Food + Wine

April 14-April 20 Mealplan

*Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo with Cheesy Grits Cake
This is sorta a cross between shrimp and grits (which I make a dozen different versions of), and gumbo. I’ve already made this because we’re having it tonight and it looks great. There’s celery, carrots and onions, tomatoes, okra, keilbasa, shrimp and chicken and I’ll serve it over cheesy stone-ground grits that are chilling and setting in a casserole dish as we speak. So when we’re ready to eat, I’ll cut out a pretty piece for each of us and pan fry it until crispy to serve underneath the gumbo.
*Eggplant and Cremini Parmesan with Roasted Pattypan Squash
I have never made Eggplant Parmesan before, nor do I tend to order it at restaurants because it’s usually overly heavy and greasy for my taste. But I’ll roast the eggplant and cremini mushrooms instead of frying them and layer it with bread crumbs, light mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce then top it with parmesan cheese and more bread crumbs and bake it until golden and bubbly. And I got a great deal on some pattypan squash and zucchini today that I thought would go well roasted and served along side the casserole.
*Chicken Saltimboca and Braised Artichokes
Mmm… I love saltimboca but I usually make it using chicken breasts instead of veal. It’s essentially a chicken breast (or veal cutlet), pounded thin and stuffed with proscuitto, fontina cheese and fresh sage. Then it’s lightly breaded and pan-fried until golden brown. It’s delicious. The last time I made it, I made a honey-dijon pan sauce to drizzle over and that just took it to another level. There was a sale on giant, global artichokes and instead of using them as an appetizer like we normally do I think I’ll just trim them up and braise them in some lemon, white wine and chicken stock and serve them as a side dish.
*Brown Sugar and Cumin Rubbed Cornish Game Hens with Mashed Plantains
I’m sure I’ve said time and time again how much I adore Rock Cornish Game Hens. I just can’t get over the fact that I get a whole bird all to myself. Amazing. And I have a ton of overly ripe plantains that need to be used so I figured I’d just make the meal Cuban-inspired. You can easily steam plantains in the microwave by cutting a slit through the skin and wrapping them in either a paper towel or wax paper, then cook them for a couple of minutes until soft and mushy. Then you just mash them like you would a potato with whatever you want them to taste like. I’ll probably flavor mine with cinnamon and salt.
*Mexican Pizzas with a Mango and Avocado Salad
One of my fondest memories of my grandmother is having her take my brother and me to South Park Mall and treating us to Taco Bell in the food court. We always ordered Mexican Pizzas and I can still taste them now. I’ve never ordered the pizza at any other Taco Bell, nor have I seen it on any other menu. It’s as if it was up there just for the three of us. But I have a lot of little corn tortillas left over from fish taco night last week and thought I would try this week to mimic those flavors that I loved so many years ago.
*Creamy Asparagus Soup and Cheesy Prosciutto Paninis
I’ve been waiting a long time until I could make this, I’m very excited. For the past couple of months I’ve been saving all my woody, asparagus tips, (you know, the ones you always throw away?) They’ve been accumulating in a zip bag in my freezer and now that bag is finally full. I’m thinking I’ll sweat out an onion and peeled potato with the asparagus pieces until they’re all tender. Then I’ll add some chicken stock and puree everything until smooth and pour in a little cream until it’s thick and velvety. Each bowl will have some goat cheese crumbles and a few snips of fresh chives on top. I’m thinkin’ it’ll be gorgeous. And the only purpose I see in a soup is to have something starchy to dip into it. This dipper will be made of prosciutto, edam cheese and apricot jam.
*Goat Cheese and Parsley Beef Burgers on Naan Bread with Roasted Broccoli
I have some leftover homemade Naan bread from last night’s vegetable curry dinner and I don’t want it to go to waste so I thought I could break each piece on half and use them as the buns for a yummy burger.
That’s it for now-
Happy Eating, Everyone!

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