13 October 2014

Menu Monday

Pasta Ponza (Giada At Home)
For all my talk of how much I dislike Giada, I seem to be making a lot of her recipes lately. I have found her pasta recipes involving breadcrumbs to be a bit disappointing, so I was nervous about making this, but it was lovely. I used some of the last local cherry tomatoes I could find, so it kind of felt like a summer's last hurrah meal. I used Grana Padana in place of Pecorino Romano, although I bet the Pecorino would be better. The only change I would make is to use more capers. I loooooove capers and they were only noticeable every couple of bites. Otherwise, this was a great, quick, and easy Meatless Monday.

Taco Salad (family recipe)
Or as I like to call it, White Trash Taco Salad. This was a childhood favorite of mine and last week I just had the urge to make it, so I asked my mom for the recipe. Here is the recipe straight from her:

1 1b browned beef or turkey
1 packet of taco seasoning
 1 can kidney bean (drained and rinsed)
1 sm onion, chopped
4 diced tomatoes
1 cup shredded cheese
1 head lettuce (original recipe calls for iceberg which I think works best)
1 bag doritos, crushed

toss with catalina dressing
My changes: I use ground turkey. Instead of raw onion, sauté the onion with the ground turkey, along with the taco seasoning. (I always use Budget Bytes' recipe for taco seasoning instead of buying packets; this time I left out the cornstarch and added a 1/2 tsp. each of garlic powder and onion powder.) We used Nacho Cheese Doritos (hence the white trash name). I made Kitchen Simplicity's homemade catalina dressing. And I only put dressing on what I knew we would eat that night. This makes a ton and if you toss it all with dressing, the leftovers are soggy and gross.
And shout out to M, because he actually made this while I was at a volunteer meeting.

Apple Cider Pork Tenderloin with Cheddar Grits (Jenny Steffens Hobick)
I should start by saying this tasted a lot better than it looked. I followed Jenny's advice to only use one pork tenderloin for our little family. Also I used my own recipe for grits; I will not use a Midwesterner's recipe for a Southern food. This was really, really yummy but I would make a few changes the next time around. I found that the pork was a bit overcooked in the cooking time allotted, but that apple/onion mixture actually needed more time. Not exactly sure how I would go about remedying this...maybe start the apple/onion mixture on the stove separately from the pork, add it to the pork, and then reduce the cooking time in the oven by about 10 minutes? It's worth playing around with. This would be a great meal for company if you made the full amount of tenderloin.
Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, and Brussels Sprouts Lardon (Barefoot in Paris)
I forgot to take a picture at dinner time, so here is what remained the next day.
We had a few of M's players over for dinner on Thursday, so I made a lot of food. In the interest of full disclosure, the mashed potatoes were made by the Bob Evans refrigerated section of our grocery store. Those things are friggin' delicious. The only change I made to the meatloaf was to use half ground chuck and half ground sirloin. Judging from the amount of fat that was on the pan after baking and the fact that the meatloaf was still moist, that was a fine substitution.
Also, MEATLOAF SANDWICHES. So, so good.  
Last week's meals were on the heavy side, so hoping to get back to more figure-friendly dining this week :)


MCW said...

That's the same WT taco salad I make! But regular corn chips and I always have cucumbers. Catalina dressing is the best for this!