Monday - Flatbreads for The Bachelorette!
Tonight I'm making 2 different flatbreads. They're filling enough that I won't have to make any sides, which makes this a great stress-free meal! I'm making a steak and mushroom flatbread with caramelized onions and blue cheese, and a peach and ricotta flatbread with fresh basil. For the steak flatbread, I'll saute the onions in butter until almost caramelized, then I'll add int he mushrooms and finish everything up. I happen to have some leftover cooked steak from over the weekend, so I'll just slice it into very thin pieces. For the peach-ricotta, I'll just spread a good layer of ricotta onto the cooked dough, then top with thinly-sliced peaches, and put it back in the oven at 420 for about 10 minutes. Top with fresh basil, julienned, and drizzle with a thick balsamic glaze.
This is a great Monday night dinner because there's almost no clean up, no fuss, and I just kick back and watch tonight's episode of "The Bachelorette" and enjoy! Both will pair well with a crisp white wine, like Sauvignon Blanc.
Tuesday - Rosemary Chicken Burgers with Homemade Sweet Potato Fries
I'm definitely going to follow this recipe from Giada for the garlic-rosemary mayo, but I'll be adding a LOT more to my burgers than she does! I think chicken burgers can be delicious... But they can also be VERY bland! In addition to the mayo, I'll also add some smoked paprika, onion powder, and dried basil. I'll also make EXTRA mayo so I can dip my baked sweet potato fries into it! I'll serve the burgers on toasted brioche buns because they're amazing, but if you're looking for a low-cal switch, these would be great on ciabatta rolls! If you want to go low-carb, try making these into lettuce wraps. I'll also serve this with an orange-poppy seed salad of grape tomatoes, orange slices, red onion, and poppy seed dressing. You can eat it right out of the bowl or serve it on a bed of arugula.
A summery beer like Blue Moon, or Leinenkugal Summer Shandy will finish off the "summer bistro" feel of this meal! Side note: if you don't have a grill, you can totally make these burgers right on the stove!
Wednesday - Grilled Blackened Salmon topped with Mango-Avocado Salsa
When I was in Jamaica last year, I bought a HUGE container of blackening seasoning that's just perfect for summer cooking! If you want some details on grilling salmon, follow this guide from The Food Network. For the mango-avocado salsa, this will blow your mind! It's so cheap, easy, and ridiculously good! Just dice one ripe mango and one ripe avocado and put in a large mixing bowl. Fold in 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, one tbsp of EVOO, one tsp of agave or honey, the juice of 1/2 a lime, a sprinkling of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. If you want a little heat, add in a diced jalapeno pepper. Refrigerate for an hour or so to let the flavors blend. I'll serve this with a dressed-up caprese salad... I'll use heirloom tomatoes, burrata, fresh basil, a drizzle of EVOO, a drizzle of thick balsamic glaze, a little sea salt and some fresh cracked pepper.
This meal is best enjoyed outside, at sunset, with a buttery white wine like Chardonnay.
Thursday - Loaded Chicken Cobb Salad
Sometimes in the summer I love to just make a HUGE salad, loaded up with lots of toppings. There's a good amount of chopping and prep work, but the cleanup is almost too easy! You can even buy precooked chicken to make this REALLY simple! My cobb starts with butter lettuce and chopped spinach. I'll add crumbled bacon, avocado, halved grape tomatoes, halved red grapes, blue cheese crumbles, hard boiled egg, and walnuts. It's a great mix of sweet, salty, soft, and crunchy! For dressing, I love to use poppy seed or a homemade balsamic-herb vinaigrette.
Serve with french bread, dipping oils, and an oaky Chardonnay.
Friday - Three Course Grill Night
If you're entertaining or just looking for a fun night with your family, I love firing up the grill and eating all grilled food, start to finish! Start your dinner with a grilled Caesar salad. If you've never grilled romaine, it's VERY simple! Here is a great recipe, and it includes a homemade dressing. I serve my grilled Caesar with grape tomatoes and, oddly enough, garbanzo beans. Trust me on this one.
For the main course, I'll make kebabs with chicken, zucchini, red onion, and bell pepper. Don't worry about marinating them, just drizzle EVOO on them then sprinkle with smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
For dessert, I love grilled pineapple kebabs! Now these are really amazing if you marinate them for a little bit in honey (or agave) and cinnamon. Serve with vanilla ice cream because it's FRIDAY! :)
And nothing goes with grilling on a Friday night quite like an ice cold beer!