Monday - Baked Gnocchi with Pancetta

This recipe can be as easy or as complicated as you'd like. If you want to go all-out, you can make your own potato gnocchi, and a homemade sauce. But for a quick, easy weeknight dinner, buy premade gnocchi in the pasta aisle and a jar of sauce. I prefer to buy cubed pancetta (one less thing to cut!) and I use A LOT but it depends on preference. Saute it in EVOO for just a few minutes on medium heat until it starts to crisp. If you haven't cooked pancetta before, it cooks like bacon! Meaning it goes from raw to perfect to overcooked in :001. Watch it closely! When finished, put it aside on a paper towel (like bacon). Cook the gnocchi in boiling water, and mix it with the sauce and pancetta. Pour it into a shallow baking dish (I use my giant cast iron skillet) so that there's preferably just one layer of gnocchi. Cover the top in Italian shredded cheeses like parmesan, mozzerella, etc. and bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes until the top is bubbly and melted. 

 

Tuesday - Rosemary Lemon Crock Pot Chicken

This recipe is SO easy! Pour 1/2 cup chicken stock into your crock pot, then 4 slices of lemon (2 slices for each chicken breast. I am cooking 2 breasts) and 2 sprigs of rosemary, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Add chicken, then another 1/2 cup stock, 4 lemon slices, 2 sprigs of rosemary, 1 tsp salt and 1tsp pepper. Top with 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (and optional, a 1/4 cup dry white wine). Cook on high for 4-5 hours. Serve with brussel sprouts roasted with pancetta (leftover from last night) in red wine vingegar, EVOO, with salt and pepper (at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes until crisp)

 

Wednesday - Pirozhki with Cucumber Salad

I am SO EXCITED for Wednesday night! It's the season premiere of my favorite TV show, The Americans, on FX. To celebrate, I'm making traditional Russian pirozhki. It's basically like fried or baked dough balls filled with ground meat and veggies. Sounds awesome, right? After I make it I'll post some details on what I did. I'm also making a cucumber-dill salad on the side. And I'll serve vodka. What's more Russian than that?!

 

Thursday - Sweet Potato Risotto with Beer Chicken

Sweet potato risotto is very time consuming. It's also VERY VERY WORTH IT. I promise. It's the most delicious thing you'll ever eat. Peel, chop, and roast a sweet potato for about 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees. Then mash and add to the finished risotto with handful or two of parmesan cheese. Top it with bacon and more parmesan and you will be in heaven. Serve it with baked drumsticks that you brined overnight in orange juice, a beer, salt, pepper, garlic, and cloves, and you will never want to eat anything else ever again. Serve it with a salad so you don't have a heart attack? Or skip the veggies because whatever it's Thursday.

 

Friday - Crock Pot Brisket

Friday night is my new HANDS-FREE night. So casseroles and crock pots are THE THING. This week, I will toss a cup each of chopped onion, celery, and carrots into a crock pot with one beer and 2 cups of beef broth. Then 1 tbsp minced garlic, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp peppe, and 1 bay leaf. Stir, then add brisket. Cook on low for 7-8 hours for the best results or high for 4-5 if you don't have 8 hours.