Weekly Main Course Recipes:  March 29, 2013

One:  Sautéed Sole with Browned Butter and Capers                         Time: 10 minutes
Sole is a delicate fish with a mild flavor that pairs well with lemon and capers.  It's normally served with the tail and bones intact: just skinned and cleaned but not filleted. They cook very fast and if you are not careful when you take them by the tail to turn them over the skeleton will come away in your hand.  The flesh comes away easily with a fork to eat.  Or, even better, buy them skinned and filleted.

2 whole sole or 4 filets, 10oz (300gr) total   ask your fishmonger to clean and skin them
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp paprika
4 tbs butter
1/4 cup capers
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 tbs white wine
1 lemon, quartered

Put the flour and paprika on a plate large enough for the fish to fit.  Mix with a fork until combined.  Over medium-high heat melt the butter in a nonstick skillet large enough to hold both fish.  Rinse fish and pat dry.  When butter is sizzling dip both sides of fish (hold it by the tail) in flour and add to pan.  Sauté 1 - 2 minutes on each side depending on size of fish.   When lightly browned and done remove to plates.  Add capers, wine and lemon juice to skillet.  Quickly stir, loosening and browned bits.  Pour over each fish.  Serve with 2 lemon quarters to squeeze over top.

Note 1:  You can cook them slightly underdone, to this point, then put them on a platter, cover them loosely with foil and put in a 200F (100C) oven to keep warm.

Note 2: If you get sole filets, they will cook even faster.  Use a long spatula to turn them carefully.

Two:   Puff Pastry Pizza Margherita with Prosciutto                    Time: 30 minutes
   Use regular 'pizza' mozzarella for this, as the fresh balls have too much moisture in them and make a soggy crust.   The puff pastry makes a light and flaky crust and the pizza is ready in no time!

1 puff pastry
2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup (4oz, 125gr) shredded or sliced mozzarella   for cooking or pizza
4 thin slices Prosciutto, (3.5oz, 100gr)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano

Lay the pastry crust out on a baking sheet.
Slice tomatoes as thinly as possible, 8 - 10 slices per tomato. Tear Prosciutto into small pieces. Arrange the tomato slices on the pastry.  Lay the Prosciutto on top.  Sprinkle with herbs, then cheese.  Bake in a preheated oven, 400F (200C) for 20 - 25 minutes, or until crust and top are golden brown.

Three:   Roast Leg of Lamb / Garlic, Rosemary, New Potatoes  Time: 90 minutes
This will serve 4, or 2 with leftovers, roast potatoes accordingly, 12oz (350gr) for 2, 24oz (700gr) for 4, etc.  If you have fresh rosemary, stick small sprigs in the slits with the garlic. A very general rule is 25 minutes cooking time per pound.  Lamb temperature should be about 95F (35C) when you add the potatoes.    

1 leg  of lamb, 2 - 3 lb, (1000-1500 gr) depending on bone
2 tsp dried rosemary  or sprigs of fresh
3 cloves garlic
10 - 15 new potatoes or regular potatoes cut into quarters or eighths
2 tbs olive oil, divided
1/3 cup white wine

Lamb: Peel and cut garlic into slivers, 15 - 20 in all. Make slits all over the lamb with the point of a sharp knife. Insert a sliver of garlic into each slit. Place lamb in a roasting pan, drizzle with 1 tbs oil and sprinkle with rosemary. Insert meat thermometer, place in a preheated oven and roast, 400F (200C) for 45 minutes. 
Potatoes:  Scrub new potatoes and cut in half if large (for a new potato).  Toss with remaining 1 tbs oil and arrange around lamb.  Pour wine over the lamb.  Continue to roast until lamb is done, another 30 minutes.   Lamb is rosy at 130F (54C). If lamb is done earlier, remove it and continue roasting potatoes for the full 30 minutes.  When done, remove the lamb, cover loosely with foil and let rest 5 - 10 minutes.
To Serve: Spoon potatoes onto a platter. Slice some of the lamb, arrange next to the potatoes and serve.

Four:  Pasta with Lamb, White Beans, Greek Style                          Time: 25 minutes
     Originally made with leftover lamb, this could as easily be made with fresh ingredients.  The cherry tomatoes and green garlic add a touch of spring, and just enough 'tomato' flavor.  The feta and dry-cured olives add the taste of Greece.    

2 cups leftover lamb  or raw lamb cut into pieces
1 3/4 cups (15oz, 450gr) white beans 
1 carrot
1 rib celery
4 - 5 green garlic,  about 1/2 cup, sliced  substitute 4 green onions, sliced, and 1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup (4oz, 10gr) cherry tomatoes
3oz (90gr) feta
1/3 cup dry-cured Greek black olives   
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) chicken stock
1 1/4 cup pasta - penne, rigatoni, rotelle

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain.
Roughly chop carrot, celery.  Cut the lamb into bit-size pieces.  Trim and thickly slice green garlic.  Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.  Cut the olives in half.  Cut the feta into small cubes.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet.  Add the carrot (lamb if it's raw), and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the green garlic and sauté 3 minutes longer.  Add the cooked lamb, stock, beans, herbs and bring to a simmer.  Add pasta, tomatoes, olives and feta, heat through.  Serve.

Five:  Stir-fried Turkey with Spring Vegetables    Preparation, cooking time: 25 minutes
    This cooks quickly, as most stir-fries do, allowing the bright green, spring vegetables to retain their color.  I use Brown rice but substitute Basmati if you prefer. Add other spring vegetables if you have them.

10oz (300gr) turkey cutlets or tenderloin   or chicken
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 rib celery
6oz (175gr) asparagus green or white...  or a bit of each
4oz (120gr) snow peas (mangetout)
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) chicken stock
1 tbs sherry (optional)
1 tbs cornstarch (Maizena, corn flour) dissolved in
1 tbs soy sauce plus 1 tbs water
Brown Rice

Thinly slice onion, celery.  Mince garlic. Snap off the ends of the asparagus then roll cut into 1 inch (2.5cm) lengths.  Trim snow peas, cut large ones in half or thirds.  Cut turkey into bite-size pieces.
Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.   Add onion, celery to skillet and stir-fry for 2 minutes.  Add garlic and stir-fry another 2 minutes.  Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.  Add sesame oil to pan and heat.  Add turkey and stir-fry 3 - 5 minutes, until nicely browned.  Remove and put with onions.  Add asparagus to skillet and stir-fry 3 minutes.  Add snow peas to skillet and stir-fry 1 - 2 minutes longer.  Return everything to the skillet.  Add chicken stock, sherry and bring to a boil.   Dissolve cornstarch in soy sauce and water.  Add cornstarch mixture to pan and stir until thickened.   Add more soy sauce if desired, according to taste.  Serve over Brown Rice.

Brown Rice                                                            Time: 20 minutes or whatever your package says
     I use 'Uncle Ben's' which is all I can get and it is quick cooking.  It looks like brown Basmati and cooks in 15 minutes.  You can use Basmati, Jasmine or generic white...

1/2 cup brown rice, quick cooking
1 cup chicken stock or whatever your rice calls for

Cook rice according to package instructions.  Fluff and serve.  

Six:   Beef Stroganoff over Pasta                          Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
    The paprika, Worcestershire and tomato paste add a depth of both color and flavor to this Stroganoff that you won't find in the more traditional, paler versions.

10oz (300gr) flank steak or other beef appropriate for stir frying or quick cooking
1 medium onion
4oz (125gr) mushrooms
4 tsp olive oil
1 tbs paprika
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) beef broth
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tbs cornstarch (maizena) dissolved in
2 tbs beef stock
1/2 cup (4oz, 125gr) Greek yogurt, plain yogurt or sour cream
1 1/4 cups pasta, bite-size

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain.
Peel and cut the onion, vertically, into 6ths.  Brush any dirt off the mushrooms (see techniques) and slice, trimming off the tough stem ends.  Slice the beef on an angle across the grain, then cut the slices into large bite-size pieces.  Put flour and paprika into a medium food bag - large enough to easily hold the beef.  Mix the flour and paprika, then add the beef.  Shake to coat well.
Heat 2 tsp oil in large nonstick skillet and sauté onions and mushrooms until onions are tender.  Remove to a plate.   Heat remaining 2 tsp oil in same skillet.  Add beef and sauté until starting to brown, 3 - 4 minutes.  Add beef stock, onions, mushrooms, basil, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce to skillet, stir to combine, cover, reduce heat and simmer 5 - 10 minutes.  Dissolve cornstarch in remaining 2 tbs of beef stock and stir into pan.  Continue stirring until quite thick.  Remove from heat, add yogurt, mix thoroughly. 
Put the pasta in large pasta bowl, spoon the Stroganoff over and serve.

Suggested menus:

One:  Warm Fava Beans and Green Garlic on Polenta
Sautéed Sole with Browned Butter and Capers
Barley with Feta and Black Olives
Asparagus with Lemon Sauce
Two:  Emerald Soup
Puff Pastry Pizza with Prosciutto
Three:  Emerald Soup
Roast Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary
Roasted New Potatoes
Asparagus with Green Garlic
Fresh Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar
Four:    Pasta with Lamb and White Beans, Greek Style
Five:  Stir-Fried Turkey with Spring Vegetables
Six:  Beef Stroganoff
Sautéed Mangetout (Snow Peas) and Carrots

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