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Menu Plan for Spring I: Week 6, Saturday

Asparagus with Quail Eggs
Chicken with Mascarpone and Shallots
Roasted New Potatoes with Chives
Sunchoke Gratin

Cooking time: 45 minutes for menu      Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

     Quail eggs are little and fun, but, if you can't get them or choose not to use them, 2 regular chicken eggs will be fine. We'll use the rest or most of the Mascarpone here.  If there is any left add it to the Swedish Meatballs.

Asparagus with Quail Eggs

Total time: 20 minutes
   
Asparagus is one of two foods (the other is bacon) that etiquette says one should eat with ones fingers, rather than a knife and fork.  For this, dip the tips in the egg yolk.... A fork will be needed for the rest of the eggs, however... And the rest of the quail eggs? Hard boil them for snacks (5 minutes)

Asparagus with Quail Eggs Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Tip:  If using quail eggs crack them and put them into 2 small bowls, 3 eggs each, to make frying them easier.  They'll be ready to slide into the hot pan.  The shells are a bit tougher then chicken eggs so it requires a bit more effort.

Chicken with Mascarpone and Shallots  

Total time: 45 minutes
     I occasionally find a chicken recipe that leans more toward the decadent than the healthy and reserve it for a Saturday dinner (rather than a Monday).  This is loosely based on a recipe I saw years ago in Cooking Light magazine. I cut the chicken breasts in half, but you can leave them whole if you prefer.

Chicken with Mascarpone and Shallots Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Roasted New Potatoes with Chives

Total time: 35 minutes
   New potatoes are early, tiny, immature potatoes of any color, usually 1" (2.5cm) or less in diameter. They have a high moisture content, are very creamy and usually cooked whole.  If you can't get new potatoes, use regular potatoes, cut into 4ths or 6ths.

Roasted New Potatoes with Chives Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Sunchoke Gratin

Total time: 30 minutes
   These gnarly roots are delicious and easy to fix.  Select sunchokes that are firm and with fewer rather than more knobby bits.  There is no need to peel, but scrub well.

Sunchoke Gratin Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Cooking Schedule: 45 minutes for menu
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
large skillet with lid, medium skillet with lid, medium
saucepan with steamer basket and lid, gratin dish,
baking dish, dish for marinating

Turn oven on, 400F (200C)
Mix marinade for chicken
Cut chicken if desired, add to marinade, set aside
Peel shallots, garlic
Slice Prosciutto
Clean sunchokes, steam
Sauté shallot, garlic, Prosciutto
Trim asparagus
Make vinaigrette
Scrub potatoes, toss with oil, bake
Sauté chicken, reserve marinade
Cook asparagus
Get eggs ready
Turn chicken

Snip chives, set aside
Add marinade, stock, herbs, etc to chicken
Cover, simmer
Remove sunchokes, slice
Assemble sunchoke gratin, bake
Stir potatoes
Remove asparagus
Drain water, reheat skillet
Add eggs, fry
Drizzle vinaigrette on plates
Arrange asparagus
Add eggs to plate, serve, eat
Done?
Remove chicken, shallots, garlic, keep warm
Increase heat under skillet
Dissolve cornstarch in stock, add, thicken
Remove potatoes, add butter, chives
Remove sunchokes
Add mascarpone to stock, stir
Pour sauce over chicken, serve all  

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