Cooking With Stanley this week is full of great dishes you can make on a weeknight. Each dish is fairly simple and time sensitive. I technically made four total things and managed it in two hours. If you're eyes bugged out at that, to put it in perspective I usually spend about 4-5 hours on cooking these menus. So I'll take two hours any time. Lately I've been making bread and desserts though and those take foooorrrreeeeevvvveeeerrrr.
Farfalle with Artichokes, Potatoes and Prosciutto
Seared Tuna with Tomato Bread Salad
What I love about CWS is that each meal is full of several different dishes. Typically I like to pair them with recommendations in the book or with other recipes that make sense. I chose to include the Braised Lentils in this menu because Stanley recommended to serve them alongside grilled fish or chicken. While the tuna wasn't grilled, it was seared so it felt like a good match. This was the first time I'd ever cooked lentils so I wasn't quite sure how it would turn out but I was pleased with the result. I loved the use of chicken stock instead of water. It added another level of flavor on top of the chopped carrots, celery and shallot.
The Seared Tuna with Tomato Bread Salad was probably the easiest to make. The tuna marinates in the fridge while you get everything else done. The salad is fairly simple to put together. I toasted my bread cubes for about 15 minutes, turned off the oven and left them in there till I was ready to include them right before serving. The tuna is supposed to be cooked medium. The center should have been pink but I have a thing about under-cooked fish. I cooked it all the way just to be safe. Honestly, the tomato bread salad was the star. It was super tasty. I loved the crunchiness from the homemade croutons and the saltiness from the olives. It was very fresh. You could barely taste anything from the marinade the tuna sat in for almost two hours (the maximum required time limit for marinating). I wasn't particularly thrilled with that result
Working a bit backwards today, we started the meal off with the Farfalle with Artichokes, Potatoes and Prosciutto. This was incredible. When you make the sauce, it's hard to believe that it will be creamy instead of soupy. But as you allow it to simmer, the broth reduces so that by the time you add in the pasta it coats the noodles perfectly. I'm not a huge fan of artichokes so I could have done without them but I loved the meat and potatoes. Instead of prosciutto I used pancetta which is similar but I feel a little less salty in its flavor.
There isn't a whole lot of labor that goes into these dishes which make them good for weeknights. The farfalle was in general the shortest to cook. The salmon and salad took very little time to make but it requires marinating for both so you just need to do it a little bit in advance. The lentils are on the stove more than anything so it really isn't that crazy of a meal to cook and everyone will enjoy it.