Sunday, July 8, 2012

This Week's Dinner Menu {week 9}

the weekly dinner menu planner is back!!!
have you missed it?
i sure have, our menu planning has gone out the window without it.
so without further ado, i bring you this week's tasty summer dinner recipes!

Zucchini Tomato Gratin

First layer; Sweet Vadalia onion ring slices on a nice drizzle of olive oil ( the pan I use gets them all caramelized on the bottom)
Sliced zucchini
Handfull of romano cheese spread all over
Toasted homemade Italian bread crumbs spread about
Small cherry tomatoes placed all around
I had some cut leeks I needed to use so I threw them in, glad I did!
Drizzle with olive oil
More cheese
More breadcrumbs
Garnish with fresh snipped basil

Place in a hot oven at 425 till tender and crispy and the tomatoes pop and get caramelized, you could even place it under the broiler at the end to crisp up the top more, I have a convection roast feature on my stove so that always does the trick.
The imported romano cheese, the tomatoes ( you must use cherry tomatoes, please) the homemade breadcrumbs and those caramelized onions paired with the zucchini, I'm telling you I could almost become a vegetarian!

Image and recipe source: Proud Italian Cook, August 2010

Spicy Coconut Chicken Casserole

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 whole chicken legs (about 3 pounds total)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 can (14.5 ounces) light coconut milk
1 1/2 cups canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 to 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
1 cup jasmine rice
2 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces green beans (stem ends removed), cut into 1-inch lengths
1/2 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving

In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in two batches, cook chicken until browned, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a plate (chicken will cook more in step 2).

To pot, add coconut milk, broth, 1/2 cup water, and curry paste; bring to a boil, and stir in rice. Add chicken (with any juices), arranging pieces in a single layer. Cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, without stirring, until rice is almost tender, 15 minutes.

Scatter bell peppers and green beans on top of chicken mixture; cover, and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Cook's Note:
You'll find Thai red curry paste (which keeps indefinitely in the refrigerator) and coconut milk in the Asian-foods aisle. For a spicier dish, stir in a bit more curry paste.

Image and recipe source: Martha Stewart Everyday Food, October 2008

Black Bean & Salmon Tostadas

4 servings, 2 tostadas each
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

8 6-inch corn tortillas
Canola oil cooking spray
1 6- to 7-ounce can boneless, skinless wild Alaskan salmon, drained
1 avocado, diced
2 tablespoons minced pickled jalapeños, plus 2 tablespoons pickling juice from the jar, divided
2 cups coleslaw mix (see Tip) or shredded cabbage
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons prepared salsa
2 scallions, chopped
Lime wedges (optional)

Position racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 375°F.
Coat tortillas on both sides with cooking spray. Place on 2 baking sheets. Bake, turning once, until light brown, 12 to 14 minutes.
Combine salmon, avocado and jalapeños in a bowl. Combine cabbage, cilantro and the pickling juice in another bowl. Process black beans, sour cream, salsa and scallions in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on High until hot, about 2 minutes.
To assemble tostadas, spread each tortilla with some bean mixture and some salmon mixture and top with the cabbage salad. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Image and recipe source: Eating Well, January/February 2010

Grilled Lemon Chicken with Tabbouleh

Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup bulgur
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh parsley
1/2 English cucumber, halved, seeded, and chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill
1 small garlic clove, minced
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total)

Heat grill to high. In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup water to a simmer. Add bulgur, season with salt and pepper, and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 10 minutes; fluff bulgur with a fork. In a medium bowl, combine bulgur, parsley, cucumber, tomato, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon oil; toss tabbouleh to combine.
In a small bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Clean and lightly oil hot grates. Season chicken with salt and pepper; grill until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Brush chicken with lemon mixture and serve with tabbouleh.

Image and recipe source: Everyday Food, July/August 2009

Grilled Steak and Summer Vegetable Salad

Prep Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Serves 4
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill
2 sprigs rosemary
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/4 pounds hanger steak
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes on the vine, or plum tomatoes, halved
1 bunch scallions
1 sweet bell pepper (any color), cut into sixths, seeds and stem removed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons honey

Heat a grill to medium-high. Clean and lightly oil hot grill. In a small ovenproof pot, combine oil, rosemary, and garlic and place on grill. Cook until oil begins to bubble, 2 minutes. Remove herb oil from heat and set aside 3 tablespoons in a small bowl.
Brush steak with herb oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes per side for medium-rare (move steak to a cooler part of grill if it begins to overbrown). Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain.
In batches, brush vegetables with herb oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill, turning occasionally, until tomato skins are split and vegetables are tender, 3 to 5 minutes total. Transfer to a serving platter, along with sliced steak. Add vinegar and honey to reserved oil and whisk together. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then drizzle dressing over steak and vegetables.

Image and recipe source: Martha Stewart Everyday Food, July/August 2010

Curried Chicken Pitas

4 servings
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

6 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 cups cooked, cubed chicken breast (see Tip)
1 ripe but firm pear, diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted (see Tip)
4  4 to 5inch whole-wheat pita breads, cut in half
2 cups sprouts

Combine yogurt, mayonnaise and curry powder in a large bowl. Add chicken, pear, celery, cranberries and almonds; toss to combine.
Fill each pita half with 1/2 cup chicken salad and 1/4 cup sprouts.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the salad (Step 1) for up to 2 days.
Tip: If you don’t have cooked chicken, poach about 12 ounces chicken breast for this recipe. Place boneless, skinless chicken breast in a medium skillet or saucepan. Add lightly salted water (or chicken broth) to cover and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 15 minutes.
To toast sliced or slivered almonds: Place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Image and recipe source: Eating Well, September/October 2009

BBQ Beer Chicken, in the Crockpot!

(we had this the other night... deee-licious!!! -k)
Serves 8-10

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 large)
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup beer (any kind you like: dark, light, amber, whatever)
4 cups (32 ounces) of barbecue sauce (and kind you like)
hamburger buns

Add everything, except the chicken, to the crockpot and stir to combine. Add the chicken to the crockpot, spoon the sauce on top so all the chicken has a little sauce on it.

Cook on low for 6 hours (crockpot temperatures vary, yours may take more time), stirring a couple of times throughout if desired. After 6 hours, shred the chicken and add it back to the sauce in the crockpot. Toss chicken with the sauce and let sit for 15 minutes so it can absorb some of the sauce. Serve on hamburger buns topped with coleslaw.

i hope your families enjoy these yummy dinners!