Live in the Southern Hemisphere? Here's your Menu

Weekly Main Course Recipes:  Oct. 4, 2013

One:  Vieux Carré Scampi                                  Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
     This is based on one of a 'box' of recipes I got years ago.  It's a bit heavy on the butter, which makes it ideal for serving over rice or pasta... Or Polenta

12oz (360gr) shrimp (prawns)
1 tbs lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1 shallot
1 tbs dried parsley
2 tbs butter
1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) shredded cheese - your choice, I use Gruyère

Clean shrimp if needed.  Divide into 2 buttered, shallow, individual baking dishes or 1 larger one, arranging nicely.  Peel and finely chop shallots and garlic, divide and sprinkle over shrimp.  Sprinkle parsley over shrimp.  Drizzle with lemon juice, dot with remaining butter and sprinkle the cheese over all.  Bake at 375F (190C) for 15 - 20 minutes, until hot, bubbly and shrimp are done.  Time varies depending on size of shrimp.  Serve. 
Note: I put the small dishes on a baking sheet for easier handling.

Two:  Braised Pork with Laurel (Bay)      Preparation and cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes
    Yes, 12 bay leaves.  We are actually going to taste a hint of bay in this roast and it's quite lovely. You can use either fresh or dried.

1 pork loin roast, 1 1/2 - 2 lbs  (750gr)
1 onion, sliced
12 bay (laurel) leaves
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) of white wine
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock
2 tsp juniper berries
1 tbs olive oil

In heavy pot or oven with tight-fitting lid, brown pork in olive oil.  After turning pork, add sliced onions to brown as well.  Add remaining ingredients, turn heat to low, cover and braise for 1 1/2 hours.  Remove pork and keep warm.  Strain juices, then return to pan.  Reduce pan juices over high heat until slightly thickened and syrupy.   Slice pork, pour pan juices over and serve. You can remove bay leaves before serving or leave as a garnish. 

Three:  Puff Pastry Pizza with Chorizo, Feta, Olives          Cooking time: 30 minutes
    The puff pastry makes a light and flaky crust and the pizza is ready in no time.

1 sheet puff pastry
12 dry-cured, Greek olives
4oz (120gr) chorizo
4oz (120gr) feta
4 green onions
2 large tomatoes
2 tbs Parmesan

Lay the pastry crust out on a baking sheet.
Slice tomatoes as thinly as possible, 8 - 10 slices per tomato.  Trim and thinly slice onions,  Thinly slice chorizo.  Cube or crumble feta cheese. Pit olives, if needed, and cut in half.
Arrange the tomato slices on the pastry as close as possible without overlapping. Lay the chorizo, olives, feta and onion on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan.  Bake in a preheated oven, 400F (200C) for 20 - 25 minutes, or until crust and top are golden brown.

Four:  Savory Pork Hash                                          Preparation and cooking time:  25 minutes
    Not a traditional meat for hash but the perfect way to use up the leftovers from a braised pork.  Toss in any leftover gravy or sauce and you have a moist hash with a bit of caramel crunchiness from the sautéed vegetables.

2 medium potatoes
2 medium carrots
1 - 2 ribs celery   about 1 cup
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs chicken stock
12oz (360gr) pork leftover roast or chops, tenderloin,
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs whole grain mustard
1/2 cup leftover gravy or sauce or
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) chicken stock or apple juice, 1/4 tsp rosemary, 1/2 tsp cornstarch maizena

Cut the potatoes - the long way, first in half, then in half again.  Now slice (the short way) about 1/8" (.25cm) thick.  Cut the carrots in quarters the long way then slice the same thickness as the potatoes.  Cut the celery in half the long way and then slice the same thickness.  Roughly chop the onion.  Mince the garlic.  Cut pork into 1/2" (1cm) cubes. 
Heat 1 tbs oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add carrots, potatoes and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add 2 tbs chicken stock, cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Uncover and add onion, garlic, celery.  Turn heat to medium-high.  As chicken stock cooks off, vegetables will start to brown.  Once they are starting to brown, reduce heat to medium, add paprika, thyme, pork and mix well.  Using a spatula stir and flip vegetables occasionally until they are all nicely browned and done. 
If using leftover sauce: Stir mustard into sauce.  Add to skillet, stirring until well combined and heated through.
If using chicken stock: Mix stock, rosemary, cornstarch and mustard.  Add to skillet as above.

 Five:  Turkey Cutlets, Creamy Mushroom Sauce Preparation, cooking time: 25 minutes
      You can use turkey tenderloin - sliced horizontally to make cutlets, or use chicken breasts.

12oz (360gr) turkey cutlets 
4oz (120gr) mushrooms
1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) chicken stock
1/4 cup (2oz, 60gr) yogurt
2 tsp olive oil

Trim and slice mushrooms. Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet.  Add cumin, mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms start to brown.  Move to the side and add turkey cutlets.  Lightly brown on each side, about 5 minutes.  Stir in mustard, chicken stock and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes.  Add yogurt, stir to combine and serve.

Six:   Pasta with Chicken, Red Beans, Red Pepper          Cooking time: 25 minutes
   Red pepper, red beans and a few of the last fresh tomatoes come together for a quick sauce for pasta and sautéed chicken breasts.  Delicious doesn't have to be difficult!

1 1/4 cup dried pasta, curly macaroni, rigatoni
2 chicken breasts
1 medium red pepper
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp paprika, sweet or smoky
2 tsp olive oil
15oz (450gr) red beans
2 medium tomatoes
1/3 cup (3oz, 90gr) chicken stock

Cook the pasta according to package directions. 
Prep:  Roughly chop the pepper and onion.  Mince the garlic. Cut chicken into large bite-size pieces. Roughly chop tomatoes.  Open, drain and rinse beans.
Cook:  In a large skillet heat oil.  Sauté paprika in hot oil for 1 minute. Add onion, pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. Add chicken and sauté until cooked through.  Add garlic, sauté 1 minute longer.  Add tomatoes, beans, stock, and simmer until tomatoes soften and sauce starts to thicken, 5 - 10 minutes.  Pour sauce over pasta, stir well to combine and serve.

Suggested menus:

One:   Chorizo and Cheese Mini Frittatas
Vieux Carré Scampi
Soft Polenta with Leeks 
Peas with Leeks
   Mushrooms and Pecans on Butternut Squash
Braised Pork with Laurel (Bay)
Potatoes and Carrots with Bay
Three:  Puff Pastry Pizza with Chorizo, Feta and Olives
Fresh Fruit
Four:   Savory Pork Hash
Five:  Turkey Cutlets with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
Simple Barley
Roasted Butternut Squash
Six:  Pasta / Chicken, Red Beans and Red Pepper 

Shopping List for This Week 

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