Monday, February 01, 2010

menu planning monday: slowing down

we've been living a fast-paced, go-go-go, do-do-do life for the past 5 days and now it's time to sloooow it down. birthday parties are over and cleaned up, the houseguests are packing and saying goodbye, Hubby went back to work, the dust is settling, and i almost have my kitchen (and my routines) back to myself.

here is my menu for the week with links and recipes:

monday: BBQ Chicken and Cornbread Casserole in the Crockpot
tuesday: Tostada bar
wednesday: Cacciatore Burgers
thursday: family night, no cooking
friday: Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup in the Crockpot

BBQ Chicken and Cornbread Casserole from
-1 pound of cooked, or practically cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
-1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks (optional.)
-1 red onion, diced
-1 cup frozen or fresh corn
-1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (18 oz)
-1/4 cup hot water

cornbread topping:
use a mix (I like Jiffy brand) and follow the directions on the box (minus the oil or butter), or mix together the following:
-3/4 cup corn meal
-1 1/4 cups of flour
-1 cup milk
-1/4 cup sugar
-1 egg
-1 tsp baking powder (only if using regular all-purpose flour)

Spray the inside of your stoneware with cooking spray. Cut up the chicken and sweet potato, and add to the crock. Add the corn. Empty the contents of the barbecue sauce bottle, and then add 1/4 cup of hot water to the bottle, shake, and pour that out, too. Mix well with a spoon.
In a separate bowl, mix together the cornbread topping. Spread the topping on to the chicken mixture.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Ours cooked on low for exactly 6. If you are planning on being out of the house, cook for the shorter amount of time. You can always switch to high to brown the top when you get home.

Cacciatore Burgers from Rachel Ray via
-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
-1 1/3 lbs ground chicken or ground turkey
-1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
-4 garlic cloves (2 cloves, minced and 2 cloves cracked from skins and reserved)
-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
-1 medium yellow onion (1/4 finely chopped, 3/4 thinly sliced)
-2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
-10 fresh basil leaves, shredded
-parmigiano-reggiano cheese
-fresh ground black pepper
-2 portobello mushroom caps, thinly sliced
-2 cubanelle peppers, seeded and sliced (I will probably omit this)
-2 hot cherry peppers, chopped (plus a splash of the pickling juice) (and this)
-4 slices provolone cheese, deli sliced

Preheat a large skillet or grill pan over med-high heat.
Drizzle some olive oil in a bowl; add to it the chicken, Worcestershire sauce, chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, chopped onions, parsley, basil, Parmigiano (a generous palmful), salt, and pepper.
Combine mixture; for into 4 large patties; place patties on hot skillet; cook 6 minutes, then flip burgers and cook 5 minutes on the other side.
Heat a second skillet over med-high heat; add 1 tablespoon olive oil; add in the mushroom caps, sliced onions and cubanelle peppers.
Season with salt and pepper; cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Turn the heat off; add in the hot cherry peppers and a splash of their juice. Place the provolone over the burgers and turn off the heat in the pan; tent the pan with foil to melt the cheese and carry-over heat.