Next week’s dinner 28 August – 3 September 2010

Still trying to get through the remnnants of the monster bag of onions we spent last Friday night cutting for the traditional P&C election-day barby (thankfully the stench didn’t last as long as the count!). So far we’ve had onion bhajis to accompany the zucchini fritters last Thursday, and I managed to get through a few more today, which brings me to the plan for the next week’s worth of dinners. Seeing as I’ve been down for the count with the office lurgy, and we are in the throes of winter’s last hurrah, it’s going to be a week of simple, comforting fare.

Saturday (try something new) – Having spent yesterday in bed, the trying of ‘something new’ tonight is my husband cooking! This is a man who thought that freshly ground black pepper was high up there on the Scoville scale, which was personally quite distressing for someone who thinks that laksa makes the perfect breakfast. But I digress… To be fair, he has actually  been blessed with ‘pastry hands’, and makes a textbook pate brisee, so that, combined with the fact that I picked up some rosy free-range, nitrate-free speck, and had some cream lurking about in the fridge, meant that the stars were aligned for a kind of quiche Lorraine (with one of those blasted onions, finely chopped and sauteed with the bacon, and some sweet little baby zucchinis grated in for good measure).  Rounded off with a Dijon mustardy-green salad tossed with creamy avocado, it  took me back to the 80s (minus the perm, thankfully).

Sunday (cook once, eat twice) – Slow-roast pork shoulder rubbed with a fennel seed, thyme, rosemary and lemon zest paste. Served with crushed roasted chat potatoes, garlicky broccolini and salsa verde. Getting hold of good-quality free-range pork isn’t the easiest of everyday shopping tasks, so whenever I see it I have to buy it – it’s the Chinese love of pork in me. Am looking forward to popping it in the oven to roast for 6 hours tomorrow.

Monday (Sunday, take tow) – Leftover pulled pork soft tacos with chopped avocado, tomato, lettuce and Mexican red rice. Will marinate the leftover pork in a tangy mix of lime juice, ground roasted cumin seeds, garlic powder, chopped coriander, a tiny bit of brown sugar and splash of Worcestershire sauce.

Tuesday (stir-fry/rice/noodles) – Chicken, egg and mushroom domburi. Found some msg-free dashi and short-grain rice hiding out in the pantry and will braise some sliced organic chicken in dashi broth spiked with mirin and shoyu, then toss in some shredded snow peas, sugar snap peas and fresh shiitakes I picked up today, add beaten egg and cook until just set, then serve the lot in bowls of steamed rice.

Wednesday (protein plus) – Italian sausages and lentils with balsamic and caramelised onion (hurrah-I’m getting to the bottom of that bag!) gravy, mashed Dutch creams, steamed green beans and the last of the broccolini tossed with a knob of garlic butter.

Thursday (veg/egg/pulse) – Sweet potato, chick pea and zucchini fritters with tahini and flat-leaf parsley sauce, pan-fried haloumi, Lebanese bread and salad.

Friday (pasta) – I think it might be time for a good old-fashioned spaghetti bolognese (the kids will be pleased). Have some of the sauce stashed away in the freezer that I braised for a couple of hours a few weekends ago, so we’re just about there.

Until next weeks’ dinner…

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