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Some time to breathe again (and Menu Monday)

Dec 30, 2010 08:59PM, Published by Anonymous, Categories: Eat+Drink+Shop



Today is Christmas. I’m lying on my parents’ couch in Fountain Hills, Ariz., watching Miracle on 34th Street, with my 28-year-old sister on the couch next to me. Often, planning weekly meals for my fiancé and me is done hastily, with a quick scan through the Safeway circulars and a little bit of checking up on recipe websites if I have an extra moment between meetings, blog updates, and writing the “Buzz” column for the magazines.

Today I’m taking my time. As I watch what is my favorite Christmas movie of all time, I can leisurely browse food blogs and really think about what I want to cook this week. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

Monday: Ineffectual Eggplant Parmigiana, roasted broccoli, French bread slices

On my vacation, I’m reading the book I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti, a memoir by Giulia Melucci. Sprinkled throughout the book are delicious-sounding recipes, many of them for pasta dishes. It has made me hungry for a dish rich with fresh tomato sauce, herbs, cheese, and, of course, pasta. This particular version of eggplant parmesan, titled “ineffectual” because it didn’t have any impact on saving her current relationship, uses red wine, walnuts, and both Parmigiano and mozzarella cheeses.

Tuesday: Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Gratin, gnocchi with mushroom sauce

In the not-too-distant past, author and New York Times columnist Mark Bittman began writing articles as a “Temporary Vegetarian,” a concept I can totally get behind. I enjoy a delicious steak nearly as much as anyone else, but I truthfully think I often prefer a grain- and vegetable-based meal. I’ve only made gnocchi once before, and hopefully I can get it to have enough bite so the texture of the gnocchi counteracts the creaminess of the sweet potatoes and goat cheese.

Wednesday: Spicy Shrimp and Noodle Soup, Green salad with Asian-style vinaigrette

These days, it seems I can’t go a week without making a big batch of soup. I’ve basically been rotating between three very similar soups: Homemade chicken noodle, matzo ball soup, and this spicy shrimp and noodle (which is my favorite).

Thursday: Orange-glazed fish, sweet potato fries, lemon green beans

I’m using tilapia, only because it’s what I already have in my freezer.

Friday: Heading to a friend’s house in lower Delaware for a New Year’s Eve party. I’m sure I’ll make something to contribute, but I haven’t quite decided what yet.



the bent fork


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