Sunday Dinner

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Grilled Lemon-Herb Cornish Game Hens
Grilled Asparagus, Fingerling Potaotes, and Shallots 
Mustard and Herb Vinaigrette

 Raspberry Custard Tart

This was not the Sunday dinner menu that I had planned for today, but the weather took a pleasant turn, making it perfect weather for pulling out the grill.  Since I decided to change up the menu on such short notice, I wanted something simple to put together.  Poultry and a salad is always a favorite, but I thought the game hens and a grilled vegetable salad would be a nice spin.    

This vinaigrette has a good balance of flavors.  A slight sweetness from the rice vinegar and sugar, a little pungent heat from the Dijon and Tabasco, and freshness from the herbs and lemon all come together.  I'm not a big fan of vinaigrettes overloaded with oil, so I did dial back on the amounts. I also use a combination of a neutral oil, like Safflower, and Extra Virgin olive oil because that's what I like.  I like it drizzled on mixed greens for a side salad, on shaved raw asparagus or carrots, or tossed with tonight's grilled vegetable medley (I might even drag a fork full of hen through a little pool☺).  I think you will enjoy the versatility of this recipe too.

Mustard and Herb Vinaigrette
makes about 1 1/4 cups

1/4 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons whole mustard seeds
1/2 cup neutral oil, like Canola or Safflower
1/2 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a blender or food processor, combine the vinegar, garlic, mustard, herbs, sugar, lemon juice, Worcestershire, and Tabasco.  Purée until smooth.  With the motor running, add the oils in a slow and steady stream until emulsified.  Add the mustard seeds, salt, and pepper.  Taste and adjust for seasoning if necessary.  Use immediately or refrigerate until needed.  Vinaigrette can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Fried Chicken and Champagne, by Lisa Dupar


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