It’s a tricky balance sometimes, coming up with meal plans that make the kids as happy as the parents. This week takes you right into that sweet spot, with dinners featuring the kid-friendliest ingredients (frankfurters! Chicken breasts! French fries!) prepared in fresh ways.
On Sunday, you’ll make a mega-batch of a lemony Moroccan herb sauce, chermoula. That gives you a leg up on Monday’s grilled skirt steak—and you’ll grill an extra steak to use later on. On Tuesday the sauce stirs into yogurt to serve with grilled vegetables and pita.
You’re probably wondering about those hot dogs. On Wednesday the American classic goes South via a fresh salsa criolla topping. These are hot dogs buried under vegetables, but you don’t have to point that out to your kids unless you want to.
On Friday, that salsa criolla pairs with the leftover steak. It all gets nextovered into the love child of cheese fries and nachos, an irresistibly messy way to end the week.
All the details are below. But first, the grocery list:
- Coriander seeds
- Cumin seeds
- Smoked paprika
- Sweet Paprika
- Kosher salt
- Red-pepper flakes
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Dried oregano
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Vegetable oil
- Red-wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- Yellow mustard
- All-purpose flour
- White rice
- Evaporated milk
- Hot sauce, such as Cholula (optional)
- Potato chips
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 Persian cucumbers
- 6 cups baby arugula
- 2 large eggplants
- 1 container small tomatoes on the vine
- 1 large tomato
- 1 large green bell pepper
- 1 bunch broccoli
- 1 firm avocado
- 5 lemons
- 1 large onion
- 1 head garlic
- 3 bunches cilantro
- 3 bunches parsley
- 2 bunches mint
- 1 pomegranate (or 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds)
- 4 oz. crumbled feta
- 32 oz. plain Greek yogurt
- Unsalted butter
- 4 oz. sharp cheddar
- 2 (1-lb.) skirt steaks
- 8 uncured natural casing all-beef hot dogs (such as Applegate)
- 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- Pita bread
- Hot dog buns
- 1 (22-oz.) package frozen French Fries
- Dry white wine (optional)
SUNDAY: Blender Chermoula
The hardest part of making a triple-batch of this blender sauce will be plucking the herb leaves. Did we mention how much little ones love doing that? And don't forget, tender stems are totally great in this sauce, too—just ease up on the recipe’s red-pepper flakes for kids who don’t like spice. Refrigerate the chermoula to use tomorrow and Tuesday.
Before you head out for the day, pop one steak into half of the chermoula (keep the other half separate to avoid cross-contamination, since it'll be stirred into yogurt later in the week). The steak will marinate all day and give you a knock-your-socks-off delicious dinner. Later, as long as you’re firing up the grill, add an extra steak, simply seasoned with salt and pepper, to nextover for Friday.
The leftover flavor-packed chermoula sauce is the secret of tonight’s dinner, a freewheeling affair inspired by this article. Slice the eggplants into thick rounds and brush with olive oil—do the same for the tomatoes on the vine. Season with salt and pepper and grill ‘em up. Grill some pita, too. While that’s going, stir a few tablespoons of chermoula into two cups of Greek yogurt. Serve it all buffet-style, so the kids can take as much (or as little) of each thing as they like. If you’ve got any feta or pomegranate seeds left, add that to the offerings.
WEDNESDAY: Panchos Argentinos with Potato Chips
North America isn’t the only country that loves hot dogs. Down in Argentina, they top them with an exuberance that goes way beyond ketchup or mustard. Prepare a double-batch of salsa criolla and refrigerate the extra for Friday. Just in case the kids balk at salsa on hot dogs, let everyone top their own. And don’t forget the potato chips.
THURSDAY: Chicken Piccata with Rice and Steamed Broccoli
Chicken piccata is one of those elegant-enough-for-company, easy-enough-for-everyday recipes. It cooks rather quickly, so before you start, get a batch of white rice going according to package directions and set up the broccoli to steam. If you’re not comfortable with the wine in the recipe’s sauce, substitute chicken broth and a little more lemon juice.
FRIDAY: Carne Asada Cheese Fries
Thanks to Monday’s steak and Wednesday’s salsa criolla, all you need to do tonight is cook frozen French fries and microwave a cheese sauce. Cut the steak while it’s cold—it’s easier to get nice thin slices that way—then warm gently. Use Greek yogurt in place of the recipe’s sour cream, if you like, then go to town in front of the telly.
Originally Appeared on Epicurious