Weekly Main Course Recipes:  May 3, 2013

One:  Marinated Salmon, Brown Sugar Yogurt Sauce                       Time: 20 minutes
    The salmon, marinated in an herbal bath for 15 minutes, is cooked on the barbecue grill or baked and served with a cold, hot-sweet sauce.

2 salmon fillets, 12oz total (360gr each)
2/3 cup (5oz, 150ml) white wine
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs lemon
1 tbs fresh parsley substitute dried
2 tsp tarragon    substitute dried
Brown Sugar Yogurt Sauce:
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbs Dijon-style mustard
2 tsp brown sugar  

Mince garlic.  In a flat dish, just large enough for the salmon and marinade, mix wine, garlic, lemon, herbs.  Add salmon, turning once to coat, and allow to marinate for 15 - 25 minutes. 
When ready to cook: 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 - 18 minutes, depending on thickness.  In both case salmon will be done when it flakes easily, slightly pink in the center is fine. 
Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mustard and sugar. Set aside.
To serve: Slide the salmon off the skin if needed and place on plates.  Spoon some sauce on the side and serve.

Two:   Lamb Chops with Rosemary Butter        Preparation and cooking time:  20 minutes
    Lamb chops with Rosemary.... Is there a more perfect combination?  Use the light marinade before grilling, then finish with a dollop of rosemary mustard butter to melt onto the hot chops.  You can substitute Pork Chops if you prefer.  

4 - 6 center-cut lamb chops,  depending on size
1 tbs oil
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder 
1 tsp dried rosemary
Rosemary Mustard Butter:
1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary    substitute 2 tsp dried
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
4 tsp soft butter

Mix oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and 1 tsp rosemary.  Brush on chops and and allow to marinate until ready to cook chops.  Cook chops on barbecue grill for 2 - 5 minutes per side depending on thickness and desired degree of doneness (I don't know if that is a word - but you get the idea).  We do ours on a hot grill 2 minutes per side for medium rare.  When you think they might be close take one off, cut into center and peak.  You can always put them back on to cook more - you cannot undo... You could also sauté in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for about the same amount of time.  When done to your liking remove from heat, put 1 tsp rosemary butter on each chop and serve.
To make Butter:  Mix all ingredients, and allow to rest at room temperature to blend flavors.

Three:   Grilled Tarragon Chicken Breasts       Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
     Tarragon is a great herb for chicken, and a classic pairing in French cuisine.  When basting with a marinade, stop about 5 minutes before taking the meat off the heat, and turn the meat a final time to make certain the marinade is cooked.

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1 tbs snipped fresh chives       substitute 2 tsp dried
2 tbs snipped fresh tarragon   substitute 2 tsp dried
2 tbs Dijon-style mustard
2 tbs tarragon white wine vinegar
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs honey

Mix all ingredients except chicken, whisking well.  Pour over chicken and let marinate 10 - 15 minutes.  Cook on barbecue grill for 8 - 12 minutes per side or until done (test - take a peak), basting with marinade. 
sauté in nonstick skillet for 8 - 10 minutes per side until nicely browned and done, basting with marinade.  Serve.

Four:  Orange Glazed Pork Chops                        Preparation and cooking time:  30 minutes
   Ground ginger adds a bit of heat to this marinade, as does the garlic.  Use between the 1/2 and 1 tsp, depending on your love of 'hot'.  Boneless pork chops cook quickly on the barbecue, be careful not to over cook or they will be dry; a wee bit pink in the center is perfect.   

2 - 4 pork chops, depending on size  12oz (350gr) if boneless
3 tbs soy sauce
3 tbs orange marmalade
3 tbs dry sherry
1/2 - 1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder

In small bowl whisk together the ingredients for the marinade - you need to use the whisk to break up the marmalade.  Spoon over chops and let marinate for 15 minutes (or longer...).  Remove from marinade and cook on barbecue 10 - 15 minutes turning once or under broiler for 12 - 15 minutes turning once - or sauté in large skillet 10 - 15 minutes (you get the picture).  Baste with any remaining sauce before turning.  In all cases it depends on thickness and test for doneness by slicing and peaking. Remove and serve.   

Five:  Chicken, Asparagus Salad with Pasta      Preparation and cooking time:  30 minutes
     Another dish that straddles two genres - not quite a pasta; not quite a salad.  But it's perfect for spring, featuring: asparagus, spinach, green garlic and cherry tomatoes. 

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
6oz (180gr) asparagus
3oz (90gr) spinach
3/4 cup (3oz, 90gr) cherry tomatoes
3 green garlic     substitute 3 green onions and 1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs sherry vinegar
4 tsp olive oil divided
1 cup pasta, bite-size, penne, rigatoni

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain.
To prepare:  Cut chicken into bit-size pieces. In a medium bowl mix 2 tsp oil, soy sauce, cumin and paprika.  Add chicken and stir well to combine. Set aside to marinate.
Prepare spinach, wash and dry if needed. Trim asparagus and cut into 1 1/2" (4cm) lengths. Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Trim green garlic and slice, using most of the green tops. 
To cook:  Heat remaining 2 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, green garlic and sauté until asparagus is crisp-tender, 5 - 7 minutes.  Remove to a plate.  Add chicken and all marinade to skillet and sauté, stirring, until cooked through.  Reduce heat, return asparagus, green garlic to skillet and heat through.  Add spinach, cherry tomatoes, pasta and vinegar to skillet.  Remove from heat and toss to combine.  Serve. 

Six:   Stir-Fried Beef with Snow Peas                    Preparation and cooking time:    25 minutes
     Fresh snow peas and cherry tomatoes are great for stir-fries: they cook quickly, add lots of color and get us out of traditional winter fare.

8oz ground beef (mince 250gr)
1 onion
2 green garlic    substitute 2 cloves garlic
4oz (120gr) mushrooms
3oz (90gr) snow peas (mangetout, pea pods)
1 small red pepper
3oz (90gr) cherry tomatoes
1 medium carrot
1/2 (4oz, 120ml) cup beef stock
1 tbs sherry
1 tbs soy sauce
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs cornstarch (or thickener of choice) dissolved in 2 tbs water

Trim and slice green garlic or mince garlic.  Slice onion, pepper. Cut carrot into matchsticks.  Trim and slice mushrooms. Trim snow peas and cut in half.  Cut cherry tomatoes in half.
In large nonstick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, pepper and stir-fry 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, green garlic or garlic, snow peas and stir-fry 3 minutes longer. Remove to a plate.
Add beef to skillet and sauté, breaking it up as it browns. When beef is browned, return vegetables to skillet and add stock, sherry, cumin, soy sauce. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer 5 minutes.
Dissolve cornstarch in water.  Turn the heat up under the skillet and add the cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly until thickened. Add cherry tomatoes, heat through.  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 could substitute regular or Basmati.

1/2 cup quick-cooking brown rice
1 cup beef stock or whatever your rice calls for

Cook rice according to package instructions. Fluff and serve.

Suggested menus:

One:  Artichokes with White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Marinated Salmon with Brown Sugar Yogurt Sauce
Brown Rice with Green Garlic
Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic and Soy
Two:  Asparagus Pastries with Tarragon Cream
Grilled Lamb Chops with Rosemary Butter
Roasted New Potatoes with Lemon and Green Garlic
Carrots with Green Garlic
Three:  Grilled Tarragon Chicken Breasts
Pasta Primavera Salad
Four:     Orange Glazed Pork Chops
Warm Rice, Quinoa and Avocado Salad
Sautéed Mangetout with Sesame Seeds
Five:  Warm Chicken and Asparagus Salad with Pasta
Six:  Stir-Fried Beef with Snow Peas
Brown Rice

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