I love cooking for my fiancé and planning meals for us, 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 ingredient's 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, Pork Chops were served with homemade applesauce and re-used for Italian Cutlet Sandwiches. This week, a peppery Cauliflower Purée is served alongside roasted snapper and remade into a Cauliflower & Leek Soup.
Here's the rest of the plan:
Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers
Day 1 - Mustard-Roasted Snapper w/ Cauliflower Puree snapper recipe adapted from Ina Garten *Makes leftover Cauliflower Puree
Trim cauliflower and chop into florets. Add to pot along with 3/4 cup chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth, adding a bit of broth if needed. Stir in 1 tbsp butter and 1-2 tbsp crème fraiche. Season with salt and pepper to taste. *Reserve 1 cup for use in day 2.
Meanwhile, preheat oven 425 degrees. Place fish skin-side down in a baking dish. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Stir together 4 oz crème fraîche, 1½ tbsp Dijon mustard, ½ tbsp whole grain mustard, 1 tbsp minced shallots, and 1 tsp rinsed and drained capers. Spoon over fish, spreading to cover completely. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until fish is flaky at its thickest part.
Spoon any sauce from baking dish over the top and serve with cauliflower purée. Top with chopped fresh parsley and freshly ground black pepper.
Day 2 - Cauliflower & Leek Soup w/ Crumbled Bacon *Uses leftover Cauliflower Puree
Cook 1 strip bacon and break into crumbles.
Rinse leek well and pat dry. Using the white and green parts of the leek only, cut in half lengthwise and chop into slices. *Reserve half the sliced leek for use in day 4.
Melt 1 tsp of butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and paprika. Add 2 cups low sodium chicken stock and ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Whisk in leftover mashed cauliflower (1 cup) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until warmed through.
Top with crumbled bacon, a dollop of crème fraiche, and chopped fresh parsley.
Day 3 - Chicken Picatta w/ Mixed Greens *Makes leftover Pan-Seared Chicken Cutlets
Place chicken pieces in plastic wrap and use the back of a pan or a mallet to pound thin. Season both sides with salt and pepper and dredge in flour seasoned with a bit of paprika.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and coat lightly with oil and butter. Cook cutlets, flipping once, until golden browned and cooked through. Remove from pan and reduce heat to medium-low. *Reserve half for use in day 5.
Add a bit more oil if needed and add in 2 cloves minced garlic, cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk together ¼ cup chicken stock, 2 tbsp lemon juice, and 1 tsp flour. Add to pan and simmer until reduced and thickened. Add 1 tbsp rinsed and drained capers, and chopped fresh parsley. Swirl in a small pat of butter to finish, mixing until sauce is silky. Add chicken back to pan to warm through.
Serve chicken drizzled with sauce alongside mixed greens tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Top with pecorino cheese. Reserve two handfuls of mixed greens for use in day 5.
Day 4 - Spaghetti Carbonara w/ Leeks
Cook 2 servings of pasta according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat and coat lightly with olive oil. Add 2 slices of chopped bacon and leftover sliced leeks, cooking until leeks have softened and bacon is browned. Mix in 1-2 cloves minced garlic and cook for another minute. Add cooked pasta and toss to combine.
In a small bowl, stir 1 to 2 eggs with 2 tsp. water. Remove pan from heat and stir in egg mixture, whisking quickly until a thick sauce forms. Stir in 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve hot topped with chopped fresh parsley and more cheese if desired.
Day 5 - Spicy Chicken Pita Pockets *Uses leftover Pan-Seared Chicken Cutlets
Chop leftover chicken. Heat 1 pat of butter and 1 clove minced garlic in a sauce pan. Add 2 tbsp hot sauce, 1 tbsp water, and chopped chicken, cooking until warmed through.
Meanwhile, stir together 1 tbsp crème fraiche, 1 tsp water, and crumbled blue cheese. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Slice open pita pockets and lightly toast. Fill with mixed greens, chopped chicken, sliced red onion, and sliced tomato.
Serve drizzled with crème fraîche blue cheese.