Need help with week-long menu planning please
I have house guests (in-laws) coming in on Sunday. Unfortunately I have to work out of town the rest of this week...so I'm now under the gun. Here is my tentative plan:
Sunday-Zuni chicken and bread salad, tomato mozzerella salad
Monday-Filets, twice baked potatos, Nigella watermelon salad
Tuesday-breakfast...omlets or scrambled eggs, pancakes or waffles, fruit salad
Wednesday-Roast pork loin w/ fig sauce
Thur,fri,Sat - eating out in Charleston...thus no seafood in the rest of the menu
Sunday - BLT's and gazpacho (will have eaten huge brunch in Charleston)
1) Has anyone made Zuni chicken using just breasts? I think I'm the only one who likes dark meat and the math just doesn't work ;-)
2) Does breakfast for dinner sound good to you? Or are my husband and I alone in considering that a treat?
3) Can you think of a good side dish to go w/ the pork and fig sauce? I will lard the loin w/ pancetta, heat up my homemade jam and thin w/ wine for the sauce. What else should go on the plate? I have a ton of homeade apple sauce, but is that too much fruit? I would prefer something lo cal...since we go to the beach the next day.
4) If you are someone's houseguest...would you feel cheated if there was not dessert every night? I only plan to make dessert for the first night they are here.
5) Any thing else I'm doing that you think might not be pleasing to a couple of 70-ish captives at our house? They are from Wisconsin, are traditional eaters, and have refused to give me a list of their likes/dislikes.
Your menu sounds nice to me. If you're worried about not having dessert every night, buy a couple of pints of good-quality ice cream & a jar of good chocolate sauce as a backup plan...everyone likes vanilla w/chocolate sauce. Maybe some wafer cookies to tuck into the side of the dish just for presentation's sake.
How about sauteed spinach as a side for the pork loin? Takes just a few minutes to prepare, and you can buy washed, bagged spinach to eliminate another step. Another good, quick option is haricots verts aka snap beans...
I've never made the Zuni chicken except with a whole chicken, I think high heat will make chicken breast dry. Can you do something else? I just made Zuni chicken with figs (I know you already have figs in your menu, so this would involve reorganizing the pork). I made it with chicken thighs, but it should work with breast too.
I used to live in the Midwest and your mention of "traditional" got my attention. I would not serve anything too unusual - the watermelon and feta salad might be too exotic, but these are your in-laws, not mine.
If one dessert isn't enough, you could keep something on hand in case they would like something sweet after dinner - cookies or pound cake. Or as already suggested, ice cream. Keep it simple or you'll be burnt out after they leave.
The breakfast idea should be fine. It might be more than they normally eat in the morning, but when you're on vacation all rules are out.
That generation tends to eat what's put in front of them, which is why they won't give you their likes and dislikes, I'm guessing. I think your menus sound great although if your in-laws are truly traditional "breakfast for dinner" may seem strange to them. A simple alternative would be pasta with lovely summer vegetables. I love the idea of spinach or green beans with that yummy-sounding pork roast.
Regarding dessert... Why not get a few different kinds of cookies and fruits to set out, each night? i.e., peaches and shortbread; plums and gingersnaps; etc. Repeat. ;-)
I'd also toss in some green beans to serve with the filets.
If they're your in-laws, they'll probably want to pitch in and help! :-)