Menu for the Week of June 18, 2017

This Week’s Menu: Two at the Table Menu Week of June 18, 2017

We didn’t get a chance to post last week, but we did lots of fun cooking. We decided to go through our cookbooks for recipes, so the links below won’t always take you to the exact recipe, but will of course take you to lots of recipes worth trying. Here is what we made:

Monday: Smitten Kitchen’s Seared Halibut and Gazpacho Salsa with Tomato Vinaigrette. The recipe was fantastic–the fish was light and flaky, the salsa was a great complement, and the vinaigrette was just awesome–and made plenty of left over salsa, which we’ve been enjoying all week.

Tuesday: Food 52’s Cilantro Lime Salmon Cakes. We’ve made this recipe several times before, but we honestly think this was the best batch yet. We paired them with a simple green salad.

Wednesday: Elie Krieger’s Pork Picatta with Spinach and Garlic Mashed Potatoes. We made this with simple steamed spinach and left out the potatoes. This dish was so good that Tony may have discovered that he likes capers (a key ingredient) more than he thinks he does…

Thursday: Skinnytaste’s Baja Grilled Flank Steak Salad. Not only was this quick and delicious, but Tony was also able combined the leftovers with some provolone, pickled red peppers, and lettuce to make a tasty wrap for lunch on Friday.

Friday: Ina Garten’s Roasted Chicken and Radishes. This was a perfect way to end the week. The chicken was tender and juicy with a nice crispy skin and the roasted radishes were caramelized perfectly. Plus, we have leftovers!

As for this week, we both have plans with friends — we’re each having drinks with buddies on Monday night and then joining other friends at the Yankee game Friday night — and also plan to make several new recipes, so it should be a fun week all around.

We’ll have lunch with Tony’s family on Sunday afternoon for Father’s Day, but as his mom is not planning the usual Sunday afternoon food fest, we’ll make dinner Sunday evening. We’re making something light and simple: The Kitchn’s Shrimp with White Beans, Spinach, and Tomatoes. We’ll do some cooking before that too, to make sure Tony has lunch for the week: we will make a batch of The New York Times’ Skillet Macaroni and Broccoli and Mushrooms and Cheese.We made this once before not long ago and it was truly spectacular.

On Tuesday night, we’ll try another new recipe: Saveur’s Cilantro and Lime Chicken with Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad. The recipe calls for corn on the cob, so we bought a few ears as part of our weekly Fresh Direct grocery order. We’ll have to keep this recipe in mind for later in the summer, as our annual trip to Greenport usually results in us bringing home some fresh sweet corn from Long Island.

We realized that we hadn’t had eggs for dinner in a quite a while. They are simple to make and don’t require having the oven on for too long, so they’re a perfect summertime dish. We’ll make Food 52’s Frittata with Asparagus, Spring Greens and Fontina. Not only will this be tasty dinner, the leftovers will give us some options for breakfast and/or lunch later in he week.

Tony will have some leftover cilantro/lime chicken on Thursday night, while Kim is at a New York Junior League meeting. Friday night will be dinner at Yankee Stadium as we take in a game with our friends Lynee, Rich, Nancy, and Devante. This season, we’ve sampled food from newcomers Mighty Quinn’s and Bareburger and old favorite Lobel’s, so we’re not quite sure what we’ll try this time, but dinner at the ballpark (especially with a cold beer!) can never be a bad thing.

We’ll be back in the kitchen Saturday night, making something relatively simple but supremely comforting: Saveur’s Easy Chicken Parmigiana. The recipe calls for a quarter cup of Italian breadcrumbs, but rather than buy a whole container for just one recipe, we’ll use some panko breadcrumbs we have on hand and just add some spices and dried herbs to them. The recipe starts by making tomato sauce, so hopefully we’ll have some left over to use during the week. We might even feel compelled to call upon our pasta making skills, which we refined by taking a cooking class during our recent trip to Florence, to put the sauce to good use!

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Menu for the Week of June 4, 2017

This Week’s Menu: Two at the Table Menu Week of June 4, 2017

We’re back from a fantastic vacation in Florence. Inspired by all the great food we had to do some serious cooking this week! We will be trying five new recipes (four main courses and one side) and are going to try to invent something on our own as well. We’re excited to see how it all comes out.

We had lunch with Tony’s mom on Sunday afternoon. (The background for our weekly photo is made up of leaves from Tony’s dad’s grape vines, which he planted in the West Garden, which should not be confused with the East Garden, which is where Tony’s dad planted his peach trees.) We knew we would be having a small lunch, so we’ll be making The Kitchn’s One-Skillet Chicken with Garlicky Broccoli and Croutons, for dinner. It should make enough to leave leftovers for Tony for Thursday night, when Kim is at a New York Junior League meeting.

To have breakfast around during the week, Kim spent some time in the kitchen late Sunday afternoon to make two things: Skinnytaste’s Gluten-free, Dairy-free Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins and Fresh Direct’s Easy Baked Egg Cups, using tomato, spinach, and Parmesan cheese. These should get our days off to a great start.

Kim with also be at meetings Monday and Tuesday night, so Tony will be on his own. On Monday night, he’s going to make swordfish kabobs. We have a piece of swordfish in the freezer and kabob skewers in the cupboard. He will improvise the rest, but will probably keep things simple and marinate the fish in lemon juice and olive oil. Herbs de Provence might make an appearance, or perhaps garlic and fresh oregano. Kim was nice enough to offer to make rice pilaf before she leaves for her meeting, so dinner should come together very quickly. On Tuesday night, Tony will visit his mom for dinner and she will make one of his favorites: Roasted Sausage and Potatoes.

We’ll try another new recipe Wednesday night: Food & Wine’s Feta-Brined Chicken Sandwiches. This recipe will let us use up some chicken breasts we have in the freezer from when Kim made Lemony Chicken Milanese with Arugula Salad. Plus, we’ve had great success in the past making sandwiches for dinner, and we don’t think this recipe will be an exception.

We’ll make another new recipe, this one featuring seafood, on Friday night: Skinnytaste’s Baked Shrimp Taquitos. Kim will be in charge of making this dish, along with guacamole and salsa verde to accompany the taquitos.

On Saturday night, we’ll have a simple dinner directly inspired by one we had in Florence: Porterhouse Steak. (We should point out that we’re using the linked recipe as a starting point for cooking directions, but won’t be following is exactly.) The typically preparation of “bistecca all Fiorentina” is very simple: the steak — in our case, a glorious, two-inch thick porterhouse — is seasoned with nothing more than olive oil, rosemary, and salt and then grilled to rare. (We saw more than one menu that made it clear that rare was the only temperature at which the steak would be served, which was fine by us!) What makes the recipe a little tricky is that, based on what we’ve seen, the rosemary flavor does not come from, as you might expect, chopped up rosemary sprinkled on the steak. So, we’ll probably get a little creative and make rosemary infused olive oil, or at least use a rosemary sprig to brush the steak with the oil. We’ll put our trusty cast iron skillet to use to sear the steak on the stove top and finish cooking it in the oven. We’ll make a fun side as well, The Kitchn’s Smoky Creamed Kale, and maybe some roasted potatoes if we’re in the mood. We’ll have to get the appropriate Tuscan red for dinner, so a trip to Columbus Wine & Spirits will be in order.

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Menu for the Week of May 14, 2017

This Week’s Menu: Two at the Table Menu Week of May 14, 2017

We have a very abbreviated menu this week, with only one dinner and no new recipes, but for a very good reason: we’re taking a trip to Florence! We’re really looking forward to some time away, to the sites of Italy, and of course to all the great food and wine we’ll enjoy while we are there.

We’re had lunch with Tony’s mom on Sunday and afterwards, and then headed to Yankee Stadium to catch a game — and the ceremony retiring Derek Jeter’s number. We had dinner at the Stadium. Since we hit Mighty Quinn’s barbecue — a new comer to Yankee Stadium this season — on both of our last two trips, we decided to try something different. We shared the Lobel’s steak and fries, which was plenty of food for two people. During our next visit to the Stadium, we’re going  to try another new comer: Bareburger.

On Monday night, we’ll have leftovers: The New York Times’ Tarragon Chicken. We were very pleased at how this dish turned out when we made it on Saturday. It was very easy to make and really tasty. We had originally planned to have the chicken with a  green salad, but forgot to actually buy salad mix. Kim improvised by using things we already had in the house — peas, pancetta, and shallots — and made Bobby Flay’s Peas with Pancetta and Shallots. It was a perfect side, as the sweetness of the peas and shallots complemented the tarragon every nicely, while the crunchy, salty pancetta paired up nicely with the crunchy, salty chicken skin.

On Tuesday night, Kim will make Epicurious’ Lemony Chicken Milanese with Arugula Salad. We made this once before and it was as simple to make as it was delicious. We’ll probably order in on Wednesday night, as we’ll have to focus on packing for our trip and wrapping up any last-minute details.

We leave for Florence Thursday afternoon and won’t be back until the Sunday after next. We’re excited for the sites, of course, but are really looking forward to the food: fresh pastas, thick steaks, real gelato, and espresso. We’re going to try to document our trip the blog, so check back for updates over the next couple of weeks.

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Menu for the Week of May 7, 2017

This Week’s Menu: Two at the Table Menu Week of May 7, 2017

It’s a bit of an abbreviated menu for Two at the Table this week, as Tony will be away at a conference Tuesday through Thursday nights and we have a New York Junior League event on Friday night. Plus, we have some great leftovers from last week. Nevertheless, we are trying a new recipe on Saturday.

We’ll have leftovers on both Sunday and Monday nights. On Sunday, we’ll have The Kitchn’s Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas. We made these last week on Thursday, May 4th (no, not Cinco de Mayo; we had other plans for that night!) and they turned out great. It’s a very simple recipe made all the easier by the fact that everything is cooked in the oven. On Monday, we’ll have Saveur’s Honey-Glazed Roast Pork with Apples. This was our Cinco de Mayo dinner. It takes quite a while to make, so it wasn’t ideal for a weeknight, which is why we had fajitas on the “wrong” day — if there can ever be a wrong day to have fajitas! This dish also turned out really well: the pork was flavorful and juicy; the apples and onions were soft but not mushy; and the Big Ol’ Apple Wheat Ale from Coney Island Brewery was a perfect substitute for the cider called for in the recipe. (As a side note, we loved the Apple Wheat Ale — the apple flavor is very subtle and the ale, unlike other apples ales we’ve tried, is not sweet at all — and would suggest it in place of cider just about every time.) Since the oven was on anyway, we paired it with some roasted fingerling potatoes tossed in olive oil, thyme, and salt and pepper. While a dish like this might be better suited for a cold fall night, we caught a break because it was chilly and rainy in New York Friday night. Tony is also trying to figure out a way to turn the left over pork, onions, and apples, into a sandwich. Stay tuned…

Kim will be left to her own devices for a few night, but we’ll attend the kick off party for the New York Junior League House Tour when Tony gets back to New York City. The event will be held at the Brooks Brothers flagship store at 346 Madison Avenue. Tony is a big fan of the Brooks Brothers’ non-iron shirts and is looking forward to replacing a few of his favorites — at a 15% discount too!

We’ll make one new recipe this week on Saturday night, namely The New York Times’ Tarragon Chicken. Tony is a big fan of tarragon, a slightly sweet, very licorice-y herb very popular in French cooking. He grew up eating fennel from time to time, and drinking things like anisette and sambuca, and hoarding all the black jelly beans come Easter, so it’s safe to say he likes licorice. The chicken is very easy: it’s marinated in olive oil mixed with tarragon (of course) and lemon zest and then roasted for about an hour. We thought about having a fennel salad with dinner, but it seemed like licorice overkill, so we’ll just have a simple green salad instead.

We will have a licorice-flavored aperitif though, one that we enjoy and that holds a special place in our hearts: Ricard. We had never heard of it before we took a trip to Paris in 2012 and even then, we discovered it almost by accident. After braving — and barely surviving –the crowds at the Musée d’Orsay, we decided to skip the Louvre and instead went to the adjacent Musée Des Arts Décoratifs. There, we saw a fun exhibit on the history of Babar, the world-famous elephant in the green suit, and a truly fantastic exhibit on the marketing history of Ricard. We saw posters and print ads; glasses and serving trays; pitchers and carafes (Ricard is served diluted with ice water, so these items were a big part of the marketing effort); and television commercials from around the world. We were also introduced to the classic tagline: “A Ricard, or nothing!” After a few glasses of Ricard over the rest of our trip, we kind of forgot about it until Kim found a Ricard pitcher in a random antique shop in Hudson, New York. Thus was born our Ricard collection, made up of pitchers and carafes we’ve picked up in our travels. We brought back a bottle of Ricard from a trip to Nice, France, where Tony (slightly) impressed the owner of Le Marlin by ordering a glass before dinner, and remain on the lookout for additions to our growing collection.

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Menu for the week of April 30, 2017

This week we have a nice variety of dinners planned for Two at the Table. We started the week off somewhat on the lighter side in terms of cooking. On Sunday, we went to a Yankee game with our good friends Tom and Sharon during the day. We didn’t want much for dinner (as is typical after a Yankee game for us) so Kim decided to make Ina Garten’s Hummus and some crudité as a snack for us. It is also making for some nice snacks for Tony to take to work.

On Monday night, Kim had plans with her friend Alex to go to a lecture at New York City Ballet as part of the Here/Now Festival and then afterwards, Alex invited Kim to her home for dinner so Tony decided to go visit his mom.

Tuesday night features a recipe from kitchn: Sheet Pan Mustard Maple Salmon with Potatoes and Asparagus. We are excited to have another tasty salmon recipe for an easy weeknight meal! We plan to cut this recipe in half so that we have a chance to make a few other things later in the week.

Wednesday night we turn to Real Simple for some recipe help in the form of Bucatini with Kale and Ricotta. We think the combination of the hearty kale, crunchy pine nuts and creamy ricotta with the bright pop of lemon zest will be very tasty and will definitely make us wish our trip to Florence this May was even sooner! We’ll make the full amount of this recipe so that we have a few leftovers around for lunch later in the week.

Thursday night, Kim will pop by a Cinco de Mayo event at the New York Junior League and this theme inspired her to continue to the celebration with another recipe from kitchn: Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas. This recipe serves 8 to 10 people so we are definitely cutting it in half! Kim grew up in Texas and eating lots of fajitas so hopefully this will live up to her high standards.

Friday night when we have a little more time, we’ll try a new recipe from Saveur: Honey-Glazed Roast Pork with Apples. Instead of dry apple cider, we’ll use Big Ol’ Apple Wheat from Coney Island Brewery that was part of a case of beer we were lucky enough to win at silent auction at the New York Junior League’s recent Savor the Spring event, where we had a great time tasting many great delectable bites from around the city.

Saturday night we think we will take a break from cooking and visit our favorite local Italian restaurant, Gennaro.

Check back next week for another week of dinner ideas from Two at the Table.

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Menu for the Week of April 26, 2017

This Week’s Menu: Two at the Table Menu Week of April 23, 2017

We had a fantastic day trip to Boston this past Saturday, with lunch at Saltie Girl in Back Bay followed by a nice, long visit to the Museum and Fine Arts to see exhibits of works by artists Matisse and Botticelli; author and illustrator Robert McCloskey; and photographers Imogen Cunningham and Henryk Ross, the last a truly moving series of photos taken by Ross in the Lodz (Poland) Ghetto during World War II. We ended the day with a leisurely stroll down Newbury Street, a visit to the Dirty Water Dough Company for sandwiches to eat on the train, and a mad dash to the train station when we realized just how leisurely our stroll had been…

Before putting together our menu this week, we took a look through the fridge and freezer to take stock of leftover dinners from last week and ingredients we had around. As a result, we’ll have leftovers twice this week, but will also try several new recipes.

Sunday night will be the first night for leftovers, when we once again enjoy Food & Wine’s Baltimore Style Crab Cakes and Warm Potato Salad with Arugula. The crab cakes were truly spectacular, probably the best we’ve ever had, and there really isn’t much in them besides a lot of crab meat and a few crumbled saltines (plus mayo, mustard, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce). The potato salad was the perfect side: relatively light, as it has no mayo in it, with just enough vinegar to be a nice counterpoint to the natural sweetness of the crab meat. The dish was easy to make, so the only challenge we’ll have tonight is how to re-heat everything without drying anything out.

Tony will be on his own Monday night, as Kim will be at a meeting for the New York Junior League, but we’ll make a new dish on Tuesday, one inspired be food we had at Saltie Girl: Food & Wine’s Tuna Ceviche with Avocado and Cilantro. Kim had a fantastic halibut ceviche for lunch and it put us in the mood to make it ourselves. The general  recipe for ceviche is very simple — mix fresh seafood with an acid (like lime juice) and some veggies (usually including onion) and let it marinate for a longish while — and this recipe just adds some avocado and cilantro to make things more interesting. Ceviche is also a perfect summertime dish, as there is no need to turn on the oven, so it is one we will probably come back to a few more times when the weather heats up.

Our cats George and Henry have their annual check up at the vet on Wednesday night, so we won’t have much time to make dinner. Wednesday will therefore be our second night for leftovers and we’ll have Real Simple’s Chicken Thighs with Barley and Peas.

We had some ground beef in the freezer; two brioche rolls and plenty of goat cheese in the fridge; and a jar of beer bacon jam in the pantry, so we thought Thursday night would be a perfect night to make burgers. If Tony can find time to make them today (and past experience says he will), we’ll top the burgers not with just goat cheese and bacon jam, but also Food & Wine’s Pickled Shallots.

We’ll be having dinner out with friends on Saturday night, but Friday night will be pizza night, partly so we can use up some more things from the fridge, like yet more goat cheese, plus olives and anchovies. We’ll top the first pizza with caramelized onions, olives, and anchovies and the second “dessert” pizza with goat cheese with figs mixed in and arugula. Our real motivation, however, is less about keeping a clean fridge and more about trying a new recipe: Food 52’s No Knead Pizza Dough. Typically, when we make pizza, we use pre-made dough, simply in the interest of time. (Pizza dough isn’t hard to make, but it does take a little while, so it’s not the best things to tackle at the end of long day at work.) We thought it would be fun to make the dough from scratch and are excited to try a new recipe that promises to make that process as simple as possible. Speaking of simplification, we’re also turning to Food 52 for the real scoop on caramelizing onions. How long should it really take? Read the article and find out…

 

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Menu for the Week of April 19, 2017

This Weeks’ Menu: Two at the Table Menu Week of April 16, 2017

We have a busy few days ahead, with only three dinners planned, but we’re using three (technically four) new recipes, so it should be a fun week of cooking nonetheless.

Sunday is Easter and we will be having lunch with Tony’s family. It will be simple but tasty: sandwiches made with salumi from the local Italian deli. We’ll head home after lunch and gear up for our first Yankee game of the season, against the Cardinals. (Tony has always had an odd fondness for the St. Louis Cardinals, as it is the only non-New York franchise his dad was familiar with, even if dad did call them “Santo Luigi”!) We haven’t decided what sort of snacks well have at the ballgame, but as Tony discovered the Blue Point beer stand on opening day, and since it is right next to the Parm stand, we might have dinner already picked out for us. Tough call though, as the revamped Yankee Stadium menu now features Mightly Quinn’s Barbecue and Bareburger.

Tony will have drinks with his buddies Monday night, but will be home in time for dinner, so Kim will make The Kitchn’s Baked Risotto with Peas, Asparagus, and Pancetta. Kim has made some great risotto over the years, but this new recipes sounds perfect for spring. (Italian food segue: we went to Gennaro’s on Amsterdam Avenue Saturday night. Her quest to find the Upper West Side’s best Linguine and Clams was derailed by Gennaro’s always amazing specials menu, from which she ordered a spectacular seafood risotto, preceded by a fava bean and arugula salad. Tony had cuttlefish and ratatouille over polenta to start, followed by sausages with broccoli rabe.) 

Kim will be out with friends on Tuesday night so Tony will be on his own. He will probably have leftovers from our Saturday lunch, which was originally supposed to be our Friday dinner:  Food 52’s Curried Lentils with Coconut Milk. We have plenty of IPAs in the fridge, which will be a perfect pairing for this dish.

On Wednesday night, we plan to make Real Simple’s Chicken Thighs with Barley and Peas. This might be our first time making anything with barley and as luck would have it, it’s not stocked by Fresh Direct. A quick trip to Whole Foods (or more likely our local bodega, which as any good bodega does, seems to stock everything imaginable in a very small space) to get that key ingredient.

Thursday night will find us at the New York Junior League’s second annual Savor the Spring, a fundraiser featuring food and drinks from around New York City. We went last year, when we had things like chipotle pulled pork tacos and Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA. We’re super excited to attend this year and looking froward to new tastes, especially Cool Haus Ice Cream.

We’ll go a little more summery on Friday night when we make Food & Wine’s Baltimore Style Crab Cakes, which well serve with Food & Wine’s Warm Potato Salad with Arugula. The crab cake recipe is a very simple one: lots of jumbo lump crab meat; saltines and mayo to hold everything together; and some Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce to liven things up.

Dinner on Saturday will probably be very simple–possibly store-bought sandwiches–but eaten in a slightly unusual setting: an Amtrak train. We are planning a day trip to Boston to see a Matisse exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, so while we’ll probably have a fancy lunch, the train schedule means we will probably have to have a plain dinner. Well worth it, as we know from past experience, when we took a similar day trip to Boston see a fantastic Goya exhibit at the same museum. It will be a long day, to be sure, but very fun.

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