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Menu Plan and Recipes

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squash mushroom
Mushrooms and Pecans on Butternut Squash

pork with bay
Braised Pork with Laurel (Bay)

potatoes carrots
Potatoes and Carrots with Bay

 

Menu Plan for the week of Oct. 4, 2013:  Saturday's Recipes

Sautéed Mushrooms and Pecans on Butternut Squash
Braised Pork with Laurel (Bay)
Potatoes and Carrots with Bay

Cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes with hour break      Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

     The first or our slow-cooked dinners this season.  You could actually do this in a slow-cooker if you have one or a low oven if you need to leave it unattended for longer.  The pork will be for 2 meals.

Sautéed Mushrooms, Pecans on Butternut Squash                   Time:   25 minutes
   I used the 'neck' end of a butternut squash for these nice circles. (I used half circles in the center).  They're topped with sautéed forest mushrooms and pecans and surrounded with Sage Cream.

butternut squash, 24 thin circles  or 48 half circles
1/4 cup (30gr, 1oz) pecans
4oz (120gr) mushrooms forest or wild, if possible
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp butter
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp paprika
Sage Cream
1/4 cup (2oz, 60gr) Greek yogurt
1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) white wine
1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) chicken stock
1 tsp sage

Clean and slice mushrooms.  Heat 1 tsp oil and 1 tsp butter in a medium skillet.  Add mushrooms and sauté until tender and starting to brown, about 10 minutes.  Add pecans, sugar, soy sauce and vinegar.  Stir well to combine, then let sauté for 5 minutes longer.  Remove from heat and keep warm.
Slice circles off the neck end of the butternut squash as thinly as possible.  When you can no longer hold it comfortably to slice, cut it in half and slice half circles until you get the amount needed.
Heat 1 tsp butter and 1 tsp oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add butternut squash slices in a single layer and sauté 3 minutes per side.  When done remove from heat.
Sage Cream:  Bring stock, wine and sage just to a boil in a small saucepan.  Remove from heat and allow to cool 5 minutes.  Stir in yogurt.
To assemble:  Divide squash slices and arrange in an overlapping circle on 2 plates.  Fill in the center with the half circles if needed.  Divide the mushroom / pecan mixture and spoon onto the center.  Drizzle the Sage Cream around the edges, sprinkle with paprika and serve.

Note:  To clean butternut squash first peel it, using a potato/vegetable peeler.  If it's large (typically) cut it in half between the 'neck' and 'bowl' ends.  Then cut those in half the 'long' way.  Scoop the seeds out of the round end and discard.  I use the neck end for uniform pieces and the bowl end for soups and smaller pieces.

Braised Pork with Laurel (Bay)             Preparation and cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes
    Yes, 12 bay leaves.  We are actually going to taste a hint of bay in this roast and it's quite lovely. You can use either fresh or dried.

1 pork loin roast, 1 1/2 - 2 lbs  (750gr)
1 onion, sliced
12 bay (laurel) leaves
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) of white wine
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock
2 tsp juniper berries
1 tbs olive oil

In heavy pot or oven with tight-fitting lid, brown pork in olive oil.  After turning pork, add sliced onions to brown as well.  Add remaining ingredients, turn heat to low, cover and braise for 1 1/2 hours.  Remove pork and keep warm.  Strain juices, then return to pan.  Reduce pan juices over high heat until slightly thickened and syrupy.   Slice pork, pour pan juices over and serve. You can remove bay leaves before serving or leave as a garnish. 

Potatoes and Carrots with Bay                         Preparation and cooking time: 35 minutes
   The potatoes and carrots are cooked together in stock with bay leaves.  They will absorb most of the stock, giving them a deep flavor and light glaze.

2 carrots, cut into large sticks
2 potatoes, cut into large chunks
1 large, or 2 medium bay (laurel) leaves
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock - or enough to just cover vegetables to start

Put everything into a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cook, uncovered, until vegetables are done and chicken stock has been absorbed, 25 - 30 minutes.  If there is any stock left, pour it off or use it in elsewhere.  Remove bay leaves and serve.

Cooking Schedule: 1 hour 45, hour break
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
heavy pot or Dutch oven, medium saucepan, small
saucepan, medium skillet (used 2X)

Brown pork roast on all sides in heavy pot
Slice onions and add to pork to brown
Add remaining ingredients, reduce heat, cover, braise
      hour break  or more
Back?
Cut potatoes, carrots
Put potatoes, carrots, bay, stock into pan
Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly, cook  
Peel, cut, clean butternut squash
Cut 24 thin slices
Wrap and refrigerate the rest of the squash

Clean mushrooms, slice, sauté
Heat stock, wine, sage, cool 5 minutes
Add pecans, soy, vinegar, sugar to mushrooms
Add yogurt to Sage Cream, set aside
Remove mushroom / pecans from heat, keep warm
Sauté squash slices
Stir potatoes, carrots, gently
Turn squash slices
Arrange squash slices on plates
Add mushrooms, pecans, sage cream
Sprinkle with paprika, serve
Done?
Remove pork and strain juices
Return juices to pan, cook
Finish potatoes, carrots
Slice pork, Serve