Food + Wine

July 19-25 Mealplan

So HT had fresh asparagus for only $.88/lb today and it’s one of my favorite vegetables so you will notice a lot of it showing up in this week’s menu. Asparagus doesn’t have a long shelf life (and gets soggy when frozen) so I need to use all I bought this week. Also, the potato shows up more than usual this week because it was cheaper for me to buy a 5 lb. bag than it was for me to buy 2 large potatoes. I only spent $50 today and proudly saved $54. Here’s the plan…
*Prosciutto and Melon Pasta
This may sound extremely weird for most of you but prosciutto and melon are a classic appetizer combo in Italy. Traditionally you wrap a thin slice of prosciutto around a slice of cantaloupe or honeydew and eat as a light snack. But I recently saw a recipe in Rachel Ray’s magazine for a pasta dish like this and thought it sounded so intriguing. You crisp up half of the prosciutto and leave the other half ‘raw’, and the cantaloupe is cooked in a hot skillet with some olive oil until it breaks down and becomes saucy. Then you add some cream (or in my case, evaporated whole milk), Parmesan cheese and a tiny bit of tomato paste. I bought the melon and prosciutto last week when they were both on sale. We’ll be having this tonight.
*Rosemary Potato and Onion Tart with Roasted Asparagus
I have a sheet of puff pastry in the freezer that is taking up way too much room. So I’ll roll it out onto a cookie sheet and top it with shredded cheese, caramelized onions, thinly sliced potatoes and fresh rosemary, then bake until it looks brown and yummy.
*Fried Chicken, Potato Salad and Cole Slaw
I got a pack of chicken drumsticks today on a ‘gotta get rid of this now’ sale and have them in the freezer until I make this meal. You know I don’t fry, so this chicken will be coated in both a wet and dry rub and baked in the oven. I think I’ll make a roasted red pepper and onion potato salad and the coleslaw will be my mom’s (vinegar based). Cabbage is only $.47/lb so I can buy it even if it’s not on sale and never spend too much.
*Curried Mango Beef over Couscous
I have some cube-steaks in my freezer that I’ve been trying to use in non-traditional ways. Last time I cooked them I turned them into Philly-Cheese-Steak sandwiches and it was awesome. This time I’m gonna attempt to turn them into a curry. I have a sad, little mango that needs attention in my fridge so I’ll use that to sweeten the curry and coconut milk as the base. I usually see curries served over rice but I thought whole wheat couscous would be great for a change.
*Steaky Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Garlic and Asparagus Bundles
Pork T’s are on a BOGO sale this week so I had to stock up. I tend to be a purist when it comes to cooking them. I think they’re so tender and flavorful just the way they are, so all you have to do is season it well with something that tastes good and then roast it until slightly pink in the center. (In my house, we like to sear the sides in a hot, oven proof skillet and then transfer to a 450* oven until done) This time I decided to flavor it with a steak seasoning blend I managed to get for free today (I had to find a way to announce that:) The asparagus bundles are a piece of bacon wrapped around a handful of steamed asparagus, then pan-fried until the bacon gets crispy. By the way, I’m normally not into seasoning blends because they tend to be mostly salt, but this one was low in sodium and it was free. Free.
*Honey-Mustard Salmon and Asparagus Pasta Salad
My mom introduced me to canned salmon when I was a poor college student. It realy is a great product to keep on hand because you are still getting all the wonderful benefits of the fish, but in a cheaper way. (I, of course, would love to be able to buy fresh salmon every week but these are hard times, people!) I love salmon paired with a sweet sauce, so honey mustard is perfect in this dish. Pasta salad sounds like an odd thing to serve for dinner but it has every component that a well-balanced dinner should have – protein, starch, vegetable… It will be a perfect light, summer supper.
*Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup with Grilled Cheddar and Onion Sandwiches
I haven’t made this soup in ages. It’s more of a fall or wintry dish but I think when you’re cooking on a budget you can’t always follow all those rules. Plus, it’s very delicious. It consists of a can of pureed pumpkin (not pie filling. gross), chicken stock, tomato paste, onion, s&p and sugar, and a little curry powder and cayenne. (You can make the entire thing right out of your pantry of you stock it right). And I don’t think a bowl of soup is complete without a sandwich, or at the very least a piece of good, crusty bread to dip in it.
Happy Eating Everyone!

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1 Comment

  • Reply cary July 20, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    i can attest that the melon pasta smelled divine. how was it? and the pumpkin soup sounds wonderful!

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