Friday, December 17, 2010

Real Simple Dinners

The grocery gods must have been reading my blog because my first issue of Real Simple came last Friday and in it-5 days worth of weeknight meals. My shopping list was so easy to make! Being my first issue I'm not sure if they do this each time, but I definitely enjoy if so.

Here's some suggestions for those out there looking for some new ideas during the week.

MONDAY (economical, easy)
Barbecue pork sandwiches

Cut one pork tenderloin crosswise in 4 pieces. Place in saucepan with 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, and 1/2 cup water. Simmer, covered until fork tender, 18-20 minutes. Shred the meat and serve on buns with potato chips. They also suggested coleslaw and pickles, but they aren't in my house.
Review: Tasty! Made enough for four sandwiches so we both had a great leftovers the next day. And of course, I added provolone because a meal without cheese is a meal not worth having.

TUESDAY (heart healthy)
Spiced cod with broccoli quinoa pilaf
3 tbs olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2 cups chopped broccoli
1/4 raisins (I omitted)
1/2 cup chopped almonds (I omitted)
2 scallions, sliced
2 6 oz skinless cod, halibut, or striped bass filet
1/2 tsp paprika

Heat 1 tsp of oil in saucepan over med-high heat. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened and starting to brown, 3-4 mins.

Add the quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water to saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer gently until almost all water has evaporated, 10-12 minutes. Fold the broccoli and raisins into the quinoa, cover and cook until the quinoa and broccoli are tender, 8-10 mins more. Remove from heat and fold in almonds, scallions, salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in skillet over med-high heat. Season the cod with paprika, salt and pepper and cook until opaque, 3-4 minutes.

Even more meanwhile, I served this with roasted butternut squash for some more color. And Scott likes two sides.
Rating: Fish was ok. I think we enjoy halibut more (only could find cod). Pilaf was great as was the butternut squash.

WEDNESDAY (one pot)
Chicken with white beans and tomatoes

1 15 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed (I used garbanzo)
1 pint grape tomatoes
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs fresh oregano (I forgot this, used dried)
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (I used boneless, skinless)

Heat oven to 425. In a 9 x 13 baking dish, toss the beans, tomatoes with the thyme and oregano, garlic, red pepper, olive oil, salt and pepper .

Pat chicken dry and place on top of the bean mixture (skin side up, if you are using skinned). Rub with oil, season with salt and pepper.

Roast until chicken is golden and cooked through, 35-45 mins. Sprinkle with oregano leaves (if you remembered to buy them.)
Review: Tasty. Big points for a one pot meal. Good leftovers the next day too.

THURSDAY (slow cooker)
Coffee-braised brisket with potatoes and carrots

1 med onion, quartered
6 small potatoes, halved
1/2 lb carrots, cut into 2" pieces
Beef brisket (I think mine was about 1.5 pounds)
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup brewed black coffee
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs packed brown sugar
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley
Country bread (optional)

In the bottom of a slow cooker, combine the onion, potatoes, and carrots. Season the beef with salt and pepper and place on top the vegetables.

In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, coffee, Worcestshire sauce, and brown sugar; pour over the beef and veggies. Cover and cook on low until tender, about 8 hours.

Slice the beef across the grain and serve with veggies and sauce, sprinkled with parsley. Serve with bread if desired.
Review: Love the convenience of a crock pot and the smell upon entering the house. My brisket was still a bit tough, even with the extended "keep warm" setting. Ok overall.

Flaky Mushroom and Gruyere Tarts (vegetarian)
1 sheet puff pastry (half a 17.3-ounce package), thawed
4 tablespoons olive oil
10 ounces assorted mushrooms (such as button, cremini, shiitake, and oyster), sliced
1 shallot, sliced
kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 ounces Gruyère or sharp white Cheddar, grated (1 cup)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
4 ounces mixed greens (6 cups)
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Heat oven to 400° F. Unfold the pastry and cut it into 4 squares. Place the squares on a parchment-lined baking sheet and, using a fork, prick the dough all over.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and shallot and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 1 minute more.

Dividing evenly, sprinkle the pastry squares with half the cheese, leaving a ½-inch border on each. Top with the mushroom mixture and remaining cheese. Bake until the pastry is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the greens and radishes and toss to coat. Serve the tarts with the salad and sprinkle with the chives.
Hands down my favorite of the week. Simple, delicious, and I definitely had more than my share.

All photos and recipes courtesy of Real Simple Magazine.

1 comment:

Mrs. ummmmmm......Brownell said...

I meant to tell you this the other day and I totally forgot. I make pulled pork in my crock pot and it's amazing and super easy. Just toss it in the crock pot on low with some bbq sauce. Then when you come home, pull it (I use two forks cause I'm fancy like that) and toss it back in with a little more bbq sauce for like 30 more minutes. Total prep time - like 5 minutes. :)