Family favorites week

I’m working on using up some of what I stored in our freezer.  Last night was chicken pesto lasagna:

Chicken Pesto Lasagna

  • 1 package lasagna noodles
  • 1 lb. Chicken Scallopini
  • 1 lb Ricotta cheese
  • 1 lb. Mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz Pesto
  • 8 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes, well drained

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions and drain.  Run under cold water to stop cooking.

Pound chicken to flatten.  Spray a nonstick pan with Pam and cook chicken in batches until browned.  Set aside.  When cool enough to handle, slice chicken into thin slices.

Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish.  Top with 4 or 5 lasagna noodles.  Spoon pesto over noodles and top with chicken.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over chicken and top with 4 or 5 lasagna noodles.  Spoon ricotta cheese on top of noodles and top with diced tomatoes.  (I drained thoroughly because I do remember that the last time I made this the tomato juice made it a little too juicy.)  Top with 4 or 5 lasagna noodles, remaining tomato sauce and mozzarella.

Bake it covered with aluminum foil at 375 for about 40 minutes and then uncover and bake for 10 more minutes.  Let chill overnight and then cut into 12 pieces.  Put the pieces on a sheet pan lined with wax paper and freeze overnight.  You can then transfer the pieces into freezer bags and they won’t stick together.

Tonight was one of Samantha’s favorites:

Grilled Hoisin Pork

  • 1 jar of Hoisin sauce
  • 3 TB honey
  • 2 TB sherry
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 pork tenderloin

Combine Hoisin sauce, honey, sherry and sesame oil in a small saucepan and heat, stirring for about 5 minutes until thick.  Let cool.  Use about 1/2 of the marinade on the pork and refrigerate for 4 -6 hours (or overnight).  Grill pork about 10 minutes or until 140 on a meat thermometer.  Heat remaining sauce and serve with pork.

We had this will grilled asparagus and cous cous.  Very easy!

hoisin pork and asparagus

Weeknight grilling

Last night was Samantha’s school Christmas concert.  It was lovely but I knew we would want a quick dinner when we got home.  I turned to one of her favorites, the Hoisin pork.  I served it with roasted asparagus.  I’m going with another grilled dinner tonight – it’s hard to believe that something with so few ingredients can be so delicious.

Grilled chicken with Prosciutto and Fontina cheese

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast per person, pounded between wax paper until thin
  • 2 – 3 slices Prosciutto per chicken breast (I have substituted leftover Smithfield ham after Christmas)
  • 2 – 3 thin slices Fontina cheese per chicken breast
  • 3 – 4 sage leaves per chicken breast
  • olive oil
  • wooden toothpicks soaked in water

Place Prosciutto and cheese on chicken breasts.  Top with sage leaves, roll up and secure with toothpicks.  Grill 8 – 10 minutes.  Serve.  (Advise diners of the number of toothpicks they need to remove.)  Since this is rich, we’re having steamed broccoli with it.

 

prosciutto chicken

If you’ve missed the Hoisin pork, here is the recipe again.  A family favorite, this is delicious with sweet potatoes or asparagus on the side.

Grilled Hoisin Pork

  • 1 jar of Hoisin sauce
  • 3 TB honey
  • 2 TB sherry
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 pork tenderloin

Combine Hoisin sauce, honey, sherry and sesame oil in a small saucepan and heat, stirring for about 5 minutes until thick.  Let cool.  Use about 1/2 of the marinade on the pork and refrigerate for 4 -6 hours (or overnight).  Grill pork about 10 minutes or until 140 on a meat thermometer.  Heat remaining sauce and serve with pork.

 

Hoisin pork and oven baked sweet potato fries

I let Samantha choose tonight’s dinner and was not surprised when she picked these two favorites.  She likes the hoisin pork because it’s delicious.  I like it because you can make it ahead and it’s easy (I also like that it’s delicious).  The sweet potato fries will go well.

Grilled Hoisin Pork

  • 1 jar of Hoisin sauce
  • 3 TB honey
  • 2 TB sherry
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 pork tenderloin

Combine Hoisin sauce, honey, sherry and sesame oil in a small saucepan and heat, stirring for about 5 minutes until thick.  Let cool.  Use about 1/2 of the marinade on the pork and refrigerate for 4 -6 hours (or overnight).  Grill pork about 10 minutes or until 140 on a meat thermometer.  Heat remaining sauce and serve with pork.

Oven baked sweet potato fries

  • 2 – 3 sweet potatoes cut into strips
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried chipotle pepper

Preheat oven to 450.  Toss potato strips with all other ingredients and spread out on a sheet pan lined with foil.  Bake 25 – 30 minutes stirring halfway through.  NOTE: You can tweak the seasonings to suit your tastes.  I like the chipotle pepper on the sweet potatoes.

Detox continues

We are continuing our recovery from so much good food on our beach weekend.  I had originally planned to have this with rice and then gave it another thought and substituted grilled asparagus for the rice.  Here is the pork recipe.

Grilled Hoisin Pork

  • 1 jar of Hoisin sauce
  • 3 TB honey
  • 2 TB sherry
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 pork tenderloin

Combine Hoisin sauce, honey, sherry and sesame oil in a small saucepan and heat, stirring for about 5 minutes until thick.  Let cool.  Use about 1/2 of the marinade on the pork and refrigerate for 4 -6 hours (or overnight).  Grill pork about 10 minutes or until 140 on a meat thermometer.  Heat remaining sauce and serve with pork.  Toss asparagus spears with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill.

Grilled hoisin pork and asparagus

Grilled hoisin pork and asparagus

Hoisin pork

I was talking to some friends the other night about our local grocery store – Graul’s.  We are lucky to have a great place to shop less than a mile from our house.  Although some people perceive it as being expensive, I find it to be reasonable, particularly if you pay attention to their sales circulars.  I always use the circular when planning menus.  This week pork tenderloins are on sale so tonight we are having hoisin pork.  It’s easy to fix, makes wonderful leftovers to put on top of salad later in the week and the prime ingredient is on sale.  Here is the recipe:

Grilled Hoisin Pork

  • 1 jar of Hoisin sauce
  • 3 TB honey
  • 2 TB sherry
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 pork tenderloin

Combine Hoisin sauce, honey, sherry and sesame oil in a small saucepan and heat, stirring for about 5 minutes until thick.  Let cool.  Use about 1/2 of the marinade on the pork and refrigerate for 4 -6 hours (or overnight).  Grill pork about 10 minutes or until 140 on a meat thermometer.  Heat remaining sauce and serve with pork.

I’m serve it with grilled asparagus and rice.

Hoisin pork

Continuing my catch up mode – on Monday we had grilled hoisin pork with rice.  I made the marinade on Sunday because I knew I had a tiny window between getting home from work and leaving for my Thai cooking class.  I also knew that this would give me yummy leftovers for salad later in the week.  This is one of my favorite recipes for pork tenderloin (which is still on sale at Graul’s tomorrow!)

Grilled Hoisin Pork

  • 1 jar of Hoisin sauce
  • 3 TB honey
  • 2 TB sherry
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 pork tenderloin

Combine Hoisin sauce, honey, sherry and sesame oil in a small saucepan and heat, stirring for about 5 minutes until thick.  Let cool.  Use about 1/2 of the marinade on the pork and refrigerate for 4 -6 hours (or overnight).  Grill pork about 10 minutes or until 140 on a meat thermometer.  Heat remaining sauce and serve with pork.

Easy Friday entertaining

Friday night can be a tough night for having company but we wanted to play paddle tennis last night and have our playing partners (and two daughters) over for dinner after.  The grilled hoisin pork is a great company dinner – I made the marinade the night before so it just needed to be grilled.  We served it with rice and a salad with Ginger dressing.  Our friends brought some delicious smoked salmon pinwheels as an appetizer and thanks to my new practice of freezing leftover baked goods, I had some brownies and some cookies in the freezer.  (We also had leftover pizza from our last delivery in the pizza for the girls.)  All we had to do was grill the pork, microwave the rice and toss the salad.  The result – a fun and relaxing Friday night dinner with friends!

 

Ginger dressing

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TB fresh ginger, minced
  • 3/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 TB honey
Shake all ingredients in a jar and use on salad.  (I used Green leaf lettuce, shredded carrot, water chestnuts and crispy Lo Mein noodles in the salad.)

Grilled Hoisin Pork

  • 1 jar of Hoisin sauce
  • 3 TB honey
  • 2 TB sherry
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 pork tenderloin

Combine Hoisin sauce, honey, sherry and sesame oil in a small saucepan and heat, stirring for about 5 minutes until thick.  Let cool.  Use about 1/2 of the marinade on the pork and refrigerate for 4 -6 hours (or overnight).  Grill pork about 10 minutes or until 140 on a meat thermometer.  Heat remaining sauce and serve with pork.

Grocery list week of 5/15

Here is the grocery list for the week.  NOTE: Christie and I are making the authentic red curry paste – it’s a lot of work but we want to practice what we learned in class.  You can use prepared red curry paste and coconut milk to produce a reasonable facsimile.  For best results, use MaeSri which you can find in an Asian market.  This grocery list does not include the red curry paste or the ingredients for making it.  For a different alternative, search blog for shrimp and you’ll find plenty of other possibilities!

Produce

  • zucchini
  • red pepper
  • red onion
  • fresh herbs (if you don’t have an herb garden) – basil, rosemary, marjoram, chives or whatever you can find
Dairy
  • Fontina cheese
  • goat cheese
  • Gruyere cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
Meat and Seafood
  • chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (1 per person)
  • shrimp (about 1/3 lb per person)
Miscellaneous
  • 1 pizza crust
Check your pantry and buy if you don’t have:
  • orzo
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • eggs
  • milk
  • butter
  • rice
NOTE: Since my husband will be having leftover hoisin pork from the freezer I did not include those ingredients.  If you don’t have anything in the freezer, the hoisin pork is a great dinner on a Monday night because you make the marinade the day before and marinate it overnight.  Then you just have to grill and slice.  If you want to add that, add the following ingredients:
  • Pork tenderloin (I use Smithfield Lean Generation)
  • 1 jar Hoisin sauce
  • honey (3 TB)
  • sesame oil (1 tsp)
  • sherry (2 TB)
Combine hoisin sauce, honey, sesame oil and sherry in a small saucepan.  Simmer stirring about 6 minutes until thick.  Let cool.  Marinate pork in about 1/2 the sauce and reserve remaining.  Grill pork to desired doneness and slice, serving with warmed sauce.  Leftovers freeze well.

    Getting ready for Monday

    Tomorrow’s menu is Grilled Hoisin Pork.  Make the marinade tonight and tomorrow is a piece of cake. 

    Hoisin Marinade

    • 1 jar (7.5 oz) Hoisin sauce (in the Asian section of the supermarket)
    • 3 TB honey
    • 2 TB cooking sherry
    • 1 tsp sesame oil
    • Pork tenderloin (I use Smithfield Lean Generation – package contains two thin tenderloins)

    Combine all liquid ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil whisking.  Turn heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Let sauce cool to room temperature.  Place tenderloins in an 8 x 10 casserole or pyrex dish and brush with about 1/3 of sauce.  Refrigerate pork and remaining sauce.  (Tomorrow night, grill the pork to desired doneness and reheat sauce.)