Clapping On The Down Beat

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Meal Plan 6.30.11 Birthday Favorites June 30, 2011

Filed under: Meal Planning — clappingonthedownbeat @ 9:05 PM

I am going to take a break from meal plans for a few weeks.  So in light of birthdays coming up this summer here our some of our family favorites for birthdays.

Potato and Water Cress Salad

  • 1 1/2 pounds small, white skinned waxy potatoes, like Yukon Golds
  • A drizzle extra-virgin olive oil


  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish or 1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
  • 1 bunch watercress, washed
  • Coarse salt

Quarter potatoes and place in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and place over high heat to bring water to a boil. Boil potatoes until just tender, 10 minutes. Drain and return to warm sauce pan. Drizzle potatoes with a touch of oil and let stand 5 minutes in warm pot to dry them out.

Transfer cooked potatoes to a bowl. Combine yogurt, oil, and horseradish and pour over potatoes. Coarsely chop the leafy tops of  watercress and add to the mixing bowl with potatoes. Sprinkle a little coarse salt over the bowl and toss salad to coat evenly. Adjust salt to your taste and serve at room temperature.

Sage Shrimp

  • 12 jumbo (6 to 8 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 large sage leaves
  • 12 very thin slices pancetta or bacon
  • 12 (4-inch) wooden party picks (big toothpicks, no frills)

Place shrimp on a dish and drizzle with a touch of extra-virgin olive oil and toss shrimp to coat lightly in the oil. Press sage leaves down the backs of shrimp where you have deveined them. Wrap shrimp with 1 slice of pancetta each and hold in place with a toothpick placed lengthwise in shrimp. Set aside until ready to grill.

Heat an indoor electric grill to highest setting. Grill shrimps 3 minutes on each side or until shrimp is pink and just firm and pancetta is crisp. To pan fry shrimp, heat a nonstick skillet over medium high to high heat, and sear shrimp 3 minutes per side

Crazy good Steak

  • 1/2 cup medium grind Italian roast coffee
  • 1/2 cup black peppercorns, freshly cracked
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated garlic
  • 11/2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 11/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 4 (1 1/2 to 2-inch) thick New York strip steaks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 16 ounces stout
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine coffee, peppercorns, 1/4 cup brown sugar, salt, garlic, cayenne pepper and paprika in a small bowl. Press firmly onto steaks. Let steaks rest, covered, for 30 minutes at room temperature.

To cook, heat oil in a large saute pan until almost smoking. Add steaks and sear 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Do not overcrowd the pan. Use 2pans if needed. Remove steaks to a baking dish and finish cooking in the oven until desired doneness. Remove to a cutting board or platter and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, bring stout to a simmer in a small saucepan and reduce by about 1/3. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. After steaks have rested, pour any juices from the cutting board into the sauce, and serve with steaks.

Orange Chicken

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • white pepper
  • oil (for frying)
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch, plus
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon gingerroot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red chili pepper
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Orange Sauce for Stir Fry

    • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
    • 5 tablespoons sugar
    • 5 tablespoons white vinegar
    • 1 orange, zest of
  1. Place chicken pieces in large bowl.
  2. Stir in egg, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon oil and mix well.
  3. Stir cornstarch and flour together.
  4. Mix flour mixture and egg mixture.
  5. Add chicken pieces, stirring to coat.
  6. Heat oil for deep-frying in wok or deep-fryer to 375 degrees.
  7.  Add chicken, small batches at a time, and fry 3 to 4 minutes or until golden crisp.
  8.  Remove chicken from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; set aside.
  9. Clean wok and heat 15 seconds over high heat.
  10. Add 1 tablespoon oil.
  11. Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant; about 10 seconds.
  12. Add and stir-fry crushed chiles and green onions.
  13. Add rice wine and stir 3 seconds.
  14. Add Orange Sauce and bring to boil.
  15. Add cooked chicken, stirring until well mixed.
  16. Stir water into remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth and add to chicken.
  17. Heat until sauce is thickned.
  18. Stir in sesame oil and orange zest if desired.
  19. Serve over jasmine rice.



















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