Weekly Main Course Recipes:  March 22, 2013

One:  Baked Salmon with Horseradish                  Preparation and cooking time: 25 minutes
   We use fillets but salmon steaks will work as well; add another 5 - 10 minutes for steaks.  The mild heat of the horseradish and mustard works well with the sweet salmon.

2 salmon fillets,  12oz (350gr) total weight
3 tbs Greek or plain yogurt
2 tsp horseradish or more if you like heat
2 tsp whole grain mustard
2 tsp olive oil

Mix all of the above (except salmon).  Put salmon on a lightly oiled baking sheet.  Divide mixture evenly and spread over salmon.  Bake at 400 F for 15 - 17 minutes, until top is light brown and fish flakes easily.   Serve.

Note:  For easy clean up cover pan with foil first.  This is especially nice if you are using fillets with the skin on.  You can carefully lift the salmon off the skin to serve, leaving the skin on the foil.  Then wrap the whole mess up and toss.

Two:   Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breasts on Pimiento Sauce      Time: 40 minutes
     These are easy to make: slice a pocket, fill and tie.  The Prosciutto wrapping infuses the chicken with flavor and helps keep it moist.  The Pimiento Sauce adds just a bit of spice to it.

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
2oz (60gr) Gruyère or other hard cheese, thinly sliced
4 slices Prosciutto (about 3oz, 90gr)
1 tbs olive oil
kitchen string
Pimiento Sauce:
4oz (120gr) pimientos (pimentos) or roasted red peppers, drained
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tbs tomato paste  use the stuff in the tube
1 tbs Greek or plain yogurt
1/4 - 1/2 cup (2-4oz, 60-120ml) chicken stock

With a sharp knife make a long slit in the edge of the chicken breast - cutting horizontally and being careful not to cut through the other side.  Make the cut on the 'straight' edge of the breast.  You should have a pocket the shape of the breast with 1/2 inch of 'uncut' chicken around 3 sides. 
Tuck the sliced cheese inside. 
Lay 2 slices of Prosciutto side by side.  Close the chicken breast and lay it on the Prosciutto at a slight angle,  Roll and wrap, covering the chicken breast completely in the ham, as best you can. 
Wrap the entire parcel with kitchen string to hold it together - and keep as much cheese inside as possible. 
Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add chicken and brown well on all sides, about 10 minutes total.  Reduce heat to low, cover and let finish cooking, another 10 - 15 minutes.
To finish:  Remove chicken from heat.  Snip the string in a few places and remove.  Spoon some Pimiento Sauce onto the plates, place the chicken in the center and serve, any remaining sauce on the side.
Pimiento Sauce:
Put pimiento/pepper, garlic powder and chili powder into a blender.  Add just enough of the chicken stock to enable it to purée.  Pour into a small saucepan and stir in tomato paste.  Gently heat until it starts to simmer.  Remove from heat, stir in yogurt and cover to keep warm. 

Three:   Pasta Puttanesca with Tuna               Preparation and cooking time:   25 minutes
     A simple pasta with Mediterranean flavors.  Tuna is not a traditional ingredient, but it makes a more substantial main course for our way of eating.  In Italy, this would be served without tuna, as a pasta course.

1 1/4 cups penne, rigatoni or other bite-size pasta
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs chili powder
1 medium onion
1 small green bell pepper  
3 cloves garlic
2 tbs capers
1/2 cup green olives   mine were stuffed with anchovies
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
15oz (450gr) whole tomatoes
10oz (300gr) tuna, canned (tinned)

Cook pasta according to package directions. 
Chop onion, pepper and mince garlic.  Cut olives in half.  Drain tomatoes (do not reserve liquid) and roughly chop.
Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet.   Add onion, pepper, garlic and chili powder.  Sauté until onion is tender.  Add chopped tomatoes with their juices from chopping, capers, olives and herbs.  Simmer, uncovered until thick, about 10 minutes.  Drain and flake tuna.  Add to sauce and simmer 5 minutes longer. 
Drain pasta, toss with sauce and serve.

Four:  Lemon Spinach and Chicken Salad         Preparation and cooking time:   25 minutes
    The brown sugar and paprika make an interesting, light crust on the chicken.  I cut the breasts in half, the short way.  They cook a bit faster and it makes a nicer presentation with the salad.

For the chicken
2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
2 tbs flour
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp paprika
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) white wine
2 tbs fresh lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
For the salad
6oz (175gr) fresh spinach
2 green garlic 
  2 green onions and 1 clove garlic
2 tbs fresh lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
1 tbs olive oil

The chicken: Mix flour, paprika and brown sugar.  Cut chicken breasts in half.  Roll in flour mixture to coat.  Heat a large nonstick skillet.  When hot, add oil, chicken and brown well on both sides.  Add lemon juice and white wine, cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, or until done.
The salad: Slice green garlic, including green tops (or green onion and garlic).  Sauté  lightly in olive oil.  Add lemon juice.  Keep warm. Pick through the spinach, discarding any wilted or damaged leaves.  Wash and spin dry if necessary.
The finish:  When chicken is done remove and place on a platter.  Add 2 tbs of the chicken cooking liquid to the green garlic.  Turn heat up under the chicken skillet and reduce the rest by half.  Put spinach in a bowl.  Pour the warm green garlic and juices over the top, toss well to coat and wilt slightly.  Arrange spinach next to the chicken.  Pour the reduced cooking liquid over the chicken and serve.

Five:  Pork Chops Diablo                                      Preparation and cooking time:  30 minutes
     Diablo or deviled usually means spicy, often hot and always full of rich, complex flavors.  These zesty pork chops are a perfect example. The ones I get are quite thin.  You may need to increase the cooking time if you are using very thick ones.

2 - 4 pork chops, depending on size, 12oz (350gr) total
1 onion
2 tbs chili powder
1/4 cup flour
4 tsp olive oil
8oz (250ml) tomato sauce
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) beef stock (broth)
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tbs cornstarch (maizena) dissolved in 2 tbs water

Roughly chop onion.  Combine flour and 1 tbs chili powder in plastic food bag.  Add pork chops and toss to coat.  In nonstick skillet, large enough to hold the chops, heat 2 tsp oil over medium-high heat.  Add chops and sauté about 3 minutes per side, until lightly browned.  Remove and set aside. 
Add remaining 2 tsp oil and the remaining 1 tbs chili powder.  Sauté for 1 minute, then add onions.  Sauté about 5 minutes until onion starts to brown.  Add tomato sauce, broth, Worcestershire, mustard and bring to a boil.  Add cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring constantly until thickened. 
Reduce heat to low and return chops to pan.  Cover, and simmer chops until done, about 10 minutes, turning once.  Serve chops with sauce and onions.

Six:   Ham and Red Pepper Quiche           Preparation and cooking time: 20 prep,  30 baking
    The rice makes a lovely crust, much healthier than the traditional pastry... and easier too, especially if you cook the rice earlier.

1/2 cup brown rice, quick cooking
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup (4oz, 120gr)  shredded cheese, divided
4 eggs
1 tsp olive oil
6oz (180gr) ham cut into small pieces
1 small red bell pepper
3 - 4 tbs snipped, fresh garlic or regular chives  or 1 tbs dried chives
1/4 (2oz, 60ml) cup Greek yogurt
3/4 (6oz, 180ml) cup milk (or all milk)
olive oil

The rice:  Cook the rice in stock. If doing in advance, refrigerate until needed.  If doing now, spread the rice on a plate to cool for 5 minutes before making crust.
The crust: Lightly whisk 1 egg.  Mix cooked rice, 1/4 cup cheese and egg.  Pat into a lightly oiled quiche or 10" (25cm) pie plate, working it up the sides a bit for the edges.  Bake in 400F (200C) oven for 10 minutes.
The filling: Cut peppers into thin strips. Cut ham into small pieces. Heat oil in nonstick skillet and lightly sauté pepper strips. 
Whisk 3 eggs, yogurt and milk together.  Add the chives. 
To assemble:  When crust is done, remove from oven.  Spread the pepper strips evenly over the crust. Spread the ham on top.  Sprinkle on the remaining 3/4 cup cheese.   Pour egg mixture over all and bake, 30 minutes, 400F (200C).  Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before cutting.

Note:  I usually put the quiche dish on a baking sheet to make it easier to handle – it gets kind of full…

Suggested menus:

One:  Avocado and White Bean Salad
Baked Salmon with Horseradish
Potatoes with Prosciutto, Olives and Green Garlic
Beets with Butter and Parsley
Two:  Tomato Ricotta Pastries
Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken on Pimiento Sauce
Risi e Bisi
Three:  Pasta Puttanesca with Tuna
Sautéed Mangetout (Snow Peas)
Four:    Lemon Spinach and Chicken Salad
Baked Potato Chips
Five:  Pork Chops Diablo
Sweet Potato Fries
Sautéed Mangetout with Shallots
Six:  Ham and Pepper Quiche

Shopping List for This Week              Find all side dish recipes in index on Member's Page

Get 7 Dinner Menus, Recipes, Shopping List each Thursday by e-mail: