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Menu Plan and Recipes

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 chilled tomato soup
Chilled Tomato Vermicelli Soup

smoked cod
Lightly Smoked Cod

couscous tomato mozzarella
Couscous, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

asparagus
Asparagus with Soy and Balsamic

 

Menu Plan for the week of May 31, 2013: Friday's Recipes

Chilled Tomato Vermicelli Soup
Lightly Smoked Cod
Couscous, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad
Asparagus with Soy and Balsamic

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

   Put the tomato juice in the freezer for a quick chill. The cod is lightly smoked an a regular barbecue grill: either charcoal or gas. If you remember, soak the wood chips earlier in the day or the day before.

Chilled Tomato Vermicelli Soup                         Preparation and cooking time:  10 minutes
     This is an easy summer soup using pantry items.  If made a bit ahead it can be welled chilled but if you can't, just chill the tomato juice ahead of time; even with warm vermicelli, the soup will be cool.  Garnish with some fresh basil.

1 1/2 cups (12oz, 360ml) tomato juice, chilled
1 1/2 cups (12oz (360ml) beef stock
1/4 cup vermicelli, or other very small pasta   substitute broken spaghetti
1/4 cup shredded cheese, any flavor  
Fresh basil leaves

Heat the stock in a saucepan until boiling.  Add vermicelli and simmer for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  It should be almost done... but not quite. (for other pasta, follow package directions, cooking until almost done)  Remove from heat and let cool - it will finish cooking as it cools and not get too done. 
When no longer hot, add the tomato juice, stir well and chill until ready to serve.
To serve: Ladle into soup bowls.  Divide the cheese and sprinkle over the top.  Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve.

Note: If a lot of stock evaporates, you can add a bit of ice to help cool the soup and 'reconstitute' the beef stock.

Lightly Smoked Cod                                              Preparation and cooking time:  30 minutes
  This is a cross between smoker cooking and grilling, and it flavored the cod perfectly:  a light smoke and dill combination.  It needed nothing else.

1 - 2 filets of cod, or other thick, firm white fish, 12oz (360gr) total weight
2 tsp dill weed
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce
wood chips for smoking - apple is nice    See Barbecue Grills for more info
Weber-type kettle barbecue with charcoal  or Gas Grill

If you are using small, commercial wood chips, put them in water to soak.
Charcoal grill: Put some charcoal in the barbecue, off to one side and light it.
Mix the soy sauce and the olive oil.  Brush on the fish.  Sprinkle the dill weed on top. 
When the coals are glowing, add the fish - either in a basket or on a grill mat of some sort, to the other side - in other words, not over the coals.  Throw some wood chips on the coals and cover.  Check it halfway through and add more wood chips if it has stopped smoking. It's done when if flakes easily with a fork.  We left ours on for about 30 minutes.
To use a gas grill:
  Only light one side of the grill.  Wrap the soaked wood chips loosely in foil.  Poke a few holes in the foil and place on the grill.  Keep the fish off of direct heat and the grill cover closed and vented or propped open an inch or so. 
To use oven:  The fish could also be baked, 400F (200C) for 15 to 20 minutes.  It won't have the smoke flavor, of course, but the dill and soy sauce add a lovely flavor on their own.

Couscous, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad    Preparation and cooking time:  15 minutes
    Caprese Couscous.... France / North Africa meets Italy.  The best thing about couscous (besides the taste) is that it requires no cooking - just hot stock. Then add anything that suits your fancy!

1/2 cup couscous
3/4 cup chicken broth 
8 cherry tomatoes
8 small mozzarella balls
1 tbs snipped chives
1 tbs snipped basil
1 tbs good olive oil
1 tbs white Balsamic vinegar

Heat chicken broth to a boil.  Put couscous in a medium bowl.  When broth is boiling pour over couscous, cover and let stand for 10 minutes... Do not stir it.
Snip herbs.  Cut  cherry tomatoes in half.  Cut mozzarella balls in half. When couscous is ready, uncover, add remaining ingredients, fluff gently with a fork to combine and serve.

Asparagus with Soy and Balsamic                  Preparation and cooking time: 10 minutes
    This is a quick stir-fry; the asparagus should be crisp-tender, lightly browned and slightly blistered. Serve hot or warm. 

8oz (250gr) green asparagus  
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame or walnut oil
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp Balsamic vinegar

Snap off ends of asparagus.  Roll cut asparagus in 2 inch (5 cm) lengths. Heat oil in a medium skillet.  When very hot add asparagus and stir-fry 3 minutes.  Add soy sauce, vinegar, and stir-fry another 30 seconds.  Serve.

Cooking Schedule: 35 minutes for menu
Assemble all ingredients and utensils
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
scissors, small bowl, medium bowl, whisk, 2 small
saucepans, medium skillet, foil (?), barbecue grill
and mat / basket or baking sheet / oven

Soak wood chips - in hot water if short on time
Chill tomato juice
Light / turn on barbecue grill
Heat stock for pasta
Mix soy sauce, oil, brush on fish
Sprinkle dill on fish
Cook pasta for soup
Put fish on grill when ready
Add wood chips, wrapped or not
Close grill, smoke
Trim, cut asparagus

Cut cherry tomatoes in half
Cut mozzarella balls in half
Snip herbs
Remove pasta, stock, let cool
Heat stock for couscous
Shred cheese if needed
Stir-fry asparagus
Put couscous in medium bowl, pour stock over, cover
Finish asparagus, remove from heat but leave in skillet
Finish soup
Check the fish
Garnish soup and serve
Done?
Finish couscous
Put asparagus in serving bowl
Remove fish
Serve