Menu Plan Monday — April 25th thru May 1st

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! We spent a quiet weekend at home. The husband recently got rotated to nights, so daytime has been pretty quiet around here! I’m looking forward to getting in some family time this week, as well as enjoying this gorgeous Spring weather!

Here’s what’s on the menu for this week:

Monday: Easter Sunday Leftovers
Tuesday: Butterflied Cuban-Style Pork Chops, Grilled Corn with Lime and Cotija Cheese, Avocado and Tomato Salad
Wednesday: Pork and Beef Burgers, Garlic Fries, Side Salad
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Shrimp with Linguine in a Chipotle Cream Sauce, Baked Stuffed Clams
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: Pepperoni Pizza, Side Salad

What’s on your menu this week?

Menu Plan Monday — April 18th thru 24th

Yet another week has flown by and I’m not sure where it went. I used a few vacation days and took this past week off from work, with the intention of taking some time out for myself. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. I took on the project of painting my kitchen cabinets, a task that I severely underestimated. I figured it would take me two days, maybe three, to paint the cabinets in my small-ish kitchen. It took the entire freakin’ week. Sigh. Despite that, I’m extremely happy and proud of the results. Go, me!

So, today it’s back to the grind, which means I’ll be grateful for a week’s worth of planned meals. Here’s what’s on the menu this week:

Monday: Digiorno Pizza and Wyngz (I had a great coupon for these!)
Tuesday: Fried Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, Biscuits with Butter and Honey, Side Salad
Wednesday: Corn Tamales with Tomatillo Salsa, Grilled Skirt Steak, Black Beans, Avocado and Tomato Salad
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Shrimp and ‘Shrooms with Sherry, White Rice, Side Salad (Good Friday — no meat!)
Saturday: Leftovers
Easter Sunday: Leg of Lamb with Rosemary Au Jus, Buttery Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus, Dinner Rolls, Side Salad

What’s on your menu this week?


A Great Use of Leftovers: Pulled Pork Panini

I love it when a delicious dish can be morphed into even more delicious leftovers. Earlier this week I slow-cooked some Mango, Ginger, and Habanero Pulled Pork. It’s one of my favorite slow-cooker dishes and the leftovers make a great panini. Slather some Dijon mustard onto some plain white bread, pile on some pork, then top with Cabot’s Habanero Cheddar Cheese, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a satisfying sandwich.

Pulled Pork and Habanero Cheese Panini

A Butcher’s Daughter Original

What You’ll Need:

1 cup Mango, Ginger, and Habanero Pulled Pork
1/3 cup shredded habanero cheddar cheese (Recommended: Cabot’s Habanero Cheddar Cheese)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 slices white bread
olive oil cooking spray

Preheat your panini press to medium-high heat.

Spread the Dijon mustard onto both slices of bread. Pile the pulled pork onto one slice of bread, then sprinkle the cheese evenly over the shredded pork. Top with the second slice of bread.

Spray your panini press with the cooking spray, then place your sandwich onto the press. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Enjoy!

Mango, Ginger, and Habanero Pulled Pork

Despite the use of “habanero” in its title, this deliciously sweet pulled pork isn’t overwhelmingly spicy. The habanero that simmers slowly along with the pork gives a spicy hint to this addictive dish.

I have to admit, I purposely waited until the husband was away at work to make this dish. Usually, he’ll eat almost anything, but this slow-cooked pork is not one of those things. John is a firm believer that two things should not be sweet — vegetables and meat. I, on the other hand, absolutely love this pulled pork. Even better are the leftovers, which make great sandwiches. Yum.

I usually cook this dish in my Crockpot, but it can very easily be made in a Dutch oven or large pot. I used a boneless pork shoulder for this dish. The sauce is extremely versatile and can be used on chicken or even fish.

Sweet and Spicy Deliciousness

Mango, Ginger, and Habanero Pulled Pork

Adapted from Aarti Sequeira

What You’ll Need:
1 boneless pork shoulder, about 3 pounds, excess fat removed
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 onion, finely minced
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 habanero pepper, sliced down the center, top half together, stem intact
Kosher salt
2 ripe mangoes, pureed
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl and massage it into the pork, then set aside. This can be done and refrigerated up to a day in advance.

In a large saucepan (or Dutch oven if you plan on cooking the pork on your stovetop), warm the oil over low heat until hot. Add the cumin and fennel seeds. Keep a lid or shield handy – they’ll splutter upon contact and try to pop out! Once they settle down, add the onions, ginger and habanero pepper. Sauté until softened. Add a bit of salt, to taste. Add the remaining sauce ingredients, then simmer for about 5 minutes.

If using a Crockpot, transfer the ingredients into the pot and add the pork shoulder, making sure to coat it with the sauce. If you’re cooking your pulled pork on the stovetop, add the pork shoulder to your Dutch oven or pot, cover with a lid and gently simmer for about three hours, until the pork starts to fall apart.

Once its done cooking, remove the pork from the pot and shred it. You can use forks or your fingers, it’s up to you! Put the shredded pork on a bun and spoon some of the sweet sauce on top, or eat this deliciousness alongside one of my favorites, Indian Spiced Potatoes. Enjoy!

A Simple Side: Indian Inspired Potatoes

I love Indian food. The bold spices and exotic aromas are comforting, yet conjure the images of a far away, unknown land. If you’re unfamiliar with Indian food, or just want to make a simple dish in your very own kitchen, give this recipe a try. It’s simple, yet delicious. For some added heat, add a large serrano pepper, split down the middle, to simmer with the potatos.

Indian Spiced Potatoes

Adapted from Aarti Sequeira

What You’ll Need:
2 tablespoons Ginger-Garlic Paste, recipe follows, or 2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt

Mix the Ginger-Garlic Paste, coriander, turmeric, and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl, then set aside. This is called a wet masala.

In a large pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the cumin seeds, then stand back and take cover! They’ll splutter and try to pop out of the pan. After about 30 seconds, add the wet masala, and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add the potatoes to the pot, stirring to coat with the masala. Season with salt and the remaining water. Cover and reduce to low-medium heat, simmering the potatoes for about 30 minutes, or until fork tender. Serve hot.

Garlic-Ginger Paste

What You’ll Need:
1/2 cup cloves garlic, whole
1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup canola oil

Throw the garlic, ginger, and canola oil in a small food processor blend  until it forms a paste. This blend makes an excellent addition to many Indian recipes. Keep in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Keeps well for several weeks.

Meal Plan Monday — April 4th thru 10th

Where did the week go? All I did was blink and already I was watching the latest episode of Desperate Housewives, suffering from Sunday evening blues. With the hubby’s new work schedule, things have been kind of crazy at home. Slowly but surely, we’re all becoming accustomed to his 12 hour, rotating shifts. At least meal planning lets me keep some of my sanity!

Here is this week’s menu:

Monday: Bistec de Palomilla (Cuban-style steak dish with lots of onions), Tostones (fried plantains), and Avocado Salad
Tuesday: Moroccan Chicken, Quinoa, and Herbed Flatbread
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Buffalo Pulled Pork Chicken with Blue Cheese Cornbread Topper (hopefully, they’ll be a post on this later in the week), Side Salad
Friday: Shrimp Burgers, Parmesan Fries, and a Side Salad (no meat on Fridays during Lent!)
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: Baked Tilapia, Roasted Asparagus, and a Side Salad

What’s on your menu this week?