Menu for the Week of November 19, 2017

This Week’s Menu: Two at the Table Menu Week of Nov 19 2017

We have a busy holiday week ahead, and we’re really excited to enjoy it. We’re going to the New York Junior League’s Thanksgiving Eve Ball on Wednesday night. The Ball has become an annual event for us, and we look forward to it every year. We’ll have a smallish dinner in the evening before the Ball; we need to save room for the Ball’s traditional chicken pot pie, which is served at midnight. We’ll have Thanksgiving dinner with Tony’s mom on Thursday and enjoy the Pillari family’s standard menu of pasta followed by turkey. On Friday we’re off on another day trip to Boston, this time to see the Mark Rothko exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts. We’ll hit Saltie Girl for lunch and Dirty Water Dough Company for sandwiches to eat on the train ride home, just like we did on our last day trip to Boston. We have plans with friends on Saturday evening, so we won’t be cooking then either.

While we’ll be eating out a lot this week, we will do some fun cooking, and, excluding the turkey breast and sweet potatoes we’ll make at Tony’s mom’s, plan to try three new dishes.

The first dish will make a comforting Sunday dinner: Food & Wine’s Fennel Garlic Pork Roast. We both really like fennel (and pork, of course) so we think we’re going to enjoy this one a lot. The most time-consuming step is making the overnight brine. This process involves bringing a quart of water into which you’ve placed honey, black peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, parsley sprigs, two halved garlic cloves, and salt to a boil, cooling it, and adding two more quarts of water. Making the brine is not hard to fit into a Saturday evening, as long as you remember to do it before you settle down to watch Episode 8 of The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu! We’ll serve the pork with The New York Times’ Lemon Garlic Kale Salad, which we also made last week, and a few left over roasted vegetables.

Tony will be on his own Monday night and will make The New York Times’ Braised Chicken Thighs with Caramelized Fennel. (Like we said, we both really like fennel!) He has his monthly “Beers with the Boys” planned for the early evening, so he will probably prep for dinner at some point in the afternoon so he can start cooking as soon as he gets home. This dish features something we’ve never heard of before: fennel frond puree, which is like pesto made with (you guessed it!) fennel fronds. The recipe makes several servings, so we should have some good lunches this week!  

For Tuesday night, we wanted to do something vegetarian, so we decided to try something entirely new, namely, spaghetti squash. We found Tasting Table’s Spaghetti Squash with Sage and Walnuts recipes and thought it sounded interesting. Tony has been very leery of trying spaghetti squash as his Italian-American roots make him extremely skeptical of any form of non-traditional pasta, like anything from a can and even whole wheat pasta. He identifies closely, though for different reasons, with Sophia Loren’s famous quote: “Everything you see, I owe to pasta.” But he, like Kim, is an adventurous eater, as the pages of this blog show, and is willing to give it a try!

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