Monday, January 29, 2007

What's for dinner the week of January 29?

The freezer needs to be defrosted so we've been trying to clear it out by planning menus around its contents rather than what's on special at the grocery this week. Making some headway but it can get boring without forethought.

Today I grabbed a pound of sweet Italian sausage, a quart of pork broth (from cooking a fresh pork shoulder in the roaster oven a few weeks ago), 10 boneless chicken thighs, a package of cheese ravioli, 6 cups of chopped red cabbage, 4 leftover hamburger buns, some dressing, and 6 pork chops I cut from a large boneless pork loin purchased back in October. (Always seems to be the least expensive way to have chops around here.) These things will be the basis of several days (most of the week?) worth of meals and hopefully give DH a few frozen MREs for dinners at work.

I pulled the casing off the Italian sausage and tossed it into a pot with some chopped onions. Broke up the meat as it sizzled, adding about a cup of sliced mushrooms along the way, then drained off the oil. Next I poured in 2 quarts of home-canned plum tomatoes along with their juice and added a teaspoon of kosher salt and black pepper. A mini-muffin-sized chunk of frozen homemade pesto went into the pot along with a 1/2 tsp. or so of dried oregano after the other ingredients had simmered for about 45 minutes. I left that to simmer on low while I boiled the mini-cheese ravioli and added them to the soup pot just before serving. Yum! It was pretty good for a throw-it-in-the-pot-as-you-go recipe.

The hamburger buns helped round out the meal a bit as I spread garlic butter on their cut sides and heated them in the toaster oven till browned. DS peeled carrots and prepped celery to go along with the main dish and we called it done!

The chicken is thawing in the fridge for tomorrow's cooking spree (tho all I know at the moment is whatever I fix will include the dressing as an ingredient) and I'm going to brown the chops and make an oven dish a la Barbara Goodfellow and her Make It Now, Bake It Later! recipes. (A friend gave me the original books years ago but it's nice to see there's an updated book available as some of the original recipes had become very dated!)

Oh, the pork broth went into a small slow cooker with 2 quarts of home-canned green beans and a little kosher salt. I added 4 (still unsprouted! Yay!) homegrown potatoes (chopped) to the pot after the first hour or so on high and they're done now and ready to cool for fridge storage. The beans will be reheated for lunch and/or dinner tomorrow.

And in the morning the red cabbage will be simmered in its own thawed juice along with a little chopped onion and a couple of diced apples (peels still attached). I'll add about 3 tbs cider vinegar and the same amount of sucanat (or brown sugar) after the cabbage is tender and let it simmer another 15 minutes or so. Then serve it for lunch with either the chicken or pork chops -- whatever sounds best at the time of decision.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a couple of Barbara Goodfellow's "Make It Now, Bake It Later" books, too! Didn't realize they were so popular till I ran across a reprise of sorts written by her son and daughter-in-law.