Weekly Menu

This week at StoneGable I have quite a few projects going on.  I am making over 2 old accent tables with a coat of warm white paint, making more zucchini breads, making a apron (Tutorial on Saturday) and continuing to clean out my basement! And I am still cleaning up and purging my kitchen and study.

My garden is starting to really bring me a harvest of eggplants and tomatoes. I want to try a FABULOUS sounding roasted eggplant, roasted pepper and garlic stack that is canned. Yikes! I always plan more than I can humanly do~ That means I need to prioritize and not have too many fun adventures with friends. Let's see how well that works this week!

As far as the menu goes, I have 2 do overs this week. I ate out both Saturday (family movie night) and Sunday so I am moving those recipes to this week.  The garden has certainly influenced my menu. Lots of zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes with fresh herbs thrown in! I hope you are taking advantage of the bounty of the summer too!

Chopped Salad
Pork Loin
Cheesy Zucchini Casserole
Twice Baked Potatoes

Recipe: Cheesy Zucchini Casserole
I still have tons of zucchini in the garden so I have been on the lookout for good zucchini recipes. Foodie Friday is a StoneGable must do! Every Friday (well, really Thursday night after 9:00) great cooks gather to post the best recipes! And a darling blog, Singing With Birds had this tummy tempting Cheesy Zucchini Casserole. ClickHERE to view this wonderful side dish!

Hamburgers On The Grill
Corn On The Cob
Oven Baked Breaded Zucchini Spears

Recipe: Hamburgers On The Grill
I make a big batch of these wonderful juicy burgers and freeze them. Just take them out of the freezer, thaw and pop them on the grill! These are a real favorite at StoneGable. Click HERE and look for them in Wednesday's menu.

Arugula, Shaved Parmesan, Pine Nuts In A Lemon Vinaigrette
Zucchini Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Cheesy Polenta

Recipe: Zucchini Stuffed Chicken Breast
This is a held over recipe from last week. I am very excited to try this recipe. It sounds so yummy! Click HERE and look for the recipe in Saturday's menu

Eggplant Parmesan Over Fresh Spaghetti

Recipe: Eggplant Parmesan
Another do over! This recipe is such a winner in my house! This is one to try! Click HERE and find it in Sunday's menu.

Pan Seared Salmon With Cucumber Sauce
Steamed Artichokes With Aioli -If you have never made Steamed Artichokes here is your chance, don't pass up this wonderful experience!!!!!
Garden Tomatoes

Recipe: Steamed Artichokes With Lemon Mayonnaise Dipping Sauce
4 large artichokes
4 lemons
1 cup mayonnaise (real stuff)

To prep and cook the artichoke I am deferring to Simple Recipes.com. If you have never made an artichoke, it is easier to SEE what you are to do and this is a great tutorial. I don't use the garlic or bay leaves in the water, because I love the pure taste of artichoke! I also cut off the stem of the artichoke and leave the bottom leaves. Sit the artichoke upright in the water and on the plate to serve. Include an extra bowl to throw away scraped leaves and the choke. My husband LOVES the heart. It is worth the work!
Click HERE for all the luscious details.

Lemon Mayonnaise:
Mix 1 cup of mayonnaise with 1-2 lemons. Serve with steamed artichokes. YUMMY!

Ricotta Cheese Ravioli With Roasted Tomato Sauce
Broccoli Rabe Sauteed In Garlic Oil

Recipe: Ricotta Cheese Ravioli
This is a slimmer version of the classic Ravioli.
1/2 cup ricotta cheese (I use part-skim)
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp pepper
dash of freshly grated nutmeg
1 pkg. of wonton wrappers
1/4 cup basil leaves

Bring water to boil in a large pot.

Mix ricotta, parmesan cheese (except 2 TBS- reserve), egg, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a large bowl.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Place 12 wontons on work surface and put 1 1/2 tsp of cheese mixture in the center of each wrapper. Dampen all edges with a little water. Cover each wonton with another wrapper and press 1 side together. Go around the other edges pressing to close and also to push out any air in them. Make sure all edges are completely sealed.

When water is boiling add a handful of salt. Bring back to a boil. Add 6 ravioli to the boiling water and boil until they come to the surface, about 4-5 minutes.
Remove from the water and add the final 6 ravioli and cook.
Place Ravioli in a large shallow bowl and cover with roasted tomato sauce. Sprinkle with reserved parmesan and basil chiffonades.

Recipe: Roasted Tomato Sauce
If you are having a tomato explosion in your garden and don't quite know what to do with your summer bounty try roasting your tomatoes. It intensifies their flavor and the sauce freezes so well. I first learned this easy technique in a cooking class at L'Adademie De Cuisine outside of Washington DC. This recipe is not rocket science- if you have more or less tomatoes adjust your ingredients. If you have tons of fresh herbs throw some in when you process the roasted tomatoes~ just keep the flavors fresh!

1 lb tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced onions
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
drizzle of olive oil
couple of sprigs of thyme
couple of sprigs of oregano
couple of stem of fresh basil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Cut tomatoes in half. If you have huge tomatoes quarter them. On a large rimmed baking sheet (I use 1/4 sheet pans from a cooking supply company) Add tomatoes, onions, garlic, thyme and oregano- leave thyme and oregano on the sprig.
Drizzle with a good olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Bake for 1- 1 1/2 hours.Tomatoes should be collapsed and juices reduced. Remove from oven. Remove the sprig of the thyme and oregano. At this point you could add the leaves back over the tomatoes.

Process in a food processor or blender. Add basil and process until somewhat blended. I like to add a little extra olive oil. I am not a fan of huge tomato chunks so I process it rather smooth. It is your preference.
*To make this a cream sauce, add 1/4 cup chicken stock and 1/4 cup light cream when processing. Adjust the amount of chicken stock to the amount of tomatoes.

Smoky Black Bean Soup
Baked Tortilla Wedges With Garden Salsa

Recipe: Smoky Black Bean Soup
1 TBS olive oil
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
1 (14 1/2 oz) can of chicken stock
1/2 cup water
1 large ham hock
2 cups frozen corn (I'll use fresh off the cob)
1 can black beans, rinsed 2x's
1 cup mild salsa
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp cumin
juice of 1 lemon  (I use more, I like it very lemon infused)
sour cream
grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
tortilla strips
chopped green onions

Heat oil in a large pot. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add chicken stock, water and ham hock. Bring to a boil and simmer with lid askew for 30-40 minutes. If liquid level looks too low, add more water.

Stir in corn, beans, salsa, chile powder and cumin to stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, remove ham hock and squeeze in lemon and stir. Shred ham and return to soup.

Divide into bowl, add a dollop of sour cream, grated cheese, tortilla strips and green onions. OLE'

Recipe: StoneGable Garden Fresh Salsa
I don't get too complicated when I have fresh from the garden ingredients!
3-5 large tomatoes, chopped in small pieces
2 green onions, finely chopped including green tops
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 jalapeno pepper, without seeds or membranes, chopped very fine (I don't like heat so I don't add this to mine)
1 handful cilantro, chopped finely
2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped finely
1-2 TBS good olive oil
juice of 1 lime

Mix in bowl and serve with tortilla chips.

Have a wonderul week!