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 Starters  Beef  Chicken, etc  Fish  Pork, Lamb  Barbecue  One Dish  Salads  Sides  Misc. 

Menu Plan for Summer I: Week 10, Saturday

Vichyssoise
Grilled Sirloin with Madeira Sauce
Polenta with Fresh Herbs
Butter Braised Green Beans

Cooking time:  30 minutes, plus 25 earlier          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

        Another summer, warm weather classic: cold, creamy Vichyssoise.  It should be made earlier but only takes about 10 minutes of work and 15 of cooking.  Anytime, up to 2 days in advance is fine.  The steak can also benefit from a long marinating time so they can be done at the same time, making dinner time a snap.

Vichyssoise  (Cold Potato and Leek Soup)

Total time: 25 minutes plus cooling and 5 minutes to finish
    Another classic French dish.  The addition of cream or milk to finish gives it a rich texture.  If you can stand the calories the cream really makes for a luscious soup....  I always use heavy cream if serving to guests.

Vichyssoise Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Note:  You can set the hot soup pan in cold water (assuming it's a metal pan) to help cool the soup faster.

Grilled Sirloin with Madeira Sauce

Total time: 20 minutes      plus marinating time 
    This makes a great dinner party dish: Use a larger, cheaper cut of meat, about 1 1/2" (4cm)  thick, and marinate 8 - 12 hours.  The rest of the ingredients can be doubled (I actually 'halved' everything for this version for 2)  You can also make more and serve the leftovers with pasta.  

Grilled Sirloin with Madeira Sauce Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Polenta with Fresh Herbs

Preparation and cooking time:   15 minutes, assuming quick-cooking polenta
     This is a simple polenta dish, allowing the flavors of the fresh herbs to dominate.  Check the package directions for quantity proportions. It should be like soft mashed potatoes.

Polenta with Fresh Herbs Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Butter Braised Green Beans

Total time: 20 minutes  
     This is the easiest and freshest way to serve just-picked green beans. The olive oil keeps the butter from burning and the beans give off enough liquid when covered to braise nicely without sticking.

Butter Braised Green Beans Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Cooking Schedule: 30 minutes, plus 25 earlier
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
scissors, whisk, small bowl, medium saucepan, lid,
2 small saucepans, medium skillet with lid, dish for
marinating, blender
Earlier in the day:
Clean, slice leeks
Sauté leeks in medium saucepan
Peel, chop potatoes
Add potatoes, chicken stock to leeks, cover, boil
Reduce heat, simmer until potatoes are tender
Make marinade for steak
Put steak in dish, add marinade, cover, refrigerate
Tidy up the kitchen
When potatoes are tender remove, refrigerate
Dinner Time:
Remove steak, allow to come to room temperature
Turn on/light barbecue grill

Snip/cut herbs
Top and tail beans, cut
Remove 1/4 marinade from dish with steak
Make Madeira sauce, cover, remove from heat
Purée soup
Add milk to soup, taste, adjust
Put chicken stock for polenta on low heat to warm
Serve soup, garnish with chives
Done?
Turn heat up under stock for polenta
Sauté beans
Start to cook steak
Add polenta to stock, whisk
Add herbs, cover, let rest
Turn steak
Cover beans, braise
Check steak, remove if done, let rest
Finish polenta, beans
Slice steak and serve all

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