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Menu Plan and Recipes

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tomato flan 
Tomato Flan with Avocado

salmon phyllo
Salmon in Phyllo

wild rice
Wild Rice Pilaf

sunchoke gratin
Sunchoke Gratin

 

Menu Plan for the week of Jan. 4, 2013: Friday's Recipes

Tomato Flan with Avocado
Salmon in Phyllo
Wild Rice Pilaf
Sunchoke Gratin

Cooking time:  50 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

   We won't we using phyllo again for a few weeks (at least).  I never manage to use up an entire package, but if I can use it 3 or 4 times I'm happy.  Remember, it can be frozen twice.  We'll use the rest of the tomato sauce on Tuesday, to add to the leftover beef.  And leftover wild rice can be added to the soup.

Tomato Flan with Avocado                                 Preparation and cooking time: 35 minutes
    These simple flans have the look and consistency of a soufflé without the work.  Combine them with a sliced avocado and a bit of creamy dressing for a colorful first course.

3 eggs
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) tomato sauce
3 tbs Greek or plain yogurt
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 ripe avocado  or (and)
2oz (60gr) fresh spinach or mâche for garnish
Yogurt Dressing
2 tbs Greek or plain yogurt
2 tsp mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon-style mustard

Prepare ramekins: Butter and line the bottom with buttered wax or parchment paper (see techniques ).  Make and butter a circle of paper for the top as well.
Flan: Whisk eggs, tomato sauce, herbs and yogurt together and spoon into ramekins. Put paper circle on top - it doesn't need to touch.  Put into a roasting pan with deep sides ( I use a metal bread pan) and add hot water (hot tap water is fine) so that it comes half way up the sides of the ramekins.  Bake for 30 minutes at 450F (220C) - they should be set - firm on top.  Remove from oven and from hot water.  Run a table knife around the sides to loosen (if necessary).
Put a small plate over top of ramekin and flip over.  Remove ramekin, and paper from top (formerly bottom) of timbale. Carefully turn back so top is up.  Remove paper.
To serve: Cut avocado and remove pit.  (see techniques ). Slice thinly and fan slices around flan. 
Mix mayonnaise, yogurt and mustard.  Add half to each plate, along with a bit of spinach and serve.

Salmon Baked in Phyllo with Tarragon Cream Sauce              Time: 25 minutes
  
  A very impressive dish, easy to prepare, bakes quickly and makes an elegant presentation. Phyllo can be frozen twice.

2 pieces of salmon, skinned, 12oz, (350gr)  about 2" wide by 4" long by 1" thick (5cm X 10cm x 2.5 cm)
4 sheets of phyllo (filo) dough
3 tsp dill weed
1/3 cup butter   you may not use it all - use any leftover in the sauce

Phyllo dough is very fragile and prone to drying out.  Use one sheet at a time and cover the remaining sheets with a slightly damp towel or paper towel. 
Rinse salmon and pat dry.  Melt butter.  Take 1 sheet of phyllo dough, brush lightly with butter, sprinkle with half of the dill weed.  Place another sheet of phyllo on top and brush with butter.  Place salmon on narrower end of dough about 3 inches from edge, the 'side that had skin on' down.  Bring dough over salmon and fold in sides.  The phyllo is now as wide as the salmon (4 inches).  Roll the salmon forward one complete turn so that 'the side that had skin on' is once again, on the bottom.  Cut off any remaining phyllo and discard.  Brush both sides of packet with butter and place bottom side down on a baking sheet.  Repeat with the other piece of salmon. 
Bake at 400F (200C) for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove and serve with Tarragon Cream Sauce on the side.

Tarragon Shallot Sauce

3/4 cup (6oz, 180ml) chicken stock
1 medium shallot
1 tbs butter
1 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 tsp dried dill weed
1 tbs cornstarch (maizena) dissolved in 2 tbs water
1/3 cup (3oz, 90ml) Greek yogurt, crème fraiche or sour cream

Finely chop shallot.  In small saucepan over medium heat sauté shallots in butter until tender.  Add tarragon, dill, stock and bring to a boil.  Simmer 5 minutes.  Mix cornstarch in stock and stir into simmering stock.  Cook until thickened - should be quite thick.  Remove from heat and stir in yogurt / crème fraiche.  Cover and keep warm until serving.

Wild Rice Pilaf                                                                   Preparation and cooking time: 50 minutes
     It's called 'rice' but it is really a grass.  If, like me, you don't have access to wild rice, substitute Brown or Basmati rice.  I bring it back from the U.S.  It has a wonderfully, nutty taste that goes well with roasted meats and flavorful sauces.

1/3 cup wild rice
2/3 cup chicken stock
2/3 cup water
1/2 onion   
1 rib celery
1 tbs butter
1 tbs Sherry or Madeira

Rinse rice and put into a small saucepan.  Add stock, water and bring to boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 40 - 45 minutes.  Check your package for proper directions and proportions - it may vary.  Cooking time will vary according to freshness of rice, altitude, whatever.  Simmer until tender.  We prefer to have most of the kernels  "popped".  When rice is done, remove, put into a serving dish and keep warm.  (If there is any stock left when the rice is done just drain it.)
Chop onion and celery.  In same pan, heat butter.  Sauté onion and celery until tender, 5 - 8 minutes.  Add rice and stir well to combine and heat through.  Add Sherry or Madeira, stir and serve.

Sunchoke Gratin                                                      Preparation and cooking time:  30 minutes
    These gnarly roots are delicious and easy to fix.  Select sunchokes that are firm and with fewer rather than more knobby bits.  It makes it easier to peel.  Peel them using a vegetable/potato peeler.  They might get a bit grayish after cooking - no problem.

3 - 4 Jerusalem artichokes aka sunchokes (8oz, 250gr peeled)  
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
1/4 cup (1oz, 30gr) Parmesan, grated

Peel sunchokes using a vegetable peeler.  Leave whole and put into a steamer basket over hot water.  Steam 15 minutes or until just tender when pierced with a sharp knife.  Watch them - they go from barely done to over done quickly.  When done remove and cut into 1/2" (1.25cm) slices.  Lightly oil a small gratin dish.  Layer the sunchoke slices in dish.  Sprinkle with herbs and Parmesan.  Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top.  Bake, 400F (200C) for 10 - 15 minutes, until golden brown.  Remove and serve.

Cooking Schedule: 50 minutes for menu
Assemble all ingredients and utensils
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
medium bowl, whisk, ramekins, wax paper, baking
pan, small bowl, baking sheet, 2 small saucepans,
1 lid, medium saucepan with steamer basket and lid,
small baking dish

Turn oven on 450F (220C)
Rinse rice, cook
Peel sunchokes, steam
Prepare ramekins, paper
Whisk tomato sauce, eggs, yogurt
Spoon into ramekins
Put ramekins into baking pan, add hot water, bake
Chop shallots, onion, celery
Melt butter for phyllo
Lay out 1 sheet phyllo
Brush with butter, sprinkle dill, top with phyllo
Brush with butter, add salmon, roll
Brush with butter, place on baking sheet
Repeat for other piece of fish, set aside
Sauté shallot

Grate Parmesan
Remove, slice sunchokes
Arrange in dish, top with herbs, cheese, oil, set aside
Add stock, herbs to shallots, cook
Dissolve cornstarch in water
Mix yogurt, mayo, mustard for flan
Pit, slice avocado
Add cornstarch to sauce for fish, thicken
Stir in yogurt, cover, remove from heat
Turn rice off
Flans done?  Remove
Turn oven to 400F (200C)
Arrange 2 shelves
Put salmon, sunchokes in oven
Remove flans from ramekins, plate
Add avocado, spinach, sauce and serve
Done? Drain rice, put in serving dish
Sauté onion, celery for rice
Remove gratin, fish when done
Plate fish, sunchokes
Finish rice
Serve and enjoy