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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Menu for the Week of October 2, 2106


This Week’s Menu: Two-at-the-Table-Menu-Week-of-October-2,-2016

After a successful (if slightly meat-centric) menu last week, with great dishes like Saveur’s Pan-Seared Chicken with Riesling Cream Sauce, Chanterelles, and Chard; Food & Wine’s Sausage and Potato Pan Roast; and Food & Wine’s Mustard Chimichurri, which we had with both shrimp and flank steak, we decided we should skew a bit more toward seafood this week. 

We’re going to a Yankee game on Sunday–the last of the season for both us and the team–with our friends Alex and Guy. Since it’s a 3:05 start and we know we’ll grab a bite at the game, we don’t have any dinner plans for Sunday night.

On Monday, we’ll make a salmon dish that will let us use up the green curry paste we bought to make the super-delicious Easiest Thai Green Coconut Curry we had for dinner a few weeks ago, This dish is The Kitchn’s 30-Minute Green Curry Braised Salmon and it’s a perfect weeknight dish: easy to make, and so flavorful you won’t feel like you’ve missed out on a “real” dinner.

Kim will be out both Tuesday and Wednesday nights, first at the New York Junior League and then at her French class at Alliance Francaise, so Tony will be on his own. We have plenty of leftovers from last week, including chicken; sausage and potatoes; and flank steak, so he should be just fine.

Kim will hit the kitchen on Thursday night and make Real Simple’s Sausage, Lentil, and Kale Soup. With the weather getting colder and New York City and showing signs of an abundance of clouds and rain this week, our mind and palates are drifting more toward cold-weather comfort food. Last week’s chicken and this week’s soup fit into that vein and we expect to make lots more similar recipes as the fall and winter roll along.

We’ll round things out on Friday by making Real Simple’s Polenta Bake with Shrimp. We plan on making another visit to the Studio Museum in Harlem on Saturday.  Whether we pay another visit to Red Rooster for their fantastic fried chicken or find another cool spot near the museum or go to one of our old favorites closer to home, we will having dinner out Saturday night to close out our dining week.

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Menu for the Week of September 25, 2016


This Week’s Menu: Two-at-the-Table-Menu-Week-of-Sep-25-2016

We’re back! Well, we didn’t REALLY go away–we’ve been cooking like usual for the past several weeks, including great dishes like Real Simple’s Linguine with Garlic, Soppresata, and Wilted Arugula and The Kitchn’s The Easiest Thai Green Coconut Currybut we finally committed to make time to post our menu.

Tony was in charge of the menu this week, so the recipes are a bit more meat-focused than we’ve been used to over the past several months. They’re also almost exclusively from Food & Wine Magazine, which is just a happy coincidence.

Sunday’s dinner is a recipe that we e-mailed to each other on the same day, maybe 15 minutes apart: Saveur’s Pan-Seared Chicken with Riesling Cream Sauce, Chanterelles, and Chard. Tony loves roasted chicken, Kim loves Riesling, and we both love mushrooms, so this dish was a no-brainer. The fact that fall has arrived in NYC and the temperature is cooling down made this dish even more attractive. We’ll pair this up with a 2014 Hexamer Riesling.

Kim will be at a New York Junior League board meeting on Monday, so Tony will be on his own. He is going to keep it simple and make Food & Wine’s Pink Peppercorn and Parmesan Spaghetti, using the peppercorns we bought back from our recent rip to Nice, France. This dish is a variation on the classic Italian dish Pasta Cacio e Pepe (pasta with cheese and pepper) and has the dual advantage of being very easy to make and creating lots of leftovers for lunch during the week. Tony will have this with a Feudi del Pisciotto, an Italian red from Sicily.

We’ll pick things up again on Tuesday with Food & Wine’s Roasted Shrimp and Fennel Skewers with Mustard Chimichurri. This is a pretty simple dish–you roast the fennel and then the shrimp while making the chimichurri–but we may make the sauce in advance just to save a step. We weren’t sure what kind of wine Branden at Columbus Wine & Spirits would choose for this dish (our friend Michael was out on Saturday, recovering from jet lag after a trip to Spain, the poor guy), and he surpassed us a bit by going with a French wine, specifically, a 2013 Marc Bredif Vouvray.

We’ll both be out on Wednesday night, Tony with some good friends from high school, who convinced his Manhattan-centered mind that a trip to Brooklyn does not count as international travel and Kim at a French class so that we are prepared for any international travel that we do, so no cooking that night. 

One of Tony’s favorite dishes of his mom’s is a very, very simple one: roasted sausage and potatoes. He found a recipe (not that this simple dish really needs one!) for a dish that is basically the same thing. So, on Thursday night, we’ll have Food & Wine’s Sausage and Potato Pan Roast. This recipe uses shallots and arugula, so it will be a good bit different from Tony’s mom’s version. We’ll have this with a 2010 Vivanco Riserva Rioja.

Friday night’s dinner will be the simplest of the week: Grilled Flank Steak and Mustard Chimichurri. No recipe required; we’ll just cook the steak on our trusty grill pan and use up the leftover chimichurri from Thursday. We’ll have dinner out on Saturday night, probably sushi, or maybe Indian, just to mix in a meal that doesn’t involve chicken, pork, or beef!

And thus ends another week for Two at the Table!

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Menu for the Week of August 14, 2016


This Week’s Menu: Two at the Table Menu Week of Aug 14 2016

We have a busy week this week (a Yankee game with friends on Sunday and dinner with friends on Thursday, plus Kim has a Junior League meeting on Monday), but we still have four dinners planned and they should all be great.

The first dinner will be Tuesday night, when we continue last week’s “sauced” theme and make Swordfish with Romesco sauce. We haven’t quite landed on a side dish yet, but we’ll probably have the yellow squash left over from the Tomato and Squash Gratin Kim made Sunday morning to have for lunches during the week.

We’ll make a new recipe on Wednesday and have The Kitchn’s Ricotta Gnocchi with Peas and Herbed-Lemon Butter. This will also let us use up the gnocchi left over from when we made the Herbed Gnocchi with Mushrooms last week. We’ll probably pick up a bottle of white to go with this dish, though we may pop open a bottle of Prosecco we’ve been keeping in the fridge for an emergency, like a Wednesday falling on an odd-numbered day or the sun setting in the west.

The third dinner will be Friday night, when we’ll make a third recipe from the Kitchn: Spinach, White Bean and Taleggio Pizza. (We hadn’t planned this to be a week devoted to recipes from The Kitchn, but we’re pretty happy it worked out this way, since their recipes have always turned out great for us!) Tony has been on a bit of a pizza making kick lately and while he hasn’t quite graduated to making his own dough (though he is considering going all in and taking a pizza making class), he has been having fun experimenting with toppings and fancy cheeses.

On Saturday, we’re making out twice-annual trip to Greenport, Long Island. While our April and August trips both result in a haul of fresh goat cheese from Catapano Dairy Farm and fresh seafood from Southold Fish Market, it’s only in the summer that we can get the spectacular produce that Long Island is especially known for: sweet corn, heirloom tomatoes, and all kinds of berries. With fresh seafood so close at hand, we will finally make Food & Wine’s Ligurian Seafood Stew, which we’ve been wanting to make for weeks now. We’ll probably pair this up with a Long Island wine and serve it with Spicy Grilled Corn. Tony suggested plain grilled corn, but Kim realized that the paprika in the chorizo that goes into the stew would match up with the paprika that’s added to the butter that goes on the corn, so we decided to up our game a bit. Depending on what other goodies we pick up at the farm stands on the road into Greenport, we will have a fun dinner on Sunday as well! 

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August 13, 2016 – Totally Sauced

If you’ve been reading our menu posts for the last two weeks or so, you know that we’ve been working hard to empty out our freezer. We’ve used up fish, veggies, meat, and even bread, but found that we still had a few freezer bags (five to be exact) of various sauces to deal with.

Inspiration struck last week in the form of an article in the New York Times food section titled “Five Sauces for the Modern Cook“. The theme of the article is that tastes have changed and evolved in such a way that we need to update the “five mother sauces” of classic French cooking. While we recognized three of the five – béchamel and hollandaise plus tomat – we had never heard of the remaining two (espagnole and velouté) and were only vaguely aware of the concept of the mother sauces. The five new sauces are very different from the classics. They are yogurt sauce, pepper sauce, herb sauce, tahini sauce, and pesto. When we read the last sauce, we remembered that it was one of the five (coincidentally enough) sauces we had in the fridge. And that’s when the idea came to us: we would make very simple dishes that allowed us to use up all our sauces: pesto, ginger-soy, green goddess, barbecue sauce, and romesco.

We started out with pesto sauce on Sunday, which we served over gemelli pasta that we had in the cupboard. We paired this up with Italian Kale Caesar Salad, which also let us use up the Caesar dressing we made when we had that same salad last week. The pesto had maybe picked up a little bit bitterness after having been frozen, but was pretty much as good as when we first made it.

We each had a night when we were solo for dinner (Kim on Monday and Tony on Tuesday), so we ate the last of the pasta, meatballs, and sauce that Tony made last week. On Wednesday, we used up the ginger-soy glaze, which we used on some salmon. We paired the salmon with some sautéed baby bok choy and as luck would have it, the ginger-soy sauce tasted great on that as well.

We didn’t make the The Kitchn’s Corn, Tomato, and Black Bean Tostadas with Creamy Cilantro Dressing last week like planned. We planned to make this on Thursday night, but Tony learned his brother was free and they decided to meet up for beers. So, we plan to repurpose the recipe and try it with the left over green goddess dressing. We’ll make this recipe Sunday morning to have it on hand as dinners or lunches for next week, which promises to be busy for both of us.

We made barbecued chicken Friday night using sauce that we originally made to use with pulled pork; the sauce worked just as well on chicken. We had a side of spinach sautéed with garlic, along with some store-bought cornbread. We paired this meal with a few River Horse IPAs for a fun Friday night dinner.

The last sauce we planned to use up was romesco, which we thought we would have with some swordfish and a side of sautéed broccoli and mushrooms. We planned this for Saturday but made a last-minute change. We read about an exhibit of the works of Alma Thomas at The Studio Museum in Harlem and decided to go and to have dinner at Red Rooster, a very popular Harlem restaurant that is only a block away from the museum. We’ll make the swordfish on Tuesday of next week instead. The mushrooms and broccolini have found their way into a spectacular, 12-egg fritatta courtesy of Kim. (Two at the Table hates to waste food just as much as we love to cook and it eat!). And to have around for the week, Kim will also make a Tomato and Squash Gratin using a recipe from the Kitchn.

And that is how we managed to make five sauces pulled from the far corners of our freezer into the basis for a whole week’s worth of dinners!

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Menu for the Week of July 31, 2016


This Week’s Menu: Two at the Table Menu Week of July 31 2016

We have several fun events planned with friends this week, but will still make time to try three new recipes, two of which will let us use some farm-fresh vegetables (and eggs) that we have because our friend Krista was generous enough to give her farm share to us.

Before we launch into the week’s menu, we should tell you a bit about what we made for lunch and dinner on Saturday. We still had a piece of swordfish in the freezer because we didn’t use it to make the Food & Wine’s Ligurian Seafood Stew as we had planned to do two weeks ago. (We didn’t make the stew at all, but are determined to make it before the summer is over!) Instead, Tony used the swordfish to make Food & Wine’s Grilled Swordfish with Herbs and Charred Lemon Salsa for lunch on Saturday. The salsa was really delicious; the charred lemons (which we cooked on our trusty grill pan) gave the dish a real jolt of flavor. The recipe says the dish takes 50 minutes to make, but even accounting for the fact that we were only grilling one swordfish steak (versus the four in the recipe), it took much less time than that. We also had The Yellow Table’s Israeli Couscous Salad on the side, which was perfect accompaniment.

We kept with the seafood theme for dinner, but went to a totally different part of the world for our inspiration: Thailand. Our farm share vegetables included some beautiful summer squash and we had a can of coconut milk in the pantry, so we decided to use those ingredients to make Saveur’s Sautéed Squash and Shrimp with Coconut Milk and Chiles. Tony found this dish to be very easy to make; there were no complicated steps, plus he was able to get a lot of prep work done (like julienning the squash, which Tony did without losing any fingers) while the broth that is the base of this dish simmers. This was another winner, and was just like lunch: easy to make and super-flavorful. We will make this again but probably with some tweaks, like maybe adding some lemongrass and lime zest to the broth and some other veggies – like bean sprouts – to the squash and shrimp. Kim started us off with a delicious salad made with the lettuce and some of the tomatoes we got in our shared farm share, which she dressed with a lemon/sunflower oil dressing and topped with pickled onions and toasted peanuts.

As for this week, we’re planning to visit the Met Brewer (the new extension of the Metropolitan Museum of Art) Sunday afternoon with our friends Tom and Sharon and we’ll have an early dinner with them afterward, so we have no plans to make dinner on Sunday. However, Kim is currently making a tomato and mushroom frittata that will use the one of our farm share tomatoes. When she is done, Tony will use the beef and lamb left over from when we made Saveur’s Beef and Lamb Koftas a few weeks ago to make meatballs and add those, along with some pork we also had in the freezer, into a pot of leftover sauce (our freezer was pretty full!) so we can have some easy lunch and dinner options for the week.

We’ll start to say goodbye to the last of our vegetables (a beautiful bunch of kale) on Monday night when we make Epicurious’ Italian Kale Caesar Salad. We have a little cooked chicken in the fridge that we will add to the salad to make it  a little heartier. In addition to clearing out our freezer, we’re also clearing out our wine rack, so we’ll have the salad with a bottle of rose that we’ve had for a little while.

On Tuesday night, inspired by the great success we had making Real Simple’s Chile-Rubber Pork Tostadas, we’ll have The Kitchn’s Corn, Tomato and Black Bean Tostadas with Creamy Cilantro Dressing using the last tomato from the farm share. In keeping with this week’s theme of cooking with things we already have in the house, this recipe will let us use up some corn we have in the freezer and black beans we have in the pantry.

Kim will be at the New York Junior League Wednesday night for a meeting, so Tony will probably have the pasta and sauce he’s making on Sunday. On Thursday night, we’ll have dinner with Ben, one of Tony’s oldest friends who is in town for work. We haven’t picked out a place yet, but there are no shortage of options in New York City!

On Friday night,we’ll be making The Kitchn’s Herbed Gnocchi with Mushrooms. While we have experimented with making out own gnocchi in the form of The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen’s Acorn Squash Gnocchi and plan to make them again, we thought it would be much easier to buy fresh pasta and use that instead. We’ll reach into the wine rack for another bottle to go with this dish.

On Saturday night, we’ll be attending our friends Jimmy and Elaine’s annual summer  cookout, which we look forward to all year long. We gave a shout out to their Seventeen at the Table extravaganza a couple of summers ago and know that this year’s version will be no less spectacular!

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