Weeknight Dinner Recap: Vol. V
Welcome to the fifth edition of Weeknight Dinner Recap! This week featured some incredible seafood, a new version of a classic favorite, and a toast to the extra long weekend! The summer may be coming to an end, but you'd never know it from these meals! See below for all of the great dinners and some extra photos from this delicious set.
Full Weeknight Dinner Recap, after the jump!
Sunday: A close friend had mentioned that she saw a while back that we frequently made pan fried cod, and asked how come that wasn't showing up as often anymore. Honestly, there was no good reason, except that since we've been experimenting with new fish recipes, the basic ones had been slipping to the side. But not on this night! Pan fried cod is a delicious and quick way to have fish during the week (or any time). Using our go-to Aleia's GF Panko breadcrumbs, with an egg wash, these fish pieces cook up quite nicely! Cooking info: pan fry until golden brown on both sides. We decided to serve the fish with corn-off-the-cob and roasted tomatoes. For the tomatoes, we followed a Martha Stewart recipe which had the tomatoes cook briefly at very high heat (450 degrees) which worked perfectly for very squishy, and "blistered" tomatoes. It also made a bit of a mess inside our toaster oven, and a lot of noise while baking, but that's part of the fun, right? I'd recommend this dinner for an easy weeknight option, or even for a small group meal, if everyone is in the mood for fried fish! Just don't forget the tartar sauce! And lemon! :)
Monday: There have been a handful of dinners we've made this summer that I call "stunning" and this for certain was one of them. Wegman's was featuring U-10 sea scallops (meaning 10 or less per pound = giant scallops) so we decided to splurge and get some for this week. My husband has definitely made some awesome baked scallops, but he wanted to do seared again to continue to improve this skill. Man, these were fabulous! Perfectly seared in a joyous butter and oil combo in a cast iron skillet, the flavor was phenomenal and we could barely believe such an amazing dish could be easily made at home! Paired with our summer go-to of corn and roasted tomatoes, we also decided to add in roasted fingerling potatoes because why stop with a normal amount of food! :) For the roasted potatoes, we will want to add more seasoning next time, or maybe skip altogether since the scallops were the true star of the meal! Right when we finished eating, I was already planning for when we could make this dinner again. I'm thinking very, very soon. ;)
Tuesday: As is custom on Tuesdays, we had pasta! However, in an effort of health, and loving summer so much, we've shifted to zucchini noodles as much as possible. I love it! This evening featured zucchini noodles with sautéed shrimp and tomatoes and a basil-arugula pesto. What a yummy bowl! For the pesto, our basil plants were a little low so we used arugula that we had originally set aside for salad. Turns out, it's a great pesto addition! The flavor of having basil and arugula together was actually delicious and made for a newish mix for this somewhat traditional meal. If you haven't noticed, this week is tomato heavy because it was recently Tomato Fest at Wilson Farm and we bought all of the tomatoes. So the result is a tomato feature every night! Yum. I would love to note that we also received a cool cookbook about all the ways to spiralize veggies, so expect a lot more "pasta" nights coming up!
Wednesday: You guys, inspiration comes from everywhere and this dish was no different. I saw an episode of Celebity-edition Guy's Grocery Games (no judgement), and Alex Guarnaschelli made a beautiful eggplant Parmesan - it looked amazing. Then we had dinner with my husband's parents and his mom made eggplant Parmesan, also delicious. Then we went grocery shopping, saw the eggplants, and it was like the world was saying, "it's time to make eggplant Parmesan!" And so we did. Using the recipe we found on Food Network online, I decided it would be best if we used Alex Guarnaschelli's recipe as the dish we saw on TV looked awesome. So, we made Eggplant Parmesan with homemade three-meat tomato sauce. Holy eggplant! This was stupendous. Following the recipe, except for a few tweaks (used our own sauce recipe and added meat, and forgot to add a layer of basil), this recipe overall was terrific. You pan fry (like inches of oil, oops) breaded eggplant and then layer it in a baking dish with the meat sauce and a ton of mozzarella cheese. It comes out of the oven bubbling, cheesy, and so flavorful you can barely express the delight you feel biting into it. It was also burning hot! Having never made eggplant at home, I was wary of the outcome, but my fears are gone. This dish was such a success, and left us with leftovers for days, and a great option for dinner parties, pot lucks, or even holidays, as it comes out of the oven looking quite impressive! I strongly recommend at-home eggplant Parmesan: it's deliciously cheesy and can be made vegetarian by simply leaving out the meat! Major crowd pleaser? Oh, yes. :)
Thursday: This day began our extra long holiday weekend! We went for a leisurely morning walk, ate breakfast on Newbury Street, and saw my husband's brother receive his PhD!! Quite an exciting time for him and we are so impressed and proud! I cannot begin to tell you about the details of his degree as I sat dumbfounded (and amazed) while he did his thesis defense. I did enjoy watching the process and am so happy for him and his success! Much like my husband, he's also a great cook, so we'll have to have him over for a cooking party soon. His falafel skills (and many other dishes) are perfection. Anyway, those aspects of the day led to a hungry-beyond-words situation and we had a very late lunch of tacos to kick off the long weekend! It being not even 4pm and wanting a cocktail as well, we went to Lone Star Taco Bar in Allston, MA where we delighted in the not-busy setting and indulged in many rounds of scrumptious tacos. The carnitas will always be my favorite but they usually have a pretty awesome special as well. Get yourself over there ASAP, but consider yourself warned: the tacos are so good, you'll barely be able to stop after two, or three, or four, or.... ;)
Friday: Continuing the extra long weekend! Late Thursday night we went up to Maine for a brief oceanside getaway. It was cold!! Shockingly chilly so we wore long pants and long sleeves the entire time! But that didn't stop us from eating yummy lobster in many forms, and getting in one of our favorite ocean-view walks. I love Maine because it's filled with countless summer memories, awesome food, and always provides some of the best sleeps of the year (no cat interference!).
Stay tuned on my Insta Stories for the rest of the weekend's eating adventures, and whatever else we decide to do this Labor Day Weekend! I'm sure a lot of great food (and eggplant parm leftovers) will be involved!
I hope you have a delicious weekend!