Here's what I've prepped this week (these recipes are not mine, just ones that I'm trying out. Bolded means they're a favorite, regular fond means I'm testing them out this week and I'll keep you posted!)
- Sunday - Filet Mignon on the cast iron skillet, steamed broccoli, baby peas, and Caesar salad. For this one, I preheat the oven to 450 degrees and warm the skillet up to high or one notch below (electric stovetop, sorry!) and while it's coming up to sizzling - pat the steaks dry on both sides, rub with olive oil, and apply kosher salt and ground pepper liberally to both sides. As we're medium rare folks in this casa, we get some thick filets (3-4") and brown them for 2-3 minutes on each side. Grab a potholder and transfer the entire pan into the oven. I generally do this for about 4-5 minutes. When it's been that long, pull them out, remove the steaks from the skillet to a plate, and cover them with tinfoil for five minutes to let the juices redistribute and the steaks rest. Trust me, worth it. For our Caesar salads, I take one heart of romaine, chop it up, add a dash of salt and pepper and some grated Parmesan, and toss it all together with this amazing Caesar dressing. Yep, it's bottled. No, it's not healthy. It's Caesar dressing, not a rice cake. Own it or leave it.
So, I am a big fan of marinade. Big. Huge. Think Beatle-mania but for marinating things. I've got a toddler, and a serious lack of free time. A win is shaving my legs two or three times a week - I don't have time to mess around - especially during the week. So, I prep things on Sunday. I cut up veggies for bagged veggies during the week (celery, bell peppers, baby carrots, etc.), sometimes I make tuna salad to bring to work 1-2 days a week for lunch, sometimes I hardboil eggs - generally, I do things that I can do at the same time. Today, I cooked bacon in the oven, hardboiled eggs on the stove, and mixed up three marinades at the same time. Yes, I'm freaking amazing but no, that's not why. It's all in the name of making my life easier during the week. So, when I'm referencing a marinade in one of these recipes - I probably made it Sunday, and likely marinated the meat longer than they recommended in the name of making my life easier. Back to the game plan.
- Monday - I'm making Unbelievable Chicken. It's a new one in my repartee but it's a riff on one that I've made before and really enjoyed - this one. I don't use dry mustard. I pull out the bottle of French's and use that instead. It works and I don't have to run to the store for a spice that I don't have. I've ever swapped out plain white vinegar for the apple cider when I didn't have it. I've used bottled lemon juice. See where I'm going here? Ina Garten would be horrified - but it gets the food on the table and it's been GOOD. Yes, I've already made the marinade and the chicken is hanging out in it in my fridge as I type. Bonus - I make 2x the marinade and save some for next time = less prep for me. I also put in 4 chicken breasts or more so I've got leftovers.
- Tuesday - Tuesday is a newbie! I'm excited to try Kung Pao Chicken at home. Listen, I love chicken. Love it. Don't get tired of it, but the Mr. does - and therefore I'm spicing it up in the kitchen. Nuff said. I'll keep you posted. Again, the marinade is already in the fridge, kickin' with the chicken. (Sorry.) I've even got everything for the sauce ready and pre-mixed in the fridge. It's a lot of the same ingredients as the marinade so my house is only destroyed once (well, at least for that...)
- Wednesday - It's FAJITA TIME! I take my Mexican food seriously - and after being betrayed by marinades before - I've committed to this one. We're pretty serious. I've used this with chicken, beef skirt steak - it's amazing with both. I'm not a huge fan of jalapenos in my fajitas, so I just cut up a few bell peppers (red and green) and a sweet onion into strips. Split the marinade into baggies with the chicken and the veggies I separate them because... ew.) and let them hang out in the fridge.
- Thursday - Salmon for Aaron, and chicken leftovers for this salmon hater. I'll probably chop up a few peppers, squash, zucchini and toss it together with a little olive oil, garlic salt and pepper and maybe bust out a frozen vegetable steamer package. Again, I'm down for simple. This one's one of my favorite salmon recipes - bonus? You may have already cut up a lemon, some bell peppers, and an onion for the earlier recipes. Score. Foil packet = no cleanup. Eeeexcellent.
- Friday - Leftovers for both of us - fajita salad? Likely. Fajita bowl? Sure. I've made the food - we're eating it.
It may seem strange that we're rocking leftovers two days in a row but there's a few really simple reasons. #1 - I do grocery shopping on Sundays. By Friday - I wouldn't want to eat any uncooked meat hanging out in my fridge. In fact, I may even switch that Salmon for Aaron to a different day because seriously, who wants stinky salmon in the fridge? But #2 - I've made the food - we're eating it. Most importantly, my schedule can shift around, and I'm prepared to shift with it with some meal prep. Usually there's another simple night in there - a kielbasa and some veggies, or something relatively simple. Roast chicken. Something in the slow cooker. It balances out my steak night and makes my life... well, you know..