Menu Tuesday

May 26, 2009 at 7:49 am

Rob Gardner

We postponed Menu Monday in lieu of the Memorial Day Holiday.  So, without further fanfare, let’s roll out Menu Tuesday.

Menu Tuesday, like Menu Monday, starts not with a look ahead, but a look back because the first things we need to eat this week are foods left from last week.  Of course when I prepare our Friday night dinner, I prepare with the idea that we will have extra food.  So, I bought two big bunches of asparagus from Cassie that I put on the grill and later topped with my wife’s scallion vinaigrette.  I boiled up a whole bunch of red potatoes for a salad using up aioli in the fridge [more on potatoes later this week].  A big bunch of over-wintered carrots also got boiled for one of my Moroccan tinged salads.  I purchased a pound of merguez sausage for extra meat from Sahar, and sent my kids to Serielli’s across the street for an extra pound of non-local burger because I forgot to leave some of our local meat un-seasoned for the non-kefta lovin’ daughter.  There would be a bit more leftover if the red cabbage I planned on slawing did not turn out to be rusted (the plant docs are on this case as we speak).  On top of these leftovers, there is some of the napa-carrot-green garlic slaw I made for a neighborhood BBQ yesterday.  This food will supply us through menu meals this week.

The next thing we have to work around on Menu Tuesday is Shavuot Thursday.  Sure, it is a major Jewish holiday filled with significance, but it is also, like most Jewish holidays, a food excuse.  This holiday means dairy, and the excuse is to eat decadent kugels and cheesecakes.  At the last Jewish holiday, Passover, my wife and I spearheaded a matzoh brie brunch at the Temple that worked so well that we, and our ex-caterer Temple Administrator, decided to throw a Shavuot dinner.  The two Oak Park/River Forest Jewish communities will come together on Thursday night for a festive meal.  First course will be radishes with whipped butter or sour cream and just hard cooked eggs with green sauce.  This will be followed by whole roasted Robert’s nice piece of fish, whitefish, with roasted asparagus and the traditional kuguels (the dinner is BYOK).  For dessert, per more tradition, is cheesecake, and the cheesecake will come from our good friends and Eli’s.

Continuing the work arounds, my wife’s already asked if we have any bacon in the house.  Perhaps because she is cooking dairy at the Temple this week, she needs to cook traif in the house.  She wants to make a pasta, either carbonara or matricana.  That will certainly be delicious, but what about the broccoli.  Where does that fit in?  Our CSA box from last week came with so much broccoli.  It has been a big broc spring in the Bungalow, and after broccoli pasta, wine braised broccoli,  and soy-mustard broccoli salad, our broccoli repertoire is dwindling.  Per kids suggestion, broccoli cheese omelettes are on the menu this week. 

What else came in that CSA box?  Two heads of napa, I told you above how one was used.  There was fresh oregano, part of which went into salsa verde for the kefta; radishes that find their way mostly into lunches, plus some salad greens and several red onions.  At the first Oak Park Farmer’s Market I blew it on strawberries.  We did pick up some arugula, apples and mint. 

Menu Tuesday presents as many quandaries as Menu Monday, trying to fit all of this local food into meals.  Luckily, it is a lot of problems I enjoy having.  It will be another week of good food for this Local Family.

What’s on your menus this week?