26 February 2013

The menu plan - for once, I'm ahead of the game!

Hot Punjabi King Prawn curry - and it was hot, too!
Look!  It's only Tuesday and I'm publishing the menu plan for the week.  You're impressed, I know.  Well, I would be - in your place.

So let's start off by taking a look at the wreckage of last week.

In fact, amazingly, we did really well with last week's plan!  I know!  Against all predictions, we only bounced one meal off of the plan and pretty much everything else fell into place in one way or another.  Well, apart from the Apple Slump, which I completely forgot I was supposed to be making until it was too late to do anything about it.  ~shrug~  Hey ho, I'll have another go this week.

For the menfolk, I think pride of place for last week's dinners goes to the Hot Punjabi King Prawn curry.  I really liked this curry too - but it was just on the cusp of being too hot for me.  The menfolk, however, loved it.  Hubby even went so far as to scrape the remains of the curry sauce from the wok and microwave it - that's how much he liked it!

Beef and ale stew - perfect empty tummy filler!

My favourite of the week had to be the Beef and ale stew done in the slow cooker.  This is just so my kind of food.  Hubby refers to it in rather derogatory fashion as "brown food" - but anything you can eat hot from a bowl with a spoon works as comfort food for me.  Following on from a day spent driving to Southampton and back to visit my Dad in hospital (where he's doing well, thanks for asking), a plate of hot beef stew absolutely hit the spot.  

So whilst basking in the warm glow of last week's success, let's have a gander at what's on the menu list for this week :

Tues : Pizza
Weds : Turkish style lamb pilau and tomato salad
Thurs : Hunter's chicken and pasta
Fri : Risotto primavera with herby baked chicken
Sat : Italian sausage meatballs, garlic roast potatoes and cavolo nero
Sun : Slow cooker chicken adobo with rice and side salad
Mon : Lamb meatballs and orzo with peas.

Sounds quite nice, if you say it quickly!

So we start the week with a day off from cooking.  To be honest, I've still got so much stew left over, I think we could probably eat that for the next couple of days!  However, I'll be taking care of the stew over successive lunchtimes as hubby really isn't in the market for successive plates of stew appearing in front of him.

We're back in harness for Wednesday, with a super-easy Turkish lamb pilau from BBC Good Food.  Looking at the printed out recipe, I think it'll be lucky to stay as originally intended because I've noted down at least three alterations that I'll be adopting, quite apart from any last-minute changes.  However, the basic pilau looks pretty yummy - and should be perfect for a late school pickup day.

Lawrence Dallaglio's Dad's Hunter's Chicken, c/o Lovefood.com
Thursday's Hunter's chicken is a standard onion/tomato/herb sauce job, but it has the distinction of being Lawrence Dallaglio's father's recipe which I found via Lovefood.com some months ago.  I figure if it's good enough for the man mountain Dallaglio, it's good enough for me.  I'll be pairing it up with some lightly buttered Mafalda Corta pasta with fresh parsley.  Yum.

Oh - which reminds me.  I'm a bit fed up with tinned tomatoes, now that our local Asda have stopped selling the lovely Tarantella versions.  So just recently, I've been swapping tinned for fresh chopped vine tomatoes.  After all, that must be what cooks used before tinned came along!  The acidity level in tinned tomatoes these days seems to be so vicious, it had to be worthwhile trying the fresh (which doesn't work out any more expensive).  I predict there will be a few spectacular failures in my future, but watch this space!

How our Risotto Primavera might look .. c/o Good Food
Friday sees Hubby the Risotto King in the kitchen, cooking up a beautiful risotto primavera - which translates (roughly) as "risotto with green stuff".  Think peas, courgettes, broad beans (which are unlikely as they're not liked much by the menfolk) and green herbs.  He's going to be pairing that up with some herbed baked chicken, which sounds delicious and really quite healthy.

Saturday brings the first of two meatball dishes, but they are very different.  This first version is an Italian sausage meatball dish which is served not with pasta but with garlic roast potatoes and a green vegetable.

Now ever since the dawn of time (well, it feels that long) I've been wanting to try Cavolo Nero.  Has Asda stocked it?  No.  Far too nice but us plebs, obviously.  However, just recently, they have had some in stock and it's too good an opportunity to miss, quite apart from I feel we should be supporting their endeavours to bring in new stock items like this.  You watch, when we go looking for some on Friday, there won't be any.  That always happens whenever I want Fennel, so I'm quite prepared for it to happen with the Cavolo Nero, too.

Cavolo nero - is it a Kale or a Cabbage?  Who knows!
Sunday is hospital visiting day again, so the Slow Cooker comes into play.  Last week's Beef and Ale stew was such a success, it seemed only logical to use it again this week.  I've had the recipe for the slow cooker chicken adobo for a while and it seemed a perfect time to break it out.  I'll just need to cook some rice when we get home, which won't take very long at all and open a bag of salad to go with it.  It's quite important to get dinner on the plate within a half an hour or so of arriving home, or hubby tends to go off the idea of eating completely - which considering his diabetes, isn't the best idea.  I've made chicken adobo previously and we all liked it, so it should be fine.

Butter beans - don't they look gorgeous?  No?  Oh, you have no soul.  lol
Monday's lamb meatballs involve tomato, butter beans and bacon - which gives me a chance to use the can of butter beans that the lovely Marj from Facebook recommended to me.  I know that hubby is more than a little wary of these butter beans, but hopefully the lamb meatballs will balance the equation for him.  I've carried this recipe over from last week - it's the one where I'm intending on serving it with orzo (a small rice grain sized pasta).  It wasn't any reflection on it as to why it got bumped - it was just that we all ran out of puff that night and decided to have a kebab instead!

Winner!  Yay!
One piece of news I have for you, this week, is about my Daisy pancake.  Do you remember it?  Well it got entered into the goodtoknow.co.uk "Pancakes your way" competition and we won the category for the best blogger's pancake!  Yay!  So thank you all those who went and voted for it.  I was exceedingly chuffed to find out we'd won. :)

So, there you have it.  Let's hope the weather decides to warm up a bit and we start seeing some of the Spring flowers coming out!  It's hubby's birthday soon and (apparently) the weather is always brilliant on his birthday, with the cherry trees in bloom and Spring flowers everywhere.  I can't help but think that he's being hopeful for this year - but we'll see.  Keep your fingers crossed!

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