28 May 2011

Linda’s Hanukkah menu, Part I

For the past several years, I’ve given my wife a present of preparing dinner for a week. She likes because it’s a whole week when she doesn’t have to worry about whipping together a dinner after her piano students leave. I have fun doing it because it gives me a chance to try a bunch of different things.

When I first started giving this present, I used to organize it by day and give her two or three options for each day. But one year, she said she’d prefer to just mix and match recipes. So since then, I find two or three recipes and organize them into related categories. So, for example, here are the categories for her 2010 present:

Here’s the Beef (beef recipes)IMG_4648

Duck, Duck, Gray Duck (duck recipes)

Salads & Something (3 different dinner salads)

3 Ways with Fennel (3 recipes featuring fennel)

Vegetarian (just what it says)

Cluck Cluck (chicken recipes)

Something’s Fishy (fish recipes, duh)

Also, when I started, I used to go to a wide variety of sources for recipe ideas. (One year I did all celebrity chef recipes from Food TV.) But for the last couple years, I’ve gone to picking recipes from Bon Appetit. And, I’ve branded the list with my blog name. So the present is “Krik’s Picks Recipes, The Best of Bon Appetit 2010.”

The only problem is finding a whole week when I’m not traveling or we don’t have other things planned during the week. So lots of times, I end up delivering the present in the spring. That’s what happened this year. It got to be May and I still hadn’t delivered the present.

So in mid-May, I took a week off to plant my garden and do some cooking. Trouble was, we still didn’t have 7 days in a row. So I’m doing it in two installments. This is Part I, three recipes that I made that week. I’ll do Part II in September when her lessons start back up again.

For Part I, Linda picked these three recipes:

Rib Eye Steak with Tomato-Caper Relish from Bon Appetit, August 2010, p. 77. This was our favorite (pictured above). We substituted New York strip steaks instead of rib eye.

Dilled White Bean & Grape Tomato Salad from Bon Appetit, June 2010, p. 86. Linda liked it, but I was kind of disappointed. I thought it was a little bland. The picture is beautiful. In fact, looking at it again as I write this post made me think that maybe adding some capers or kalamata olives would perk it up a little. Also, I never use canned beans, as the recipe calls for. I soaked dried beans and cooked them up.

Rosemary & Lemon Grilled Chicken Breast from Bon Appetit, July 2010, p. 50. If you look at the recipe, you’ll see that the original called for turkey cutlets. We substituted bone-in, skin-on chicken legs and thighs. This was a very tasty recipe and very easy to make.

Watch for Part II later this year.

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