in an effort to organize my own menu planning i bring you another
yummy week of the dinner menu planner!
this week is delicious comfort food on the healthier side. enjoy!
Corn and Chicken Dinner
Prep: 10 min. Cook: 40 min.
3 pounds chicken legs and thighs (about 8 pieces)
1/2 cup butter, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced, divided
3 ears fresh corn, husked, cleaned and cut into thirds
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons dried tarragon, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tomatoes, seeded and cut into chunks
In a Dutch oven, cook chicken in 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat until browned on each side. Add two-thirds of the garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Reduce heat; stir in corn and water. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon tarragon, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until a thermometer reads 180°.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cook both the remaining garlic and tarragon in remaining butter for 1 minute; set aside.
Layer zucchini and tomatoes over the chicken mixture. Drizzle seasoned butter over all; cover and cook for 3-5 minutes or until heated through.
Bacon and Herbs Mac ‘n’ Cheese
12 ounces elbow macaroni
3 strips bacon (about 2.5 oz.), chopped
3 tablespoons melted butter, divided
1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs such as tarragon, parsley, chives, and/or rosemary
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup brie cheese, cut into chunks
1/2 cup cream cheese, cut into chunks
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1. Preheat oven to broil. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, fry bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes, then drain on paper towels, reserving 1 tbsp. grease. Set bacon aside.
3. In the warm pasta pot, mix reserved grease, 2 tbsp. butter, the herbs, onions, garlic, and soft cheeses. Mix in warm pasta and bacon. Spoon into 4 ramekins (1 1/2-cup size); sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
4. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1 tbsp. butter and the bread crumbs, stirring to combine. Sprinkle evenly over cheese.
5. Broil ramekins until golden and bubbling, about 3 minutes.
1 large zucchini, cut on the diagonal into eight 1/4-inch-thick pieces
4 thin slices red onion
8 chicken cutlets (1 1/2 pounds total)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
4 plain or poppy-seed rolls
Heat a grill to medium-high. Clean and lightly oil hot grill. Brush zucchini, onion, and chicken with extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill until zucchini and onion are crisp-tender and chicken is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. In a small bowl, combine Dijon mustard and mayonnaise.
Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard mixture on top half of rolls. Serve chicken on rolls with grilled vegetables, tomatoes, and baby arugula.
Indoor method: In an oiled grill pan or cast-iron skillet, cook vegetables over medium-high. Wipe skillet clean; cook chicken in same pan.
BBQ Jerk Chicken with Mango Salsa
For the chicken
1 large free range chicken, cut into breasts, wings and legs
2 scotch bonnet chillis, finely minced
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 thumbsized piece of ginger, minced
3 teaspoons of all spice
1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons of honey
6 tablespoons of tomato ketchup
For the salsa
2 ripe mangos, peeled, stone removed and roughly chopped in chunks
1/2 cucumber, center removed and diced
4 spring onions, finely chopped
1 small chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper
A good handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Place the chicken in a large resealable bag and add in the rest of the chicken ingredients. Seal the bag and give it a good shake until everything is completely combined and the chicken is evenly coated.
Leave in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight if you have the time.
Combine all the ingredients for the salsa (except the coriander) in a mixing bowl and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Mix through the coriander when you’re ready to serve.
Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before you are ready to cook. Get the BBQ to a medium high heat and cook the chicken pieces for 15 minutes turning only once during the cooking time, until the chicken is completely cooked through.
The different pieces will take slightly different cooking times so a good way to check if they are cooked is to insert a meat thermometer at the thickest part and check that it registers 180˚F for drumsticks and thighs and 170˚F for breasts.
Serve the chicken with the mango salsa and some cous cous if you need a bit more sustenance!
Eggplant and Goat Cheese Sandwiches
8 (1/2-inch-thick) eggplant slices
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 large red bell pepper
4 (1-ounce) slices ciabatta bread
2 tablespoons refrigerated pesto
1 cup baby arugula
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (2 ounces) soft goat cheese
1. Preheat broiler.
2. Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush both sides of eggplant with 1 teaspoon oil. Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membrane. Arrange bell pepper halves, skin sides up, on baking sheet with eggplant; flatten with hand. Broil 4 minutes; turn eggplant over (do not turn bell pepper over). Broil an additional 4 minutes; remove eggplant from pan. Broil bell pepper an additional 7 minutes or until blackened. Place bell pepper in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand for 15 minutes; peel and discard skin.
3. Broil bread slices for 2 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once. Spread 1 tablespoon pesto on each of 2 bread slices. Layer each bread slice, pesto side up, with 2 eggplant slices, 1 bell pepper half, and 2 eggplant slices. Toss arugula with remaining 1 teaspoon oil and black pepper; divide arugula mixture evenly between sandwiches. Spread 2 tablespoons goat cheese over each of 2 remaining bread slices; place, cheese side down, on sandwiches.
Shrimp and Pasta in Tomato-Chile Cream Sauce
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 lb. linguine
2 T. unsalted butter
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 T. Essence (recipe follows)
1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 c. finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 c. finely chopped jalapenos, seeds removed
1 T. minced garlic
1-1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 c. diced tomatoes
1/2 c. reserved pasta cooking water
1 c. grated Pepper Jack cheese
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
2 T. chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 T. chopped fresh basil leaves
for Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning:
(can be purchased at the grocery store, labeled as “Bayou Blast”)
2-1/2 T. paprika
2 T. salt
2 T. garlic powder
1 T. black pepper
1 T. onion powder
1 T. cayenne pepper
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Store in an empty spice bottle or similar container for future use. I always have a few empty spice bottles on hand, for just this sort of thing.
yield: 2/3 cup
Set a large 1-gallon stock pot of water to a boil. Add the kosher salt and then the linguine to the pot. Return to a boil and stir the noodles to separate. Cook the pasta until al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, start preparing the shrimp and sauce. Set a large deep saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Once the butter has melted, season the shrimp with 1 tablespoon of the Essence seasoning, plus 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Add the shrimp to the pan and sear until nicely browned on both sides. This should take just a couple minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
Turn heat down to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onions and jalapenos to the pan and saute until the onions are softened, translucent, and slightly caramelized. This should take about 4 or 5 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and saute for 1 minute. Add the cream, remaining 1 tablespoon of Essence seasoning, remaining 1-1/4 teaspoons of the salt, and the pepper to the pan and bring to a boil. Cook the sauce until the cream is reduced by half. This should take about 2 minutes.
Return the shrimp to the pan. Add the linguine, tomatoes, and the reserved cooking water to the pan and cook, tossing to incorporate for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and add the Pepper Jack, Parmesan, parsley, and basil. Toss to blend. Serve immediately.
Spicy Whiskey BBQ Sliders
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
2 pounds Ground Meat (beef, Bison, Turkey)
Salt And Pepper
4 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Large Onion, Diced
1/2 cup Whiskey
1 cup Barbecue Sauce
1/4 cup Jarred Jalapeno Slices (more To Taste)
12 whole Slider Buns Or Dinner Rolls, Split
Form the meat into 12 (or so) miniature patties and salt and pepper them on both sides. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the patties until just about done in the middle, approximately 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the patties from the skillet and set aside. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of grease, then return the skillet to the stove.
Throw the diced onions in the skillet and stir to cook, about 3 minutes. Pour in whiskey (be careful if you’re cooking over an open flame; turn it off momentarily to be extra careful) and stir. Allow the whiskey to reduce by half, about 2 to 3 minutes, then stir in jalapenos and the barbecue sauce.
Reduce the heat to low and place the patties in the barbecue sauce, turning to coat. Allow the patties to simmer in the sauce until everything’s hot and bubbly.
Place the patties on individual buns and be sure to spoon extra sauce (with the jalapenos!) over the top of each one before topping with the other half of the bun.