November 17th, 2013 ~ Weekly Dinner Menu

Weekly DINNER Menu Sign


Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Apple, Serrano, Hard Cider, Sage Cream  *  |  Roasted Potatoes  |  Steamed Broccoli Rabe


Pasta Alla Vecchia Bettola  |  Basil Caesar Salad


Sticky Baked Chicken Wings  |  Crisp Salad with Thai~Ginger Dressing


Beef Ragu  *  |  Tagliatelle  |  Peas


Caramelized Onion Pudding  *   |  Kale Salad with Apples & Toasted Hazelnuts  *


Rooibos~Smoked Pork Tacos  *  |  Grapefruit~Avocado Salsa  *  |  Shredded Cabbage “Slaw”

{  *  Denotes a new recipe  }


A few notes on this week’s menu:

SUNDAY:  For the first time in a week, we are all home together!  Michael returned home from Finland on Friday evening and the girls & I were up at 5:00am Saturday morning to catch a flight to Portland, Oregon.  It was an exciting, but very short, trip {we were on the ground in Portland for just 2 hours}…we arrived home, exhausted, around 4:30pm.  I hope to share details of our adventure with you in the coming weeks as the story unfolds.  As for tonight…a quiet Sunday afternoon at home will be capped off with a lovely pork dinner, perfect for fall.  In this new recipe, lean pork tenderloin is grilled and then topped with a sauce featuring apples, cider and sage.  Baby red potatoes, quartered and tossed in a bit of olive oil and sea salt, will be roasted until golden brown and, together with some steamed broccoli rabe, will be served alongside the pork.

MONDAY:  The first of two dinner hits from last week reappears on our menu tonight.  The children fell in love with this pasta dish and Michael, reading my post from Finland, let me know how great it was remembering our dinners at Diamonds from so many years ago.  I decided to repeat this dish tonight, especially for Michael, and the kids are thrilled about the repeat performance {a simple click on the photos below will take you to the recipes in my posts}…


Caesar Salad CollageTUESDAY:  Another favorite from last week, these Sticky Baked Chicken Wings were a fun, and incredibly delicious, casual dinner…

Intro Collage

WEDNESDAY:  A rich, hearty ragu or bolognese sauce tops the list of our all-time favorite comfort foods.  Two of our favorites…this one {my adaptation combining recipes from Bamonte’s in Brooklyn, New York and the ladies at Canal House} uses ground meats, prosciutto and chicken livers in a sauce of tomatoes, milk and wine…

Intro Collage


 And then there is this one…my adaptation of a Food52 recipe which uses roasted beef short ribs in place of ground meat as the base combined with dried porcini mushrooms in a simple sauce of tomatoes and red wine…

Intro Collage


 Well, tonight I am trying a new recipe {no surprise if you are a regular follower of this blog}, one that combines bits and pieces of the two recipes above…ground meat, pancetta, porcini mushrooms, milk…but uses a method of preparation which puts an intense focus on the slow caramelization of the ingredients {harvesting caramel in each of 5 additions of milk} to achieve an extraordinarily rich sauce.  As with any quality ragu, this dish takes time…time to develop each layer of ingredients to bring out the best flavor possible.  Not usually a dish designed for a busy weeknight meal {but rather a slow Sunday afternoon}, however, I have most of the morning and early afternoon free today and I can’t wait to see how this intriguing recipe holds up against two of our favorites.  The forecast for this evening’s weather calls for rain…a heavy rain…this ragu will be the perfect dinner for a wet autumn evening!

THURSDAY:  Tonight I am testing a new recipe…a potential Holiday side dish.  Onions are caramelized in butter and then beaten into a pudding and baked, served with a kale and apple salad {I love the flavor combination of apples and onions}.  The original recipe comes together without a lot of fuss but I am going to make it even easier by caramelizing the onions in my slow cooker throughout the afternoon.  Come dinner time, all I will need to do is beat, bake and toss a salad.

FRIDAY:  A few years ago, in an ongoing journey to reduce my caffeine intake, I started drinking rooibos.  Not a true tea {like black, green or oolong}, rooibos is a tisane {an herbal infusion} with an earthy, nutty flavor and vanilla undertones and it is completely caffeine~free.  The health benefits of rooibos are many and varied but my affinity for this beverage began with taste alone and it has become my morning beverage of choice.  However, I have never cooked with this herbal concoction so when I came across a recipe pairing it with slow-cooked pork I knew I had to give it a try.  The pork for this evening’s tacos will be oven “smoked” in a brew of rooibos tea, cloves, ginger and soy and topped with a refreshing salsa featuring beautiful ruby~red grapefruit.  These healthy tacos will be an easy, fun dinner to finish off another busy week.


Have a wonderful week everyone!


K Initial

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