Potatoes that are sweet

Thankfully, I got everything done last week that needed to be done. The dark meat, de-boned chicken for the Sweet and Sour Chicken finally defrosted, so I added another two pans to the freezer for that dish:

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I also made a meat sauce for the spaghetti:

Meat Sauce

And then it was time for the sweet potatoes.  First, the pies:

Sweet Potato Pie

Then the soup:

Sweet Potato Soup

The best part about making this soup? I get to lick the pot clean after I pour the soup into a container to be frozen.  🙂 And I remembered to take out the bay leaf! This soup gets blended after it’s cooked — I use an immersion blender — and I have been known, in the past, to mince up the bay leaf in it accidentally.  However, I now know that: 1. If I mince up the bay leaf thoroughly enough, no one will notice, and 2. Even if it is noticeable, the soup is so good that no one will care. (And I know this because in spite of a minced bay leaf, I once had a guest ask for seconds and thirds, so I know it’s not just me!) Fortunately, the issue is moot, as the bay leaf was discarded before blending.

Finally, I also made a couple of squash kugels:

Squash Kugel

This, along with the sweet potato recipes, have also managed to use up most of my container of soymilk. That leaves me two cups that I will be using early this week to make the mashed potato pies and the mini broccoli-salami quiches. Also this week, I’ll be making the deli roll surprise, split pea soup, and the ribs, which have been taking up significant freezer space that is now in serious demand.  Normally I’d also make the potato kugels this week, but the last time I made some and froze it, several months ago, it didn’t go over very well, and I don’t want to chance it now. So I may just make that fresh shortly before the holiday.

So that’s one week down, and four and a half to go!

Who am I calling chicken?

Well, I started cooking — mostly with poultry. If it was on one of the menus and could be made using chicken breasts, I made it.

First was the kishka-stuffed chicken:

Kishka-stuffed chicken

I made it this time with kishka that hadn’t been frozen and stockpiled in my freezer — and I need to remember to make it that way again. The kishka was so pliable I felt like I was using play-dough. It is, as you might surmise, inside every one of those pieces of chicken in the pan. The chicken is coated with apricot jam and cornflake crumbs, and drizzled with honey.

Then came a pot roast — I did say mostly poultry, not entirely:

Pot Roast

This is one of the easiest recipes I have, courtesy of my mother-in-law, courtesy of her sister-in-law (my aunt-in-law?). Coat the cut of beef to be braised with tomato sauce, cranberry sauce (both canned), and onion soup mix.

After that I made the cherry chicken puffs.

Cherry Chicken Puffs

Inside each of these triangle pastries is cubed chicken, canned pitted cherries, and mushrooms. It goes with this spicy cherry sauce:

Spicy Cherry Sauce

And finally, I made half the Sweet and Sour Chicken I need to make. The other half will be made with deboned dark meat chicken, which sadly had not defrosted in time for me to cook. But the rest of it was with white meat, and looks like this:

Sweet and Sour Chicken (white meat)

New innovation for this year: adding pineapple chunks. The sauce is not homemade — I did say I would be efficient (and besides, this dish is getting served at the ribs meal… and while I’d like to have a poultry option for those who won’t eat red meat, I don’t want to steal the attention from the best part of the meal).

Up next: Sweet potatoes!  (And a couple of other things.)

Menu #2: Thursday Lunch

Appetizer Potato-chicken croquettes with citrus green curry sauce
Salad 1 Deli salad
Salad 2 Israeli salad
Entree 1 (Beef) ribs 3 ways (“Way Down South” sauce, honey mustard, and plain S&P for my FIL)
Entree 2 Hush puppies
Entree 3 Sweet & sour chicken
Side 1 Roasted red potatoes
Side 2 Rice with caramelized onions and cumin
Side 3 Butternut squash kugel
Side 4 Moroccan carrot salad

 

Ribs! Ribs! Ribs!

Sorry, got carried away. This is generally my (and everyone’s; let’s be honest) favorite meal. Also, for me, because of the carrot salad… it’s nice and garlicky and even though it’s a love-it-or-hate-it kind of dish, I’ll just eat all the leftovers anyway.

The last couple of years I served ribs I went with the honey-mustard sauce, a really spicy rub, and a bottled hickory BBQ sauce (mostly because the decision to go with three types rather than two was last-minute, and the sauce I picked went over really, really well so we kept it). But after some insistence from my husband that no one eats the spicy ribs except me, they have been retired in favor of the “down south sauce” (that’s what the book called it) which I recall used an entire bottle of wine (among other ingredients) when I last cooked 8 lbs of beefy goodness. Also, my FIL likes his food tres simple, so I’m just going to go with basic seasoning for a bunch of them. Time-wise, it looks to be about the same preparation time as last year, so I’m good with it.

I reconsidered the salads on the menu from the previous meal and this one, and thus have swapped a couple of them; the Israeli salad was moved to this meal, and a hearts of palm salad will take its place for Wednesday night. (I also will be updating the menu post.)