Food

Fish tacos, risotto and more! 5 dinners to get you through the week

Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
TODAY Show: Brian Malarkey cooks up pork country meatballs and a roasted potato hash. – January 4, 2016

If you are “wintered out” of your grill and don’t own a grill pan, the fish in the fish tacos can be broiled, to fine effect; I add a bit of honey or agave to my marinade so that the sugars caramelize and you get a bit of browning (butter works, too). Arepas are a wonderful alternative to bread or a bun, especially if you have trouble with gluten. Get the technique right, and there’s no end to the list of things you could serve in them: barbequed brisket, fish filets or fried shrimp with tartar and arugula, herbed egg salad with cornichons, etc.

I did promise at least one meatless day back when I was an idealistic, new, meal-plan creator—so feel free to substitute some sautéed mushrooms for the ham and feel virtuous. Two other tips: roasting the (seasoned) broccoli with extra virgin olive till it gets a bit brown punches up the flavor, especially if you also use an aged cheddar. If warm salad is too out there for your bunch of picky eaters, a salad of greens, sliced green apple and raw fennel, with a bit of parmesan would go wonderfully with the quiche. For more flavor and loads of nutrients you can sub out half or all of the russet for sweet potato.

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Shopping list:

  • 1 whole butternut squash
  • 2 Florida avocado (or 4 Haas avocados)
  • 1 russet potato
  • 2 parsnip or carrots
  • 5 roma tomatoes
  • 2 mangoes
  • 1 crisp apple (such as Fuji or Granny Smith)
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, or bag of chopped romaine
  • 1 head of broccoli (1 ½ cups of florets)
  • 2 yellow or white onions
  • 1 bunch kale, lacinato or any variety
  • 1 bunch of scallions
  • 1 bunch of sage
  • 1 bunch of rosemary
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 limes
  • 2 cups of cornmeal flour (preferably Venezuelan Harina PAN, or Goya’s Masarepa)
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 8 ounces cooked or canned, mixed beans (black, red and white beans)
  • Pie dough for single-crust pie, store-bought or homemade
  • 1 sourdough baguette
  • 6 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 ½ cups half and half
  • 1 dozen eggs (minimum 3)
  • 2 large, on-the-bone, chicken breasts, with ribs and skin
  • 1 pound ground pork sausage
  • 1 ½ cups chopped ham
  • ½ pound peeled and cleaned shrimp
  • 4 skin-on red snapper fillets, about 6 ounces each (can sub mahi mahi or tilapia)

Pantry ingredients:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Vegetable oil or grapeseed oil
  • Mayonnaise
  • Milk (1 cup)
  • Orange juice (1/4 cup)
  • Ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup of your favorite vinaigrette
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