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Menu Plan for Winter II: Week 8, Saturday

Chickpea, Shallot and Tuna Salad
Roast Cornish Hens
Sunchoke and Potato Gratin

Cooking time: 70 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

         The hens and the gratin bake at the same time making this an easy, no-fuss dinner.

Chickpea, Shallot and Tuna Salad

Total time: 20 minutes
  Caramelized shallots, olives and tuna add sweet and savory notes to chickpeas.  A bit of Balsamic Vinegar and good olive oil to finish, and you have a 'winter salad' - good all year.

Chickpea, Shallot and Tuna Salad Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Roasted Cornish Games Hens (Poussin)

Total time: 60 minutes
    Small, perfectly roasted hens make an elegant presentation and are perfect individual servings (with maybe a snack leftover).  If yours are larger birds, one may be enough, (you can split it in half before roasting) or fix two and have cold chicken/game hen for lunch tomorrow!  Remember to put bowls for bones on the table - and wet towels for fingers.

Roasted Cornish Games Hens  Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Potato and Sunchoke Gratin

Total time: 70 minutes
  Sunchokes, or Jerusalem artichokes, are the knobby, tan or purplish vegetable that you start seeing in late winter.  They have a mild taste, making them very versatile.  Peel them with a vegetable peeler.  They turn gray quickly, so keep in water if not using immediately.

Potato and Sunchoke Gratin Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Note:  Whenever I am baking potatoes with a liquid: gratin, scalloped, Savoyard, etc. I always put the baking dish/dishes on a baking sheet covered in foil.  They almost always bubble over and this saves on oven clean up.  Just wrap up the mess and toss.

Cooking Schedule: 70 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
medium skillet, 2 baking dishes: hens and gratin,
medium bowl (use 2X), small bowl, foil, optional
baking sheet for gratin dish

Turn oven on, 400F (200C), arrange 2 shelves
Butter / oil gratin dish
Peel sunchokes, put in a bowl of water
Thinly slice potatoes
Layer 1/3 potatoes
Slice the sunchokes
Layer 1/2 the sunchokes on potatoes
Pour 1/3 milk over
Sprinkle with 1/2 cheese
Repeat: potatoes, sunchokes, milk, cheese
Finish: potatoes, milk, nutmeg, Parmesan
Cover, bake gratin
Prepare hens
Mix oil, lemon, herbs, put in hens

Tie legs, arrange wings
Mix remaining oil, herbs, mustard, wine
Brush herb mixture on hens, bake
     15 minute break
Baste hens
     15 minute break
Baste hens
Peel shallots, sauté
Open, drain, rinse chickpeas, divide
Open, drain tuna
Slice olives
Combine chickpeas, tuna, olives
Mind the shallots
Baste hens
Mix vinegar, soy, oil
Uncover gratin
Check hens, remove if done, tent with foil
Finish salad, serve
Remove hens if not done earlier, let rest
Remove gratin, serve

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