Are you sick of turkey yet?
We had a great time making our annual Thanksgiving visit to Grandma and Papa’s house (currently located in Kalamazoo, MI — might it be closer in 2017?). The weather was overcast and drizzly pretty much the entire time we were there, but there was good food, good beer, good wine, good conversations and Rylie got to play games, do yoga, ask questions, do crafts, make up games and generally be the star of the holiday. It was awesome.
Now, we’re back home, and it’s time for a week of Fall cooking.
To start – upon our return on Saturday, we made a pizza using one of the parbaked-then-frozen pizza crusts from last week’s pizza night.
Sunday lunch featured some pizzadillas from Cooking Light, then dinner was Fish Tacos from the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook accompanied by Cilantro Lime Rice from How to Celebrate Everything.
The rest of the week’s plan:
Monday: Oriecchette with Sweet Sausage Bolognese from How to Celebrate Everything (I’m planning to make a double batch of the bolognese sauce and freeze the 2nd half for a future quick dinner)
Tuesday: Quiche with Wild Mushrooms, Gruyere and Chives from Taste and Technique
Wednesday: Roast Chicken on a Bed of Vegetables from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home
Thursday: Leftover night (but, it’ll also be when I make homemade chicken stock from the Wednesday night carcass)
Friday: Chicken Soup with Dumplings from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home (using leftover chicken from Wednesday night’s roasted bird)
Chocolate Chip Scones from Cooking Light
This Week’s Source Material
While grocery shopping last weekend, I grabbed a package of “meatloaf mix” from the store. It wasn’t the America’s Test Kitchen recommended blend of beef, pork and veal in 1/3 portions, instead we ended up with more of a 1/3 lb pork, 1 1/2 lb beef mixture, but still, sort of a mix, right?
Anyway, Sunday was chosen as meatloaf night, and following the recipe on the pages of our go-to binder when we know what we want to make (pancakes? check slow cooker chili? check dinner rolls? check pork chops with a pan sauce? check — I mean, honestly, it’s all here), I created a loaf of meat that turned out to be incredibly flavorful.
On the side? Some cheesy mashed potatoes — they were a mash-up of the ATK cookbook recipe with some cheesy versions found via the Google.
We’ve done the butcher shop for meat before, but we’ve never really purchased seafood from a quality fresh fish shop (a fish monger?). I’ve been meaning to check out Empire Fish for a long time, and I finally did on Saturday. Awesome store really — very friendly staff and a great collection of sea critters. Lots of fresh options and some frozen stuff available too. I may have been a little over-excited though because I left with some scallops, some shrimp and a haddock filet.
All of that led to Seafood Sunday!
Using recipes from the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (btw, if you don’t own this cookbook, buy it from Amazon now — at less than $24, it’s a bargain) as a guide, our lunch meal consisted of a little Ginger-Hoisin Shrimp.
On the side, we ate some more of the quinoa, and enjoyed some European Peasant Bread from the Artisan Breads in Five Minutes a Day book. Overall it was a tasty, speedy, albeit slightly-more-extravagant-than-your-average-noontime-meal lunch.
Then, when it came to dinner time, I put the awesome Saints victory on hold to cook up the rest of the fishy stuff. With only about a single serving each of scallops and haddock, I decided to make both. For the scallops, I pan-seared them with the lemon, shallots and capers recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. For the haddock, I kept it simple. A little salt and pepper followed by a quick dredging in some flour. That’s just basic white rice on the side.
The lemon/caper/shallot combo was a little overpowering. I think we both ended up pushing most of it to the side and focusing on the scallop-ey goodness. As for the haddock, for such a simple preparation, it was quite tasty. I mean, Kelley, who doesn’t really like fish, gave it a favorable review. I believe her words were along the lines of : “I would go to a fish fry if they used this recipe.”
Catching up a little bit here as we time travel back to Monday night’s dinner.
Our friends Ed & Carolyn were in town with their son Patrick, so we had them over for a little dinner party. Dinner was delicious if I may say so myself, but I think the highlight of the night for both Kelley and I was getting to meet little Patrick for the first time. He’s a pretty darn cute kid!
Our Dinner Menu
Mike and Jackie also brought over a tasty polenta dish with a ranch/bacon sauce. Ed & Carolyn added a bottle of wine and we all had a great time.
We couldn’t have pulled off the dinner on time if we didn’t make the bread and assemble the lasagna on Sunday night. That left us with the perfect amount of prep and oven time for the two of us to make the croutons, salad and dessert on Monday and bake everything, including the lasagna.
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