Monday, July 12, 2010

Magazine Menus

Because HGTV and the Food Network are reliable sources of safe-for-children programs, they are two of our first choices when our family sits down to watch television together.  Considering that as well as my own fondness for experimenting with new recipes, you won't be surprised, Faithful Reader, to learn that we enjoy Food Network Magazine.  The July/August issue is chock-full of tasty-looking recipes.  Susan heard me ooh-ing and aah-ing as I paged through it, and she told me to choose some recipes for us to try--so I did!  Go pick up a copy of your own and follow along as I review our week of menus from the magazine.

Mediterranean Monday (remember our nightly meal themes?)
  • bruschetta dogs (p. 74) -- grilled hot dogs served in toasted Italian buns and topped with a mixture of diced tomatoes, chopped garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and fresh basil (which came from the plant out on our veranda, by the way)
  • green beans with shallots (p. 96) -- boiled beans tossed in a dressing of Greek yogurt, salt, skillet-toasted cinnamon, and sliced shallots fried in olive oil
  • Susan sliced a pineapple to serve with the meal.  The Italian relish was a delicious topping for the hot dogs, but we all agreed that we could have done without the cinnamon in the green beans' dressing.
Take-Out Tuesday
  • moo shu pork (p. 88) -- strips of pork marinated in hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, minced garlic, salt, and pepper and then stir-fried in vegetable oil and combined with stir-fried shitake mushrooms, coleslaw mix, and scallions and then served in butter lettuce leave cups
  • Susan made Schwan's egg rolls to accompany the moo shu pork.  The marinade gave the dish good flavor; Susan said, "It was better than I would anticipate homemade stir-fried food to be."  She also liked that she got to use her wok again (it has been a while).
Watery Wednesday
  • shrimp salad pitas (p. 94) -- peeled/de-veined/halved shrimp tossed in olive oil, paprika, salt, and pepper and broiled and then tossed with red onion, Greek yogurt, grated carrot, thinly sliced cucumber, dill, lemon zest, and lemon juice and then stuffed with butter lettuce leaves into toasted whole-wheat pitas
  • This meal was very refreshing/fresh-tasting and filling--the recipe says that it serves four, but we could have made two meals-for-five out of it.
Thirsty Thursday
  • In addition to a main dish and side dish, I chose some watermelon drink recipes (p. 141) to try.  However, we got an invitation to our friends' house for supper, so we put the first two recipes on hold until another night (keep reading …), and we counted Leslie's homemade bloody Caesars as our Thirsty-Thursday-qualifying drink for the night.
Familiar Friday
  • What else?  The usual: homemade pizza (Canadian bacon this week), a tradition that puts the "familiar" in Familiar Friday.
Scandinavian Saturday
  • I chose a couple recipes that would qualify for this night's theme but then remembered that we wouldn't be here for supper this night--we had my cousin's anniversary party to attend.  What we were served at the party (food and desserts made by Scandinavian-American cooks) definitely qualified for this night's theme.  And I plan to make, on another Saturday, the recipes that I had chosen for this night … so stay tuned!
Ice Cream Sunday
  • steak with bleu cheese butter and celery salad (p. 82) -- steaks marinated in Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper and then grilled and topped with butter mashed with crumbled bleu cheese and chopped parsley; red onion and celery sliced and tossed with chopped parsley, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper
  • sesame kale (p. 96) -- chopped kale leaves tossed with vegetable oil, sesame oil, salt, and coriander and broiled and then served with lemon wedges
  • triple berry buttermilk sherbet (p. 115) -- fresh berries puréed with grape juice and sugar, strained, and then mixed with buttermilk and heavy cream and frozen in an ice cream maker
  • Susan made garlic toast to go with the meal.  This was one fabulous meal.  The steaks tasted great, and Susan said, "The bleu cheese butter was yummy, and I would eat that on pretty much any steak ever."  The celery salad surprised us at how well it complemented the steak and how tasty it was considering celery's reputation for blandness.  We hadn't had kale before other than in soup, but we enjoyed it served as a vegetable.  The flavor of the sherbet was okay, but Susan figures that our ice cream maker didn't properly process it because the consistency was "a little off … and it was kinda a lot of work."
  • rosemary-mustard pork with peaches (p. 92) -- grilled pork tenderloins glazed with the juice from this peach sauce (which is then served ladled over the pork slices): fresh peaches, white wine, brown sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, whole-grain mustard, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh rosemary (which came from the plant out on our veranda, by the way)
  • roasted carrots with avocado (p. 96) -- baby carrots tossed with olive oil, coriander, salt, and pepper and roasted and then topped with diced avocado and the wedges from a suprèmed orange
  • This is what we had planned to have on Thursday, so it doesn't fit the Mediterranean Monday theme.  Nevertheless, it was danged delicious!  The vegetable side dish was a fun mix of textures (firm carrots, juicy oranges, soft avocado) and flavors.  The meat, too, was a great mix of savory and sweet.  I highly recommend both of these recipes.
Thank you, Food Network Magazine (and Susan!), for such tasty new culinary experiences!

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