What's Cooking This Week?

spaghetticarbonara.jpg
Photo by Mike King
Spaghetti low-carbonara.
Last week, I spiced up my menu with a punch of fall flavor. This week, inspiration came in the form of my favorite four-letter word: sale. You can put pretty much anything on discount and I'll buy it; I say this as I look at the giant rooster that I just bought at Homegoods on clearance. I've named him Winston, and he currently resides atop my kitchen cabinets.

Anyway, I got some lovely-looking skirt steak and bacon on sale this week at my grocery store, and my menu from evolved from there.

Here's what I'm making:

  • Skirt Steak with Spinach & Mushrooms
  • Steakhouse Salad with Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Whole Grain Spaghetti Carbonara
  • Weeknight Cream of Tomato Soup with Garlic Croutons
  • Fried Egg BLTs & Romaine with Lemon Vinaigrette

    Pantry

  • Cooking oil (I prefer regular olive oil)
  • Cooking spray
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Chicken stock
  • Soy Sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Heavy cream
  • Low-fat milk
  • Butter
  • Low-fat plain yogurt
  • Mayonnaise
  • Parmesan
  • Flour
  • Brown Sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Crushed Red Pepper

  • Ingredients (amount based on servings for 2 with some leftovers)

    • 1 lb skirt steak
    • 1 package thick cut bacon
    • 2 oz Roquefort blue cheese
    • 2 oz Pecorino
    • 1 medium yellow onion
    • 1 medium red onion
    • 1 shallot
    • 1-2 heads garlic
    • 1 small carrot
    • 1-2 lemons
    • 4 vine ripened tomatoes
    • 8 oz cremini mushrooms
    • 1 head romaine lettuce
    • 1 bunch fresh spinach
    • 1 small bunch fresh basil
    • 1 small bunch fresh parsley
    • 6 slices thick cut sourdough or multigrain bread
    • 1 package whole grain spaghetti
    • 1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes

    Day 1: Skirt Steak with Spinach and Mushrooms
    *Makes leftover steak for steakhouse salad

    Rub skirt steak with olive oil, chopped fresh parsley, 2 to 3 cloves minced garlic, salt, pepper, ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce, ½ tbsp brown sugar and ½ tbsp red wine vinegar. Allow to marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.

    Heat grill pan over high heat and coat with cooking spray. Cook steak, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from pan, cover and set aside to rest to allow juices to redistribute.
    *Slice and save ½ for use in steakhouse salad

    Meanwhile, heat large skillet over medium heat and lightly coat with olive oil and butter. Add sliced mushrooms and 2 tbsp minced shallot. Cook until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add 2 cloves minced garlic and cook 1 additional minute. Add fresh spinach leaves, a few splashes of soy sauce, and crushed red pepper, stirring until the spinach has wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

    Squeeze on fresh lemon and serve w/ sliced skirt steak.

    Day 2: Steakhouse Salad with Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing
    *Uses leftover skirt steak
    *Reserve some romaine for side salad

    Prepare chunky blue cheese dressing (can be prepared the night before).

    Toss chopped romaine lettuce, 2 chopped vine ripened tomatoes, and thin slices of ½ red onion. Divide among plates.

    Top steakhouse salad w/ leftover skirt steak and chunky blue cheese dressing.

    Day 3: Whole Grain Spaghetti alla Carbonara
    *Reserve leftover bacon for fried egg BLTs

    Cook two servings of pasta according to instructions (I do one minute less than box instructs for al dente; it will continue to cook in the sauce). Drain pasta and reserve some of the starchy cooking liquid.

    Meanwhile, heat large skillet over medium heat and coat lightly with olive oil. Add 2 to 3 slices of bacon, chopped and cook until browned. Add in 2 to 3 cloves minced garlic and cook for one additional minute.

    Add the hot, drained pasta to the skillet and toss to combine. Beat 2 eggs and mix in ½ cup grated parmesan. Remove pan from heat and stir in egg mixture, mixing quickly as to not scramble the eggs. If needed, thin out the pasta w/ reserved cooking liquid. Season with freshly ground black pepper and toss.

    Serve pasta topped with chopped parsley and freshly grated Pecorino cheese.

    Day 4: Weeknight Cream of Tomato Soup with Garlic Croutons

    Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and coat with olive oil. Add 1 small carrot, shredded, ½ cup shredded yellow onion, and 2 cloves garlic, minced, cooking until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add in 1 cup chicken broth and 1 can crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Once soup boils, stir in ½ cup heavy cream and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes and puree with immersion blender.

    While soup is simmering , heat skillet over medium heat and coat with olive oil. Toss in two slices of bread cut into chunks and season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toast until croutons are browned and crispy and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan.

    Serve hot tomato soup in bowls topped with chopped basil, toasted garlic croutons, and shavings of parmesan.

    Day 5: Fried Egg BLTs & Romaine with Lemon Vinaigrette

    Cook 6 slices of thick cut bacon in oven or skillet and toast 4 slices of thick cut sourdough or multigrain bread.

    Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Cook two eggs, over easy or sunny-side and season with salt and pepper.

    Build BLTs by spreading two slices with mayonnaise, a squeeze of fresh lemon, and freshly ground black pepper. Top with lettuce, thick slices of tomato, bacon, and fried egg. Spread remaining two slices with mayonnaise and top sandwiches.

    Slice and serve w/ romaine lettuce tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

    Enjoy!



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