Recipes, Salads & Sides, Vegetables

Asparagus Ramp Sauté

Ramp Asparagus Saute

Two vegetables that have become synonymous with the early days of spring are asparagus and ramps. Asparagus has always been a favorite of mine. Another vegetable I avoid out-of-season, as it never tastes the same. But when those crisp tender stalks hit the Greenmarkets, I’m usually roasting, sautéing or steaming at least 2-3 times a week. Overindulgence almost makes me grow sick of asparagus, as June rolls around, leaving me satisfied for another year to come.

But ramps. How is it that until about 2 years ago, I never even knew what these beautiful wispy greens were?! I first discovered them at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket. With no idea of what I was getting into and no plan, I purchased a few bunches. Still, my favorite preparation is soft scrambled eggs with sharp cheddar. Last year I even attempted my own gnocchi. Pretty much any recipe that could involve ramps, in my household, does.

With such a fleeting window of harvest for both these amazing vegetables, what better than combine them into a single dish? The addition of mushrooms added some heartiness, still appropriate as the days continue from winter to summer. (Because really, do we get much spring these days?). Plus a dash of lemon for brightness. This is a dish you need to make now. Because in two weeks, you probably won’t be able to.

Ramp Asparagus Saute

Asparagus Ramp Sauté (Serves 4-6)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bunches asparagus, woody ends removed and sliced into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 c sliced cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • 1 large bunch of ramps, thinly sliced, green parts only
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add the asparagus and mushrooms, cooking until asparagus is bright green and just tender. Meanwhile, zest and juice the lemon.

Stir ramps into the asparagus until just wilted. Add lemon juice, zest and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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Main Dishes, Poultry, Recipes

SRC: Jammy Lacquered Wings

Jammy Baked Wings

My Secret Recipe Club assignment this month was The Texan New Yorker. Julie was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, where she spent most of her life before moving the New York Metro Area. One of my favorite cuisines in Brooklyn is finger-licking BBQ, preferably served on metal trays lined with wax paper, ala Fette Sau. What better way to bring BBQ to my very own kitchen, than go with a Texan who knows?

I was immediately drawn to Julie’s Balsamic-Lacquered Baked Wings. Wings have been a go-to weekly dinner lately. With a quick marinade and less than 30 minutes to bake–toss it with a simple salad and dinner is easy as pie. I switched up the ingredient ratio a bit, mostly from misreading of the measurements (oops…) but still a winner. Jammy with a great blend of sweet and sour.

Jammy Lacquered Wings (adapted from The Texas New Yorker) Serves 2

  • 1/3 c fig jam (or jam of your choice
  • 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 lbs. chicken wings, split in two parts, and tips discarded

Preheat your oven to 450° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil Fit with a wire rack and set aside.

In a small to medium saucepot, combine the jam, vinegar, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and let it go a few minutes, until thick and glossy. Stir in salt, cayenne and garlic powder. Remove from heat.

Jammy Baked Wings

Place the wings in a large mixing bowl and pour the sauce over them. Quickly toss to coat thoroughly. Place the wings on the baking sheet in a single layer, skin side up. Roast for 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Uncategorized

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day! Too often we take our mothers for granted. I know I do. Sometimes my mom drives me crazy, but she dedicated her life to raising my brother and I, mostly on her own. Without her, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

Lamb, Main Dishes, Recipes

Spring Lamb Stew

Spring Lamb Stew

Spring can be a bit unpredictable. Just last weekend it was 80 degrees in Brooklyn. Followed immediately by a blustery 50 degree day. The variability is actually one of my favorite parts of spring. It opens up a full spectrum of dishes to try. Some days it’s warm, and you feel like grilling. But on chillier evenings, you can still enjoy maybe your last bowl of soup until fall comes around.

Last year for Easter, I felt the need to make lamb. It’s just so traditional. Considering I’m not a huge fan of lamb, it’s not something I cook often, with the exception of my at least once-a-month lamb with peas rotational dish. I wasn’t about to invest in a while rack of lamb. There’s nothing worse than splurging on a fancy cut of meat, only to mess it up. I did not want to risk an overcooked lamb dish. So instead, my mind shifted to stew.

Like many braises, it’s a dish that can be cooked well in advance, letting you spend your evening with your guests, rather than holed up in the kitchen. Slow stewed lamb, crisp asparagus, tender carrots and fresh herbs come together in this spring-on-a-plate dish. True when I made this dish, it was too early for local asparagus, so I had to fudge things a bit. But any day now, we should see those tender stalks shooting up at farm stands. A perfect mother’s day supper, me thinks.

Spring Lamb Stew with Green Herbs (adapted from Cooking Light) Serves 6

  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 4 c chopped onions
  • 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 lb lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 bottle fruity white wine (I used gewürztraminer)
  • 1 c chicken broth
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • A few cranks of fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp each chopped fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano, mixed together
  • 1/2 lb turnips, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed of woody ends and cut into 2-inch pieces

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic to pan and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Spoon onion mixture into a large bowl. Add half the lamb to the pan and saute until browned. Remove from pan and add to the onion mixture. Add the remaining lamb to the pan, brown and add to onion mixture.

Add wine to the pan, scrapping the pan to loosen the browned bits. Return lamb mixture to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Add half the herb mixture and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and summer for 90 minutes, or until lamb is very tender.

Add turnips and carrots. Continue to simmer, covered, for 40 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add asparagus and cook until asparagus is bright green and tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining herb mixture. Serve aside roasted new potatoes and plenty of bread to soak up the sauce.

Cookies, Dessert, Recipes, Secret Recipe Club

SRC – SRC {Gluten Free} Coconut and Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Cookies

Coconut and Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Cookies

Another Secret Recipe Club reveal. This month I was assigned to Manu’s Menu. Manu lives in Australia, but was raised in Italy. Not surprising, her blog focuses on classic Italian recipes, simple enough to make in a home kitchen. So many delicious pasta and cheese recipes! But I was more in the mood for something sweet.

Continue reading “SRC – SRC {Gluten Free} Coconut and Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Cookies”