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Menu Plan and Recipes

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cauliflower soup 
Cauliflower and Gruyère

shrimp pesto
Shrimp with Pesto Pasta

Sweet Sour Carrot Coins


Menu Plan for the week of Jan. 11, 2013: Friday's Recipes

Cauliflower and Gruyère Soup
Shrimp with Pesto Pasta
Sweet Sour Carrot Coins

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

   We use commercial pesto in this dish, but still, we have a hint of summer after the warming winter soup of cauliflower and cheese. One small jar of pesto will be enough.

Cauliflower and Gruyère Soup                           Preparation and cooking time: 35 minutes
    This is a lovely, creamy soup. It gets quite thick after you stir in the cheese so I keep a bit of hot broth on hand to thin it to the right consistency. The fresh Parmesan adds a distinctive nutty taste.

1/3 head of cauliflower, about 2 cups small florets  
1 small onion
2 ribs celery
1 1/2 - 2 1/2 cups chicken broth (Start with 1 1/2 cups, after pureeing and adding milk add more if you want it thinner)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) shredded Gruyère
1/2 cup (4oz, 125ml) milk or cream
1 tbs butter
2 tbs freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp paprika

Chop onion and celery.  Cut cauliflower into small florets (leaving small 'stems').  Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add celery, onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add cauliflower, 1 1/2 cups of broth and thyme.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender, 20 - 25 minutes. 
Purée soup in a blender or using an immersion blender.  Return soup to heat, add milk or cream and bring to a simmer.  Add more chicken broth if desired.  Taste and add salt & pepper if needed.  Reduce heat and add cheese, whisking to combine.  Do not let it boil or the cheese may separate.  Add more hot broth if needed.  Ladle into soup plates, sprinkle fresh Parmesan, paprika evenly over the top and serve. 

Shrimp (Prawns) with Pesto Pasta               Preparation and cooking time:  25 minutes
   Served warm to bring out the flavors, the pesto works amazingly well with the shrimp.  If you have to clean the shrimp add 10 - 15 minutes.  You can use raw or cooked shrimp for this as the flavor is in the sauce rather than a marinade.

For the Shrimp:
12oz (350gr) large shrimp (prawns), cleaned
2 tbs pesto
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs olive oil
Olive oil for coating pan
For the Pasta:

spaghetti, 3.5oz (100gr)  a circle about 1" (2.5cm) in diameter
1/3 cup pesto
1 tbs good olive oil or truffle oil

Shrimp: Clean shrimp if needed, if not just rinse and let drain.  Mix pesto, lemon and oil.  Add shrimp and toss to coat.  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add shrimp and sauté for 3-5 minutes, until raw shrimp curl and turn opaque or cooked shrimp are heated through. 
Pasta: Cook pasta according to package directions.  When done, drain. 
To finish:  Mix pesto and oil.  Add to pasta and toss well to coat.  Arrange nicely on a platter or large plate.  Lay the shrimp on top of the pasta and spoon any remaining sauce from the pan over the top.  Serve. 

Sweet Sour Carrot Coins                                           Preparation and cooking time:   20 minutes
     Sliced thinly and cooked in a sweet and sour glaze, these luscious carrots complement any meal.

2 large carrots
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp butter

Slice the carrots very thinly.  In small skillet heat the stock, vinegar, sugar and butter.  When simmering add the carrots, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.  Uncover and cook off any remaining liquid.  Serve.

Cooking Schedule: 40 minutes for menu
Assemble all ingredients and utensils
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
medium bowl, medium skillet, medium saucepan
with lid, blender, whisk, small skillet with lid, pot and
colander for pasta

Put water on for pasta
Chop onion, celery
Sauté onion, celery
Trim, cut cauliflower
Add cauliflower, broth, thyme to onions, cover, simmer
Clean shrimp if needed
Mix pesto, lemon, shrimp, set aside
Trim, slice carrots
Shred Gruyère
Grate Parmesan
     Wait for cauliflower

When ready, purée soup
Return to heat, add milk, stock, to taste
Heat stock, vinegar, sugar, butter for carrots
Whisk cheese into soup, remove from heat
Add carrots to skillet, simmer
Start to cook pasta
Serve soup, relax - but with a timer for pasta
Uncover carrots
Heat skillet for shrimp
Drain pasta
Sauté shrimp
Mix pesto and oil, add pasta, toss
Finish shrimp
Arrange pasta, shrimp
Remove carrots
Serve and enjoy