Menu for the Week of April 9, 2017

This Week’s Menu:Two at the Table Menu Week of Apr 9 2017

Last week was our super-fun trip to the Catapano Dairy Farm. This week, on Sunday specifically, we’ll be enjoying some of the goat cheese we purchased during our visit. To start, we’ll have Goat Cheese Crostini topped with My Recipe’s Mixed Olive Tapenade. As our main course, we’ll have an old favorite: Ina Garten’s Chicken with Goat Cheese and Sun Dried Tomato. For dessert, we’ll make a cheese, fruit, and nut board featuring Catapano’s Peconic Bel, a semi-firm sheep milk cheese.

We’ll both have nights when we’re on our own this week. Kim will be on her own on Monday, when Tony goes to the Yankees’ home opener with friends he made during a past life as a health care consultant. While Tony will be home in time for dinner, he won’t be hungry after an afternoon’s worth of eating and drinking. Kim will be at a meeting of the New York Junior League on Wednesday, so Tony will visit his mom for dinner.

In between our two nights on our own, we’ll make a dish we enjoyed once before: A Spicy Perspective’s Garlic Lime Oven Baked Salmon. We’ll make a side salad of our own devising of avocado, red grapefruit, and red onion, with a dressing made from special red wine vinegar. What makes it special is that it was made (albeit unintentionally) from a batch of Tony’s dad’s homemade wine. We’re very anxious to try the vinegar, because if it’s good, there are about 4 more gallons of it!

We’ll try a new recipe on Thursday in the form of Food & Wine’s Red Wine BBQ Chicken. We were very confused by one of the ingredients, as we have no idea what “left over” red wine is, but we’ll figure it out. This dish was originally penciled in for Tuesday, but when we decided to make the salmon, it made more sense to have the salmon earlier in the week.

Tony had originally written in another recipe for Friday – Stovetop Chicken and Dumplings – but when Kim pointed out that would mean having chicken three nights in six days, we replaced that recipe with one that Kim found: Food 52’s Curried Lentils with Coconut Milk. We’ve had some good success with Indian-inspired food (like The Kitchn’s 30-Minute Green Curry Braised Salmon) as well as lentils (like Ina Garten’s Salmon with Lentils), so we thought it would be fun to combine the two.

We’ll have dinner out on Saturday night, probably Italian. One of our favorites Italian places on the Upper West Side – Pesce Pasta – closed recently and will reopen as a new restaurant – Il Gusto – sometime soon. In the meantime, Kim is on a quest to find another local place that makes Linguini and Clams that are as good as Pesce Pasta’s were. We’ll let you know what we find!

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Menu for the Week of April 2, 2017

This Week’s Menu: Two at the Table Menu Week of April 2, 2017

We’re back! We’ve had a very busy start to the year and while we’ve been planning our weekly menus and cooking a lot of fun dishes (like Food & Wine’s Piri Piri Chicken with Crispy Potatoes and Southern Living’s Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya), we have not had time to post our menus. Now that spring is upon us and summer is not too far away, we’re going to get back to posting as regularly as we can.

This Saturday, we took our annual early spring trip to the North Fork of Long Island. The farmstands were still closed for the offseason, so we weren’t able to buy the beautiful heirloom tomatoes and fresh sweet corn that we look forward to so much. We were, however, able to visit the Southold Fish Market and buy the super-fresh seafood that we already enjoyed last night and will enjoy tonight and tomorrow night as well. We should also mention that we visited the Catapano Dairy Farm, where we not only purchased a lot of goat cheese but also got to play with a two-week old baby goat.

Dinner Saturday night — Beer Steamed Mussels and Clams — featured, as one would expect, lots of fresh mussels and clams. We started with some smoked bluefish pate (also from the Southold Fish Market), which we ate on slices of French baguette from The Blue Duck Bakery Cafe in Greenport. We paired the pate with a beer from the Greenport Harbor Brewing Company: their hoppy Otherside IPA. We managed to save one cup of beer to cook with and used it to steam the mussels and clams, which we enjoyed with the rest of the bread and more beer.

The Southhold Fish Market was featuring Peconic Bay scallops, so we decided we needed to make Ina Garten’s Coquilles St. Jacques, which we have enjoyed a few times before. The recipe comes from Ina’s Make It Ahead cookbook. While we typically don’t make things ahead, the amount of scallops we bought is more than we can eat in one sitting, so we’ll prep three servings of this dish, but only cook two tonight. Tony will have the third serving tomorrow, while Kim is at a meeting of the New York Junior League.

For his birthday, Tony asked for and received a sausage making class at White Gold Butchers. He thoroughly enjoyed the class and came home with about two pounds of fresh Italian sausage. We used half of it to make sausage and polenta and will pull the remainder out of the freezer and use it on Tuesday to make One-Pot Sausage and Peppers Pasta

Kim has another Junior League meeting on Wednesday, so Tony will head to Astoria to have dinner with his mom.

We’ve been making more Asian influenced dishes recently, and will make another on Thursday: Food and Wine’s Lemongrass-Scented Chicken with Honey Dipping Sauce. The chicken needs to marinate overnight, but that will be the easy part. Since we weren’t able to get the main ingredient — boneless, skin-on chicken breasts — Kim is going to try her hand at butchering a bone-in, skin-on chicken breast. 

We have plans to see a concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Saturday night, so we’ll probably have dinner somewhere near Columbus Circle, but Kim picked out a great recipe for Friday night: The Kitchn’s Baked Croque Monsieur Casserole. This recipe takes the traditional croque monsieur sandwich and casserole-ifies it. It should make for a very fun dinner and at least one or two brunches over the weekend.

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Menu for the Week of January 1, 2017

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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

 

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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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