Weekly Main Course Recipes:  May 24, 2013

One:   Grilled Glazed Salmon                                Preparation and cooking time:  20 minutes
    Using a natural sweetener like maple syrup or honey brings out the sweetness in the salmon.  Combined with a bit of Balsamic it creates a rich, thick glaze, keeping the salmon moist and tender.

2 salmon fillets, 6oz each (180gr each)
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp maple syrup or honey
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs lemon juice   fresh is good

In small bowl mix all ingredients except salmon and lemon.  Drizzle over salmon and allow to marinate for 15 minutes or so.  Put salmon in a grill basket if using barbecue grill or on mesh grill pan if you don't have a basket.  Grill for 10 - 12 minutes, skin-side down, with the grill cover closed.  Be careful not to overcook. 
OR put on baking sheet and roast in 400 F oven for 15 - 20 minutes, depending on thickness.  In both case salmon will be done when it flakes easily, slightly pink in the center is fine.  Remove from heat and slide the salmon off the skin if needed.  Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve.

Two:   Barbecued Sirloin Steak                                   Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
   We get a cut called a 'faux filet' - I have no idea why it's called that...  I think it would be the equivalent of a sirloin, but use any steak suitable for your budget and for grilling.  If you slice the steak, at an angle, even a tougher cut is delicious - and they usually have more flavor!

16oz (480gr) sirloin or top round (suitable for grilling)  
2 tbs ketchup
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbs olive oil

Combine ketchup, Worcestershire, vinegar, oil, garlic and oregano.  Spoon on both sides if steak and allow to marinate for 15 - 30 minutes. 
Cook steak on barbecue grill over direct heat for 5 - 9 minutes per side - or until done - 140F (60C) for rare.  Use thumb test, meat thermometer or, as last resort, by slicing into center and looking.  When done, remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes.  Slice at an angle about 1/2 inch thick (1.25cm) and serve. 
Can be cooked under broiler - start with 7 minutes per side.   

Three:   Barbecued Chicken                                    Preparation and cooking time:  about an hour
  As it is assumed people want to do most things for themselves here, we have to buy the whole chicken and cut it up - otherwise we might not get the feet... Get a cut-up chicken or packages of your preferred pieces, freezing what you don't use for another day.

1 cut up chicken - or your favorite chicken parts, however you can buy them
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 cup (or more) Barbecue sauce

Wash chicken and pat dry with paper towels.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika.  Put on barbecue grill on indirect heat and close cover.  Check periodically - if any pieces flare up just move around a bit.  An instant-read or remote read meat thermometer is a great help. 
After about 30 minutes start basting with barbecue sauce (if you do it earlier the sauce may burn).  I always put 2/3's of the sauce in a separate small bowl to be used for dipping at the table before basting. 
Chicken will be done at 170F or when it is no longer pink and the juices run clear when pierced with a knife.  Try not to cook it too long or it will be dry - and remember that the breast will be done before the thigh.  It should take about 45 minutes over indirect heat but can be up to an hour, depending on heat.  Remove and serve with sauce on the side. 
Oven method: Put chicken skin side down on baking sheet with sides or in 9X13 pan.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika and put in a 400F (200C) oven.  After 30 minutes turn chicken and baste with barbecue sauce.  Continue to bake 15 minutes longer or until done, basting once more with barbecue sauce.  Remove and serve with a bit of sauce on the side. 

Barbecue Sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
3/4 cup tomato sauce (1 small can - you don't have to be too precise here)
2 tbs cider vinegar
2 tbs molasses
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder

Mix all ingredients in small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring frequently. Simmer 10 - 15 minutes, remove from heat and use when needed.  Sauce will keep for a week in the refrigerator.

Four:  Tuna Cannellini Pasta Salad, Creamy Herb Dressing         Time:  25 minutes
     With the addition of white beans this becomes a main meal pasta salad.  Using a yogurt based rather than mayonnaise based dressing keeps it healthy... but still creamy.   

1 1/4 cups farfalle, fusilli, something bite-size
1 tbs good olive oil
9oz (270gr) tuna
1 3/4 cup (15oz, 450gr) white beans (cannellini)
3oz (90gr) cherry tomatoes,  about 1/2 cup
1/2 cup green olives
2 - 3 ribs sliced celery, about 2/3 cup
1/2 red bell pepper  
1 tbs fresh snipped tarragon
1 tbs fresh snipped chives
Creamy Dressing

Cook pasta according to package directions.  When done, drain, rinse with cool water, put in a large bowl and toss with 1 tbs olive oil. 
Open, drain and rinse beans.  Open and drain tuna.  Cut cherry tomatoes and olives in half.  Slice celery - diagonally is nice.  Cut pepper into matchsticks, then in half.  Snip herbs.  Make dressing. 
Add half of the dressing to the pasta and toss gently to coat.  Break up tuna and add to pasta along with the rest of the ingredients,  Toss lightly to combine.  Taste and add as much more dressing as desired.  I used it all.  Serve.

Creamy Herb Dressing

1/2 cup (4oz, 125ml) Greek or plain yogurt 
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs fresh snipped chives        Substitute 2 tsp dried
1 tbs fresh snipped tarragon    Substitute 2 tsp dried
2 tbs good olive oil

Snip tarragon and chives with scissors.  In small bowl whisk yogurt, mustard and lemon juice.  Add oil, a bit at a time and whisk well.  Add herbs.  This will keep a week.

Five:  Asian Chicken and Cabbage Salad            Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
   Shredded cabbage with a creamy peanut butter dressing is the base for this chicken salad.  Sprinkled with sliced (or slivered) almonds and sesame seeds, it has a definite 'Asian' flavor.

The Chicken:
2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs walnut or sesame oil
1 tbs peanut butter
1 tbs sherry vinegar  
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp dried, powdered ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder
The Salad:
1/3 cup quinoa     I used red - such a pretty color, but the more common tan will work just fine
2/3 cup chicken stock
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 carrot
1/2 green or red bell pepper   
3oz (90gr) snow peas (mangetout)
1 tbs fresh snipped chives   substitute 1 tsp dried
1 tbs toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Peanut Dressing

Cook quinoa in stock for 15 minutes. fluff when done and set aside.
The chicken: Put soy sauce, walnut oil, peanut butter, vinegar, 1 tbs olive oil, chili powder, ginger and garlic in a small bowl.  Whisk well to combine. 
Slice chicken breasts into strips and toss with marinade.  Allow to marinate for 15 minutes while you make the rest of the salad. 
Heat remaining 1 tbs olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  When sizzling, add chicken and stir-fry 4 - 6 minutes, or until done.  
The salad: Shred cabbage: cut a slice off of the head, lay the slice cut side down, cut into 4ths, then, cutting across, slice very finely: 1/16" - 1/8" (.3cm).  Do not use the core of the cabbage - you'll recognize it when you see it.  
Slice the carrot into paper thin strips using the vegetable peeler.  Julienne the pepper.  Trim snow peas and slice, at an angle, into pieces about 3/4" (2cm) long.  Snip chives. 
Make the Dressing. 
To assemble:  Put cabbage, carrot, pepper, snow peas and chives into a large salad bowl.  Add the dressing and toss well.  Add quinoa, and toss to combine.  Allow to rest and the flavors to blend while cooking the chicken. When the chicken is done, arrange on the salad, sprinkle with sesame seeds and almonds, serve.

Peanut Dressing
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs peanut putter
3 tbs sherry vinegar  
1 tbs fresh parsley     substitute 2 tsp dried
1 tbs oil - sesame or walnut
2 tbs salad olive oil
1 tbs soy sauce

Put all ingredients in small bowl and whisk well.

Note: Toast sesame seeds in a dry, nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat, 3 - 6 minutes. Start flipping them or shaking the skillet after 1 - 2 minutes and remove as soon as light brown.

Six:   Orange Glazed Turkey Cutlets                  Preparation and cooking time:   25 minutes
    We don't eat orange marmalade on toast... But I love it for making marinades.  (And Lemon and Grapefruit, as well.)  It adds a caramel-like sweetness when cooked on the barbecue.  If you don't have any sherry in the pantry you can use white or rosé wine or 1tbs more sherry vinegar.

2 - 4 turkey cutlets, depending on size, 12oz (360gr) total weight
3 tbs orange marmalade  substitute 2 tbs orange juice or 1 tbs lemon juice and 1 tbs honey
2 tbs sherry
1 tbs sherry wine vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary

Whisk together all ingredients (except turkey).  Pour over turkey and let marinate for 10 - 15 minutes.  Remove from marinade and cook on barbecue grill for 4 - 6 minutes per side or until done, basting before turning with marinade.  OR sauté in nonstick skillet for 4 - 6 minutes a side or until done.  Remove and serve.

Suggested menus:

One:  Spinach, White Bean, Red Pepper Salad
Grilled Glazed Salmon
Pasta with Olive Oil, Herbs, Parmesan
Sautéed Asparagus with Tarragon Yogurt Sauce
  Asparagus, Avocado, Cherry Tomato Salad
Barbecued Sirloin Steak
Grilled Potatoes with Basil Butter
Sautéed Mangetout with Spring Onions
Three:  Barbecued Chicken
American Potato Salad
Tangy Coleslaw
Four:     Tuna Cannellini Pasta Salad
Five:  Asian Chicken and Cabbage Salad
Six:  Orange Glazed Turkey Cutlets
Basmati Rice with Herbs
Stir-Fried Carrots and Mangetout

Shopping List for This Week

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