Monday, March 26, 2012

menu of the week

(image by David Loftus for Jamie Oliver)

Our weekend was much cooler than last week which was kind of a disappointment. I'm sitting huddled under a blanket right now, and hoping the sun comes out this afternoon. As for our dinners last week, I think they were all pretty good. Especially the salmon. Check that one out for sure.

roasted butternut squash quesadillas - Very similar to the sweet potato tacos I made back in January and equally delicious. In fact, Matt didn't even know they were squash, but he tends to get sweet potatoes and squash mixed up often. We used corn tortillas from Trader Joe's and piled on the toppings. Ezra devoured lots of black beans and pepper jack cheese. He was signing 'more' before he had even finished.

17 bean and barley soup - I bought a package of mixed beans, lentils, and other miscellaneous small edible type things (like split peas, chickpeas, and lima beans... the list goes on) at Trader Joe's a while back and decided it was finally time to do something with them. I just made the recipe on the back of the bag, but I added some mezze rigatoni. Note: the recipe I linked to is similar to the one on the bag, but the blog author made some changes.

baked wild salmon with almond lime sauce, basmati rice, and steamed broccoli - This recipe is from the April issue of Whole Living magazine and I bookmarked it immediately because we love salmon around here. As I've said before, I usually prepare it with barbecue sauce and I made it once with an Asian flair, but this version with the almond lime sauce was incredible. Matt and I were both licking our plates. Definitely making this again, and soon!

asparagus and ricotta pizzas - Pizza is always a good thing if you ask me, and spring veggie toppings made  our dinner on Thursday feel quite season appropriate. I added some sliced shallots leftover from the previous night's dinner and grated more than half a cup of Parmigianno over the top of the pizza because I felt like it needed a little more saltiness. They turned out really well, not quite crisp in the center so they slices were a little floppy but still really tasty. Ezra enjoyed the dollops of ricotta best of all. Oh, and like last time we had pizza on the menu, Matt made the dough but he used bread flour instead of all purpose. The flavor was so much better! I couldn't stop exclaiming over the taste. Tonight's dinner wins the award for most improved.

cheeseburgers with oven fries - I had borrowed Jamie's Food Revolution from the library and this was one of the recipes I was dying to try. I had never made my own hamburger patties before and this recipe seemed like a simple classic. Matt and I loved them, especially topped with a heap of monterey jack. Next time I would try to make them a little flatter because they puffed up a bit once they were cooked. As for the oven fries, I just cut a bunch of potatoes into wedges, spread them onto a baking sheet, drizzled them with olive oil, sprinkled them with salt, and baked them in a 450° oven for about 40 minutes. Toss them and turn the pan about half way through. We also had the leftover arugula from the night before as a salad, dressed with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing. 

P.S. This is only semi related to food, but remember last week when I cleaned my cast iron pan? Well, after I cooked in it and washed it some of the rust came back! I'm going to try the same method but this time with more elbow grease and hopefully it will be gone for good. Anyone else try it? Did it happen to you?


  1. You need to cure the skillet with oil.

  2. our pan gets a little rusty if it doesn't dry quick enough and then we are scrubbing it with salt and then we coat it with oil and bake in the oven to reseason

  3. Thanks for the tip, guys. I thought I would be able to skip that step but apparently not...

  4. Every time I use my cast iron I rinse it with water and scrape it out, then I put it back on the stove and turn the heat to high to dry it (don't forget about it!) I then finish it with a thin layer of olive oil applied with paper towels. Easy peasy! And I love that cast irons are so forgiving.

  5. What a delicious menu! I have to try that salmon. We love salmon around here too! I usually just use lemon juice, garlic, white wine, olive oil and salt OR if I'm in a rush brush it with teriyaki sauce from Whole Foods.

    Anyway, this sounds like a nice change and so fresh too! I have to try it.

  6. I just stumbled onto your blog through Tello&Rose and wanted to lend a tip regarding cast's so important to avoid using soap or detergent to clean your cast iron and always keep it super well oiled. To clean after you've used it, just wipe the pan out with a paper towel when it's still hot and then apply more oil with a paper towel. It should always look a little greasy. If at anytime it looks dry and/or actually clean, it needs more oil or it will rust.
    We use cast iron almost every day and this has worked wonders for us. Good Luck and great blog!


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