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Menu Plan and Recipes

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 asparagus salad
Asparagus and Avocado Salad

cod provencal
Baked Cod Provençal

spanish orzo
Spanish Orzo

mangetout and green garlic
Sautéed Snow Peas (Mangetout) with Green Garlic

 

Menu Plan for the week of April 19, 2013: Friday's Recipes

Asparagus and Avocado Salad
Baked Cod Provençal
Spanish Orzo
Sautéed Snow Peas (Mangetout) with Green Garlic

Cooking time:  35 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

   A dinner from the Mediterranean: Provence inspired cod, Spanish influenced orzo, asparagus and avocados from everywhere.

Asparagus and Avocado Salad                       Preparation and cooking time:  15 minutes
   This is a small, light 'spring' salad; just enough to relax with a glass of wine before the main course.

1 egg
8oz (250gr) asparagus, green or white
1 small avocado 
Vinaigrette:
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1 tsp fresh tarragon or 1/2 tsp dry
1 1/2 tbs white Balsamic vinegar
3 tbs salad olive oil

Hard boil egg (see techniques).
Snap off ends of asparagus.  Roll cut asparagus in 1 inch (2.5 cm) lengths.  Fill medium saucepan half full of water and bring to a boil over high heat.  When boiling drop in asparagus and parboil for 2 minutes.  Drain and immediately rinse with cold water.  Spread them on paper towels and pat dry.
Put the dried asparagus in a bowl, add the vinaigrette and toss lightly to combine.  Let marinate for at least 15 minutes.
Vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients and whisk well to combine.
To Serve: Peel egg and cut into quarters.  Remove avocado from shell. Cut into cubes and add to asparagus and toss lightly.  Divide and put on 2 small plates.  Garnish with egg quarters and serve.

Baked Cod Provençal                                                Preparation and cooking time:  30 minutes
   
Green garlic, black olives and cherry tomatoes finish this simple, baked fish.

12oz (350gr) cod, halibut, or other firm, white fish
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
4oz (120gr) cherry tomatoes about 1 cup
4 green garlic   or 3 green onions and 1 clove garlic
12 black olives (1/2 cup) I used dry-cured Greek olives
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
1 tbs oil

Place fish on a baking sheet.  Mix 2 tsp olive oil, 2 tsp lemon juice,  Drizzle on fish.  Bake fish, 400F (200C) for 15 - 20 minutes, depending on thickness, until done.  Fish is done when it starts to turn opaque and flakes with a fork.
Trim and slice green garlic, using as much green as you can.  Pit olives if needed and roughly chop.  Cut cherry tomatoes in half.  Heat a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add oil, green garlic and sauté 2 minutes.  Add olives, tomatoes, thyme and heat through.  The tomatoes should just start to soften.  Spoon over fish and serve. 

Spanish Orzo                                                             Preparation and cooking time: 25 minutes
    Orzo is a versatile rice shaped pasta that is delicious when cooked right in the sauce.  It absorbs the flavors but stays moist.  It's perfect as a base for other foods.

1 tbs butter
1/2 cup orzo
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) tomato sauce
3/4 cup (6oz, 180ml) chicken stock
1 tsp oregano
8 green olives, sliced optional

Melt butter over medium-high heat in small saucepan.  Add orzo and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add stock, tomato sauce and oregano, bring to a simmer on medium heat.  Turn heat to low and simmer until done, stirring occasionally, 15  - 20 minutes.  All stock will be absorbed.  Taste the orzo to see if it's done to your liking.  If not add more liquid. 
Remove from heat, stir in olives and serve.  This should be creamy, not stiff.

Sautéed Snow Peas (Mangetout), Green Garlic    Preparation, cooking time: 15 minutes
    
The quintessential spring dish: snow peas and green garlic.  If the snow peas are small, leave them whole.  If they are large (2", 5cm) cut in half of thirds, at an angle.

4oz (125gr) mangetout, snow peas
4 green garlic     or 3 green onions and 1 clove garlic
1 tbs sherry
2 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil

Peel and slice green garlic, using as much green as you can. Clean pea pods - snip off the stem end.  Cut large pods into pieces, at an angle, if desired.  Heat butter and oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sherry, green garlic, pea pods and sauté 5 - 7 minutes, depending on size, stirring frequently.  Remove and serve.

Cooking Schedule: 35 minutes for menu
Assemble all ingredients and utensils
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
small bowl, medium bowl, 2 small saucepans, one lid,
medium saucepan, strainer, 2 medium skillets,
baking sheet

Turn oven on, 400F (200C)
Hard boil egg
Heat water to boiling in medium saucepan
Fill medium bowl with cold water
Trim, cut asparagus
Make vinaigrette
Blanch asparagus
Trim, slice all green garlic / onions
Drain asparagus, add to cold water, cool
Drain asparagus again, pat dry
Return asparagus to bowl, add vinaigrette, set aside
Mix lemon, oil
Put fish on baking sheet, drizzle with lemon oil, set aside
Cut cherry tomatoes in half
Pit, chop black olives

Slice green olives
Trim snow peas
Mind the egg, rinse in cool water when done
Sauté orzo in butter
Add stock, sauce, oregano, simmer
Cut avocado, add to asparagus, stir
Arrange salad on 2 plates
Peel, quarter egg, add to salad
Bake fish
Stir orzo
Serve salad, relax, enjoy
Done?  Stir orzo (may stick a bit)
Heat oil, soy sauce, sherry
Add green garlic, mangetout, sauté
Sauté green garlic for fish
Add black olives, tomatoes, thyme for fish, sauté
Finish orzo
Mind the mangetout
Remove fish, spoon sauce over
Finish mangetout
Serve all