Creating seasonal recipes that are inspired by my passion for local, organic foods

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Asparagus with Fried Eggs

I've been busy reading this great book, In Late Winter We Ate Pears: A Year of Hunger and Love - Seasonal Recipes and Stories From an Italian Kitchen, and have already run across a couple of fantastic recipes.

Last night I started off making Asparagi alla Milanese and was delighted with the result. I'm usually not a runny fried egg sort of gal, so I cooked them a tad more thoroughly than is probably expected. I also decided to roast the asparagus rather than pan steam them.

Here's my version of the recipe:

Serving: One

2 inch thick bundle of fresh asparagus
2 to 3 teaspoons butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 eggs
Parmigiano Reggiano

Heat oven to 425 degrees. While the oven is heating up, snap the tough ends off the asparagus, rinse and pat dry. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt to taste. Roast in oven until cooked but still crisp (about 8 minutes).

In the meantime, heat a skillet on medium-low, adding butter when skillet is hot. Crack eggs into butter and season with salt and pepper. Heat until cooked to your preference.

Place the roasted asparagus on a plate and slide cooked eggs directly on top. Top with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and serve immediately.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lavender Honey Lemonade

During one of the stops on our trip to the Kitsap Peninsula last weekend, at the Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse, I had this great Lavender Honey Lemonade. Not wanting to reinvent the wheel, I found a recipe for lavender lemonade from a local lavender farm and tweaked it to recreate what I had over the weekend:

Lavender Honey Lemonade

1 cup honey
1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender (or 1/4 cup fresh lavender blossoms)
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, strained
Ice cubes
Lavender sprigs for garnish

Combine honey with 2 1/2 cups water in a medium pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the honey.

Add the lavender to the honey water, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand at least 20 minutes (and up to several hours).

Strain mixture and discard lavender. Pour infusion into a glass pitcher. Add lemon juice and another 2 1/2 cups cold water. Stir well.

Pour into tall glasses half-filled with ice or refrigerate until ready to use.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Snappy Salted Potatoes

Salted potatoesMy brother came over on Sunday for dinner and whipped up a batch of fingerling potatoes.

Okay, "whipped up" is definitely not the correct description to use because he used a technique his friend Leonardo showed him for cooking salted potatoes that requires very little effort. The end result is that you have salty, snappy potatoes that are cooked to perfection.

Curious? Well, I was too. Basically, you just place your fingerlings (or other small) potatoes in a saucepan and fill the pot with water until the potatoes are just covered. Huck in a handful of salt (anywhere from a few teaspoons to a tablespoon depending on how many potatoes you are rocking) and simmer/boil uncovered until all the water is boiled away and there's nothing left but potatoes and salt. I guess this method is similar to papas arrugadas, which are popular in the Canary Islands.

The potatoes will squeal for life as the water evaporates away, but do not fear. This is part of the process that will result in fabulous potatoes. All in all, it takes about 45 minutes to cook. What you get in the end are creamy potatoes with a skin that snaps when you bite into them.

Serve with creme fraiche (or sour cream) mixed with chopped chives and pepper. Do not add any additional salt as the potatoes themselves are good n' salty. I guarantee you won't be able to stop eating them. Which is a good thing.