Menu for the Week of November 26, 2017

This Week’s Menus: Two at the Table Menu Week of Nov 26, 2017

With a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner (not to mention several other fantastic dinners over the past two weeks), a day trip to Boston on Friday, and a birthday party on Saturday night behind us, we decided we should inventory the fridge and freezer to figure out what to do with all the leftover turkey, pork, chicken, and soup we had on hand. When we were done, we decided that we needed two menus for this week: a dinner menu, which let us try some new recipes, and a lunch menu, which would help us plan how to eat up all our leftovers. Below is our day-by-day plan for lunch and dinner this week.

Sunday: We’re spending most of the day cooking on Sunday. First, we’re carving up the turkey breast left over from Thanksgiving and picking the carcass clean to get enough meat for two dishes we plan on making for dinner this week. Before we start on those recipes, however, we’ll use the turkey carcass to make The New York Times Roasted Turkey Stock. We’d never made a stock of any kind before today and what we learned is that, as the recipes states, it takes a LONG time! You’ll spend an hour just roasting the turkey bones and aromatics (carrot, celery, and onion) and another three hours simmering the stock, and this doesn’t even take prep and clean up time into account. Even so, it is not a very labor intensive process; if you set a timer, you can do other things while making the stock — like writing a blog post!

One of the things we did while the stock was simmering was to have lunch. We had leftovers in the freezer from when we made The Kitchn’s Taco Chicken Soup last week. The soup is every bit as good reheated as it was when we first made it. We served the soup with a little fresh grated white cheddar and chopped scallions; it was a perfect lunch for a chilly fall day. For dinner, as we mentioned above, we will use some of the turkey meat and stock to make The New York Times’ Turkey Mole Verde. The mole recipe is not too difficult and sounds like it will be delicious.

Monday: Monday will be a day for leftovers. For lunch, we’ll have The New York Times’ Braised Chicken Thighs with Caramelized Fennel, which is one of the dishes we made for dinner last week. It was super flavorful, and we think it will be as good for lunch as it was for dinner. For dinner, we’ll have some of Food & Wine’s Fennel Garlic Pork Roast, which we made last week. We’ll serve this with some roasted butternut squash (yet another thing we’re making on Sunday!) and one of Alton Brown’s Homemade Soft Pretzels, which we made for our Oktoberfest dinner a few weeks ago and have stored carefully in the freezer since.

Tuesday: Tony will be out for lunch so Kim will enjoy leftovers from Tasting Table’s Spaghetti Squash with Sage and Walnuts, which we made last week. This was our first experience making spaghetti squash, and it was fantastic! Tony overcame his trepidation and was amazed at how good it was — and how much like pasta it was. Granted, you may never fool anyone with it, but if you’re trying to cut back on carbs, or just want to try something different, it’s a good way to go. For dinner, we’ll have the rest of the The New York Times’ Turkey Mole Verde.

Wednesday: On Wednesday, we’ll enjoy the rest of the turkey and turkey stock in a fun lunch: The New York Times’ Turkey Soup with Lime and Chile. We will make this in advance one night this week; we’ll see how the week is shaping up before we decide whether to make it Monday or Tuesday night. For dinner, we’ll have the last of Food & Wine’s Fennel Garlic Pork Roast, the rest of the roasted butternut squash, and the last of Alton Brown’s Homemade Soft Pretzels.

Thursday: Thursday will be a very busy day. We’ll both be out for lunch, so there’s no entry for the lunch menu. Kim will be out Thursday night at the New York Junior League’s annual Golden Tree Shopping Fair. Golden Tree brings together many different vendors, selling everything from men’s and women’s clothes, to jewelry, to housewares, to food. It’s a fun way to spend an evening and helps raise essential funds for the Junior League. We’ve been every year for the past several years and always found a perfect gift for at least one or two people on our list. Tony will have to figure out dinner on his own, but with all the leftovers we have kicking around, this should not be too difficult!

Friday: Lunch on Friday will be the leftover New York Times’ Turkey Soup with Lime and Chile. We will both be at the Golden Tree event Friday evening and will probably grab a bite out afterward — assuming we can resist filling up on all the great snacks the Junior League will serve, which at past events have included their world-famous pigs in a blanket and mini beef Wellingtons!

Saturday: Tony will be with his brother at their mom’s house Saturday morning. They have plenty of chores to do like raking leaves and cleaning the basement, and will also try to make time to work on the wine bottling project. Tony will have lunch with his mom and brother, and Kim will be on her own. With Golden Tree on this coming Friday, we’ll stay in on Saturday night and make something new and different: The New York Times’ Lamb and White Bean Chili. We’ve featured all kinds of chili on The Two at the Table blog, from Food & Wine’s Winter Vegetable Chili and Tony’s Thunder and Lightning Chili in past month to Elie Krieger’s Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with Ancho and Orange just a few weeks ago. This is our first time making chili with ground lamb, and we’re very curious to see how it turns out!

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