Catching up

We started the New Year with a little more entertaining.  Keith’s sister and her family came to town on Friday.  We don’t get together often enough and we wanted to give them a nice meal.  We reprised the slow cooked filet of beef from Christmas Eve with Keith’s parents and reused the basil parmesan mayonnaise.  With it we served potato gratin and a green salad.  Here is the recipe for the potato gratin:

Potato Gratin

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and sliced thin (a food processor speeds the process)
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup of cream

Preheat oven to 350.  Cut garlic clove in half and rub shallow porcelain dish with garlic.  Spread half of the potatoes in dish.  Top with half of cheese and half of cream.  Spread with remaining potatoes and top with remaining cheese and cream.  Sprinkle with pepper.

Bake 50 – 60 minutes.  Gratin should be golden on top.

Not health food for every day but nice for a special occasion.

Last night we had a classmate of Samantha’s and her parents over for dinner.  We don’t know them well so I wanted something likely to appeal to almost any palate.  I opted for one of my winter favorites and a great company dinner – braised chicken over rosemary polenta.  I’ve made this before and always gotten rave reviews.  Here are the recipes for these:

Braised chicken and polenta

  • 4 bone in chicken breasts, washed and patted dry and cut in half
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 oz pancetta, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 TB tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat 2 TB olive oil in a heavy saucepan and cook chicken until browned on both sides.  Remove from pan and place on a plate.  Pour off the fat from the pan.  Add remaining 1 TB olive oil and add onion, pancetta, rosemary, sage, bay leaves and cloves.  Saute 5- 10 minutes or until onions are browned.  Add wine and scrape pan brownings.  Add tomato paste and stir in.  Return chicken to pan and add chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and then simmer 20 – 30 minutes or until chicken is done.  Serve over:

Rosemary polenta

  • 2 TB butter
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp minced rosemary
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 4 TB grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter and olive oil.  Add garlic, red pepper flakes and rosemary and saute for 1 minute.  Add milk and chicken stock and boil.  Add cornmeal and whisk, stirring over low heat.  Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.

Grace tried it and liked it.  I was hoping that this would rub off on Samantha but she stuck to chicken tenders and applesauce.


About emenuplan
I love to cook and love to eat. I work full time and have a family so managing good meals during the week requires organization. I'm hoping to share my weekly menu plans and recipes to make things a little easier for those who want to follow along.

One Response to Catching up

  1. Laura Ellison says:

    Thanks so much Vicky and Keith! You all spoiled us with a delicious meal and a great time! It was a terrific way to start 2014! XO Laura, Doug, Mary, and Brendan

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