Weekly Main Course Recipes:  June 14, 2013

One:  Grilled Salmon, Tarragon Mayonnaise        Preparation, cooking time: 20 minutes
     Tarragon and chives are the first herbs to come up in the spring. They make a light mayonnaise perfect with grilled fish.

2 salmon fillets, 6oz each (180gr each), or steaks, if your prefer
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp dried dill weed
Tarragon Mayonnaise:
1 tbs snipped fresh tarragon
1 tbs snipped fresh chives
1 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup prepared mayonnaise 
1/4 cup Greek yogurt

Brush salmon with the oil and sprinkle with dill weed.  Cook on barbecue grill 5 - 7 minutes per side, depending on thickness. OR put on baking sheet and roast in 400 F oven for 15 - 20 minutes, depending on thickness.  Steaks will take a few minutes longer than fillets.  Salmon should flake easily with fork when done but it's okay to have it still a bit pink in the center. 
Tarragon Mayonnaise: Mix tarragon, chives, lemon, garlic, yogurt and mayo.
Transfer Salmon to a plate and serve, Tarragon Mayonnaise on the side.

Two:   Smoked, Stuffed Pork Tenderloin            Preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes
    The pork is lightly smoked, using a regular grill (either charcoal or gas) rather than a proper smoker.  The pink color is a result of the smoking. 

14oz (420gr) pork tenderloin
1 tbs chopped capers
1 tbs chopped dry-cured Greek olives
1 tbs whole grain mustard
1/2 tsp paprika
Basting Sauce:
2 tbs molasses
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar 
wood chips    we used apple   See Barbecue Grills for more info
Weber-type kettle barbecue with charcoal  or Gas Grill

Put wood chips in water to soak.
Charcoal grill: Put some charcoal in the barbecue, off to one side and light it.
Gas grill:   Only light one side of the grill.  Wrap the soaked wood chips loosely in foil.  Poke a few holes in the foil and place on the grill. Cook pork over indirect heat with the grill cover closed and vented or propped open an inch or so. 
The pork: Carefully slice the pork tenderloin in half the long way, almost all the way through.  Leave about 1/3" (1cm).  Open it flat, like a book.  Spread the mustard on 1 side.  Sprinkle the paprika, olives and capers on the mustard.  Close the pork and tie securely with kitchen string.
Make basting sauce
Smoke for 30 minutes.  Baste once when you put it on the grill, once when you open the grill after 15 minutes to add wood chips and once when you take it off.
Remove pork and let rest 5 minutes.  Remove string, slice and serve.
Note: You could also roast in the oven for 25 minutes, 400F (200C). 

Three:   Chicken, Avocado, Quinoa Salad           Preparation and cooking time:   20 minutes
     I like to add quinoa or brown rice to a salad, to round it out and make it a full meal.  Plus it adds interesting flavors and texture.

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1 tbs Teriyaki sauce
2 tsp walnut oil
1/2 cup quinoa cooked in
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock
1 avocado
1/2 yellow bell pepper  
1 carrot
2oz (60gr) sharp white cheddar cheese  or something else you have on hand
3oz (90gr) cherry tomatoes
1 tbs fresh oregano
1 tbs fresh basil
1 tbs fresh chives
lettuce, enough for 2 large salads
Teriyaki Vinaigrette:
2 tbs Teriyaki sauce
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
3 tbs olive oil

Cut chicken into bit-size pieces.  Heat Teriyaki sauce and walnut oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and stir-fry until cooked through.
Cook quinoa in chicken stock for 15 minutes or until done.
Cut avocado into slices.  Cut pepper into matchsticks.  Shred carrot using a vegetable peeler.  Cut cherry tomatoes in half.  Crumble cheddar.  Prepare lettuce, wash and spin dry if needed. Snip or tear herbs
Make vinaigrette: Whisk together Teriyaki sauce, vinegar and mustard.  Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking to combine.
Put lettuce and herbs into a large bowl.  Add half the vinaigrette and toss to coat.  Spread the quinoa on top of the lettuce.  Arrange the rest of the ingredients on top of quinoa.  Drizzle with a bit more vinaigrette and serve, remaining vinaigrette on the side.

Four:  Grilled Burgers with Onions, Peppers     Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
    A bit of finely chopped pepper and onion adds depth of flavor to these burgers.  Serve them smothered with more peppers and onions and some sharp, pungent mustard... With or without a bun!

For Burgers:
12oz (360gr) ground beef
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp olive oil
1/8 yellow bell pepper,  about 1/4 cup
1/8 onion, about 1/4 cup
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp ketchup

Finely chop onion and pepper.  Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add paprika and garlic powder and sauté 1 minute stirring constantly.  Add pepper, onion and sauté until onion is transparent.  Put peppers and onions in a large bowl.  Add Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and beef to peppers/onions.  Mix well and shape into 4 patties.   Cook in an oiled grill basket or mat on the barbecue grill for 4 - 6 minutes per side, depending on how you like them done.  OR sauté in skillet for the same amount of time, until done to your liking.  Serve on buns if you like, we eat them without, with the Peppers and Onions.

Peppers and Onions:
1/2 red bell pepper  
1/2 yellow bell pepper      less the 1/4 cup for the burger
1 large or 2 small onions  less the 1/4 cup for the burger
1 tbs oil
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp paprika

Slice peppers (cut in half from bottom toward stem, discard seed and core) into large slices - 1/2 inch wide (1.25cm).  Slice onion into 1/2" (1.25 cm) thick slices.  Put olive oil, paprika and Worcestershire in large bowl, add vegetables and toss well to coat.   Put on a mesh grill pan (the idea is not to have the stuff fall through the grate into the fire....) and cook on the barbecue grill.   OR  sauté in nonstick skillet until tender and starting to brown. Either way they will take 10 - 15 minutes.

Five:  Salade Niçoise                                                   Preparation and cooking time: 25 minutes
    This is a classic, French summer salad, served at sidewalk cafes all over the country for lunch and light suppers.  Pour a glass of Rosé, settle into your chair, and enjoy...  Maybe while watching the sun set.

6oz (180gr) green beans
2 medium potatoes, about 10oz (300gr)
1/2 cup (3oz, 90gr) cherry tomatoes
9oz (270gr) good canned tuna, packed in oil preferably
2 eggs, hard boiled
Lettuce for 2 main meal salads
Tarragon Vinaigrette
4 tbs salad olive oil
3 tbs tarragon white wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1 tbs snipped fresh tarragon   substitute 1 1/2 tsp dried
1 tbs snipped fresh chives

Hard boil eggs. 
Cut potatoes for salad and put in steamer basket in large pan with an inch of water in the bottom.  Cover the pan and put on medium-high heat.  We're giving the potatoes a bit of a head start.  Top and tail beans and cut in half.  Put on top of potatoes.  Turn heat to medium and steam 10 - 15 minutes or until just barely done.  Use the old, reliable 'taste test'.  Remove from heat and let cool a bit. 
When eggs are done, peel and quarter.  Drain tuna.  Cut/slice tomatoes. 
To make vinaigrette: whisk vinegar and mustard.  Slowly whisk in oil and whisk until it emulsifies.  Snip tarragon and chives and add to vinaigrette, whisking to combine. 
To finish:  Tear lettuce if needed, put it into a large, flattish salad bowl and toss with half of the vinaigrette.  Arrange the beans, potatoes, tomatoes, tuna and egg on lettuce, either in rows or in pie-shape sections.  Drizzle with a little vinaigrette.  Serve with remaining vinaigrette on the side.

Six:   Balsamic Glazed Turkey Cutlets                   Preparation and cooking time:  25 minutes
Because the cutlets are thin they take well to marinades and cook quickly, without drying out.  If they are large, cut to a more manageable size. 

2 - 4 turkey cutlets, depending on size, 12oz total weight (360gr)
1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
2 tbs Balsamic vinegar
2 tbs olive oil

Mix mustard and vinegar.  Slowly whisk in olive oil until you have a thick marinade.  Pour over turkey and let marinate for at 10 - 15 minutes.  Remove from marinade and cook on barbecue grill for 3 - 5 minutes per side or until done. 
OR sauté in nonstick skillet for 4 - 6 minutes a side or until done.  Remove and serve.

Suggested menus:

One:  Zucchini (Courgette) Timbales, Pimiento Sauce
Grilled Salmon with Tarragon Mayonnaise
Grilled Polenta
Green Beans with Leeks
Two:  Avocado Stuffed with Tomatoes
Smoked, Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Patatas Bravas
Baked Courgette (Zucchini) Sticks
Three:  Chicken, Avocado and Quinoa Salad
Four:     Grilled Burgers with Peppers and Onions
Brown Rice Pilaf
Five:  Salade Niçoise
Six:  Balsamic Glazed Turkey Cutlets
Brown Rice Pilaf Salad

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