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Menu Plan for Winter II: Week 12, Saturday

Crab Salad with Avocado
Chicken Divan
Mousseline au Gratin

Cooking time: 55 easy minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

        We're going 'retro' with this dinner.  Chicken Divan was a classic on the dinner party circuit 35 years ago.  We're starting to see avocados in the markets, a sure sign that spring is coming.  The Mousseline is a nice way of having mashed potatoes with no last minute work. Use the best quality fresh or canned crab you can get - and afford - or substitute tuna.

Crab Salad with Avocado Slices

Total time: 10 minutes
    A bit of crab, with celery, makes a nice salad to accompany a sliced Avocado.  It's a rich first course, so we keep the quantities small.

Crab Salad with Avocado Slices Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Chicken Divan

Total time: 45 minutes
     An old classic, updated for a healthier lifestyle, but still with the proper amount of decadence.  I use yogurt instead of sour cream, less cheese, stock instead of 'condensed creamed' soup, and no mayonnaise.  I think it's better than the original....

Chicken Divan Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Mousseline au Gratin

Total time: 50 minutes
    This is an interesting change from the usual mashed potatoes. More similar to a mousse, it's light and airy, and a lovely golden brown from the sprinkling of cheese.

Mousseline au Gratin Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Cooking Schedule: 55 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
small bowl, medium skillet, medium saucepan,
medium saucepan with steamer basket and lid,
2 baking dishes, 2 medium bowls, whisk

Peel, cut potatoes
Peel all garlic
Cook potatoes, garlic
Cut chicken, poach
Turn oven on, 400F (200C), arrange 2 shelves
Cut broccoli, steam
Oil baking dish for potatoes
Peel, chop shallot
Mince garlic
Sauté shallot, garlic for chicken
Grate/shred cheeses if needed
Add wine to shallot/garlic
Remove broccoli, set aside
Dissolve cornstarch in water
Mix crumbs, Parmesan, paprika, set aside

Remove chicken, set aside
Remove potatoes from heat, set aside
Add poaching stock to wine
Stir in cornstarch mixture, thicken
Add yogurt, cheese, stir
Assemble Chicken Divan, set aside
Drain potatoes, reserving liquid
Mash potatoes, garlic, add liquid as needed
Whisk egg, etc.,
Add hot cooking water to egg
Stir egg into potatoes
Spoon potatoes into baking dish
Bake Chicken Divan and Mousseline
Prepare crab
Chop celery
Make vinaigrette
Make crab salad
Cut avocado
Arrange avocado, crab on plates, serve
Relax until the rest of the dinner is done
Remove from oven and serve.

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