Weekly Main Course Recipes:  June 28, 2013

One:  Grilled Scallops, Fresh Tomato Salsa          Preparation, cooking time:  15 minutes
    Scallops only take a few minutes to cook They should just go from translucent to opaque.  If you cook them longer they can get tough. We do ours on the barbecue grill but a hot skillet would work as well.  Be careful not to crowd and have the pan or grill hot.  They can give off a bit of liquid and you want them to brown, not steam. These are flavored with chili powder and garlic and finished with a spicy Tomato Chili Salsa.

12oz (350gr) sea scallops (large scallops)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbs olive oil
3 - 4 skewers   optional

You either need to use skewers or a grill basket or pan; something to keep the scallops from falling through the grate.  If using wooden skewers soak in water for a few minutes. 
Pour olive oil onto a large plate.  Dip both sides of scallops into oil.  Thread onto skewers, if using, going through the sides so the scallops will lie flat on the grill.  Sprinkle both sides with garlic and chili.  Grill over direct heat 3 - 5 minutes per side, until they are opaque.  Remove and serve. 

Note:  Could also be quickly sautéed in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat for about the same amount of time.

Tomato Chili Salsa

2 garden-ripe tomatoes
1/3 green bell pepper  
1/2 red onion      
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
1 tbs fresh oregano, snipped   substitute 1 1/2 tsp dried
1 tbs fresh parsley, snipped    substitute 1 1/2 tsp dried
4oz (125gr) green chiles, drained. (use something hotter if you like... I don't do 'hot')

Roughly chop tomatoes, chop onion and pepper.  Drain and chop chiles.  Snip herbs.  In medium bowl whisk together dry mustard, vinegar and soy sauce.  Add chili powder and whisk.  Add all remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.  Serve.  Add hot sauce if you like...

Note:  Any leftover salsa can be eaten with chips, crackers, whatever.... nice to have around in summer!

Two:   Grilled Chicken Satay, Peanut Sauce       Preparation and cooking time:  35 minutes
Fresh ginger adds a bit of heat and a lot of flavor to this chicken.  You can substitute 1/2 tsp ground ginger if you don't have fresh; and add more if you like the heat.  For a hotter dish you could add crushed red pepper, Asian chili sauce or even Tabasco to the marinade and/or the peanut sauce.

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs brown sugar
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs fresh ginger, peeled and minced about 3 slices the size of an American quarter or 1 euro coin
1 tsp chili powder
2 - 4 skewers

Soak skewers in warm water while preparing chicken and making marinade.
Cut chicken breast into long strips, 3 or 4 from each breast.  Thread the meat the long way onto the skewers, (sort of pleating it).  Mix the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl.  Place chicken skewers into a baking dish and pour marinade over. Allow to marinade for 20 - 40 minutes. When ready, remove from marinade and grill over direct heat for 8 - 10 minutes.  Can also be done under the broiler (grill) for same amount of time.  Or, you could skip the skewers and stir-fry them in 1 tbs olive oil and 1 tsp sesame oil.  Serve with Peanut Sauce on the side.

Warm Peanut Sauce                                                              Time: 10 minutes

1/3 cup peanut butter
2 tbs snipped fresh chives
1 tbs snipped fresh parsley
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp brown sugar
1/3 cup (3oz, 90ml) chicken stock

Heat oils in small saucepan. Add chives and chili powder and sauté briefly.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring well to combine.  Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

Three:   Cold Beef, Ham, Cheese Picnic Loaf                    Time: 15 minutes plus 60 baking
    The odd amount for the ham is because I buy pre-packaged. A little goes a long way, so 3 - 4 oz will be fine. Make this early in the day so that it can thoroughly chill before slicing and serving.

16oz ground beef  (500gr mince)
3.5oz (100gr) Prosciutto or other dry-cured ham, 4 - 5 slices
2 eggs
1/3 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup 3oz, (90gr) dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup 3oz (90ml) red wine (or beef stock),
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs ketchup
4oz (120gr) Cheddar
1/4 cup ketchup for the top

Chop Prosciutto as finely as possible. Mince onion and garlic.  Slice the Cheddar.
In a large bowl lightly beat eggs with a fork.  Add the bread crumbs, onion, garlic, wine, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, ham and mix well.  Add the beef and mix well, using your hands, kneading it like bread.  Divide mixture in half and place half in large baking dish, patting it into the shape of a loaf or pack into a 9 X 5 (22.5 x 12.5cm) loaf pan. Place the cheese on top leaving 1/3" (1cm) all around.  Top with the remaining meat, patting into shape to cover the cheese,  pat / pinch around the edges to seal. 
Bake at 400 F (200C) for 45 minutes.  Remove, spread 1/4 cup ketchup evenly over the top.  Return to oven and bake for another 15 minutes. When done, remove and let rest at least 15 minutes before cutting.  (If using loaf pan, after cooling slightly, unmold it.) Slice and serve.

Four:  Salad with Turkey, Mushrooms and Potatoes                        Time: 30 minutes
     This is a colorful summer salad, with a relatively 'light' dressing.  You can do the potatoes and turkey in a skillet or on the barbecue grill.  The time is about the same.  Use a mix of greens if you can.

10oz (300gr) turkey cutlets  
2 tbs Teriyaki marinade or sauce
2 medium potatoes, (10oz, 300gr)
4 tsp olive oil, divided
1 onion
1/2 orange bell pepper
4oz (120gr) mushrooms
1 tsp soy sauce
1 avocado
1/2 cup (3oz, 90gr) cherry tomatoes
lettuce for 2 main meal salads   
Teriyaki Vinaigrette
1 tbs Teriyaki sauce
1 tbs sherry vinegar
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
2 tsp walnut or sesame oil
1 tbs good olive oil

Potatoes:  Cut potatoes into bite size pieces and coat with 2 tsp olive oil.  Either cook in a pan on the barbecue if you are using, or sauté in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat until done and lightly browned, 20 - 25 minutes.
Turkey: Put turkey on a plate and spoon Teriyaki marinade over both sides.  Cook on barbecue grill for 4 - 6 minutes per side (depending on thickness) or sauté in nonstick skillet for the same amount of time.  Remove and slice into strips.
The Vegetables:  Slice onion and pepper. Trim and slice mushrooms.  Heat 2 tsp oil in medium skillet.  Add pepper, onion and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms, soy sauce and sauté 5 minutes longer, until vegetables are crisp tender.
Vinaigrette:  Put all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well to combine.
The rest: Prepare lettuce, rinse and spin dry if needed. Slice avocado. Cut tomatoes in half
To assemble: Add half of the vinaigrette to the lettuce and toss well to coat. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine.  Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette and serve.

Five:  Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Seeds                         Time: 35 minutes
   This is fun to cook on the barbecue grill: all the mustard seeds pop as they get hot.  The rub makes the tenderloin rather black, but not too spicy.  The sauce helps keep it moist.  Remember, slightly pink is perfect!

14oz 400gr) pork tenderloin,
1 tbs paprika
1 tbs mustard seeds
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbs olive oil
Basting Sauce
3 tbs Dijon mustard
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbs olive oil

Mix paprika, mustard seeds and garlic powder.  Rub olive oil all over pork then add dry rub and press into pork.  Cook on barbecue grill or in 400F oven for 25 - 30 minutes.  Turn occasionally to brown on all sides.  Mix mustard, vinegar, oil, and use to baste pork after 15 minutes.   Baste 2 - 3 times.  When you think pork is done, (it should feel fairly firm but not totally stiff when you pick it up) slice into the middle to check.  It will be moist when not overcooked.  When done to your taste, slice and serve.

Six:   Marinated, Grilled Chicken Breasts, II       Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
    I have a number of different marinades for chicken.  I decided it was easier to number them than come up with unique names. They only need to marinate as long as it takes to get the grill ready... but longer is fine!  We prefer slicing chicken, rather than serving the whole breast - nicer presentation.

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tbs red wine vinegar
3 tbs ketchup
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano

In a small bowl whisk together soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, oil, garlic and oregano.  Put chicken breasts in a glass baking dish and pour marinade over.  Let marinate for 15 - 20 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Cook on barbecue grill for 8 - 12 minutes per side or until done (test - take a peak), basting once with any leftover marinade. 
sauté in nonstick skillet for 8 - 10 minutes a side until nicely browned and done, basting with marinade.  Remove chicken, slice at an angle in 1/4" (.6cm) slices and serve.

Suggested menus:

One:  White Bean and Celery Salad
Grilled Scallops with Fresh Tomato Salsa
Couscous with Browned Red Onions
  Classic Caesar Salad
Grilled Chicken Satay with Warm Peanut Sauce
Sesame Brown Rice
Crisp Green Beans
Three:  Cold Beef, Ham and Cheese Picnic Loaf
Classic Italian Pasta Salad
Cucumber Salad
Four:     Salad with Turkey, Mushrooms and Potatoes
Five:  Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Seeds
Balsamic Potato Salad
Grilled Courgette (Zucchini)
Six:  Grilled, Marinated Chicken Breasts
Warm Green Bean and Brown Rice Salad

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