I saw a stack of menu in our office kitchen yesterday that was left there to promote the grand opening of a grill & bistro in the area. I browsed through one and had what I thought was a great idea. I took a menu home.
"Guys, all of us will choose one item each," I told Gabriel and Markus first. "This will be our dinner for the week." They were confused at first. Are we eating take-out? Are we each eating a different item? Are we having all 6 items in one meal?
"No, it's one item per night. There are 6 of us so that's 6 nights. The last is a whatever night," I clarified.
Markus checked the items and picked NY Burger. Crisp bacon, melted cheddar and sauteed mushrooms. Simple, I thought. "Mom, do you know how this is done?" he asked. "I don't need to know." It's burger. What is there to know?
"Mom, these are not recipes," Gabriel said as he read through the dishes.
"That's okay. I'm just looking at the ingredients. I'll do it my way," I replied. I think he was disappointed. So we're not really having restaurant food nor cooking it restaurant style. It's just restaurant name. He chose Clam Chowder. A creamy white New England style chowder. He will cook this himself Sunday night.
"Spicy Prawn Linguini," Mickey said. Tiger prawns served in spicy tomato sauce. "Okay," I answered. Sounds expensive, but if I can't afford prawns, I'll use a cheaper kind.
"Mom, can we have Cajun Chicken on Tuesday?" Gino asked. Freshly grilled chicken breast, blackened with cajun spices. Gino is leaving for Greece on Wednesday so yes, I'll make Cajun Chicken on Tuesday night. Never mind if we don't have a grill. I'll figure out how to blacken it. I think I've done this before--unintentionally.
The last to choose was MrB. "We're not having steak," I said before he can blurt it out. "Aw, that's what I was looking at." I was quicker. "Blackened Salmon," he said. Fresh salmon fillet season in cajun spices. I have lots of cajun seasoning. I'm sure frozen salmon fillets will work too. Blackened again? I need to find that out the difference between blackened and burnt.
My choice is Chicken Caesar Salad. Classic Caesar Salad topped with fresh grilled chicken tenders. I don't even have to cook this. Just mix everything together.
So there. We now have our weekly menu starting tomorrow. It looks simple, except that each item is supposed to be served with side dishes like roasted potatoes, green salad, garlic bread, rice pilaf...
Let's see if this menu works. Or if it will simplify my cooking. If not, then it's back to whatever night--every night!