Sunday, January 20, 2013

Brrrrr. Just brrrrr. (January 20 - 24)

The wind is whipping outside, and our little temperature gauge appears to be hovering between 12 and 14 degrees, depending on whether the sun is hitting it directly or not. So I thought it was a good time to think about what to cook, and to especially try to cook using things we already have, negating the need for a grocery store visit today.

Here's our plan. Stay warm.

Roasted venison chops
Brussels sprouts
Sweet potatoes

This is going to be an all-oven meal -- thus helping to keep the house even warmer. I don't know a temperature for the oven, but probably in the range of 425 -- that should be a good compromise for all the things that will be going in in there. We'll pan-sear the venison chop (it's about the size of a pork tenderloin, give or take) and finish it in the oven. We like it pretty rare, so we'll try to get the outside crispy and keep the inside nice and juicy. After we pull it we'll let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it thin.

We'll halve and roast the brussels sprouts, tossing them with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. If we're feeling indulgent, maybe some parmesan cheese sprinkled on top for the last 5 minutes of cooking. The sprouts can probably go for 20 - 30 minutes, until they start to brown and some of the individual leaves that have fallen off get crispy, like little brussels sprouts potato chips.

And we'll chop the sweet potatoes into cube-sized chunks, toss them with olive oil and some lovely seasoning (maybe cumin, or chile powder of some kind, or both) and spread out on a cookie sheet and bake. Again, about 30 minutes, I think.

We might make a little sauce with some sauteed mushrooms and garlic and red wine for the venison.

  Veggie minestrone.
 I'll cook this on Sunday -- I've started making a soup for every Monday night, but making it on Sunday when I have more time. I get to have yummy soup every Monday, and leftovers for lunch the rest of the week, and it gets time to meld and make that good day-after flavor for the first go-round. And I get to use my enamel soup pot -- sometimes both of them going at once, if I need one for Sunday dinner too. Here's what our stove looked like last week:
The green one had stew for Sunday, the red one had soup for Monday.  The house smelled really really good.

Parmesan crusted tilapia

Spaghetti squash with tomato sauce

Just like it sounds -- I'll cook a spaghetti squash ahead of time, then heat enough of the "noodles" up to make dinner (we'll freeze the rest in single-serving freezer bags). I'll stir in some spinach leaves, maybe saute some onion and add that as well. I'm just using tomato sauce from a jar and sprinkle with some shredded parmesan.

Mongolian beef
Fried rice (with red pepper, carrot, onion, zucchini, spinach, and peas)
Crab wontons (we made a big batch on New Year's Day and froze some -- so I'll give the frozen ones a try and see how they worked).

Have a great week!

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