Menu for the Week of January 1, 2017


This Week’s Menu: Two-at-the-Table-Menu-Week-of-January-1,-2017

Happy 2017!  A new year begins another week’s menu with lots of new recipes, plus our annual New Year’s celebration.

Our plan for Sunday night was to make Saveur’s Hunter’s Wife Chicken (Pollo alla Cacciatora). We decided, however, that with all the prep work we wanted to do for our 5th Annual New Year’s Indoor Barbecue, we were better off ordering in. This gave us time to make two cheese balls (a classic Southern appetizer that recently got a shout out–a two page article actually–in the Food section of the New York Times: “Peer Into the Cheese Ball“), one with nuts and one without; make a dry rub and apply it to a whole mess of pork ribs (a mess of ribs = 1 rack; a whole mess of ribs = 3 racks); and bake a Texas sheet cake for dessert. Check the blog later this week for the full menu from our Indoor Barbecue.

Tony will be off from work on Tuesday, so he’ll plan to make the chicken cacciatore then, so that we can have it for leftovers during the week. The recipe calls for 2/3 of a cup of white wine, so we’ll open a bottle of 2015 Chateau Laulerie suggested by our friend Michael at Columbus Wine and Spirits. When it comes time to have the chicken, we’ll open another bottle, a red, specifically a Henry Fessy Julienas 2013 Beujolais.

Dinner Tuesday night will be seared tuna with mole sauce. We’ll be using the Xilli mole poblano sauce that we purchased at the Start Small, Think Big Second charity event that we attended in the fall. We’ll have the tuna with a side of Food 52’s Roasted Corn with Lime, Parmesan and Chili. We’ll probably have an IPA with the tuna, to help offset the spiciness of the mole and corn.

One of our blog-related resolutions was to make more dishes from our ever-expanding collection of cookbooks. With that in mind, we decided to make Skinny Taste’s So Addicted Chicken Enchiladas on Wednesday night. Per the recipe’s instructions, we bought some pre-cooked chicken breasts to use as filling for the enchiladas. In order to save some time Wednesday night Tony will make the enchilada sauce on Tuesday. Just like with the tuna, we’ll have an IPA with this spicier dinner.

We’ll be making another dish from one of our cookbooks on Friday night: Lentil and Butternut Lettuce Cups from The Forest Feast. If you haven’t seen this cookbook, you owe it to yourself to flip through it, if not buy it, at your local bookstore. It features tons of photos, not just of the finished dishes, but of the ingredients that go into those dishes, and provides some very helpful tips on how exactly to prepare the ingredients. We thought we would be able to stump Michael with this dish, but he found a pairing very quickly in a Sevre et Maine Muscadet.

We’ll go in a very different direction Saturday night, when we make Rachel Khoo’s Boeuf Bourguignon with Baguette Dumplings. We’ve made this dish once or twice before, but have always left out the dumpling step, Making dumplings seemed like quite a bit of work and likely to go sideways, but we’re going to give them a try this week. A dish like this needs a great, big, French red, both for cooking and eating, so well open a couple of bottles of 2013 Chateau Haut Selve. And that will wrap up our first menu of 2017!

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Menu for the Week of December 11, 2016



This Week’s Menu: Two-at-the-Table-Menu-Week-of-Dec-11-2016

We both have a lot planned this week–Kim has two New York Junior League meetings and her French class, Tony has two holiday parties Thursday night, and we have plans with our good friends Lynee, Sandy and Steve for Saturday night–so we are going to try to do quite a bit of cooking on Sunday to carry us through the week.

First up is Sunday dinner, when we’ll recycle a recipe that we didn’t get to last week: Coriander-and-Almond-Crusted Chicken Legs. We’ll have this with sautéed spinach and Baked Sweet Potato “Fries”. We made the sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving and they were fantastic, so this is a dish we’ll keep in rotation throughout the winter. We prepped the potatoes as chunks rather than fries, but this hardly seems to affect the taste!

Since the oven will be on for the chicken legs, of which we’re only making two servings, we’ll also make some chicken thighs so that we can have a little variety of dinner during the week. We’re going to keep things simple and rely on a jar of harissa sauce to flavor the chicken thighs. We’ll make some cous cous to go with the them whenever we decide to have the chicken.

The oven will be full of chicken, but the stove top will be clear, so Tony is going to make his not yet world-famous (we’re more at the “apartment-famous” stage) “Thunder and Lightning Chili”, which is an adaptation of Robert Irvine’s Lightning Chili and Rice recipe. Rather than relying solely on ground beef as the meat in the chili, Tony uses a 50/50 mix of ground beef and ground short ribs to add some depth of flavor. He also uses a mix of ancho and chipotle chili powder instead of regular chili powder to spice things up a bit. Time permitting, he’s also going to make some corn muffins. The chili will make for some fun dinners and lunches this week, as will the Pepper-Crusted Steak left over from last week.

We’ll probably order in on Friday night–either sushi or Indian to balance out what will otherwise be a meat-heavy week. Our Saturday dinner plans haven’t come together yet, but we will no doubt have a good time!

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Menu for the Week of December 4, 2016


This Week’s Menu: Two-at-the-Table-Menu-Week-of-Dec-4-2016

This week’s menu is pulled entirely from Food & Wine Magazine. No real reason; these were just the recipes that appealed to us the most. We have some fun events planned–a holiday party on Sunday at our friends Eric and Alexandra’s home, followed by the Park Avenue Tree Lighting and also dinner out on Friday followed by a performance of Holiday Inn at Studio 54–and Tony will be on his own for a few nights, but we still found four recipes that we want to try this week.

On Sunday, probably right after completing this post, Tony will finally get around to making the Bacon-and-Onion Tart that’s been on our menu for several weeks. We won’t have it until Tuesday night, when we’ll serve it with a simple green salad. It will also make several tasty lunches as the week goes on.

On Monday night, we’ll make another dish that should also produce plenty of lunch-suitable leftovers: Pepper-Crusted Skirt Steak with Charred Leeks. We’ll start this dish during the day, as the steak needs to marinate several hours, and then put our trusty grill pan to use later in the evening. We’ll pair this up with a Nirvana IPA from the Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, NY.

Kim will be in French class Wednesday night, so Tony will be on his own. He’s planning to make Coriander-and-Almond-Crusted Chicken Legs. This dish may require a special trip to Columbus Wine and Spirits, just to see if we can stump our friends Michael and Neil. 

We have tickets to the theater on Friday night, so we will have dinner at the Bouchon Bakery Cafe, which is in the Time Warner Center and not too far from Studio 54, where Holiday Inn is performed. We’ll be back in the kitchen on Saturday night, when we will make Fennel-and-Grapefruit-Rubbed Snapper. We did not add the ingredients to our weekly Fresh Direct order, as we knew we were going to buy fresh fish at our local Whole Foods on Saturday and figured we might as well just get everything in the same trip.

We planning our annual trip to Austin, Texas for Christmas and Kim’s birthday and have been asked to relocate our Two at the Table kitchen for a week or so as we enjoy the holiday with Kim’s mom and dad. Keep an eye on our blog for the fun dishes we have planned, including  a special Christmas dinner of cassoulet.


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Menu for the Week of November 6, 2016


This Week’s Menu: Two-at-the-Table-Menu-Week-of-Nov-6-2016 

We have a pretty low-key menu planned for this week, as we will focus mostly on eating  leftovers from last week.

We’ll roast a couple of chicken breasts on Sunday night, which we’ll have with the brussels sprouts left over from the Mustard Brined Pork Loin with Sautéed Brussels Sprouts from our Oktoberfest dinner. We still have a few bottles of beer left over from Oktoberfest, so we’ll have beer with dinner.

On Monday night, we’ll have the left over Quick Coconut Chicken Soup. The soup was very good, but the recipe could have used a little more seasoning, so we will kick it up a little bit. If we can find the time, we may also add some cooked rice, just to give the soup a little more body.

We’ll enjoy an Election Night pizza dinner at our friend Krista’s on Tuesday as we watch the voting returns come in. Kim has her French class on Wednesday night, but will probably be home early enough to enjoy some left over Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Quinoa Chili for dinner. Tony had some of the chili for dinner last week with cheddar made from goat’s milk and some (store-bought) corn bread, both of which were great accompaniments; we’ll do the same again this week.

Tony will be out of town at a conference on Friday and Saturday, so our last dinner together this week will be on Thursday night. We’ll have leftover Lemon Scented Crispy Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Baby Carrots. We had this on Friday night and it was spectacular: the chicken was super crispy and cooked perfectly and the toasted bread cubes that also go into the dish soaked up all the chickeny goodness without getting soggy. We paired the dish with a sparkling wine, which was perfect for cleansing the palate after each rich, delicious bite, so we’ll probably do the same on Thursday.

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Menu for the Week of October 30, 2016


This Week’s Menu: Two-at-the-Table-Menu-Week-of-Oct-30-2016

After a very successful Oktoberfest dinner with our friends Krista and Lynee last night, with a menu that featured Alton Brown’s Homemade Soft Pretzels, Kim’s very own salad of mesclun, diced pear, walnut, and blue cheese (from Dutch Girl Cheese) with a white wine vinaigrette, Cooking Channel’s Mustard-Brined Pork Loin with Sautéed Brussels Sprouts (all of which we paired with Oktoberfest beers from the Goose Island, Flying Dog, Blue Point, and Sierra Nevada breweries), and Kim’s apple-based take on Christian Constant’s Summer Fruit Crumble, we turn our attention to the coming week.


Kim will be on her own on Monday night, when Tony will be doing some photography (details below). Kim has her French class on Wednesday, so Tony will be on his own, which will probably translate into grabbing beers with his brother.We’re having a pre-marathon get-together with our friends Tom and Sharon on Saturday night where we’ll have a big pasta dinner to help Tom prepare for the marathon on Sunday. That still leaves us with plans to make dinner four times this week, so here’s what we have in store.

On Sunday night, we’ll make a vegetarian chili, namely, The Kitchn’s Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Quinoa Chili. This recipe appealed to us because we thought it sounded really tasty, we haven’t made chili for a long while, and we knew it would create a enough leftovers to get us through the week. With all the Oktoberfest beer we have in the fridge, we’re not doing a wine pairing with this dish, but will see how it goes with beer.


On Monday night, Tony will make his annual pilgrimage to take photos at the Village Halloween Parade. He’s only being doing it for two years, but has really come to enjoy it. It’s a unique challenge–taking photos at night of thousands of people all on the move, each with a consumer more amazing than the last–but it is lots of fun. Tony’s dinner will probably be a granola bar or two; Kim will no doubt have something a bit more appetizing. 

On Tuesday night, we’ll make a dish we had planned for last week but didn’t get to: The Kitchn’s Quick Coconut Chicken Soup. We’ll pair this with a white wine, 2015 Clos du Mont-Oliver Chateauneuf-du-Pape that we purchased last week to have with it.

We’ll make a new dish on Thursday night, Real Simple’s Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms and Baby Greens. We’ve really come to like polenta and have had good luck with it, like when we made Real Simple’s Polenta Bake with Shrimp a few weeks ago, so we’re confident this dish will be another winner.

Our final dish for the week will be Cooking Channel’s Lemon Scented Crispy Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Baby Carrots. This dish will be prefect for a Friday night in the fall and may require a specific trip to Columbus Wines and Spirits to find a fun pairing.

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Menu for the Week of Oct 23, 2016


This Week’s Menu: Two-at-the-Table-Menu-Week-of-October-23-2016

We had a great trip upstate last weekend, but since we knew we weren’t going to have time to plan our menu and shop as usual, we picked up a few pre-made things (a roasted chicken, a small tray of lasagna) to get us through the week. We’re back to cooking this week, with a menu featuring three new dishes, plus a new spin on one we’ve had before.

Sunday dinner, however, will be a not-so-old favorite: Ina Garten’s French Chicken Pot Pies. We made this dish about this time last year and really enjoyed it, so we decided to make it again. (It certainly didn’t hurt that we already had some cooked chicken in the fridge!) We’ll again have to take the somewhat unusual step of cutting a recipe in thirds (the recipe makes six pies), but last time we found that this wasn’t a major challenge. We’ll pair this with a 2013 Lavau Rasteau, a Cotes du Rhone picked out by our friends Neil and Michael at Columbus Wine and Spirits.

Kim will be at a New York Junior League board meeting on Monday, so Tony will be on his own. He decided to try a new recipe, Saveur’s Honey Grilled Chicken With Citrus Salad, which will make enough to give him leftovers for dinner on Wednesday night, when Kim is at her French class. The recipe calls for the chicken to be grilled for 15 minutes, but since our apartment would fill with smoke if we tried to grill anything for that long, Tony will roast the chicken and just finish the chicken on the grill pan. Tony will pair this dish with a 2013 Trimbach Reserve Riesling and be sure to save some of Kim’s favorite type wine for her for when she comes home.

We’ll have seafood on Tuesday, namely Bon Appetit’s Roast Salmon and Broccoli with Chile-Caper Vinaigrette. We still have a few of the hot peppers from Tony’s father’s garden, so this recipe has the added advantage of letting us use up at least one (small) thing from our fridge! We’ll have this one with a South African wine: a 2015 Protea Chenin Blanc, which is perhaps one of the prettiest bottles of wine we’ve ever purchased.

We’ve had such great success recently with dishes from The Kitchn that contain coconut, like 30-Minute Green Curry Braised Salmon and the The Easiest Thai Green Coconut Curry, that we picked one another one for this week: The Kitchn’s Quick Coconut Chicken Soup. This promises to be a pretty easy-to-make dinner, plus one that lets us use a new ingredient: rutabaga. This dish was a bit of challenge for Neil and Michael, but they came through with a 2015 Clos du Mont-Oliver Chateauneuf-du-Pape to pair with it.

While we’ll be making something very familiar on Friday night (roast pork tenderloin with sautéed spinach), we’re adding a unique ingredient: mole poblano from a company called Xilli. We tried the mole at a charity event last week, the Start Small, Think Big Second Annual Pop Up Party, and we’re blown away, so we had to buy a jar. Start Small, Think Big is a not-for-profit organization that helps “low- to moderate-income individuals build and sustain thriving businesses.” We tried such fantastic food at the party–like quite possibly the best red velvet cupcakes we’ve ever had, from A Cake Baked in Brooklyn, Bourbon Chocolate Sauce made using Hudson Baby Bourbon, one of our favorite bourbons, from Harlem Chocolate Factory, and out-of-this-world smoked gouda mac-and-cheese from Clean Plate Co., soon to be offered at a Whole Foods near you–that it inspired us to do something a little different for dinner. Thanks to our good friend Krista who told us about the amazing event and nonprofit.

After all the cooking this week, we’re still not done. We’re working on the final menu, but we are planning an Oktoberfest dinner for Saturday night. While we know that we will be making Alton Brown’s Homemade Soft Pretzels , we still working on the rest of the menu, so tune in later in the week to see what we’ve decided to make!

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Menu for the Week of October 9, 2106


This Week’s Menu: Two-at-the-Table-Menu-Week-of-October-9,-2016 

We have a busy week this week, including much-anticipated plans for a long weekend in upstate New York, so we only have a few recipes on our weekly menu. Nevertheless, we ended last week and started this week in spectacular fashion.


Last week, we posted  a recipe for Real Simple’s Polenta Bake with Shrimp, which we planned to have Friday night. Friday rolled around and we both just wanted to take it easy, so we decided to order in and make the shrimp on Saturday night instead. (Our planned trip to visit the Studio Museum in Harlem and Red Rooster on Saturday didn’t materialize because we’re waiting for the museum to get the catalog for the Alma Thomas exhibit we saw a few weeks ago.) Kim took the lead on making the dish, which was very easy. The polenta came together without too much effort and the shrimp took no time at all to cook under the broiler. Kim tweaked the recipe a bit by using some smoked paprika, which gave it a nice kick, as did the smoked chipotle Tabasco sauce we added.

We have a big day of cooking planned today (Sunday). We started with Raisin Challah French Toast, using a mash-up of recipes, one for the sugar-cinnamon-nutmeg mix that went into the custard and one for the custard itself. Tony is not a big fan of raisins in food (His scale is: cookies = fine; other baked goods = OK, maybe once in a while, if I have to; salads, meat dishes, etc = I would rather starve to death or possibly even eat dirt), but he was willing to give the challah bread a try. The French toast came our pretty perfectly–a little crispy on the outside, moist and fluffy on the inside.


The Sunday cooking won’t end there. Tony plans on making Saveur’s Umbrian Vegetable Soup (Zuppa di Verdure All’agliata) during the afternoon, which will add to our stock (no pun intended) of tasty soups in the fridge, which includes Real Simple’s Sausage, Lentil, and Kale Soup, which we made last week. The soup will also have the added benefit of warming up the apartment and making it smell awesome.

Sunday dinner will be a combination of a very simple dish (roasted chicken; no recipe required) and a more complicated one: Saveur’s Lentil Salad with Beets and Pomegranate. The plan for this dinner started with the salad, which was attractive because it features ingredients that are not only delicious but also very photogenic; Tony has some new camera equipment that he wants to try out! We should have enough leftovers to get a second dinner on Wednesday for our efforts. 

Kim will be out with her friend Sharon on Monday, so Tony will be on his own. We have a really simple recipe planned for Tuesday, namely Real Simple’s Roasted Salmon and Brussels Sprouts. This very satisfying dish should only take about 40 minutes to make, perfect for a weeknight.

We’ll order in on Thursday so that we have more time to pack for our trip to upstate New York. We’ll head up on Friday morning and make a stop in the town of Rhinebeck for lunch at the Calico Restaurant, followed by a  bit of wandering around town. We’ll head up to Hudson, New York, where we will spend the rest of our trip, later in the afternoon. We have a dinner reservation for Friday night at a new restaurant, Wm. Farmer and Sons, and for Saturday night at one of our favorite places in Hudson: Swoon Kitchenbar. When we’re not busy eating dinner we’ll be visiting all the fun shops in town, plus the farmer’s market, taking photos of the beautiful views of the Hudson River at the west end of town, and relaxing.

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