27 April 2011

What is on the menu for this week?

This week seems to be following in last week's chaotic footprints.  I seem to have failed miserably on the ordering front, because we're missing and running out of so many things!  Hubby had to go out yesterday on his new bike (which wasn't a tragedy for him - he's looking for reasons to take it out), for emergency dog biscuit - and I've already put cling film and washing-up liquid on the shopping list for tonight.  *sigh*

It is true that I did do the online shopping in a bit of a hurry, last Sunday.  Once my parents had left for home, it suddenly occurred to me that I needed to not only place the order, but before that make the shopping list and before that, decide what the heck we'd be eating.  So as time marched on, I suspect my thinking may have got a little fluffy.

Hey ho.  I'm sure we'll survive!  There's a lot worse going on across the globe, so mustn't grumble over a roll of cling film and a bottle of washing up liquid, eh?

Here's what's on the menu this week :

Honey Mustard Chicken, herb salad & jacket potato with sour cream & chives
Sultana chicken with Jasmine rice
Sausage in a roll, chips and coleslaw
Bacon & blue cheese filo tart, with red onion & tomato salad
Salmon & Orzo salad
Bacon & Pepper Lasagne, with a green salad
Pasta bolognese, with garlic dough balls.

A bit of a random selection - with salad featuring quite prominently!  Which, of course, means it's going to rain.  Betcha.
Yesterday started things off very well.  The Honey Mustard Chicken was really lovely.  For once, the honey mustard glaze actually glazed the chicken instead of rolling off and spending its time being wasted at the bottom of the pan.  I don't know why I have this problem with glazes - but they rarely work.  In fact, this is the first glaze to work in around a thousand years (or thereabouts).  Well, that's how it feels, anyway.

I wonder if cooking the chicken at a higher temperature (because the jacket potatoes were in the oven, I cooked it at 200deg C instead of around 180deg C) had anything to do with it.  I suspect it may have done, so I'll test that theory the next time I attempt to glaze some chicken.  The meat had retained its softness, yet with a suitably glazed exterior.  Even the small fillets weren't over-cooked, as I'd snuggled them up to the side of the larger pieces which had afforded them protection from the fiercest of the heat.

The potatoes I used for the jackets were Asda's extra special Marabel potatoes.  They purported to require no butter, as they'd be rich enough.  Of course, we treated that information with the contempt it seemingly deserved and hubby loaded up the jackets with butter.  I added sour cream and chives to mine and son & heir's, but I have to say, I really don't think the butter was entirely necessary.  It's so rare to find a product that does what it says on the packet!

Along with the lovely herb salad (by far and away my favourite type of salad), it made for a thoroughly delicious meal which I will blog the recipe for.
Photo c/o BBC Good Food
Wednesday should have been the Bacon & Blue Cheese Filo Tart, but owing to the reluctance of the chicken to defrost last week, everything has been moved on a day or so.  Hence, we'll be having the Sultana Chicken and Jasmine Rice that had been booked in for last Monday.  Son & heir has decreed he'll be attending a friend's house "to work on a science homework project" (possibly also known as "mucking about with guitars") where he's undoubtedly hoping to get some tea.  In turn, I'll be hoping that he lets me know whether he'll require feeding, before I start cooking the rice!

Thursday's dinner is a "dinner for boys".  We're having sausages - ordinary bangers that is, rather than hot dog sausages, in a hot dog roll with fried onions and tomato ketchup.  Hubby and son & heir will both be having chips, but I've taken the opportunity to whip up a home made coleslaw.  Neither of them eat coleslaw, but I love the stuff - so hopefully, everyone will be happy!  Yes, I know it's a Bonfire Night dinner really, but maybe we'll set fire to the pile of dead weeds in the garden and make do.

Friday brings about the return of the Bacon & Blue Cheese Filo Tart.  By hubby's special request.  It's the kind of tart that looks like you've spent ages fiddling about cooking this and that for it, but in reality it's simply a "cook some bacon, assemble the rest" job.  Simple as - provided I remember to include the pine nuts.  The last twice I've made this tart, they've been forgotten and it certainly does lose something in the flavour without them.  I'll have to make sure I get them out of the cupboard to begin with!  I'll be making a red onion and tomato-based salad to go with it, as the cheese and onion is a lovely combination - as is the tomato, of course.

Now Friday should have been Scampi and chips - but thanks to the freezer, the Scampi can quite happily wait until next week.

Saturday's Salmon and Orzo salad is a new combination for us - and the first time I'll have used Orzo in a salad context.  However, using it in the same way as one would do rice, in order to make a dressed salad, seems to me to have the capacity to work.  I just hope I can get some fresh Dill on Saturday, or I'll be scratching my head for an alternative.  ~thinks ~  I suppose Fennel would work .... hmmmn.  I hope the salmon isn't so expensive that it leaves me wondering, either!

All the ingredients, from the last time I cooked the tart.
Now comes the dish that requires all the cooking.  Sunday's Bacon & Pepper Lasagne is a real production that requires a Sunday in which to do the cooking of it proper justice.  I suspect that I'll be rather done for by the end of dinner, that day!  However, the Lasagne itself is worth every moment of energy expended in the production of it.  Never have I tasted a better Lasagne - not even true Lasagne's, involving beef instead of the bacon.  The combination of the bacon and the sweet peppers, mixed with the sauce which I make with red leicester cheese, is just a glorious orange coloured melange of tastebud tittilating flavours.  I'm using fresh egg pasta for the first time, too - ordinarily I use the dried pasta sheets.  I'm not sure what the difference will be, but I'm crossing my fingers that it'll be good!

We're staying in Italy for the final dish of the week - a good old Bolognese.  Not spaghetti this time, because I've got so many half-bags of spirali, penne and fusilli, I think we'll have a mixture and try to finish some of them up!  This dish will also use up the beef mince I bought from Spring Fields Butchers, when I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to find lamb mince for one of the dishes a couple of weeks ago.  It's a good dish for a Monday, as it doesn't take much preparation, so when I'm all tired and brain-dead after adding up and taking away for the last four hours at work, I can (almost) put it together with my eyes shut.

So, there you have it!  Oh, one other thing - I'm planning on making some vegetable soup for lunch today, from the leftover ends of the asparagus, fennel, green beans and leeks we used at the weekend.  Fingers crossed it will turn out to be yummy - as I have been looking forward to a lovely bowl of soup, since Sunday!



  1. Vivaldi potatoes (Sainsburys) also do quite well without butter.

  2. Just got back from a funeral. Very sad, oh! dear.
    Thought, 'hope there's summat on a Blog'.....To cheer me up....! :).
    Plenty of chicken....Lovely, still one of the most versatile foods around. And, yes, when l cook/roast chicken, l give it half hour at 200 deg, then half that, and give it about another half hour. Of course depends on the size of the chicken. And, l always stuff my chicken with onions, leeks, carrots etc. What ever is about really. 'Shove it all in the rear end' and into the oven.
    Oh! and coleslaw, love it, but it must be home made. I don't own a processor, so mine has to be done by hand. Lovely....! :).
    So, your staying in Italy, for the rest of the week..............Don't forget the little island at the bottom......! "Or, l make you an offer you can't refuse" :0).

  3. Ah Viv, yes! That's where I've seen it before. I knew I'd seen it on the front of a package of spuds previously, but knew it wasn't the Marabel ones.

    Sorry to hear about the funeral, Willie. Still, at least it was a sunny day! You'll have to let me know if you see a dish on Rhubarb & Ginger that originates from Sicily - because unless it says in the recipe, I wouldn't have a clue! :)


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