Another week, another menu. Last week, I enjoyed a delicious cream of tomato soup and an equally awesome fried egg BLT. I enjoyed them so much, actually, that I'm putting another soup and grilled sandwich in the plans for this week. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Here's what I'm making:
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Pantry Cooking oil (I prefer regular olive oil) Cooking spray Extra virgin olive oil Balsamic vinegar Maple syrup Chicken stock Seafood stock Tomato Paste Half and Half Butter Sour Cream Parmesan Flour Sugar Kosher salt Pepper Garlic Powder Crushed Red Pepper Chili Powder Cayenne Pepper
Ingredients - amts based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers 1 lb Italian turkey sausage (hot or sweet) ½ lb large shrimp 4 oz Manchego cheese 1 medium yellow onion 1 medium red onion 2 leek stalks 1-2 heads garlic 1 lemon 1 medium butternut squash 1 bunch kale 1 red pepper 1 zucchini 1 red potato 1 bunch grapes (optional side for frittata) 1 small package mushrooms 1 small bag of mixed greens for side salad 1 crusty loaf of sourdough 1 package orrechiette ½ cup Cognac
Day 1 - Shrimp Bisque w/ Mixed Greens adapted from Ina Garten's recipe
Peel, clean and de-vein shrimp, reserving shells. Place shells in seafood stock and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and reserve stock.
Meanwhile, heat a large pot over medium heat and coat with olive oil. Add 1 cup chopped leeks and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cloves minced garlic, a pinch of cayenne, salt and pepper and cook for one more minute.
Chop the shrimp into large chunks and add to pot, setting ¼ of the shrimp aside. Cook until shrimp are no longer translucent, about 3 minutes. Add ¼ cup Cognac and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove from pot and chop in a food processor until coarsely pureed.
In the same pot, melt 2 tbsp butter over medium-low heat before mixing in 1½ tbsp flour. Slowly add in 1 cup of half and half and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring until thickened. Stir in pureed shrimp mixture, 3 tbsp tomato paste, salt and pepper. Slowly add in the stock, about 2 cups, stirring until desired consistency. Add in reserved chopped shrimp chunks. Cook until hot but not boiling, adding more tomato paste or half and half if needed.
Meanwhile, crisp a large chunk of the crusty sourdough loaf in the oven. *Reserve 4 slices sourdough bread for day 5 before toasting.
Serve soup hot with chunk of crusty sourdough and mixed greens tossed with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Day 2 - Hot Italian Turkey Sausage w/ Roasted Vegetables *Makes leftover roasted vegetables for use in Roasted Vegetable Frittata.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Clean and cut potato, zucchini, red onion, and red pepper into chunks and wedges. Toss with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a few cloves of chopped garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper. Place in large roasting pan coated with cooking spray and cook for 15 minutes. Give the vegetables a toss and nestle in ½ lb turkey sausage links. Cook for another 20-25 minutes, turning sausages halfway through to brown on all sides. *Reserve ½ vegetables for use in day 3.
Remove and serve with any leftover mixed greens tossed with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
Day 3 - Roasted Vegetable Frittata
Preheat the broiler to high.
Mix together 4 eggs, 1 tbsp water, ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese and crushed black pepper. Set aside.
Heat an oven-safe skillet over medium heat and melt 1 tbsp butter. Add ½ cup chopped red onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add leftover roasted vegetables to pan and cover with egg mixture. Cover and reduce heat to low, cooking until eggs are almost set, about 6-8 minutes.
Sprinkle the frittata with grated manchego cheese and place under broiler until top sets and cheese starts to brown, about 3 minutes. *Reserve remaining manchego for use in day 5.
Slice and serve with a dollop of sour cream and a side of juicy grapes.
Day 4 - Orecchiette w/ Turkey Sausage, Squash, & Kale
Peel, seed, and cut in half. Chop one half into ½ inch pieces. *Reserve other half for use in day 5
Heat large skillet over medium and coat with olive oil. Remove remaining ½ lb sausage from links and add crumbled meat to skillet. Cook until browned and cook through, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from skillet and discard excess fat.
To same skillet, add chopped butternut squash, cooking until soft and golden, about 8 minutes. Add 3 cloves minced garlic and sausage back to skillet, cooking an additional minute. Stir and season with crushed red pepper.
Meanwhile, boil large pot of water and add 1 cup chopped kale, cooking for 3-4 minutes until wilted. Remove from pot and cook 2 servings of pasta according to instructions (I do 1 minute less than box for a nice al dente - it will continue to cook in the sauce). Drain pasta, reserving some of the starchy cooking liquid.
To skillet with squash and sausage mixture, add wilted kale and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add pasta and reserved starchy cooking liquid. Stir in ¼ cup grated parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil and toss to coat.
Serve topped with extra grated parmesan.
Day 5 - Squash, Manchego, & Balsamic-Onion Grilled Cheese adapted from Jeff Mauro's recipe
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Slice remaining squash into ½ inch slices. Toss the squash with the melted butter, maple syrup, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Place on lined baking sheet and roast until golden and soft, about 20 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add sliced yellow onion and cook, without stirring, until onions begin to develop a deep brown color, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp sugar, salt and pepper. Cook until onion mixture has thickened and caramelized, about another 15 minutes.
Butter 4 slices of sourdough. On the unbuttered side of two of the slices, add sliced manchego, squash, caramelized onion, and more manchego. Close with the other slices, buttered side up.
Heat a griddle or pan over medium heat and coat with butter. Grill until cheese is gooey and bread is crisped and browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Slice and serve.