remaining 1 tbs lemon juice, stock, mustard and yogurt.  Mix well.

Two:   Steak with Shallot and Red Wine Reduction                              Time: 30 minutes
    Tenderloin slices would be lovely with this - as would strip steaks or even London Broil!

2 steaks, 7oz (200gr) each
3 large shallots
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup (4oz, 125ml) red wine

Peel and thickly slice shallots. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallots and sauté until starting to brown and caramelize, about 15 minutes. Remove shallots to a plate and cover to keep warm.
Increase heat to medium-high and add steak. Quickly cook steaks for 2 - 4 minutes per side depending on type and thickness. When done, remove and cover to keep warm.
Add red wine to pan and scrape up all the yummy brown bits on the bottom.  Add the shallots, sugar and vinegar. Cook, stirring over high heat, until sauce is reduced and starting to thicken, 3 - 4 minutes. Spoon a bit over the each steak and serve.

Three:   Pork and Celeriac Stew                    Preparation and cooking time:   1 hour, 40 minutes
   The spices used in this are from a recipe for Wild Boar Stew, but work very well with domestic pork. The juniper berries give it a wintry, woodsy flavor.  If you have the time, marinate the pork in the red wine for a few hours before cooking. This makes enough for 2 meals or serves 4.

28oz (840gr) lean pork
3oz (90gr) Prosciutto
3 cups (24oz, 720ml) red wine
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) beef stock
6 carrots
1 small celeriac
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp black pepper
15 juniper berries
1 tsp thyme
3 bay leaves
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs cornstarch (maizena, corn flour) dissolved in 3 tbs water

The cutting:  Cut pork into large pieces, 1 1/2" (4cm) cubes. Roughly chop Prosciutto.  Peel carrots and cut into 2" (5cm) lengths.  Cut each piece in half the long way. Cut the celeriac in quarters.  Wrap the bit not being used in cling film and refrigerate.  Peel the remaining quarters using a vegetable peeler or knife.  Cut into sizes similar to or a bit larger than the carrots and keep in water until using.  Peel the onion and slice vertically into wedges.  Mince the garlic.
Note:  Use as much of the celeriac as needed so that you have an amount equal to the carrots. 
The cooking:  Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add pork, a few pieces at a time and brown well on all sides.  Remove to a plate if it gets crowded.  Add Prosciutto, onions and garlic, and sauté 5 minutes.  Return all pork to pot, add vegetables, spices, herbs, wine and stock.  Cover and simmer 75 minutes.
To finish: Remove pork and vegetables. Discard bay leaves. Increase heat under sauce.  Dissolve cornstarch in water and slowly add, stirring until thickened.  Spoon sauce over pork and serve.

Four:  Chicken Breasts Duxelles                                Preparation and cooking time:  20 minutes
Duxelles may be more traditional with veal or beef but it works wonderfully well with chicken breasts. I cut the chicken breasts it half for a nicer presentation.  

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) white wine
1 tbs olive oil
Duxelles Sauce 
2 shallots (2oz, 60gr)
4oz (120gr) mushrooms
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) white wine
1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) chicken stock
1 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried rosemary  

Duxelles:  Finely chop the shallots and mushrooms.  Heat the butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until bubbly.  Add the shallots and mushrooms and sauté, until golden brown, 6 - 8 minutes.  Add the white wine and scrape up any brown bits.  Cook until wine is almost completely reduced, about 1 tbs left.  Add stock, tomato paste and herbs.  Stir well, simmer until thickened.   Remove from heat and cover to keep warm. 
Chicken: Heat olive oil in medium nonstick skillet.  Add chicken breasts and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes per side.  Add white wine.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Arrange on Duxelles and serve. 

Five:  Chicken Breasts / Tarragon Mushroom Cream over Pasta     Time:  30 minutes
      Chicken breasts, sautéed with shallots and mushrooms, finished with a luscious Tarragon Cream and served over pasta, simple mid-week meal worthy of your best china! 

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1 tbs olive oil
2 shallots
4oz (120gr) mushrooms
1 1/2 tsp dried tarragon  
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock
6oz (180gr) fresh spinach
1 tbs cornstarch (maizena, corn flour) dissolved in 2 tbs water
1/2 cup (4oz, 125ml) Greek yogurt
1 1/4 cups pasta, bite-size, penne, fusilli

Cook pasta according to package directions. 
Finely chop shallots.  Clean and thickly slice the mushrooms.  Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet.   Add chicken breasts and sauté about 7 minutes per side.  Remove and set aside. 
Add shallots and mushrooms to pan and sauté until shallots are tender and both are starting to brown.   Add tarragon and 1/4 cup of the chicken stock, stir to get all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.  Return the chicken to the pan and add remaining stock.   Cover and simmer over low heat until pasta is ready. 
Wash spinach if needed and drain well. Very roughly chop or slice, just to get big leaves into 2 or 3 pieces. 
When pasta is done, drain and put into a bowl.  Add spinach to pasta and toss to combine.  Remove chicken breasts.  Dissolve cornstarch in water and add to skillet,  stirring until thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in yogurt.  Pour sauce over pasta, toss to coat.   Thickly slice chicken breasts, arrange on top of the pasta and serve.

Six:   Turkey with Peanut Sauce                               Preparation and cooking time:  30 minutes
    Turkey is a mild flavored meat, and works well with assertive sauces. 

12oz (350gr) turkey cutlets
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
3/4 cup (6oz, 180ml) chicken stock
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs peanut butter
2 tsp cornstarch (maizena) dissolved in 1 tbs water

Cut turkey into smaller pieces if needed.  Mince garlic and ginger.  Heat olive and sesame oils in a medium skillet.  Add garlic, ginger, and sauté briefly.  Add turkey and brown lightly on both sides.  Add stock, soy sauce and peanut butter.  Stir well to combine, cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Uncover and increase heat.  Dissolve cornstarch in water, add to sauce, stirring until thickened..  Serve.

Suggested menus:

One:  Caramelized Onion Crespèu
Baked Snapper with Lemon Mustard Sauce
Creamy Polenta
Brussels Sprouts with Prosciutto and Shallots
Two:  Shrimp Cocktail
Steak with Shallot and Red Wine Reduction
Scalloped Potatoes
Sunchoke Chips
Three:  Pork and Celeriac Stew
Quinoa with Browned Shallots
Four:    Chicken Breasts Duxelles
Scalloped Potatoes, leftover
Brussels Sprouts with Celeriac
Five:  Chicken Breasts / Tarragon Mushroom Cream over Pasta
Six:  Turkey with Peanut Sauce
Basmati Oriental Pilaf
Sautéed Sliced Brussels Sprouts

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