Main Course Menu Plan: Week 1  Summer II

Day 1: Lightly Smoked Cod

Total 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.

Lightly Smoked Cod Ingredients:


Day 2: Grilled, Brined Turkey Breast with Allioli

Total time: 60 minutes plus 5 earlier
   I used a boneless, skinless turkey breast for this, that was tied into a roll.  It doesn't need to be boneless,  but do take the skin off if yours comes with it on; it lets the brine permeate better.  You can tie it into a round shape or leave it as is.  You could also use turkey tenderloins.  Cooking times will vary according to the weight and thickness.  An instant read meat thermometer is great!

Grilled, Brined Turkey Breast with Allioli Ingredients:


Note:  You could add a few wood chips, that have been soaked in water for 15 minutes, if you like a smoky flavor.   You could also bake it in a 400F (200C) oven for about the same amount of time.


Time: 15 minutes
   This is the Spanish/Catalan method, without egg yolks.  It's heavy on the garlic, and very hot!  Yes, garlic packs a lot of heat when fixed this way!  You can cut it with commercial mayonnaise if you like.  This makes about 4 tbs of allioli. It can't be made ahead as it tends to 'break' upon sitting - still good, but it has to be pounded back together. 

aioli Ingredients:


Note:  If you don't  have a mortar and pestle you can use a small, deep bowl (ceramic if possible) and the round handle of something - table knife, spatula, rolling pin, something fairly large.  You could also mash the garlic and salt into a paste on a plastic cutting board (or in a heavy food bag) with a meat pounder, first, then put it into a bowl and incorporate the oil using a fork or whisk. Just remember that the garlic needs to be really mashed or it won't accept the oil.  And if nothing seems to work, just add the mashed garlic and oil to some mayo.....

Day 3: Caesar Pasta Salad with Flank Steak

Total time: 25 minutes
     With the chili powder, Worcestershire and garlic, this has a surprising kick to it... not hot, just assertive.  The creamy Greek yogurt is the perfect foil. 

Caesar Pasta Salad with Flank Steak Ingredients:


Day 4: Sweet and Sour Chicken Salad 

Total time: 25 minutes
    You can use bottled Sweet and Sour Sauce or my recipe - which makes just the right amount.  I usually use mushrooms raw in salads, but sometimes, as here, they are sautéed to absorb and blend the flavors.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Salad Ingredients:


Note: Toast sesame seeds in a dry, nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat, 3 - 6 minutes. Start flipping them or shaking the skillet after 1 - 2 minutes and remove as soon as light brown.

Day 5:  Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Seeds

Total time: 35 minutes
   This is fun to cook on the barbecue grill: all the mustard seeds pop as they get hot.  The rub makes the tenderloin rather black, but not too spicy.  The sauce helps keep it moist.  Remember, slightly pink is perfect!

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Seeds Ingredients:


Day 6: Chicken and Grilled Pepper Pasta Salad

Total time: 25 minutes
     Grilled chicken and grilled or sautéed vegetables put a new twist on the old 'macaroni' or pasta salads of my childhood. Serve the chicken cut in chunks, mixed with the salad (my choice) or sliced and served on top (mon mari's choice).

Chicken and Grilled Pepper Pasta Salad Ingredients:


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