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Menu Plan for Spring I: Week 13, Friday

White Bean (Cannellini) and Radish Salad
Barbecued Shrimp (Prawns)
Grilled Polenta
Asparagus with Olive Oil and Lemon

Cooking time:  40 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

       This is an easy dinner, especially if you don't have to clean the shrimp and you can squeeze in a few minutes earlier to cook the polenta. Clean any leftover radishes and put them in a bowl in the fridge for snacking. 

White Bean (Cannellini) and Radish Salad

Total time: 20 minutes  
    Radishes are so plentiful in the spring, and/or it's easy to grow your own.  The beans and vinaigrette tone down the heat, letting their flavor shine.

White Bean and Radish Salad Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Barbecued Shrimp (Prawns)

Total time: 15 minutes, longer if you have to clean the shrimp
   Shrimp cook very quickly on the barbecue grill so be careful not to overcook, lest they be dry. They should just curl and be opaque.  The marinade helps retain moisture.  We cook them on a silicone grill mat, but a mesh pan will work, as well.... or skewers.

Barbecued Shrimp Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Grilled Polenta

Total time: 40 minutes      (including cooling time)
  I use quick-cooking, because that's what I can get, and it takes me about 10 minutes plus cooling time and grilling time.  If you can't make it earlier in the day, don't cover it.  Just allow to cool at room temperature (it will only take abut 20 minutes).  Setting the pan in a bit of cold water helps. It just needs to be cool enough to hold its shape well.

Grilled Polenta Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Note:  Polenta can vary between brands and types.
When making polenta for cooling and cooking again, either frying or on the grill, it's important to get it very stiff. It should be hard to stir, and hold its shape when you are done cooking it - before chilling it.  If it isn't stiff enough, sprinkle another 1 - 2 tsp per 1/4 cup on the polenta and stir in, vigorously.  When cool it should be very firm.  In this recipe the cheese also helps to thicken it as it cools. 

Asparagus with Olive Oil and Lemon     

Total time: 25 minutes 
    If the green asparagus is thick, peeling will help it cook faster and even the stalks will be tender. I always peel white.  A quick dressing of olive oil and lemon lets the fresh asparagus shine!

Asparagus with Olive Oil and Lemon Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Cooking Schedule: 40 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
scissors, 1 small bowl (use 2X), whisk, 2 medium
bowls, salad spinner or towels, 2 small saucepans,
pan for cooling polenta, medium skillet with lid,
barbecue grill, grill pan or mat, BBQ tools
Cook egg
Put stock on high heat for polenta
Snip all herbs
Prepare cooling dish/pan for polenta
Whisk polenta into stock, stirring until cooked
Stir in herbs, Parmesan
Pour polenta into pan, cool
Mince all garlic, divide
Mind the egg
Tend to the shrimp - clean if needed
Combine garlic, oil, shrimp, set aside
Make barbecue sauce for shrimp, set aside
Trim, slice radishes

Squeeze lemon
Trim asparagus
Light/turn on barbecue grill if using
Make vinaigrette for salad
Peel, chop egg
Open, drain, rinse beans
Make salad
Wash spinach leaves if needed, dry
Arrange spinach on plates, spoon salad in center
Put asparagus, water in skillet, cover, cook
Serve salad, relax and enjoy
Done?
Mind asparagus, turn off, drain water if close
Cut polenta, start to grill
Add half barbecue sauce to shrimp, grill
Turn polenta
Put asparagus on plate, drizzle oil, lemon
Remove shrimp, add remaining barbecue sauce, stir
Remove polenta
Serve