Sunday, March 12, 2017

Menu of the Week

The menu of the week was mostly "hit" and one big miss. Keep reading to see which night bombed!

Sunday: I made a big batch of Mussels, made "Italian" with the addition of hot Italian sausage, traditional Italian spices, white wine, tomatoes, garlic, onion, lemon and a splash of cream at the end. They were delicious! You can read my original rendition of the recipe here which I continue to tweak each time I make it.

Monday: We had salmon which is the norm for us on a Monday. This is the second time I've made's Seared Salmon with Orange-Lentil Salad. It's pretty easy to pull together and both Jim and I really like the flavors. I bake the salmon in the oven instead of searing it though. I also take another short cut with the lentil salad.

My shortcut is to use a package of this Barley and Lentil mix that you steam in the microwave. After it cooks I tossed with 2 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil and then added the orange zest, orange juice and red onion as the recipe calls for. This recipe is a keeper for sure.

Tuesday: The Chicken Burrito Bowl sounded good in theory but this did not turn out as I had planned. I found it to be a big bowl of mush. I salvaged the chicken breasts and shredded the meat for quesadillas which my family all enjoyed. In the future I will stick with my chicken taco slow cooker recipe which I find way simpler and more flavorful than this one.

Wednesday: Can you believe I've never made Chicken Marsala before? The mushrooms kept me away all these years but I realized that if I chop them really small the texture probably would not bother Jim and I but the flavor would still shine through. I gambled and was right! Sometimes I feel as though I have made chicken every way possible and I was thrilled to find a new recipe to add to my repertoire. I served the chicken and sauce over angel hair pasta and even the kids enjoyed it.

Thursday: By Thursday I was hoping that trying a new recipe would go more like Wednesdays meal and not Tuesdays. Jim doesn't love the Moroccan flavors but I had done enough research on this recipe that I was cautiously optimistic.

The recipe for Moroccan Beef Stew on Epicurious got really high ratings but was also dinged for using beef tenderloin, a higher priced cut of meat than I would normally put in a stew. The filet was necessary in order to keep this stew a 30 minute meal, which is important in my recipe selections Monday through Thursday. 

In the end, I thought the depth of flavor and textures that came from the stew in just 30 minutes were fantastic. I loved the addition of kalamata olives and golden raisins and would add more next time. I thought the chickpeas added texture that I could do without in the future. So to sum up my review of this recipe - yes, go for it. Note to self: add more liquid and maybe some cornstarch to help thicken, add more olive and raisins and less chickpeas. I served the stew in a bowl with tricolor couscous that I cooked in chicken broth. I'm sure Jim would have preferred I serve the stew with potatoes which I might try next time.

Friday: By far our favorite meal of the week was this Dill-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Farro, Pea and Blistered Tomato Salad. The pork tenderloin I purchased had two nice sized pieces of meat so I put one in the freezer for another meal. This recipe was such a hit, Jim asked if I would make it again this week!!

When I make this again, I will change the salad to omit the green peas. I didn't think they added anything and in the end I found myself picking around them to eat the farro. This salad was SO GOOD and super quick and easy to make - win, win, win!

The cook times on Epicurious were highly debated in the comments of the recipe post. For my first run I followed the recipe as written and was happy with the outcome. I'm okay with a little bit of pink (and to be honest, I think the pictures I took with my phone make the pork look more pink than it actually was.)

Here is the final presentation which took no more than 40 minutes from start to finish. I would absolutely make this for company, it was delicious and easy to pull together.

This gives me an idea for a future blog post - fool proof recipes to make for company!

Have a great week ya'll!

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