What I’ve Planned – Week 11

I try to make a mix of quick, small meals we will finish in one sitting and larger meals that make plenty of leftovers and space them throughout the week. Salad on repeat gets old fast. The ingredients this week help me mix and match flavors for many different styles and tastes. Here’s what I have planned.

The peaches we got are pretty hard and will take a while to ripen. I also see a cucumber a day as snack in my future!

What I Made – Week 11

This is the week of the year when it’s almost too hot to stand over the stove, but we’re no longer getting much lettuce for salads! Only one salad this week, everything else I tried to make quick and easy or in the crock pot!

This sheet pan dinner simply includes sliced kielbasa, potatoes, and wax peppers, tossed with oil and whatever seasoning you like. I wish I had quick-pickled the peppers, because I missed the tang of vinegar in this.
Blackberries and blue cheese are combined with toasted pecans and a balsamic vinaigrette for this black and blue salad. I added quinoa to make it a full meal.
The cherry tomatoes add a colorful salsa to these zucchini quesadillas.
When I don’t know what to do with chard, I look for a recipe with spinach that also calls for sautéed onions. I toss the chopped stems in with the onions and use the leaves as the recipe directs you to use spinach. This lamb curry gets nice and tender in the crock pot after most of the ingredients are seared in a skillet. I added the chard leaves with about an hour left in the cook time.
This wax beans with chorizo dish would make a great side, but we add some extra chorizo and eat it as a main dish. (This is the Spanish dried chorizo, not the fresh sausage links you might see at the butcher counter.)
This tandoori chicken casserole has two whole zucchini shredded and mixed into the sauce! I usually use hot curry powder to give it a little kick, but I forgot this time, and missed the extra spice.

We ate the peaches plain, and are still up to our eyeballs in cucumbers with plenty of onions still on hand, but we did a pretty good job using up the rest of our veggies this week.

What I Made: Orecchiette with Radicchio

Fresh handmade pasta is something special.  Sure, it leaves my kitchen covered in a thick coating of flour because I am the world’s messiest cook, but it also takes a regular pasta dish and turns up the YUM factor.  Making pasta is my newest interest, and it’s definitely something that is going to require quite a bit of practice. And time. And patience.

This recipe is my second go-round making orecchiette, and I’m steadily improving. At least, my pastas looked a lot more ear-shaped this time, and since that’s how orecchiette gets its name, I’m taking that as a good sign…

To make the orecchiette, roll a portion of the dough into a long log about a half inch thick, keeping the other dough wrapped tightly in plastic wrap while not in use.  Cut into 1/2 inch pieces and roll into a ball.  Flatten the ball with your thumb, then, still pressing, pull slightly to one side to create a dimple.  Then, take the pasta and flip inside out, placing on a floured baking sheet until it’s ready to cook. It will cook to al dente in 8 minutes. Then, the shallots are cooked until softened and wine is added and then reduced.  The herbs, pasta, radicchio, and cheese get a quick toss and the whole dish is served at room temperature.

OrecchietteRad

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What I Made: Gazpacho

In the winter, there is nothing I love more than a pot of homemade chicken stock simmering away on the stove.  After it’s done some might turn into chicken noodle soup, but the rest gets frozen because in the heat of summer you’d have to beg me to turn on the oven to make soup.  That’s why gazpacho is a summer staple: cool, fresh, and the prep work is all chopping and no cooking.

The benefit of all the hard work in the winter is having homemade stock to use as the base for this recipe.  To that, you add diced tomatoes, onion, peppers, cucumbers, celery, and a little sugar and lemon juice.  For an extra kick, add a dash of  Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces.

I left mine chunky, but you could run it through a blender for a smoother consistency.

Gazpacho

I just added the stock frozen, and let it thaw while all the flavors combined.

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