Next week’s dinners 4 – 10 September 2010

Another week, another menu. If you want to find out what got me into the brave new world of meal planning, please check out the ‘About’ section of the blog. So, this morning’s shopping expedition resulted in some beautiful diced lamb leg (in the oven right now), oyster blade steaks (simmering on top of the stove as I type) and T-bone steaks for the freezer, all from the new local Greek butcher who I now plan to visit often.

In spite of the weather, it’s still the start of spring in my kitchen, which I am cleaning out in honour of the season (well, I needed some excuse!). Bits and pieces lurking in the shadows of my pantry dating back to my recipe-testing days (annato seeds and mograbieh, anyone?) will be used over the next few weeks (according to my meal plans at any rate).

With Fathers’ Day lunch at our dear friends, S and N’s, tomorrow (the planned yum cha was ditched as the restuarant bumped us), and the dads off to enjoy their Fathers’ Day dream of watching the Swans vs Carlton out at ANZ Stadium, it’s going to be a simple dinner tomorrow night. But, before I jump the gun:

Saturday (something new) – Lamb, pomegranate and quince paste tagine with said mograbieh. This dish was entirely inspired by the dab of quince paste, bitthe of poemgranate molasses and jar of mograbieh I never seem to get round to using. I have tossed the lamb with ground coriander, marjoram, rosemary and a little seasoned flour, then browned off and added some softened carrot, onion, celery, chopped flat-leaf parsely stalk and  garlic. Added pomegranate molasses, a spoonful of quince paste, tomato passata and chicken stock, and left to cook slowly in my le Creuset at 15oC for the past 3 hours. The mograbieh is on the stovetop now and I’ll just quickly steam some beans and serve the lot in bowls, with  plenty leftover for the freezer.

Now to those annato seeds – I found a veinamese-style braised beef with carrots, lemongrass and annato in Corinne Trang’s, Essentials of Asian Cuisnine and, with a few tweaks, it is now in my other Le Creuste slowly simmering away on my stove for another time.

Sunday – S is a fabulous cook and I’ll know we’ll only feel like something on the simple side tomorrow night after the inevitable feast and Greek hospitality we’ll be treated to tomorrow. So, roast organic chook with lemons it is, inspired by Marcella hazan’s recipe in The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (what is it with Essentials books tyhis weekend!) as a change from my usual rosemary scented roats chook. Roesmary will still sneak in on the roasted crushed chats and sweet potato, and there’ll be broccoli alongside.

Monday (Sunday take two) – Will use the stock from Sunday night’s bones to make my take on a cheat’s paella, with chicken, chorizo, broad beans and peas.

Tuesday (stir-fry/noodles/rice) – Picked up some fresh Shanghai noodles and organic minced beef so it will be Chinese spag bol, that is, noodles with beef in brown bean sauce. Comfort food for my mob, but quicker than real spag bol.

Wednesday (protein plus) – pan-fried butterflied pork steaks with thyme, lemon zest and walnut oil. Will deglaze the pan with some apple juice and reduce down, then serve with walnutoil-roasted potatoes and a big salad.

Thursday (veg/pulse/egg) – Vegetable fried rice with egg rolls (rolled omellettes filled with shredded carrot, bean sprouts and spring onions) and possibly some Korean-style vegetable fritters (can’t escape the fritters).

Friday (pasta) – Rigatoni with zucchini, basil, ricotta and parmesan. Will cook the zucchini down so it’s almost melting and forms a ‘cream’, then toss in the basil, ricotta and parmesan.

Until next week’s dinner…

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