I love cooking for my fiancé and me, but most of the time, cooking for two proves to be difficult. If I don't make a plan, I end up running around in circles at the grocery store and wasting half the ingredients I've bought (and I hate wasting food). Enter What's Cooking This Week - my weekly meal plan and grocery guide. This way, I can make the most of my ingredients and my leftovers.
Last week, a quick and easy marinara was spooned over Sausage & Polenta and used for a broiled Chicken Parmigiana. This week, apples take the stage with Bacon, Apple, & Onion Flatbread and a new take on the classic pork Bahn Mi.
Here's the rest of the plan:
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Pantry Items Olive oil (regular and extra virgin) Apple cider vinegar Balsamic vinegar Canola or peanut oil Cooking spray Chicken stock Eggs Butter Dijon mustard Sour cream/Greek yogurt Mayonnaise Honey Sugar Sesame oil Soy sauce Sriracha Ground ginger Kosher salt Pepper
Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers ½ lb shrimp 1 lb pork loin 1 package bacon 2 apples 1 yellow onion 1 red onion 12-15 baby red or yellow potatoes 1 head garlic 1 large package fresh arugula 1 bunch fresh rosemary or thyme 2 carrots 1 small bunch daikon radishes 2 oz gruyere, fontina, or sharp white cheddar 1 small container apple cider (optional) 1 pizza dough (whole wheat) 1 loaf good quality French bread
Day 1 - Shrimp & Arugula Salad w/ Bacon Vinaigrette
Wash, peel, and de-vein shrimp. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat grill pan over medium-high heat and coat lightly with oil. Add shrimp and grill, turning once, until opaque and just cooked through, about 1-3 minutes per side depending on size of shrimp.
Meanwhile, cook and crumble 2 strips of bacon, reserving drippings.
Whisk ½ tbsp bacon drippings with 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp cider vinegar, 1 tsp Dijon, and 1 tsp honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toss ½ package of arugula with bacon vinaigrette and top with grilled shrimp and freshly ground black pepper.
Day 2 - Apple & Pork Bahn Mi w/ Carrot Slaw
Peel and cut carrots into long thin sticks. Wash and cut radishes into sticks of same thickness. Place in bowl.
Whisk together 2 tbsp water, 2 tbsp cider vinegar, 2 tsp sugar, and ½ tsp salt. Pour mixture over vegetables and set aside for 30 minutes.
Slice pork loin into ½ inch thick pieces. *Reserve half for use in day 3.
Place pieces between two pieces of plastic and use a pan or mallet to flatten loin to ¼-inch thickness.
In a shallow container or plastic bag, combine 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tbsp fish sauce, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp chopped onion, 1 tsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp canola oil, and 1 tsp ginger. Place in fridge to marinate for 30 minutes.
Heat grill pan or cast iron skillet over high-heat and coat with cooking spray. Add pork slices and cook until meat is browned and cooked through, about 1-2 minutes per side.
Peel and cut 1 apple into long thin strips.
Slice baguette and spread bottom half with mayonnaise. Add pork, sliced apple, and carrot slaw. Serve topped with Sriracha.
Day 3 - Pork Loin w/ Cider Pan Sauce & Crispy Smashed Potatoes *Makes Smashed Potatoes for Zucchini & Potato Hash
Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with 2 inches of water. Add salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain and let cool.
Place cooled potatoes on a flat surface and use the palm of your hand to gently smash.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and coat with olive oil. Add 1-2 cloves halved garlic and cook until fragrant. Remove garlic and add smashed potatoes, cooking until browned crisp on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. *Reserve half for use in day 5.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and coat with canola or peanut oil. Season both sides of remaining sliced pork loin with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of chopped fresh rosemary/thyme. Add to skillet and cook, turning once, until golden-brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
To same pan, add 2 cloves minced garlic. Cook for 30 seconds then add 1 tbsp cider vinegar, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, and ¼ cup chicken stock + ¼ cup apple cider (or 1/2 cup chicken stock), stirring and using a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits. Bring to a bubble then reduce heat to simmer until sauce has reduced by half. Stir in ½ tbsp butter to finish sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon pan sauce over pork and serve with smashed potatoes and a handful of arugula, tossed with extra virgin olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
Day 4 - Apple, Bacon & Onion Flatbread
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Chop 3 slices bacon and cook in a skillet. Remove from pan and set aside.
Drain pan, reserving some of the bacon drippings and add back to medium-heat. Add in sliced red onion and peeled and sliced apple. Cook, tossing, until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add chopped bacon, ½ tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, salt and pepper.
Roll out pizza dough onto pizza stone, crisper, or baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Spread with onion and apple mixture and top with shredded cheese.
Bake until flatbread is crisp and cheese is bubbling, about 10-12 minutes. (Alternatively, dough can be brushed with olive oil and grilled until charred on both sides. Top with mixture and cheese and return to grill, covering to melt cheese.)
Serve flatbreads hot with a side of arugula tossed with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon, salt and pepper.
Day 5 - Zucchini & Potato Hash w/ Fried Eggs *Uses leftover Smashed Potatoes
Cook 4 slices chopped bacon over medium-high heat. Remove from pan and add remaining yellow onion, chopped, cooking until softened. Add in 2 cloves minced garlic and 1 chopped zucchini, cooking until crisp, about 5 minutes. Chop leftover smashed potatoes and mix in, cooking until crisp. Season to taste.
Top hash with eggs and serve with a dollop of sour cream and Sriracha.