Monday, February 13, 2012

This Week's Dinner Menu {week 2}

welcome to the second week of the weekly menu planner!
i wanted to plan my recipes to make family life easier and
i decided to share each week's dinner menu with you.
these are recipes from old magazines and recipes from all around the internet.
this week includes some fun recipes that i hope are new to you! 
we usually eat turkey, fish, and chicken we rarely eat beef or pork.
i usually substitute beef and pork with chicken or turkey.
a few of these are family favorites, and a few new for us to try.
i would love to hear how your family liked them.
if you use cozi menu planner click here for instructions
(you will want to click on the link to each individual recipe to be able to add it to cozi)
and if you're an email subscriber to my blog you just got a week's worth of
meals delivered to your inbox! yay!!
Rigatoni With Sweet Potato, Oregano, 
and Parmesan

4 medium sweet potatoes
1 pound rigatoni
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
6 to 8 fresh oregano stems
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375° F.
Rinse the sweet potatoes and prick their skins several times with a fork. Place them directly on rack in oven. Bake 1 hour or until soft; set aside.
Cook the rigatoni according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/3 cup of the cooking water.
In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and sauté until just golden. Add the oregano and sauté about 1 minute, until fragrant and slightly crisp.
Place the rigatoni in a large bowl. Scoop the potato flesh into the bowl of pasta. Add the olive oil mixture and pasta water and toss. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and Parmesan.

Chicken Chilaquiles
For an authentic touch, use fresh Mexican cheese (queso fresco) 
or aged (queso anejo) in place of feta.
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, in puree
2 canned chipotle chilies in adobo, finely chopped (about 1 heaping tablespoon), plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from same can)
Coarse salt
1 small cooked rotisserie chicken (about 1 3/4 pounds), skinned and shredded (about 4 cups), carcass discarded
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, chopped, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
4 cups (about 3 ounces) tortilla chips
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 3/4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)

Combine oil and garlic in a large (3-to-4-quart) saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and sizzling, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes with their puree (breaking tomatoes up), chipotles and adobo, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil; season with salt. Reduce heat and simmer rapidly until lightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add chicken and cook, stirring, until hot, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in chopped cilantro.
Divide chips among four shallow bowls; top with chicken mixture and sauce. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, sour cream, and feta. Serve.

Source: Martha Stewart Everyday Food, April 2006

Tuna Burgers with Ginger and Soy
1 1/2 pounds fresh tuna steak
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 inches fresh ginger root, minced or grated
3 tablespoons tamari dark soy sauce
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons sesame oil -- eyeball the amount
2 teaspoons grill seasoning blend (recommened: Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick) or 1 teaspoon black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt -- eyeball it
1 tablespoon light-in-color oil, such as canola, safflower or peanut oil
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, coarsely chopped
Coarse salt
4 sesame kaiser rolls, split
1 jar, 8 ounces, mango chutney
4 leaves red leaf lettuce
1 jar, 8 ounces, wasabi mustard (recommended: Stonewall Kitchen brand) -- Asian sweet-hot mustard, available on the condiment aisle as well as in Asian foods section of larger markets, may be substituted
Exotic root vegetable chips (recommended: Terra brand), to pass at table, optional
pickled ginger, optional plate garnish
Preheat a nonstick griddle or a grill pan to high heat.
Cube tuna into bite size pieces and place in a food processor. Pulse the processor to coarse-grind the tuna; it should take on the consistency of ground beef or turkey. Transfer tuna to a bowl. Combine ground tuna with garlic, ginger, dark soy sauce, scallions, red bell pepper, sesame oil, seasoning blend and black pepper. Form 4 large patties, 1 1/2 inches thick. Drizzle patties on both sides with light-in-color oil, such as canola, safflower or peanut oil.

Cook tuna burgers 3 minutes on each side for rare, up to 6 minutes each side for well done. Preheat broiler.

In a medium nonstick skillet over high heat, saute fresh shiitakes for 2 or 3 minutes in 1 tablespoon light oil -- 1 turn of the pan in a slow stream. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper.

Open up the rolls and lightly toast them under the broiler. Spread mango chutney on the bottom of each bun. Top with tuna burger, shiitakes, red leaf lettuce. Spread wasabi mustard or sweet hot mustard on bun tops and set them in place. Serve with exotic chips and pickled ginger, if desired.

Image and recipe source: Rachael Ray 30 Minute Meals

Beer Can Roasted Chicken
You can also roast a chicken this way in the oven. Just place it as directed on an open half-filled can of beer, sitting up, in a roasting pan on the lower rack of your oven. Roast at 350°F until done (about an hour fifteen to an hour and a half for a 4 lb chicken). For an alcohol-free version of this recipe, just fill a pint mason jar halfway with chicken stock and use it instead of the beer. You can also use an open can of baked beans (remove the label) instead of the beer. The chicken juices will run into and flavor the baked beans, which you can then use as a side dish for the chicken.

1 4-pound whole chicken
2 Tbsp olive oil or other vegetable oil
1 opened, half-full can of beer, room temperature
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 Tbsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp black pepper

1 Prepare your grill for indirect heat. If you are using charcoal, put the coals on one side of the grill, leaving another side free of coals. If you are using a gas grill, fire up only half of the burners.

2 Remove neck and giblets from cavity of chicken, if the chicken came with them. Rub the chicken all over with olive oil. Mix the salt, pepper, and thyme in a little bowl, then sprinkle it all over the chicken.

3 Make sure the beer can is open, and only half-filled with beer (drink the other half!) If you want, you can put a sprig of thyme (or another herb like rosemary or sage) in the beer can. Lower the chicken on to the open can, so that the chicken is sitting upright, with the can in its cavity. Place the chicken on the cool side of the grill, using the legs and beer can as a tripod to support the chicken on the grill and keep it stable.

4 Cover the grill and walk away. Do not even check the chicken for at least an hour. After an hour, check the chicken and refresh the coals if needed (if you are using a charcoal grill). Keep checking the chicken every 15 minutes or so, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160°F - 165°F. The total cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken, and the internal temperature of the grill. A 4 lb chicken will usually take around 1 1/2 hours. If you don't have a meat thermometer, a way to tell if the chicken is done is to poke it deeply with a knife (the thigh is a good place to do this), if the juices run clear, not pink, the chicken is done.

5 Carefully transfer the chicken to a tray or pan. I say "carefully" because the beer can, and the beer inside of it, is quite hot. One way to do this is to slide a metal spatula under the bottom of the beer can. Use tongs to hold the top of the chicken. Lift the chicken, beer can still inside, and move it to a tray. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes. Carefully lift the chicken off of the can. If it gets stuck, lay the chicken on its side, and pull out the can with tongs.

Image and recipe source: Simply Recipes

Spinach and Chicken Pasta Salad
16 oz. bow tie pasta, cooked al dente
Dressing:1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup Yoshida’s gourmet sauce
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
6 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Salad consists of:
20 oz. bag of spinach
1 6 oz. bag craisins
3 cans mandarin oranges, drained
2 cans sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 cup parsley chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
6 oz. peanuts
2 cups chicken, cut into pieces.

Blend dressing in blender. Mix dressing and pasta and marinade for 2 hours (in a ziploc bag). Combine rest and add pasta and dressing and toss
Image and recipe source: Your Homebased Mom

Jimmy Fallon's Crock-Pot Chili
This easy Crock-Pot chili recipe is courtesy of comedian Jimmy Fallon.
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 pounds ground chuck beef, ground for chili
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 habanero chile, seeded and very finely chopped
1/4 cup chile powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped with their juices
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
1 (12-ounce) bottle amber beer
2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Tortilla chips, for serving
Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving
Chopped tomatoes, for serving
Sour cream, for serving
Lime wedges, for serving

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add beef and cook until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; drain in a colander, discarding fat, and set aside.
Add remaining tablespoon olive oil to skillet and reduce heat to medium. Add onions, garlic, and habanero; season with salt. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
In a 6-quart Crock-Pot, combine beef, onion mixture, chile powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne pepper; stir to combine. Add tomatoes, cilantro, and beer; cover and cook on high, stirring occasionally, for 5 hours.
Add kidney beans and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve with desired toppings.

Maple-Roasted Chicken With Sweet Potatoes

1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 yellow onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons maple syrup
6 sprigs fresh thyme

Heat oven to 400° F.
Rinse the chicken and pat it dry. Arrange the chicken, onion, and sweet potatoes in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Drizzle the oil over the chicken and vegetables and season with the salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Drizzle with the maple syrup and top with the sprigs of thyme.
Roast, stirring the vegetables once, until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour, 15 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.