Live in the Southern Hemisphere? Here's your Menu

Weekly Main Course Recipes:  Nov. 8, 2013

One:  Shrimp in Garlic Butter over Pasta            Preparation, cooking time:  25 minutes
      The lemon juice and white wine extend the sauce without using quite so much butter and the Prosciutto is a sweet/salty counterpoint to the shrimp, balancing the flavors nicely. Sprinkle with fresh Parmesan or not...  You can use frozen, raw shrimp or pre-cooked for this.

12oz (360gr) cleaned shrimp (prawns)
3 slices Prosciutto or other dry-cured ham, 2oz (60gr)
5 cloves garlic
2 shallots
1 tsp paprika
2 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs white wine
4 tbs fresh snipped parsley  substitute 2 tbs dried parsley
1/4 cup (1oz, 30gr) freshly grated Parmesan optional
1 1/4 cups bite-size pasta

Cook pasta according to package directions, just until al dente.
While it cooks:  Clean shrimp if they need it.   Mince garlic and finely chop shallots.  Roughly chop Prosciutto.  Grate Parmesan.  Snip parsley if using fresh. 
Heat butter and oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots, garlic and sauté over medium heat, stirring frequently, 5 - 7 minutes.  Be careful not to let the garlic brown. Add ham and sauté 5 minutes longer, just until starting to get crisp.   Stir in paprika.  Add shrimp and sauté until cooked through (they'll turn opaque and curl).   Add lemon juice, white wine and parsley; heat through.  Add pasta and heat through, stirring.  Spoon into a serving dish, sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.

Note: The photo was taken before I added the cheese - the shrimp and ham showed up better.....

Two: Veal with Parsley and Marsala                   Preparation and cooking time:  15 minutes
The tender veal scallops cook quickly and are finished with a silky wine sauce. If you can't get Marsala you can use Madeira, a sweet (cream) sherry, or any, slightly sweet fortified wine.  Chicken breasts, pounded thin, or turkey scallops would make good substitutes.  Both would need a bit more cooking. Unlike the traditional Veal Marsala, this has lots or parsley, no tomato and is not thickened.

12oz (360gr) veal cutlets, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (4oz,120ml) Marsala,       substitute Madeira, cream sherry
1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) beef broth     substitute chicken or a 1/2 tsp beef base
1 tbs dried parsley or 2 tbs fresh
1 tbs olive oil

In large, nonstick skillet heat oil over medium high heat.  Add veal and quickly brown on both sides, about one minute each.  Remove to an oven proof serving platter.  Keep veal in a warm oven (125F, 75C) while finishing sauce.  Add the Marsala, beef stock and parsley to the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits.  Let sauce cook rapidly until reduced and thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.  Pour sauce over veal and serve.

Three:  Turkey, Pepper and White Bean Risotto  Preparation, cooking time:  30 minutes
This is a colorful risotto with the red peppers and black olives.  A few cannellini beans make it a complete meal.

2/3 cup Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto - Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) dry, white wine
2 1/4 cups (18oz, 540ml) chicken stock
1/2 onion other half for the condimenti
2 tsp butter
1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) Parmesan cheese - freshly grated 

Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat.  Finely chop onion.  In medium saucepan heat butter over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté until transparent then add rice and sauté stirring, for 2 - 3 minutes until rice has white center.  Add white wine and stir. 
Start condimenti. 
When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/3 cup of stock  and stir. (No need to stir constantly but do stir from time to time.) When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring.
Before the last 1/3 cup is added taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just 'al dente' - slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked. If more stock is needed add it 1 tbs at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed. At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff - there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold it's shape on a plate. 
Add the condimenti, Parmesan, pour into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately.
It will continue to absorb liquid and the leftovers (if any) will be quite stiff. The risottos that we have eaten in northern Italy have all been served in soup plates (flattish bowls) and eaten with a spoon - not a fork.


6oz (180gr) turkey cutlet or tenderloin
1/2 onion
1/2 red or green bell pepper
3/4 cup white beans, cannellini
8 - 10 olives, pitted black, Greek olives (you could use Kalamata)
2 tsp olive oil

Cut the turkey into strips.  Chop the onion and pepper.  Pit olives, if needed, and cut in half. 
Heat olive oil in nonstick skillet.  Add onion and sauté 5 minutes.  Add peppers and sauté 5 minutes longer.  Add turkey and sauté until done, 7 - 9 minutes.  Add olives, beans and stir to combine.  Reduce heat and keep warm until needed for risotto. 

Four:  Pork Amandine                                           Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
     Loaded with celery and almonds, this was a classic dish on the menu of the Chinese restaurant I worked with. I have added a bit more pork and some fresh ginger to my version and serve it over brown rice.

10oz (300gr) pork tenderloin or boneless chops
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp minced ginger
3 ribs celery  about 1 1/2 cups
1/2 red or green bell pepper
1 medium carrot
4oz (120gr) mushrooms  
1/2 cup almonds  whole, sliced or slivered
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbs sherry (optional)
1 tbs cornstarch (Maizena, corn flour) dissolved in
     1 tbs soy sauce plus 1 tbs water

Thinly slice onion.  Mince garlic.  Mince ginger (peel first).  Julienne the pepper and carrot (techniques).  Trim and slice mushrooms.  Slice celery on the diagonal.   Cut the pork into large bite-size pieces.
Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.   Add onion to skillet and stir-fry for 2 minutes.  Add garlic, ginger and stir-fry another 2 minutes.  Remove onions/garlic from pan and set aside.   Add pork and stir-fry 3 - 5 minutes, until nicely browned.  Remove and put with onions.  Add carrots, mushrooms, peppers to skillet and stir-fry 5 minutes.  Return pork, onions, garlic and ginger to pan.  Add chicken stock, sherry, soy sauce and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove cover, add cornstarch mixture and stir until thickened.  Stir in almonds and serve over rice.   Add more soy sauce if desired, according to taste.

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.  Substitute Basmati.

1/2 cup quick-cooking brown rice
1 cup chicken stock  or whatever your rice calls for
1/2 tsp dried thyme

Cook rice according to package instructions adding the herbs with the stock or water.  Fluff and serve.

 Five:  Chicken Stroganoff with Pasta                  Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
 Chicken breast, cut up and quickly cooked, makes a very tender meat for the Stroganoff.  You may never go back to the traditional Beef! I break from tradition again, using Greek yogurt rather than the sour cream.  Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier than regular plain yogurt, but lower in fat and calories than sour cream. 

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1 medium onion
4oz (120gr) mushrooms
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs paprika
1/4 cup flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp cornstarch (maizena) dissolved in 1 tbs water
1/2 cup (4oz, 125gr) Greek yogurt, plain yogurt or sour cream
1 1/4 cups pasta, bite-size     I like farfalle or egg noodles for this

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Peel and vertically slice the onion into thick wedges.  Brush any dirt off the mushroom and slice - trimming off the tough stem ends.  Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.  Put flour and paprika into a medium food bag - large enough to easily hold the chicken.  Mix the flour and paprika, then add the chicken.  Shake to coat well.
Heat 1 tbs oil in large nonstick skillet and sauté onions for 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms and continue to sauté until onions are tender, about 10 minutes longer.  Remove to a plate. 
Heat remaining 1 tbs oil in same skillet.  Add chicken and sauté until golden, 3 - 4 minutes.  Add chicken stock, onions, mushrooms, thyme and mustard to skillet, cover and simmer 5 - 7 minutes. 
Dissolve cornstarch in water 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.

Six:   Spicy Beef Enchiladas                                    Preparation and cooking time: 35 minutes
You can make this as hot or not by your choice of taco sauce, how much chili powder you use and by adding hotter peppers and/or hot sauce. 

8oz (240gr) ground beef (or turkey)
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 - 2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
4oz (120gr) green chilies  or something hotter if your prefer
15oz (450gr) refried beans
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup (4oz, 120gr) shredded cheese - divided,  cheddar, colby
2 jars enchilada or taco sauce,  10oz each  (300 ml) (mild or hot)
1/3 cup (3oz, 90ml) Greek yogurt, or sour cream   approximately
4 corn or wheat tortillas 

Chop onion.  Finely chop garlic.  Drain chilies, chop if whole.  Heat oil in large nonstick skillet.  Add chili powder, cumin, and sauté 1 minute.  Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes.  Add beef and sauté, breaking it up as it browns.  Add 1/3 of the beans and enough sauce to just kind of hold it all together, 1/3 - 1/2 cup.  Remove from heat.  Add green chilies and 1/2 cup of the cheese, mix well. 
Put 1/3 cup of enchilada or taco sauce into a baking dish large enough to hold 4 enchiladas.   Heat a large nonstick skillet, over medium heat.  Warm one tortilla in the skillet for 15 - 20 seconds.  Spoon one fourth  of the beef/been mixture onto the tortilla and roll up.  Place seam side down on the sauce in the baking dish.   Repeat with remaining three tortillas. Pour the rest of the Enchilada/Taco sauce over the finished enchiladas, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese.  Bake at 375F  (190C) for 20 minutes, until heated through and cheese is bubbly.  
Heat remaining beans. 
Serve Enchiladas with Greek yogurt and beans on the side.

Suggested menus:

One:   Sautéed Endive with Avocado
Shrimp in Garlic Butter over Pasta
Sautéed Carrots
   Tomato and White Bean Soup
Veal Cutlets with Marsala and Parsley
Potatoes Braised with White Wine and Olives
Cauliflower with Parmesan Sauce
Three:  Turkey, Pepper and White Bean Risotto
Fresh Fruit
Four:   Pork Amandine
Five:  Chicken Stroganoff
Roast Acorn Squash
Six: Spicy Beef Enchiladas

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