Thursday, August 24, 2006
For Elizabeth Allen
My sister Liz just got married. I really like her. She's the youngest of 10 so gets a lot of flak, but she does amazing things. Last week she returned from China on Monday, got married on Thursday and this Monday she started year 2 as a law student at Pepperdine. I thought she would like some cooking advice from her older sister, because who doesn't LOVE unsolicited advice? Here are some simple meal ideas for a busy couple with a lot of new kitchen gadgets:
Meal 1: Spaghetti - Garlic Bread - Arugula Salad
For the sauce - In saute pan, heat 3 T. olive oil. Add 1 diced onion, 1-2 cloves garlic (crushed). Add 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes. Season with basil, oregano, 1/4 t. red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, add 2 c. water. Simmer 20-30 minutes. If using fresh herbs, add at the end of simmering time. (For an omnivore version add ground beef, turkey or pork to the sauteed onion and garlic, cook and then add can of tomatoes. For leftovers, put extra in a jar. Can also use as a pizza sauce.)
For the garlic bread - To 3 T. softened butter add 1 clove crushed garlic and 3 T. grated parmesean cheese (optional). Spread on slices of bread (baguettes, french and sourdough bread work well). Broil until toasted.
For the salad - Make a vinegrette (use 1 part acid like red wine vinegar or lemon juice to 3 parts olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and any of the following: oregano, dijon mustard, chopped shallot. Drizzle over arugula. With a peeler, shave thin slices of parmesean cheese from a block and add to salad.
Meal 2: Cho-u Chicken - Rice - Broccoli
For the chicken - Put the following into a crock-pot: 1 C. soy sauce, thumb size ginger root (peeled), 1 C. brown sugar, 1 clove crushed garlic, 1/2 C. water, package of skinless chicken breasts or thighs. Cook for 5 hours. (OR put above ingredients into gallon size bag and marinate. Cook, covered for 3 1/2 hours at 350). Serve with rice.
For the broccoli - Steam until barely cooked. Heat 3 T. olive oil in saute pan. Add 2 cloves garlic, chopped, and 2 pinches red pepper flakes. Add broccoli and cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
Meal 3: Beef Stroganoff over Egg Noodles - Green Beans
For the stroganoff - see recipe here.
For the green beans - Wash and snap. Heat 2 T. butter or olive oil in sautee pan. Cook beans just until dark green. Season with salt and pepper.
Meal 4: Grilled Chicken - Sauteed Zucchini - Couscous
For the chicken - (Thanks to Jenni for this great recipe). In a ziploc gallon bag 1/2 C. mango chutney, 2 T. dijon mustard, 2 cloves minced garlic, 3 chicken breasts. Close bag and mix with hand. Marinate 1+ hours. Grill. (Save third chicken breast for pita sandwiches).
For the couscous - Prepare according to package directions. (Basically boil 1 C. water, 2 T. butter or oil, and 1/2 t. salt. Add couscous. Turn off heat, put on lid and let sit for 5 minutes). I like whole wheat couscous from trader joes.
For the zucchini - Toss with olive oil and salt. Grill or sautee.
Meal 5: Chicken Pita - Fruit
For the pitas - Use the third chicken breast from above meal. Slice. Toss with lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped peppers and ranch or vinegrette dressing. Stuff into half a pita bread. Serve with fruit.