Monday, November 26, 2012

No Turkey in Sight: Weekly Menu 11/26

Bacon Macaroni Casserole, Italian Meatball Sliders, Korean Pork Tenderloin, Salmon with Hoisin Glaze

Hi friends. Since the last week included a trip out of town and the big turkey day, I haven't been up to my usual dinner routine... or any routine, for that matter. So for the Weekly Menu, I decided to round up some of my personal favorites from the past few months that include NO TURKEY because you may be completely over the leftovers.



Bacon Macaroni Casserole

Macaroni and cheese casserole with bacon

I can't imagine what you'd do to lighten this dish, so please, don't even try. Just love it an all its bacon-y, cheesy glory. I always double this recipe.

Sides: This can be a one-dish meal, but something cool like a green salad on the side would work well.

  •  Buy pre-chopped onion found in produce section
Make Ahead Notes
  • Cook pasta ahead of time, rinse well in cold water and set aside, covered, to use later
  • Chop onion
  • Cook bacon and onions
  • Assemble casserole ahead, refrigerate and bake when ready
  • 8 oz. uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 lb. bacon
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can of condensed tomato soup
  • 1 cup milk
  •  Preheat oven to 375.
  • Cook macaroni according to package directions. (Note: It's actually better to slightly under cook pasta that will be baked. If the package calls for noodles to be boiled for 9 minutes, cook them for 6-7 minutes instead.)
  • Cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to drain on paper towels. Reserve two tablespoons of bacon drippings in pan. Cook onion in reserved bacon drippings until tender. 
  • Combine macaroni, bacon, onion, cheese, tomato soup and milk.
  • Turn into a two quart casserole and bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Cover lightly after 30 minutes if bacon is becoming too browned.
 I have no idea where this recipe came from originally!

Korean Style Pork Tenderloin 

Korean Pork Tenderloin - easy meals to marinate
 The cooking technique for this pork dish pretty much guarantees it will be juicy. A little pink in the center is okay, and be sure to give the pork a few minutes to rest before slicing.

Sides: Trader Joe's Vegetable Fried Rice and steamed green beans drizzled with sesame oil

  • Use pre-trimmed, washed green beans
  • Use jarred, minced ginger and garlic
Make Ahead Notes: 
  •  Assemble marinade in large Ziploc and add pork to marinate in the morning
  • Place green beans in a steamer bag to microwave later
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed 
  • Cooking spray 
  • Combine first 7 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add pork. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.
  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Heat a large ovenproof skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Remove pork from bag, reserving marinade. Add pork to pan; cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides.
  • Place pan in oven; bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 160° (medium) or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Bring reserved marinade to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Cut pork into 1/4-inch-thick slices; serve with sauce.
TO FREEZE: Assemble marinade in Ziploc and add pork. Freeze immediately. While thawing, the pork will have plenty of time to marinate. Just be sure to give the bag a few good squeezes to mix up the marinade again. To prepare, thaw completely and cook as directed above.

Salmon with Hoisin Glaze

 This photo does not really do the dish justice, but trust me on this one.

Sides: Steamed edamame beans and pan-fried pot stickers (I like Trader Joe's). Serve pot stickers with soy sauce seasoned with a few drops each of sesame oil and rice vinegar.

Make Ahead Tips:
  • Combine the sauce for the salmon; marinate the salmon
  • Combine the dipping sauce for the pot stickers
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless wild salmon fillets
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Combine first 3 ingredients in a shallow dish, such as a pie plate. Add fish to dish, turning to coat. Marinate at room temperature 8 minutes, turning occasionally
  • Remove fish from marinade; discard marinade. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle fish evenly with sesame seeds. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
  Recipe is originally from MyRecipes

Italian Meatball Sliders

  The sliders are easy, but take a bit longer to prepare, so save this one for a Sunday or a relaxed weeknight. I double the recipe, which means cooking the meatballs in batches. Cool any extra cooked meatballs completely and freeze for another night.

Side: Spinach and mozzarella salad - find the recipe on Cooking Light

Make Ahead Notes:
  • Chop up shallots for meatballs and bell pepper, onion and mozzarella for salad; cover and store in the fridge for later. Store mozzarella separately.
  • Rinse and dry basil leaves
  • Measure out dry seasonings in a small bowl
Ingredients for shopping list:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil + more for salad
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 shallots, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces lean ground pork
  • 2 (4-ounce) links turkey Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½  cups lower-sodium marinara sauce
  • 12 slider buns, toasted
  • 12 basil leaves 
  • 1 cup julienne cut red bell pepper
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • About 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mozzarella
  • Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat; swirl to coat. Add garlic and shallots to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until shallots are softened, stirring frequently. Combine shallot mixture, ricotta, and next 8 ingredients (through egg) in a medium bowl. Shape mixture into 12 (1-inch) meatballs; flatten each meatball slightly.
  • 2. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to pan. Add meatballs to pan; cook 6 minutes, turning once. Add marinara sauce; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until meatballs are done. Top bottom half of each bun with 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce, 1 meatball, 1 basil leaf, and top half of bun.

Directions for salad: Combine red bell pepper, red onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar in a large bowl; let stand 15 minutes. Add the baby spinach, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Toss. Top with the fresh mozzarella.

 Find the recipe on MyRecipes

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