Weekly Main Course Recipes:  March 15, 2013

One:  Shrimp with Paprika Sauce                         Preparation and cooking time: 25 minutes 
     Olives, almonds and feta round out this spicy paprika sauce.  Serve with pasta or rice.

12oz (350gr) shrimp, cleaned
2 shallots
4 cloves garlic
2 slices Prosciutto or bacon
1 tbs tomato paste
1/3 cup (3oz, 90ml) white wine
3 tbs Greek or plain yogurt
1/3 cup green olives (12 - 15)
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup (2oz, 60gr) feta
1 tbs paprika
1 tbs olive oil

Clean shrimp if needed, if not just rinse and let drain. 
Peel and chop shallots. Mince garlic. Chop Prosciutto or bacon.  Cut olives in half or thirds. 
Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add paprika and sauté briefly.  Add garlic, shallots, Prosciutto and sauté until golden, 5 - 7 minutes.  Add shrimp and sauté until they start to curl and turn opaque.  Add wine, tomato paste and stir well to combine.  Add olives, almonds and heat through.  Stir in yogurt, remove from heat, add feta, stir gently.  Serve.

Two:   Veal with Crisp Shallots and Prosciutto     Preparation, cooking time: 30 minutes
The tender veal scallops cook quickly and are finished with a light white wine sauce and topped with crisp shallots and Prosciutto

12oz (350gr) veal cutlets, thinly sliced
3 shallots
2 slices prosciutto
1/2 cup (4oz, 125ml) white wine
1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) chicken stock
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp cornstarch (maizena, corn flour) dissolved in 1 tbs water

Peel and thinly slice shallots.  Cut Prosciutto into thin strips.  Heat oil in skillet, add shallots, and sauté until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add Prosciutto strips and sauté until shallots and Prosciutto are brown and crisp, about 10 minutes longer.  Remove and set aside.
Add veal and quickly brown on both sides, about 1 1/2 minutes each.  Add white wine, chicken stock, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Dissolve cornstarch in water.  Increase under skillet.  Remove veal to a small platter.  Add cornstarch to skillet and stir until thickened.  Spoon sauce over veal, top with shallots and Prosciutto and serve. 

Three:   Beef Braised in Guinness                        Preparation and cooking time:  80 minutes
  A classic for St. Patrick's Day and a great cold-weather dish anytime. Slow braising makes the beef meltingly tender and the beer adds a robust flavor.  Serve with 'Jacket Potatoes': potatoes baked in their skin and a staple in Ireland.  This makes enough for 4 or 2 meals for two.  

24oz (700gr) beef suitable for stewing or braising
1 large or 2 medium onions
2 cloves garlic
5 - 6 medium carrots
3 bay (laurel) leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
2 cups (1 pint) Guinness
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) beef stock
1 tbs oil
4 tbs cornstarch (maizena, corn flour)
1 tbs paprika

Cut beef into 1" (2.5 cm) cubes.  Cut onion into quarters, then slice thinly.  Mince or press garlic.  Cut carrots in half the long way, then into 1" (2.5cm) pieces. 
Combine paprika and cornstarch in a plastic food bag.  Add beef and toss to coat evenly.  In a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, large enough to hold everything easily, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add beef and brown on all sides.  Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more.  Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer at least an hour.   If it starts to dry out, add more Guinness or beef stock. 
If you would like the sauce thicker, dissolve 1 tbs cornstarch in 2 tbs water and stir in as much as you need - a little at a time, cooking and checking, or it will get too thick.
When ready to eat, remove bay leaves and serve.

Four:  Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Lemon & Capers                   Time: 30 minutes
     Chicken breasts, bathed in a light lemon and caper sauce, are always a refreshing main course

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1 medium onion
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock
2 tbs capers
1 lemon
1 tbs cornstarch (maizena) dissolved in 1 tbs water
1 tbs olive oil

Peel and slice onion.  Slice lemon, discarding ends, and remove pips.  Heat oil in nonstick skillet. Add onion and sauté until tender, 7 - 8 minutes.  Move to sides of pan and add chicken breasts.  Sauté until light brown, about 5 minutes per side.  Add chicken stock and capers.  Arrange lemon slices on top of chicken breasts.  If you have too many slices just put directly in the stock.  Cover, reduce heat and let simmer about 10 minutes, until chicken is done. 
To finish: Dissolve cornstarch in water. Remove chicken and lemon slices to a plate and cover with the lid from the pan.  Turn heat up and when stock is boiling add cornstarch mixture, stirring until thickened.  Serve chicken with lemon-caper sauce on the side.

Five:  Turkey Vegetable Pie                               Preparation and cooking time:  40 minutes
I don't make pie crusts.  This is a 'Turkey Pot Pie' made like a traditional Shepherd's Pie.  Much easier without the pie crust - healthier, too.  

2 medium potatoes
2 tsp butter
2 tbs Greek or plain yogurt
1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
1 tbs chicken stock - if needed
10oz (300gr) turkey, cutlets or tenderloin
2 carrots
1 onion
3/4 cup peas about 4oz (120gr)
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) chicken broth
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) wine
1/2 cup (4oz, 120gr) yogurt
1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp maizena (cornstarch, corn flour) dissolved in 1 tbs water

Topping: Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks.  Cook in boiling, salted water until tender, 10 - 15 minutes.  Drain well.  Add butter, mustard and yogurt.  Mash well.  They should not be stiff but should hold their shape.  Add chicken stock if needed. 
Filling: Chop onion.  Peel carrot and cut in half the long way, then into thin slices.  Cut the turkey into bite-size pieces. Remove peas from freezer and rinse in warm water. 
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add onions, carrots and sauté 5 minutes, until they start to get tender.  Add turkey and sauté, 7 - 8 minutes longer, until cooked through.  Add peas, wine, broth, mustard and thyme, bring to a boil.  Mix cornstarch and water, add to turkey mixture, stirring until thick.  Remove from heat and stir in yogurt. 
To finish:  Spoon turkey and vegetables into a baking dish large enough to hold everything. Top with potatoes, covering as well as you can.  Bake, 400F (200C) for 20 - 25 minutes or until the top starts to brown.  Remove and serve.

Six:   Pasta with Mediterranean Meat Sauce     Preparation and cooking time: 35 minutes
     Sherry and paprika from Spain; olives from Italy, Spain and Greece; feta from Greece; red peppers from France; capers and tomatoes from everywhere... An International dish!

8oz (250gr) ground beef (mince)
1 red bell pepper
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) sherry
1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) beef broth / stock
15oz (450gr) whole tomatoes
2 tsp paprika, smoked if available
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tbs olive oil
1/3 cup green and black olives, mixed
2 tbs capers
3oz (90gr) feta
4oz (120gr) linguini or other long pasta

Cook pasta according to package directions.  When done, drain.
Roughly chop the pepper and onion.  Mince the garlic.  Roughly chop tomatoes, reserving all juices.
Heat 1 tbs oil in nonstick skillet. Add the paprika, onion, pepper, garlic, and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add the beef and sauté, breaking it up as it browns.  Add the tomatoes, juices, sherry, stock and herbs.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered until the sauce reduces and thickens, about 20 minutes. 
Pit and roughly chop the olives. Cube the feta.  Stir the olives and capers into the sauce and simmer another minute.  Remove sauce from heat and gently stir in feta.  Spoon over pasta and serve.

Suggested menus:

One:  Cheese Flans with Spinach Salad
Shrimp with Paprika Sauce
Pasta with Browned Butter
Broccoli with Garlic Chips
Two:  Shallot and Olive Pastries
Veal Cutlets with Crisp Shallots and Prosciutto
Potato Feta Cakes
Braised Endive
Three:  Beef Braised in Guinness
Jacket Potatoes
Four:    Chicken Breasts with Lemon and Capers
Lemon Garlic Basmati
White Balsamic Glazed Carrots
Five:  Turkey Vegetable Pie
Six:  Pasta with Mediterranean Meat Sauce
Mock Spinach Soufflé

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