Quick And Easy Winter Menu

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’Tis the season to be jolly. But when it comes to dinner, who has the time to cook?

For a dinner on the run, this menu is quickly prepared for the family but it also can just as easily be used for a dinner party. Bon busy appétit!

FILLET OF GREY SOLE DUGLERE(Serves 4)4 fillets of sole, washed and patted dry with paper towels

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large shallot, minced

2 medium firm ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 tablespoon sun dried tomatoes, minced

3 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley

2 tablespoons dry vermouth

Optional 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softenedTo prepare:Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Generously butter a baking dish that will hold the fish in a single layer.

Add butter and oil to a skillet and melt over moderate heat.

Add shallot and sauté until it is aromatic.

Stir tomatoes and half of the parsley into the shallots.

Transfer the mixture to a baking dish.

Add vermouth to the skillet.

Bring to a boil.

Remove from the heat and reserve.

Remove the spiny column running down the center of each fillet.

Season with salt and pepper.

Fold the thin ends of each fillet under the thicker end and arrange each piece on top of the tomato/shallots in the dish.

Drizzle reserved vermouth over the fish.

Cover with parchment paper and bake until the fish turns from translucent to opaque, about 8 to 9 minutes. The baking time will depend on the thickness of the fish.

With a slotted spoon or spatula, lift the fish out along with the tomato mixture and transfer to a warm platter or dinner plates and tent with foil.

Pour the pan juices, along with remaining tomatoes, into a saucepan set over high heat and bring to a boil.

Cook until reduced by half.

Swirl butter into the sauce and then spoon over each piece of fish and sprinkle with parsley.

Serve at once.WHOLEGRAIN COUSCOUS WITH PETIT POIS(Serves 4)2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 shallot, chopped

1 cup wholegrain couscous

2 to 2½ cups good quality chicken stock, boiling

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 bunch scallions, chopped

2 cups extra fancy petit pois, thawed

Optional additions: 1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 green bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup roasted pine nuts

Chopped, fresh parsleyTo prepare:Coat the bottom of a heavy medium-sized saucepan with oil and cook over high heat.

Add shallot and sauté briefly until aromatic.

Add couscous and chicken stock, stirring well, and bring to a boil.

Cover and reduce the heat and simmer until the couscous is tender and the stock is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Add more hot stock as necessary until the couscous is tender.

Stir scallions and peas (or any of the optional additions) into the hot couscous.

Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Let stand about five minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve at once.Festive Greens With Oranges, Avocado And Red Onion(Serves 4)6 cups assorted salad greens (mixture of frisee, mesclun and arugula)

3 navel oranges, peeled and sliced or 2 large pink grapefruits, peeled and sectioned

2 Hass ripe avocados, cut into slices

1 small red onion, peeled and cut into rings

Flaked Malden Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Good quality extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Fig-infused white balsamic vinegar, for drizzlingTo prepare:In a large bowl, toss your favorite tender lettuces together and cover with dampened paper towel.

Set aside.

Holding a serrated knife over a small bowl, remove the skin and white pith over the orange sections, reserving the juice in the bowl.

Cut the orange into slices and set aside.

Cut avocado in half, remove the pit, and cut each half into even-sized slices.

Immediately roll the in the orange juice; the citric acid will prevent discoloration.

Cut onion into thin rings and add to orange slices.

Just before serving, toss salad greens with a bit of olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the greens to individual salad plates and arrange the avocado, orange and onion slices on the greens.

Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar, to taste, and serve at once.

Pass Malden salt and pepper grinder at the table.

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