Being home for dinner for four evenings during a week is cause for celebration. And, cause for creating a menu. Well, a semblance of a menu. In reality it's a list of dishes I'd like to make during the week for dinners and lunches. I had a Cuisine at Home and a Rachael Ray magazine in the car along with Gastro Grilling. We were heading to Sam's so I knew a rotisserie chicken was in our future. There's a package of lamb chops to use up. Connie requested the linguine. We've still got plenty of Swiss chard in the garden. And, there's the rest of a bag of onion rolls to use up. Here's what's on our list for this week:
lamb chops with pine nut, mint and goat cheese pesto
cherry turkey arugula sandwiches
chicken salad sandwiches
swiss chard slaw
linguine with clam sauce
roasted asparagus and cherry tomatoes
watermelon with mint cream
Secret Recipe Club baking project
Now, I need to turn that into a real menu!
We started on Saturday with the usual after the office shopping route: Penzeys, Trader Joes, Sams and Marsh. Home by 6:30. We both really wanted the eggplant involtini. It's one of those dishes we both crave. I pulled the recipe up on the blog. But, along the way I looked at all the other eggplant dishes we've made. YUM! I'm looking forward to our eggplants from our garden!!
What from the list would go well? The Swiss chard slaw. Actually, the recipe was written for collard greens. I was, as usual, substituting. I also substituted red onion for the scallions since the scallions I thought I had had been used up...
What did we think? Fantastic. The only thing I might think about doing differently is swapping some of the cider vinegar for balsamic to sweeten the dish just a tiny bit.
Swiss Chard Slaw
1 lb Swiss chard (I used two mongo leaves - see photo)
1 c julienned carrots
1 c sliced scallions (I substituted 1/2 a medium red onion)
1/2 c chopped pecans, toasted (see instructions for what I did with these)
1 t butter
1 t Cajun seasoning
4 strips thick-sliced bacon, diced
1/2 c cider vinegar
1 T each sugar and minced garlic
2 t dry mustard
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a small skillet, cook the diced bacon. While it's cooking, one at a time lay the Swiss Chard leaves on a cutting board and cut out the center ribs.
Once both leaves are de-ribbed, lay one on top of the other then roll the chard. Slice it thinly.
Then, slice once down the middle so you've got manageable sized strips.
Wash the chard in a salad spinner or wash and pat it dry. Julienne the carrots and onions. In another small skillet, put about a teaspoon of butter. Add the pecans and some Cajun seasoning (I use Emeril's recipe.)
In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, sugar, minced garlic and dry mustard. Now, you're ready to start putting this together. Remove the bacon from the grease and drain it. Add the vinegar mixture into the warm bacon grease. Toss everything together and allow the slaw to sit for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.
And, yes, that's really critical as the flavors blend and soften considerably over the 30 minutes.
adapted from Cuisine at Home