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Menu Plan for Spring I: Week 4, Friday

Fried Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella
Pan-Seared Tuna Mustard Cream
Patatas Castellanas (Castilian-Style Potatoes)
Braised Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes)

Cooking time:  30 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

      I know that tomatoes aren't in season, but, this time of year even the ones in the supermarket start looking good.  The tuna is best if done at the last minute for rare or medium rare.  You can do it ahead and keep in a warm oven if you want it more well done. We use the rest of the onion later in the week.

Fried Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella

Total time: 15 minutes 
     This is the same, but the opposite, of a summer Caprese Salad:  We want rather hard, supermarket tomatoes, not nice, fresh garden ones and cow's milk rather than buffalo milk mozzarella. But the flavors still hint of summer!

Fried Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Pan-Seared Tuna Mustard Cream 

Total time: 15 minutes
     This is best with good sushi-grade (ahi) tuna that is quickly seared on both sides and cool or just barely warm in the center.  If you get regular tuna you will need to cook it until it is closer to medium. If you use hot mustard (like I do) this sauce will have a bit of a kick... You can, of course, use less...

Pan-Seared Tuna Mustard Cream Ingredients:

 Instructions

Patatas Castellanas (Castilian-Style Potatoes)

Total time: 30 minutes
    These flavorful potatoes, are braised in a skillet with paprika, garlic and onion, with a bit of flour to thicken. Great served with spicy pork or chicken.

Patatas Castellanas (Castilian-Style Potatoes) Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Braised Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes)

Total time: 30 minutes 
    Braising can add a lot of flavor to vegetables as well as meats, usually with little or no added fat. I added Herbes de Provence to these but almost any herb will work: thyme, basil, marjoram, rosemary.

Braised Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes)  Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Cooking Schedule: 30 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
2 large skillets, 1 lid, 3 flattish bowls, medium skillet
with lid, small skillet with lid
Chop onion, mince garlic
Sauté onion, garlic
Put crumbs, flour, egg in bowls, beat egg
Cut potatoes, add to onions, sauté
Make Mustard Cream
Add paprika, flour to potatoes, stir, sauté
Add stock, stir, cover, cook
Peel sunchokes, cut, put in skillet
Add stock, herbs, cover, braise
Slice tomatoes, mozzarella

Heat skillet for tomatoes
Dip tomatoes, flour, egg, crumbs; fry
Cut garlic for tuna
Turn tomatoes
Add mozzarella to tomatoes, cover
Check potatoes
Remove tomatoes, arrange on plates
Add basil leaves, olives, if using
Serve, relax, pretend it's summer
Done? Heat skillet for tuna, sauté garlic, remove
Add tuna, sear
Uncover potatoes, cook off any liquid
Turn tuna, sear
Finish sunchokes
Remove tuna, serve, Mustard Cream on the side