Food + Wine

May 21-23 Mini Mealplan

So G came home last night, after an exhausting 8 hour drive from Cincinnati, to a couch full of giggly American Idol fans. (I might have been one of them. There might have been wine involved.) I asked if he wanted some dinner (there was leftover quiche) and he declined, being very clear on the fact that he had not been eating very well on the trip (I mean, who does? I know I can’t be in the car without a soda and lots of little, salty things). So I thought that he deserved a nice, traditional, home-cooked meal to welcome him back. I’ll go to the store on Sunday and plan next week’s meals then, but for the remainder of the week this is the plan-
(This past week I spent $68 and saved $90)
*Roasted Chicken and Carrots
-Nothing says welcome home like a roasted chicken. Everyone has their own way of doing it, and I’ve played around with all of those different methods. But the easiest way for me is to preheat the oven to the highest possible temperature, put your seasoned chicken on a roasting pan, and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Then lower the temp to 375 and continue cooking for 45 minutes. It comes out crispy on top and juicy on the inside every time. Allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before you cut into it so the juices will stay in the bird and not come out onto your platter, resulting in a dry chicken. (But please check it’s doneness before you start to serve it. My mother taught me to jiggle his little legs and if they’re loose at the joints, then its done. G hates that method and swears by the oven-proof thermometer. You decide which works best for you) I’ve served my roasted chicken with a billion different side dishes, but one of my favorites are carrots. Whether they’re roasted in the pan with the chicken or steamed and tossed with butter and parsley, they are equally as comforting as the chicken to me. The chicken was on a ‘gotta get rid of this now’ sale last week, I may have spent $2 on it, and it’s been in my freezer until this morning.
*Chicken Sausage and Polenta Bowls
-I also found some packs of fully cooked, organic sausages on the same kind of sale. They’re not something I would normally add to my list but when I see something on a big sale I always think of different ways to use it and that’s where a lot of my great ideas come from. These happen to be chicken and porcini mushroom sausages. So that made me think of rustic, hearty Italian food. I think I’m going to make some polenta (italian grits) and saute the sausages with garlic, onions, rosemary and sage..maybe some tomatoes and/or artichoke hearts, add some chicken stock and white wine, and serve the saucy mix right on top of the polenta in big bowls. The polenta will soak up the juices and it will all be, hopefully, very tasty.
*Black and Bleu Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries
-We haven’t cooked burgers in my house in a very long time and I’m not quite sure why. We love burgers, but we really love making them at home. I have a lot of ground meat in my freezer at the moment and have some bleu cheese that I need to use up, so this is a perfect way to use them both. We like to buy lean ground meat, (I’ll be using ground white meat chicken from a previous sale, but we’ve done it with lean beef, turkey, veal, pork, and lamb before), and we add flavor into the patty itself. I know it’s not ‘traditional’ and it may be closer to a meatloaf than a burger, but it is always more flavorful than plain meat. I’ll probably add some onions and garlic, a little dijon, and s&p to the raw meat and stuff a chunk of good bleu cheese inside, then rub the outside of the patties with a blackening spice blend. The sweet potato fries are a favorite in my house, and everyone who eats them ends up falling in love. I cut the potatoes in big steak-house wedges and toss them with olive oil, s&p and a little sugar and roast on 450 for about 20 minutes, or until they’re browned on the outside and creamy in the middle. Then I toss them in some minced, fresh rosemary. They’re amazing.

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