Thursday, May 13, 2010

May Weekly Dinners...

Remember how I used to post about meals I've cooked throughout the week?  Well don't think I haven't been cooking... because of course I have!  I've collaged (is that a word) these photos so you don't have to look at a thousand food photos, although that wouldn't be here we go! PS- Click on any of these pics to make them bigger!

Last week, we made Black Bean-Rice Turkey Burgers inspired by RR.  Ya know, Rachael Ray.  She made Turkey and Bean Burrito burgers using pinto beans and white rice.  We used black beans and brown rice.  I say WE because I had to work late so I sent the hubs the recipe and he got to work before I got home.  When I got home, I found Dave working on these burgers!  I whipped up some guac and toasted some buns while Dave cooked them up.  In no time at all, we had some yummy Burrito like burgers!
 I also made a Southwestern Salad with Skirt Steak and Chicken Thighs with Leeks, Fennel and Shitakes. Can't remember where I got the idea for the salad, but the Chicken Thighs was inspired by Eating Well. I served the Chicken Thighs over Bulger Wheat- one of my new favorite grains!
Next up... I made Turkey Lettuce Wraps...
I had this Roasted Red Pepper/Eggplant Spread from Trader Joes and I added that in to the Ground Turkey along with lots of spice.  Wanted a crunch but didn't have water chestnuts so I used leftover slaw mix.  Wanted peanuts but also didn't have those so I used sliced almonds. This was tasty!
Next up I made a combo of dishes from Ella Says Opa and We are Not Martha which I believe was originally inspired by Giada.  She has such amazing recipes! I made Cheddar, Arugula and Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed Pork Chops over a bed of Corn and Roasted Red Pepper Polenta
I know I used Arugula instead of Spinach, and the Red Pepper Dip from Trader Joes.  I know I also didn't use Goat Cheese because mine had gone bad and I didn't have cream cheese.  I'm pretty sure I just used sauteed arugula with the pepper dip and cheddar cheese.  And I used those flavors again in the polenta. So... polenta is SUPER simple to make.   This is ALL you do:
Heat 1 tsp of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat  Add the garlic and stir until just fragrant. Stir in the 1 and 1/2- 2 cups of chicken broth, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste; bring to a boil.  Slowly whisk in the 1/2 cup polenta – it will absorb the liquid almost immediately.  Add the corn (I used a half cup of frozen) and red pepper dip.  Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until cooked, about 10-15 minutes.
And now we are on to this week.  Monday night we ate leftovers from Mothers Day dinner.  Tuesday I made Flatbread Pizzas.  Have you seen these Flatout Wraps?  I was going to buy pizza dough, but saw this and thought it would make a good bed. I made two kinds of pizzas.  One was Thai Tofu Pizza inspired by Iowa Girl Eats.  Thanks Daisy for the link to this blog!  This pizza was A-MAZING.  And I kinda want to make it again on REAL pizza dough.  It combined mango, brocolli, spicy peanut sauce, tofu and cheese!  What could be better.  I skipped out on cilantro (not a fan) and peanuts.

The other pizza I made was a basic cheese, tomatoes, and mushroom pizza.  Gretchen also made pizza on Tuesday and before we left work she joked that Derek (her hubs) was looking forward to a "normal pizza," you know one that actually resembles a pizza you get at a regular pizza joint.  So I thought maybe Derek was right and I should make an alternative incase this thai pizza wasn't up Dave's ally.  The thing is... I'm lucky.  Dave eats whatever I make him so I think he would have satisfied with either : ) And we were!  I made 6 of these flat-out pizzas so we've been enjoying the leftovers for lunches all week!
Last night I made a recipe I say on Ella Says Opa that she got from Ellie Krieger. 
Balsamic Chicken with Arugula, Kale and Leeks
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 boneless/skinless chicken breast halves
8 oz. greens (I used a mix of arugula, kale and leeks)
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup diced tomatoes with juice

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup zuchinnis, diced
2 cups cooked whole wheat couscous or bulgur wheat

Heat a saute pan over medium heat.  Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, and then add to the hot oil to cook through.  Set aside. Add the greens and some salt and pepper to taste to the same pan, and cook until wilted.  Set aside. Add the garlic to the pan and saute until fragrant.  Stir in the chicken broth and balsamic vinegar, add the tomatoes and zuchinni.  Season the sauce to taste and simmer 3-4 minutes. Serve the chicken, kale, and sauce over bulgur or couscous.

I thought this was OK.  Kinda tasted bland.  Needed a little something something.  Maybe some heat?

Tonight I wanted to make Tomato Mozzarella Tart with Basil Garlic Crust inspired by Annie-Eats and Ezra Pound Cake. So when I finally got a moment to breathe at work today I took a look at the recipe and saw this in the dough making section:
1 HOUR!!! I get home from at 7 and the tart actually takes 40 minutes to bake.  I cant wait until past 8 to put it in the oven! Was I going to have another tart disaster? Lucky for me, Dave left work early and was happy and wiling to help me out.  What a good husband.  I also secretly wonder if I wanted him to make the tart dough so I wouldn't have another tart failure. Anyway, when I got home from work at 7, the dough had already been in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Score! 
For the dough:
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
1-2 cloves garlic
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. kosher salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 8-10 pieces
4-5 tbsp. ice cold water

For the filling:
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
Ripe cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1-2 tbsp. minced fresh basil

To make the dough, combine the basil and garlic in the bowl of a food processor.  Process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until finely minced.  Add the flour and salt; pulse briefly to combine.  Add in the chunks of butter and pulse about 10 times, or until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs.  Add 3 tablespoons of the water and pulse a few times to incorporate.  Add 1 more tablespoon and process for several seconds to see if the dough forms a ball.  If not, add the remaining tablespoon of water and process until a ball of dough forms.  Remove the dough, flatten into a 5-inch disc, and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

So first step was to cut the dough in 4 pieces then roll it out and place over my mini 4 inch tarts.
Trim the extra dough off the tart and if you have enough, use the leftover dough to make one more mini-tart. Preheat oven to 425 then take some aluminum foil and fill with baking beans.  OR if you don't have baking beans, use your handy rock decorations and wrap them up and bake for 10-12 minutes.  Then carefully remove the rocks or beans and bake for five minutes more.  Meanwhile, slice up 1 oz of mozzarella per tart and slice in half cherry tomatoes.  Add the cheese to the tart then layer with tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, a little shredded Parmesan and some shopped basil.  
Bake for 20 minutes until cooked through. And then enjoy! 
Delicious meal for almost the END of a very busy week!
PS- WAHOOOOOOOOOOO CELTICS!!! I knew they could do it!!!!!!!!
I love you KG.


  1. I have those tart pans too! I definitely need to make use of them more often.

  2. I don't know where to begin
    1) Thanks for the shoutout! I am glad you like IGE and made that award winning tofu pizza!!
    2) The pictures look awesome.
    3) The food looks even better. Black bean burger...lettuce wraps..a successful tart. yumm

  3. I am so making the turkey burger! Omgoodness, look at those tarts, So adorable. I have to invest in a tart pan/pans. =)

    Turkey lettuce wraps, Yum-O!

    Giada does have great recipes. I think I've made three or four of hers.

    Collaging your food photos is a great idea. I'm always concerned I post too many darn photos.
    Not that I would have a problem looking through a ton of food photos. Yum!

    'Collaged'--it's a word.

    Wonderful post. Thank you.

    Ooh, ooh, I see the word 'Nutella' on the side...

  4. Um, when are you coming over to make me dinner. I'm drooling over the polenta, the pizza and even though tomatoes make me gag - I think I could devour that tart. Way to go, LC!