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Menu ideas: pulled pork, snapper, spaghetti with meat sauce

Looking for dinner ideas? We share our weekly menu plans.
Apple galette
Apple galette [ Kathy Saunders ]
Published Jun. 14, 2020

Here’s what’s on the menu this week.

Sunday

Spaghetti with meat sauce: Whenever my husband and son go fishing for the day, I start a pot of spaghetti sauce in the morning and let it simmer throughout the day. That way, they have a hot meal when they get home, even if the fish weren’t biting. I start with cans of crushed and diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste. To make this sauce, I brown about a pound of ground beef to add to the sauce once it’s heated through. I toss in fresh garlic, whatever Italian herbs I have on hand and one of the many leftover rinds of Parmesan cheese that I keep in the freezer when they become too small to grate. The longer it cooks, the thicker it gets and the better it tastes. Don’t be afraid to experiment here. You can even start with a jar of spaghetti sauce and add tomato sauces and seasonings to make it your own. I serve over thin spaghetti topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. On this particular Sunday, I had a loaf of garlic bread that I popped in the oven as well.

Monday

Pulled pork sandwiches: Start with a a 3- or 4-pound boneless pork shoulder roast, trim the fat and coat it with a mixture of dried seasonings. I used paprika, mustard powder, ground cumin, salt and pepper. Add some brown sugar to the blend and rub it all over the meat. I browned the roast on all sides in a bit of olive oil. I put the drippings in my slow cooker and added apple cider vinegar, tomato paste and a bit more brown sugar. I whisked it all together and added a little more than two cups of water. I added the roast and cooked it on low for eight hours. When it was done, I pulled it into pieces and removed most of the liquid before putting the pork back into the slow cooker and adding almost a whole bottle of store-bought barbecue sauce. We like sweet, Vidalia onion-flavored sauce. I let that warm through for an hour and served it on hamburger buns. Potato buns work nicely with this dish. On the side, I served mixed vegetables and homemade potato chips.

Tuesday

Chicken Marsala: This is a family favorite and much easier than it looks. The key is pounding the chicken breasts to no thicker than a half inch. I use a recipe from the chunkychef.com and make it my own with whatever mushrooms and Marsala wine I have on hand. I usually serve the chicken over mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Wednesday

Pan-seared yellowtail snapper: The weekly family fishing trip gave us fresh yellowtail snapper that I dipped in egg and flour and sauteed for two minutes on each side. The secret to fish, especially thin fillets like snapper, is not overcooking the meat. As soon as it’s no longer translucent, it’s done. I topped it with a friend’s recipe for Miami mango salsa. I cubed one large mango, half of a seeded cucumber, half a scallion, two diced radishes, chopped fresh basil, salt, pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes. I mixed all that with the juice from half of a fresh lime.

Thursday

Pot roast: The first cooking class I ever attended was an evening course at Seminole High School. I was mostly trying to get a break from being a new mom, so I enrolled with a friend for weekly sessions. The rest of the class consisted mostly of a group of retired Canadian men who lived in the same beach condominium complex. They were a lot of fun, and every time the instructor turned her back, they would toss extra garlic into whatever meal we were preparing. The other thing I remember from the class was this perfect pot roast recipe. Here you go: Lay two large pieces of aluminum foil on the counter in the shape of a cross. Place a 3- to 5-pound boneless chuck roast in the center, then place the whole thing in a large casserole-sized baking dish. Add two cans of cream of mushroom soup and a package of dry Lipton beefy onion soup. Wrap it up really tight and put it in a 350-degree oven for four hours. After four hours, remove it from the oven, partially unwrap and add chopped onions, potatoes and carrots. Wrap it up tightly again and put it back in the oven for two more hours. I usually add two more pieces of foil on top at this point to make sure it’s secure. Remove it from the oven, remove the foil and serve. The meat will fall apart. Hot biscuits and butter put the final touches on this meal.

Friday

Apple galette: After a long week, we ordered takeout from a local restaurant for dinner. But I made a quick dessert using some of the apples I got when I ordered two Red Delicious apples from my grocery delivery service and got two bags instead. I made an easy and delicious recipe from one of my favorite chefs, Jacques Pépin. It makes just enough pastry for one tart with about four or five medium apples. I don’t bother putting the apples in any kind of fancy pattern; I prefer a more rustic-looking tart. The recipe is available at foodandwine.com.