Asparagus Fries


I love these crispy asparagus fries!!

1 lb of asparagus
1/4 c rice flour
1/4 c flour
1 eggs
1 c panko bread crumbs,

Preheat oven to 426. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

You will need three shallow bowls large enough to hold the asparagus, I have a set of bread containers.

Place flour in one bowl. Beat egg and add 2 TBSP water and put in a second bowl. Place panko in the the third bowl.

Coat asparagus in flour, dip in egg and roll in panko. Doing this in batches works best. Place asparagus on lined pan. Salt and pepper the asparagus.

Bake for 10 minutes until panko is crispy.

Serves 2 – 4.

Ricotta Pancakes with Tomato Sauce


Another winner from Jamie Oliver. I have yet to complete one of these in 15 minutes, it’s more like 30 minute meals. I served this with crispy asparagus fries.

For the sauce
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms, soaked, drained and chopped. Reserve 1/2 the liquid
Red pepper flakes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
28 oz tomatoes, puréed
8 black olives, chopped
½ a bunch of fresh basil
Salt and pepper

For the pancakes
1 large free-range egg
16 oz ricotta cheese
1 tsp nutmeg
Zest from one lemon
1 c Parmesan cheese
2 TBSP flour
Salt and pepper

Combine tomatoes, porcini liquid, other sauce ingredients in a 3 qt saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 30 minutes, until thickened.

Combine ingredients for the pancakes in a large bowl. Heat a griddle over medium high heat. Scoop out about 1/4 c onto the griddle and cook for about 4 minutes, flip and cook for about 3 more minutes.

Serve a scoop of sauce with 2 pancakes.

Serves 4.

Creme Brulee


This may be the easiest creme brûlée recipe ever!

4 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c sugar
6 egg yolks
1/2 c fine sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a medium sauce pan, heat the cream and vanilla to a simmer. Remove pan from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. In a bowl whisk together the sugar and yolks until they are a pale yellow. Whisk cream into the egg mixture and pour into 6 custard dishes.

Place dishes in a large baking dish. Pour boiling water into baking dish so that it comes to half way up the custard dishes. Bake for 30 minutes or until custard is firm but still wiggles.

Chill for at least one hour. Top with sugar in an even layer and place under broiler until sugar melts and bubbles. Serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Quack and Surf


For my bday dinner I want something fancy, but did not want to spend the whole day cooking – so this is what I can up with: Lobster Tail, Foie and Asparagus on a warm salad. Yum!

2 small lobster tails
2 2 oz pieces of Foie Gras
1 bunch of thin asparagus
1/4 c peanut oil
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
3 TBSP aged sherry vinegar
Zest of one lemon
Salt and pepper
1/2 lb hearty mixes greens

Fill a large pot with water and 1/4 c course sea salt, bring to a boil. Boil the lobster tail for 3 minutes then cool to room temp and remove from shell. Place in fridge until ready to use.

Heat oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium high heat, light season lobster with salt and pepper and add to oil with asparagus and onion. Cook for 3 minutes turning lobster to cook evenly. Remove lobster and asparagus , remove pan from heat and stir in vinegar, zest and season with salt and pepper.

When you are ready to cook the foie, return the 12 inch skillet to stove and heat over medium heat, add salad greens and toss until wilted. Remove from heat.

Heat a 10 inch non stick skillet over medium high heat. Sear Foie on each side for about 30 seconds.

To plate, place wilted greens on the bottom, top with lobster, asparagus and Foie, pouring Foie juices over the top.

Serves 2.

Lemon Crumble Cake


This cake is moist and lemony! Best of all it only uses 2 bowls and comes together in flash. If you don’t have coconut palm sugar, use 1 c reg and 1/2 c packed brown.

2 c flour
1 1/2 c coconut palm sugar
Zest and juice from 2 lemons
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 c light sour cream
1 large egg
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat to 325°F. Spray 8-inch sprig form pan. Stir flour, sugar, lemon peel and cinnamon in large bowl to blend. Add oil and lemon juice and mix until flour is evenly moistened and mixture forms clumps. Set aside 1 c of mixture for topping.

Whisk sour cream, egg, extract, baking powder and baking soda in small bowl until well blended. Using electric mixer, add sour cream mixture to crumb mixture and beat until batter is smooth. Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over top.

Bake until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer pan to rack and cool.

Serves 8.

Ham, Asparagus and Farro with Egg


Last night was one of those nights when dinner came together by cleaning out the fridge. I do have to say it turned into quite the tasty meal.

1 c farro, cooked according to package
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 stalk green garlic, white and green parts sliced thin
1 c ham, diced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 Eggs
Pecorino, grated

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat, add asparagus, garlic, and ham and cook for about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

In a non stick skillet sprayed will olive oil, cook the eggs over medium heat for about 4 minutes.

Fill a bowl with a couple scoops of farro, topped with asparagus mixture, cheese and egg.

Serves 2 – 4.

Roasted Asparagus with Breadcrumbs


Simple and tasty – this is a great veggie side dish.

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1 TBSP olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 TBSP butter
1/2 c panko
1 lemon, juiced and zested

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, 18 to 20 minutes, then transfer to a platter.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko, and cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in lemon juice and zest. Season with salt.

Top asparagus with breadcrumbs.

Serves 4.

Cauliflower and Pasta with Creme Fraiche


I had this wonderful creme fraiche sauce leftover from Sunday that I tossed with some cauliflower and pasta, then topped with some Aleppo pepper and fresh chives – yummy and easy!

1 small head of cauliflower broken into small florets
8 oz pasta

For the sauce
4 oz crème fraîche
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1/2 TBSP whole grain mustard
1/2 TBSP capers, roughly chopped
1/2 TBSP thyme
1 TBSP chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp black peppercorn
1 tsp lemon zest
⅛ tsp salt
Aleppo pepper

Cook pasta according to package. Add the cauliflower for the last 3 minutes.

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small food processor and process until combined.

Drain pasta/cauliflower and toss with sauce. Top with a little Aleppo pepper and snipped fresh chives.

Serves 4.

Ham with Creme Fraiche


This one was adapting from tasting table. I love the creme fraiche sauce! This is a winner winner Easter Dinner!

For the braise
2 TBSP olive oil
2 yellow onions, peeled, thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 fresh bay leaf
1 head of garlic, cut horizontally to expose cloves
3 sprigs of thyme
3 parsley stems
2 c white wine
2 cwater
1 3 – 5 lb smoked, bone-in ham, fat scored crosswise
2 TBSP butter

For the glaze
½ c light brown sugar
¼ c dry mustard
½ c white wine

Start the braise: Remove the ham from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for two hours prior to cooking.

Preheat the oven to 325°. In a roasting pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and carrots and cook until soft but not colored, about 10 minutes. Add the bay leaf, garlic, thyme and parsley stems and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a simmer and let cook for an additional 3 minutes. Place the ham on top of the mixture and add the water. Tent the ham with foil and bake, basting with pan juices every 15 minutes, for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the light brown sugar, mustard and wine and set aside.

Make the herby crème fraîche: In a medium bowl, mix together the crème fraîche, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, capers, thyme, parsley, black peppercorns, lemon and salt. Set aside.

Remove the ham from the oven and increase the heat to 350°. Using a pastry brush, spread the glaze over the ham. Return the pan, uncovered, to the oven and bake the ham until the crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Transfer the ham to a cutting board and tent with foil. Rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

While the ham is resting, strain the braising liquid through a sieve over a medium bowl. Transfer 4 c of the strained braising liquid to a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and reduce by half, about 8 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the butter and transfer the pan sauce to a small bowl.

Slice the ham. Serve with the herby crème fraîche and pan sauce.

Serves 8 – 10.

Buttermilk Buscuits


This is best buttermilk biscuit recipe ever! I love Alton Brown. I don’t keep shortening on hand so I just swapper it out for butter.

2 c flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
4 TBSP butter
1 buttermilk, chilled

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a dough blende, mix butter in until mixture looks like crumbs. Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.

Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits on baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting. (Biscuits from the second pass will not be quite as light as those from the first, but hey, that’s life.)

Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes.

Makes about 10 biscuits.