Food + Wine

Nov.16-22 Mealplan

I saved $145 again today at the store…even the teenage cashier boy was very impressed.
*Cheese Ravioli in a Pumpkin Cream Sauce with Toasted Pignoli
I’m taking some help from the store with fresh, whole wheat cheese ravioli. The sauce will be caramelized onions, pureed pumpkin, ‘cream’, nutmeg and cinnamon and I’ll top it off with some toasted pine nuts.
*Smoked Salmon Frittata with Asparagus and Creme Fraiche
I found some smoked salmon at an incredible price today and it made me think of the first time I visited L.A. I had a smoked salmon and goat cheese omelette that I had dreams about for years after. This will hopefully be a close runner-up.
*Baked Flounder Florentine with Roasted Lemon Potatoes
Baked fish dishes make me think of fancy country-club dining from when I was little. But I don’t think I ever had one like this… Lots of chopped spinach, cheese and garlic-yum.
*Soda-Soy Short Ribs with Sesame-Garlic Broccoli
I’ve been waiting for the weather to get cold again so we can have the short ribs that are in my freezer, but I’m sick of waiting. Instead of braising them winter-style, I’m changing it up a bit…I’m going to par-boil the ribs in Coca-Cola, then bake them low and slow and make a glaze out of some of the remaining soda, soy sauce, ginger and garlic.
*Chicken Quesadillas with Spicy Sugar Snap Peas
I love any dish that combines cheese and bread. And quesadillas are just so stupidly easy to make so I always have the ingredients on hand to make many different versions of them.
*Rosemary-Orange Chicken with Wild Rice
I just love the combination of rosemary and orange, the herb pairs beautifully with a lot of different fruits. I’ve combined it with apricots, cherries, peaches, plums, pears, whatever fresh fruits I can get each season because I always have rosemary in our garden. I’ll make a reduction out of fresh-squeezed orange juice and rosemary and use it to glaze my chicken thighs.

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  • Reply Anonymous November 16, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Maybe the most tantalizing of your menus yet! I was just wondering what to do with some of these too-many cans of pumpkin puree that seem to propagate on my pantry shelf; the ravioli with pumpkin cream sauce (I'll probably go a bit Mexican with cumin and a touch of dried-red pepper flakes in the sauce, sprinkle with roasted pumpkin seeds). And I have to have that smoked salmon omelet. Now.
    My favorite soda for making a glaze is Dr. Pepper. It is beyond delicious on ham, beef ribs anything. The only problem is usually finding a vending machine where you can buy a single bottle or can of the stuff. Who actually wants a pack of Dr. Pepper?
    Thanks for this delicious line-up of meals!

  • Reply Everyday Champagne November 16, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    And here I thought this was a 'throw-away' mealplan… I'm just so tired lately! Thanks so much for the comment. (And by the way, I love the idea for the Mexican-inspired pumpkin sauce!) Another thing I like to do with all those cans of pumpkin is make pumpkin-cheesecake tarts by using muffin tins and using ginger snaps as the crust… really delicious.)

  • Reply Anonymous November 16, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Gingersnap crust for pumpkin cheesecake (or cheesecake tarts) of any kind) is inspired! And perfect for Thanksgiving dinner. (I think that bland graham cracker crusts are just for leaving uneaten on the dessert plate; I usually make a butter-sugar-chopped pecan crust for Key Lime Pie or cheesecake.)
    By the way, for a quick, pretty, Christmas season side dish, try simply sauteeing broccolini (I saute the chopped stems first, then add the quicker-cooking florets) in a bit of olive oil with a clove or two of chopped garlic, s and p, and halved grape tomatoes. I did this last night with some grape tomatoes that were looking past their prime and realized that sweet, slightly-wizened grape tomatoes actually work better in a saute like this than fresh ones.

  • Reply Everyday Champagne November 17, 2009 at 12:01 am

    I agree, I love adding nuts or spice cookies to my crusts, it really makes all the difference in the world (as does a good pinch of salt). Your broccolini sounds wonderful, I love the addition of sweet tomatoes to green vegetables, (I roast green beans with grape tomatoes a lot at home.) The overly ripe ones work exceptionally well in my opinion because they burst quicker in the oven than the 'perfect' ones!

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