What's Cooking Next Week?

The short work week was wonderful, as were the meals. Next week's menu plan brings me a romantic date night, breakfast for dinner, and my all-time favorite vinaigrette.

On the menu:

  • Crispy Chicken Salad w/ Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Zucchini & Squash Quiche w/ Mixed Greens
  • Date Night Steak w/ Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Vegetables
  • Potato Leek Soup
  • Cheese Steak Subs w/ Oven Baked Onion Rings

    Pantry Items Cooking oil (I prefer regular olive oil) Cooking spray Balsamic vinegar Red wine vinegar Extra virgin olive oil Butter Sour Cream Dijon mustard Mayonnaise Buttermilk Heavy Cream Chicken stock Eggs Panko Breadcrumbs Flour Brown Sugar Worcestershire sauce Kosher salt Pepper Crushed red pepper Cayenne pepper

    Grocery List - Amts based on servings for 2 people 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or buy in bulk and freeze) 1 - 1½ lb flank steak 1 frozen pie crust 2 sub rolls (I like ciabatta or a crusty whole wheat roll) 4-6 oz cheddar cheese 2 oz Monterey jack cheese (roughly ½ cup shredded) 4-6 oz gruyère 1 large package mixed greens 1 medium leek 2-3 heads garlic 2 large yellow onions 1 small red onion 1-2 plum tomatoes 1 lemon 1 lb red potatoes 1 large or 2 small zucchini 1 large or 2 small yellow squash 1 bunch fresh scallions 1 bunch fresh thyme

    Day 1 - Crispy Chicken Salad w/ Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

    Heat skillet over medium heat and coat lightly with olive oil.

    Season chicken with salt and pepper. Set up breading station. Place flour in one bowl, beaten eggs in another, and panko bread crumbs in a third. Dredge the chicken breasts in flour, shaking off excess. Next, dip into eggs, then into breadcrumbs, pressing gently to coat.

    Cook chicken in skillet until golden brown and cooked through, about 7 minutes on each side depending on the size of the breasts. Set aside to rest, then slice.

    Meanwhile, make the honey balsamic vinaigrette by whisking together ½ tsp Dijon mustard, a few squeezes of honey, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Slowly whisk in ½ cup good extra virgin olive oil.

    Prepare the salad by tossing mixed greens (saving some for later in the week), plum tomato wedges, sliced red onions, and 3 oz of cheddar, cut into chunks. Top with sliced chicken and prepared vinaigrette, saving some for use in a side salad later in the week.

    Day 2 - Zucchini & Squash Quiche w/ Mixed Greens

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    Pre-bake frozen pie crust according to directions.

    Thinly slice 3 cups zucchini and squash, saving remainder for use later in the week. Chop half medium leeks into small pieces, saving remainder for use later in the week.

    Melt 1 tbsp butter in a medium pan and stir in zucchini, squash, and leeks. Cook until vegetables are softened. Sprinkle in 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme and 1 tbsp flour to thicken mixture. Pour into pre-baked pie crust and top with ½ cup shredded gruyère.

    In a bowl, whisk together 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 eggs, 1 cup cream, and freshly ground black pepper. Pour mixture in pie and fill, topping with ½ cup shredded Monterey jack.

    Place quiche in oven and cook for about 30-45 minutes until top is golden and quiche is cooked through.

    Serve a slice with mixed greens tossed with reserved honey balsamic vinaigrette. Leftovers can be used for breakfast throughout the week.

    Day 3 - Date Night Steak w/ Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Vegetables

    Place flank steak in bowl or plastic bag and add in 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1/3 cup olive oil, 2-3 cloves minced garlic, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp cayenne, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, Kosher salt, and fresh black pepper. Marinate for 15 minutes.

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray baking sheet lightly with cooking spray.

    In a bowl, add ½ tsp cayenne, 1 cup lowfat buttermilk, 2 tbsp flour, salt, and pepper. Add ½ cup flour to plastic bag and place panko breadcrumbs in bowl. Slice onions into ½ inch rings. Should make about 12-16 nice-size rings. Save smaller onions for use later in week, and place larger rings into plastic bag with flour, shaking to coat. Dip onions into buttermilk mixture, then into panko breadcrumbs, pressing lightly to coat. Place on baking sheet coated lightly with oil and drizzle extra over rings.

    Slice zucchini and squash and toss in bowl with olive oil, salt, and crushed red pepper. Set on separate baking sheet coated lightly with cooking spray.

    Place both baking sheets in oven and bake, turning halfway through cooking, until vegetables are soft and onion rings are crisp, about 20 minutes. Zucchini and squash may be done before onion rings. If so, remove. Serve 2-3 onion rings per person with steak and save remainder for side dish later in the week.

    Heat a grill pan over high heat. Sear steaks on both sides and cook to your liking; mine is medium rare, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Set aside to rest.

    Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut larger ones in half. Place in pot and cover with water. Boil until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Add in ½ cup buttermilk, 1 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp sour cream, chopped scallions, salt, and pepper. Mash until desired consistency. Taste and re-season if necessary. Save ½ cup for use later in the week.

    Slice steak and serve over mashed potatoes with roasted veggies. Top with 2-3 onion rings. Save remaining steak for use later in the week.

    Day 4 - Potato Leek Soup

    Adapted from Martha Stewart.

    Cut leftover leek in half lengthwise and chop. Melt 1 tsp of butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.

    Add 1¾ cups low sodium chicken stock, ¼ cup water, and 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Whisk in leftover mashed potatoes (½ cup) and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until warmed through. Top with shredded cheddar and chopped scallions.

    Day 5 - Cheese Steak Subs w/ Oven Baked Onion Rings

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    Preheat skillet over medium heat and melt 1 tbsp butter. Chop reserved uncooked onions pieces and add to skillet, cooking until soft and browned. Chop thinly sliced leftover flank steak into small pieces. Add to skillet and top with sliced gruyere to melt.

    Meanwhile, place leftover onion rings on baking sheet and reheat until rings are crisp. Place rolls in oven for minute or two to lightly toast.

    Prepare garlic mayo by combining 2 tbsp mayo, a squeeze of fresh lemon, kosher salt, black pepper, and a bit of minced fresh garlic.

    Spread mayo on rolls and fill with steak and onion mixture. Top with any leftover mixed greens, tomato, or red onions and serve sandwiches alongside oven baked onion rings.

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