Green Garlic and Asparagus Pasta in Cream Sauce

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This was a Chow.com find – with a few adjustments now it’s mine. I love spring – the green garlic and of course asparagus – which I try to eat as much as I possibly can when it’s in season. The creme fraiche totally melts into the pasta making it wonderfully creamy and rich.

Ingredients:
1 TBSP butter
1/2 c spring onions, diced
1/2 c minced green garlic
Salt & Pepper
8 oz creme Fraiche
8 oz angel hair pasta
1 lb asparagus, spiced thin

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.

Melt butter in a 12 in skillet, add onions and most of garlic, season with salt & pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until onions tender, but not brown.

Add creme Fraiche and simmer for about 5 minutes, remove from heat.

Add pasta and asparagus to the boiling water. Boil for about 5 minutes until pasta cooked through.

Reserve 3/4 c pasta water. Add pasta to the sauce with 1/4 c pasta water over low heat, cover and add water to get desired consistency.

Serve immediately.

4 servings.
8 WW PP per serving.

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Asparagus, spring onion & green garlic pizza

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Spring is in full swing here in the SF Bay Area and the farmers market is full of all my favorite limited time veggies! So I thought why not combine them all and make a pizza. OK, i was actually cleaning out the fridge in preparation for my weekly trip to the farmers market and turned what was left over into a pizza – but man was it good. I use the Mozza recipe for dough and freeze it – then defrost on demand.

Ingredients:
1 pizza dough
1 TBSP olive oil
2 bunches of green garlic, sliced thin
2 bunches of spring onions, sliced thin
1 bunch asparagus, steamed, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
4 oz ricotta

Preheat oven to 500. Heat pizza stone for at least an hour.

Roll out pizza dough. Brush with oil. Top with onions, garlic, asparagus, sliced mozzarella, and dollops of ricotta.

Bake until cheese is a little brown and crust is crisp, about 10 minutes.

Serves 4.

Pom Cosmo

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Tomorrow I reach a major milestone… I’ll have been legal to drink in the US for 1/2 my life. So to get this party started I’m making Pom Cosmos tonight! Thanks Bon Appetite for the inspiration!

Ingredients
3 oz vodka
1 oz Countreau
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz pomegranate juice
1 orange twist

Combine in a shaker, add ice, shake, pour & enjoy!!

Asparagus Pasta

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This is my take on a recipe from Epicurious. It sounded a little bland so I added some garlic for some extra punch and it turned out wonderful!

Ingredients:
1/2 lb pasta
1 bunch of asparagus, steamed, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c hazelnuts, toasted, husked and chopped
4 oz marscapone cheese
1/2 c grated parm
1/4 c chopped chives
1 c pasta water reserved

Cook pasta in a large pot of water. Pull out 1 cup pasta water, drain and return to pot. Over low heat stir in all other ingredients, add water 1/4 c at a time – you may not use it all. Stir over low heat until combined and cheeses have melted. Serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Spice braised brisket

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Another Chow find. But after careful reading I thought it could more spice, so I pumped up the spices and came up with a wonderful Sunday dinner. I started it on Saturday and it braised for about 4 hours and literally fell apart when touched. I then wrapped in aluminum foil and popped in the fridge overnight. And all those slow cooked flavors just intensified. I served it with polenta and asparagus – the perfect no fuss Sunday dinner.

Ingredients:
2 TBSP salt
2 TBSP paprika
2 TBSP garlic powder
2 tsp black pepper
1 4 – 5 lb beef brisket, cut in 1/2 lengthwise
1 TBSP olive oil
2 onions, diced
12 cloves garlic, smashed
6 TBSP brown sugar
1/4 c chicken stock
2 TBSP tomato paste
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 branches fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
1/4 c cider vinegar
2 c water

Preheat oven to 325.

Combine salt, garlic powder, paprika and pepper. Rub over brisket.

Heat oil in a 6 quart Dutch oven over medium heat, brown brisket on both sides. Remove and set aside.

Reduce to medium, add stock, onions and garlic until softened, about 12 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine, bring to a boil.

Return brisket to pot. Cover tightly with foil and lid. Cook for 1 hour. Rotate meat and cook until fork tender for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Remove from oven, uncover, cool to room temp and refrigerator overnight.

Heat oven to 325. Slice brisket, return to the pot and heat through, about 45 minutes. Serve with sauce.

Serves 6.

Herbed Rack of Lamb

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I love fresh herbs on rack of lamb. I add a little butter an slice of bread to bind the herbs, press onto the rack and bake – what could be easier or tastier.

Ingredients:
1/4 c packed mint leave
1/4 c packed basil
3 heads of green garlic
1 slice of white bread
3 TBSP butter
Salt & pepper
1 rack of lamb

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine all ingredients except lamb in a food processor. Press onto the fat side of the lamb. Place in roasting pan. Bake for 20 – 30 min (135 is medium rare). Let rest for 10 minutes tented with foil. Enjoy!

Asparagus Gratin

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This came from Fine Cooking, with a few minor tweaks. I love the addition of the marscapone cheese – it adds a richness to the recipe.

Ingredients:
2 bunches of asparagus, chopped 1/4 in lengths
1 onion diced
1/2 TBSP olive oil
Salt & pepper
3/4 c panko
1/4 c parmigiano reggiano
1/2 TBSP olive oil
4 oz marscapone

Preheat oven to 450.

Combine parm, panko & olive oil.

Combine asparagus, onion, olive oil and salt & pepper in a casserole dish. Bake for 6 – 10 minutes until crisp tender and bright green. Remove from oven, top with panko mixture and dollops of marscapone cheese.

Serves 6.

Un-Usual Suspect

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I love chow.com! This was based on a drink I found on their site. I used Campari and orange bitters in place of similar ingredients and left out the honey syrup (i don’t like my cocktails too sweet) and it turned just perfect!

INGREDIENTS
Ice
1 1/2 oz gin
3/4 oz fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 oz Drambuie
1/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/8 oz Campari
Dash of Angostura bitters
1 grapefruit twist

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, strain, enjoy!

Asparagus Frittata

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I have a major problem every spring when asparagus comes into season, I can’t get enough of it. We eat is almost everyday in one form or another. Today was a crazy day and i needed something quick and comforting for dinner, I turned to a couple of my favorite sites for inspiration and finally found it at chow.com.

Ingredients:
1 onion, small dice
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 tsp of olive oil
1/2 c chicken stock
1/2 c cheddar cheese, grated
5 eggs
1/8 c milk
1 TBSP horseradish
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
2 TBSP chives, chopped

1/2 c fat free sour cream
1 TBSP horseradish
1 TBSP chives, chopped

Preheat oven to 400.

In a 10 inch skillet hear oil, add onions and a little chicken broth, saut̩ until soft over medium heat. Add asparagus, add more chicken stock to keep the pan moist, cook for 5 Р8 minutes until asparagus is crisp tender, adding stock as needed.

In a large bowl, beat eggs, cheese, pepper, salt and chives.

Remove onion mixture from heat, stir in egg mixture. Bake for 20 minutes until set and golden brown on the edges.

Combine sour cream with chives & horseradish, serve on side.

4 servings.
5 WW PP per serving.

Elderflower Almond Mini Cakes

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This recipe was inspired by a something I found in Food & Wine Magazine with some changes. I used a lot less sugar and made my own almond paste. The hint of elderflower makes them magically delicious! Oh, and they are gluten free!

Ingredients:
1 cup almond paste
3 large eggs
2 1/2 TBSP cornstarch
Pinch of salt
4 1/2 TBSP butter, melted
2 TBSP St Germain

Icing:
1/4 c powdered sugar
4 oz lite cream cheese
2 TBSP St Germain

Preheat oven to 350.
Prepare a mini muffin pan with liners or spray.

Combine all ingredients for the cakes in the food processor until smooth. Pour into a 4 cup measure cup with a spout.
Fill muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes.

Combine icing ingredients. And ice cupcakes once they have cooled.

Makes 36.
2 WW PP per cake.