January 5th, 2014 ~ Weekly Dinner Menu

Weekly DINNER Menu Sign


Vietnamese Pork Chops  |  Fresh Apple Salsa


Creamy Brie Four Cheese Mac & Cheese  *  |  Little Gem Salad with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette  *


Roasted Chickens in Milk  * |  Spigariello with Garlic~Lemon Vinaigrette  *


Spicy Pork & Kale Soup  *  |  Pain Epi


Grilled Sambal Chicken Thighs  |  Steamed Broccoli  |  Brown Rice

{  *  denotes a new recipe  } 


A few notes on this week’s menu:

SUNDAY:  I first made these Vietnamese Pork Chops with Fresh Apple Salsa several months ago on a sunny, warm Sunday in June.  The pork chops are incredibly flavorful thanks to a marinade of fish sauce, shallot, rice vinegar, raw sugar, salt, pepper and oil.  While the pork chops cook, the marinade is reduced into a lovely sauce that is drizzled over the finished meat.  The accompanying salsa…packed with apples, cilantro, jalapeƱo, red pepper, fresh ginger, lime juice and toasted walnuts…is crisp & crunchy with bright flavor.  Winter refuses to make an appearance here in the SF Bay area and, as I write this post, the water beyond my windows is sparkling under brilliant sunshine and studded with numerous white sailboats…just like that Sunday back in June.

Intro Collage


 MONDAY:  I made this mac & cheese over the holidays and it was incredible!  While adding the brie to the mix of cheeses did not make much of an impact on the flavor, it did create an extraordinarily smooth, creamy sauce.  The dish, which is topped with crumbled, buttery Ritz crackers and baked until golden brown, was a huge hit with both kids and adults.  Accompanying this dinner, a warm roasted tomato vinaigrette drizzled over a salad made from Little Gem lettuces I picked up yesterday at the farmers’ market…


TUESDAY:  I recently came across the article, “Jaime Oliver’s Chicken In Milk Is Probably The Best Chicken Recipe Of All Time” over at The Kitchn blog and felt a challenge brewing…could it be as good as this one or that one? …I will let you know.  Another find from the farmers’ market…Spigariello…will be the foundation for a salad this evening.


I saw it sitting next to the kale and when I asked about it I was told that this sturdy, cold weather green is actually part of the broccoli family with a softer taste and texture than kale.  You can read more about spigariello here and here.

WEDNESDAY:  We have been enjoying soups lately and this one is a new recipe for us.  Ground pork is combined with garlic, ginger, peppercorns, red pepper flakes and crushed cumin seeds and then cooked before adding simple chicken broth to create a soup.  Torn kale leaves, scallions, soy and fish sauces, and finally rice noodles finish off this hearty & healthy soup.

THURSDAY:  When I asked Michael & the children what they would like to see on this week’s dinner menu the answer was unanimous:  Grilled Sambal Chicken Thighs, so here they are again {definitely a favorite around here}…


Friday, the girls, horses and I head to Paso Robles for the weekend…the horse show season is starting early this year.  Days, months, years seem to be flying by with increased speed and I suspect 2014 will be no different…all I can do is hold on tight and enjoy the ride!

Have a wonderful week everyone!

K Initial

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