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Menu Plan for Summer II: Week 4, Friday

Simple Lettuce and Tomato Salad
Grilled Scallops with Tomato Salsa
Grilled Polenta
Braised Carrots and Shallots

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

     I get frozen, rather than fresh scallops, because I don't really like the coral that comes with the fresh here in Europe.  They're also cheaper; just thaw in a strainer or colander before using. The Salsa is more than needed for this meal, but it's nice to have some on hand during the summer - chips, anyone?

Lettuce and Tomato Salad

Total time: 10 minutes
   This is a light salad.... Add a sliced, hard boiled eggs or a bit of ham, if you like.  We just enjoyed the fresh picked lettuce and tomatoes.

Lettuce and Tomato Salad Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Grilled Scallops with Fresh Tomato Salsa

Total time: 15 minutes
    Scallops only take a few minutes to cook They should just go from translucent to opaque.  If you cook them longer they can get tough. We do ours on the barbecue grill but a hot skillet would work just as easily.  Be careful not to crowd and have the pan or grill hot.  They can give off a bit of liquid and you want them to brown, not steam. These are flavored with chili powder and garlic and finished with a spicy Tomato Chili Salsa.

Grilled Scallops Ingredients:

Fresh Tomato Salsa Instructions:

Notes:  Scallops could also be quickly sautéed in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat for about the same amount of time.
Any leftover salsa can be eaten with chips, crackers, whatever.... I just like to have some around!

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. 

Braised Carrots and Shallots

Total time: 25 minutes
   Quick and simple, I always have carrots on hand to 'fill in' when I run low on other vegetables.... besides, I love them!

Braised Carrots and Shallots Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Cooking schedule: 40 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
scissors, small bowl, whisk, large bowl, small
saucepan, flat pan/dish for cooling polenta, small
skillet with lid, barbecue grill, skewers, grill pan
Soak skewers if using
Thaw scallops if frozen
Line/oil dish for cooling polenta
Snip herbs for polenta
Grate Parmesan if needed
Make polenta
Pour polenta into dish to cool
Chop tomatoes, onion, pepper for salsa
Open, drain chilies
Make salsa, set aside to blend
Put scallops on skewers if using
Oil scallops, sprinkle with chili powder, garlic
Light/turn on barbecue grill if using

Chop shallots, sauté
Cut carrots
Make vinaigrette
Prepare lettuce
Add some vinaigrette to lettuce, toss
Cut tomatoes
Arrange lettuce, tomatoes on plates
Sprinkle with cheese
Add carrots to shallots, cover and simmer
Serve salad, extra vinaigrette on the side
Done?
Cut polenta
Grill polenta
Cook scallops
Drain carrots, finish
Turn polenta
Turn scallops
Remove polenta, scallops
Serve everything... don't forget the salsa