Asparagus Pasta with Asparagus Pesto

This is from Opray’s new cookbook inspired by Jean George. It is a bit of work and worth it!

Pesto:
18 medium asparagus spears, woody ends snapped off and discarded
1 c fresh mint leaves
1/4 c olive oil
2 tbsp cold water, or as needed
1 clove garlic
1 green Thai chile
1/4 tsp salt

Fill a large bowl with water and ice to make an ice-water bath.

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Salt the water, then add the medium asparagus and cook for about five minutes, until tender. Remove the asparagus from the water using tongs (do not drain the water), then shock in the ice-water bath until fully cooled. Remove from the ice-water bath and blot dry with paper towels.

Chop the asparagus and place in a blender or food processor. Add the mint, oil, cold water, garlic, chile, and salt and process until smooth, adding more water if the mixture is too thick. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Pasta:
1 1/2 c morel mushrooms
12 jumbo asparagus
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
8 pz angel hair pasta
8 mint leaves, cut thin
2 oz pecorino, grated
6 lime wedges

Rinse the morels in several batches of water to clean. Dry and cut into quarters, lengthwise.

Bring a pot of of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package. Adding the asparagus noodles in the last 30 seconds.

Cut tips off the asparagus and shave into thin strips on a mandoline.

In a large pan, heat oil and cook motels for 5 minutes. Add pasta to the sauce, toss to cook adding a little pasta water if needed. Toss with pesto, serve with cheese and lime wedge.

Serves 6.

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Asparagus with Miso Butter

This one is from the NYT and it is delicious! The butter and white miso paste give this dish a wonderful flavor. Top with a poached egg and you can’t go wrong.

1 tbsp oil
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1 bunch of garlic scapes
Salt and pepper
¼ c white miso
¼ c unsalted butter
1 tsp sherry vinegar
2 poached eggs

Preheat oven to 400.

Toss Asparagus and scapes with a olive oil and roast for 10 – 15 minutes until they start to brown, stir a couple times.

Meanwhile, over low heat in a small saucepan, warm and whisk together miso and butter, so they combine, and butter softens but does not melt. Whisk in vinegar and keep warm.

When asparagus is done, put some miso butter on bottom of serving plate, top  with Asparagus and a poached egg.

Serves 2.

Asian Tacos

This recipe is from Bon Appetit with a few changes. Another great one for a weeknight meal!

1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 lb hot Italian sausage, removed from casing
1 tbsp neutral oil
6 oz shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
6 c very thinly sliced Napa cabbage
2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
⅓ c thinly sliced chives
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp sesame seeds
8 flour tortillas
Hoisin sauce and Sriracha

Heat 2 tbsp  oil in a large skillet, over medium-high and cook garlic, ginger and sausage mixture, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned, crisp, and cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage mixture to a clean bowl.

Increase heat to high and cook mushrooms in the fat in the skillet, tossing often, until browned and starting to release their juices, about 4 minutes. Add cabbage and cook, tossing often, until cabbage is wilted and tender, about 4 minutes. Drizzle in vinegar and soy sauce and cook, tossing, until liquid is mostly reduced and skillet is dry in spots, about 2 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and mix chives, sausage, and drizzle with sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Serve stir-fry with tortillas, hoisin sauce, and Sriracha for making individual wraps.

Serves 4.

Miso Crusted Halibut with Asparagus and Shitake

Roasted veggies and fresh fish so good! This is a quick meal perfect for a crazy weeknight. If you can get Garlic scales they are a great addition to this dish. 

1 bunch of asparagus
1 bunch of garlic scapes
6 oz shitake mushrooms, halved
4 tbsp butter, melted
4 tsp miso
Zest of one orange, then quarter the orange
2 halibut fillets
1/2 c panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with foil. 

Mix butter, miso and orange zest until smooth. 

Place the asparagus on the baking sheet and halibut on the other end. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle halibut with miso mixture, then use remaining to toss with the asparagus and garlic scapes. 

Combine the panko and 1 tbsp of olive oil and press into the halibut.

Toss shitakes with 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on the baking sheet. 

Bake for 18 – 20 minutes until the fish is cooked through. 

Serve with a squeeze of orange.

Serves 4.

Steak and Spring Vegetables

This is an easy weeknight meal chock full of spring veggies. If you don’t have access to green garlic – sub in 4 cloves garlic, green onions can stand in for spring onions and peas for pea shoots. I served this dish with a little buttered fregola pasta.

Ingredients:

1 lb New York Strip Steak
1 bunch of green garlic, sliced 1/2 inch pieces
1 bunch of garlic scapes, sliced 1/2 inch
1 bunch of spring onions, sliced 1/2 inch
1 bunch of asparagus, sliced 1/2 inch
1 clove garlic
1/3 c dijon
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/3 c olive oil
1 tbsp water

Combine garlic clove, Dijon, sherry vinegar, honey, olive oil, cayenne and water and blend together with an emersion blender until smooth.

Heat grill over medium high. Season steak with salt and pepper and rub with a little olive oil. Grill 3 – 5 min per side until internal temp of 120. Let rest.

In a large skillet heat 2 tbsp olive oil and add all the veggies excep that pea shoots and cook for about 7 minutes until Asparagus is crisp tender. Stir in pea shoots and season with salt and pepper.

Slice steak thin and drizzle with sauce. Serve with veggies.

Serves 4.

Egg and Avocado Rice Bowl

Quick, easy and oh so tasty! 

Ingredients:
1 c brown rice
8 scallions, sliced thin
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 avocado, sliced thin
2 – 4 eggs
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Hot Sauce

Combine rice, scallions and red wine vinegar. Divide amoung plates. Top with Avocado.

Cook eggs in olive oil over medium heat, 2 min on inside and 1 minute on the other.

Top rice with eggs, salt, pepper and your favorite hot sauce.

Serves 2.

Arugula and Beet Salad


This salad has it all, sweet beets, spicy arugula, creamy Avocado, tangy
Goat Cheese and crunchy nuts!!

Ingredients:
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp shallots
1 tbsp honey
1/3 c olive oil
Salt and pepper
6 medium beets, cooked and quartered
6 c fresh arugula
1/2 c walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
1/4 c dried cranberries or dried cherries
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
3 oz soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Blend the vinegar, shallots, and honey in a food processor add the oil and pulse until shallot is chopped fine. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss the beets in a small bowl with enough dressing to coat.

Toss the arugula, walnuts, and cranberries in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat and season woth salt and pepper. Mound on plates. Arrange the beets around the salad. Sprinkle with the avocado and goat cheese, and serve.

Serves 2 – 4.

Crispy Tacos with Avocado and Grilled Asparagus 

This is one of those recipes that happens when it’s the end of the week and there are only few thing left in the fridge. I used TJs crispy taco shells.

4 taco shells
12 spears grilled asparagus, grilled
1 avocados, mashed
Queso fresco
Hot Sauce

Warm the taco shells in the oven at 300 for 5 minutes.

Spread a healthy scoop of avocado in each shell. Top with 3 Asparagus spears an sprinkle with queso fresco. 

Serves 2

Lemon Vodka Past

pThis pasta sauce is so light and the lemon is so refreshing! Best of all it is ready in less than 20 min.

Ingredients:
8 oz pasta
1 c creme fraiche or heavy cream
1/4 c lemon vodka
Zest of 2 lemons
1/4 c lemon juice
1/2 c parmesan, grated
Pepper

Cook pasta according to package.

2 min before pasta is read stir together creme fraiche, vodka, zest, juice and Parmesan in a 12 inch skillet and heat on low. Add Pasta and stir until well coated, add pasta water to thin if needed.

Serve topped with parm and pepper.

Serves 2 – 4.

Tahchin (chicken with crispy rice)

This recipe is Persian Dish from Tasting Table and it is amazing! I had a bit of fail on this one, my rice stuck to the pan pretty badly, but I was able to get it out with a spatula. It did not look pretty, but it tasted amazing!! It was also quite a bit of work. All in all worth it! 

3 tbsp butter
1 onion, sliced thun
1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp orange peel, minced
½ c plain whole yogurt
1 egg

For the Rice:
3 c basmati rice, rinsed
3 tbsp salt, divided
1 stick butter, melted, divided

For the Topping:
1 c dried barberries
1/4 c parsley, minced

24 hours before serving, make the filling: In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally until opaque, 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice and salt, and cook, partially covered, over medium-low heat until cooked, 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a medium bowl, mix the minced orange peel with the yogurt. Add the cooled chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours.

Two hours before the chicken is finished marinating, place the rice in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of the salt and cover with water. Let the rice soak for 2 hours, then drain.

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and season with the remaining tablespoon of salt. Add the rice and cook until tender, but still chewy, 5 minutes, then drain.

Strain the chicken mixture of its marinade and reserve the marinating liquid in a medium bowl. Whisk in the egg until smooth. Add 3 cups of the cooked basmati rice and stir to coat.

Grease a nonstick, ovenproof 12-inch pot with 2 tbsp of the melted butter. Lay the marinade-coated rice on the bottom of the pot and press the rice up the sides of the pot by 1½ inches.

Distribute the chicken pieces over the rice, leaving a 1-inch border, then top with the remaining cooked rice. Drizzle the remaining melted butter over the top layer of rice.

Cover the pot tightly with a lid or foil and bake the rice for 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350° and bake for 45 minutes more.

Fill your sink with 2 inches of cold water and place the pot into the water for 5 minutes; this will help the rice release from the sides of pot. Remove from the sink and use a paring knife to separate the rice from the pot. Place a large plate or platter over the pot and invert the two so the tahchin falls onto the plate. Spoon the dried barberries on and around the tahchin, then garnish with parsley leaves and serve.

Serves 8 – 10.