Vegetables

Asparagus NOT With Ham

We like ham. We like asparagus. We even like ham and asparagus together. However, we’d already eaten a lot of ham with crackers and cheese over the weekend, ham with scrambled eggs for breakfast, and ham in the bean soup I packed for lunch. The asparagus I purchased on Saturday wasn’t getting any younger, although the spears were still standing pretty tall in the mug in the refrigerator, so Monday night was the right time to make use of the fresh, green vegetable.

Did you know that chicken is more pleasant to eat if you only cook it until it is just no longer pink? Until I watched an old Julia Child video about chicken, I hadn’t really considered that chicken might get tough if you cooked it too long or over too high of heat.

Usually, we like to broil the asparagus sprinkled with Parmesean and olive oil, but I decided to try a stove-top recipe with a balsamic-honey-dijon vinaigrette this time.

I thought that I might be able to guage the texture of the chicken better if I could watch it, rather than have to guess what was happening in the oven or under the broiler.

The chicken and the sauce did turn out nicely, and it paired well with the noodles that my husband prepared. However, we probably prefer broiled Parmesean and asparagus.

 

noodles chicken asparagus tomatoes balsamicIngredients

  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • about 6 chicken breast tenders (You may want to cut them into smaller chunks.)
  •  salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • handful of asparagus spears, woody ends snapped off, remainder cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tomato, cut into about 8 pieces

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and continue whisking until the mixture is well combined. Set it aside.
  2. Over medium heat, heat remaining oil in a medium-sized frying pan. Add the chicken, season it with salt and pepper, and sear until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Remove it from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add  just enough hot water to the pan that you can simmer the asparagus. Cook it until the asparagus is bright green. Add the tomatoes, season with more salt and pepper, and  continue to cook the vegetables until the tomatoes are slightly wilted.
  4. Return the chicken to the pan and pour in the vinaigrette. Toss the vegetables and chicken together and continue to cook the mixture until the chicken is heated through and the vinaigrette thickens.
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Categories: Chicken, Food and drink, pasta, sauces & condiments, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This Week

Categories: bacon, beef, Bread, Breakfast, Cheese, Chicken, Dessert, Food and drink, German food, Potato, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brussels Sprouts

 

“I don’t even know what you’d do with it,” said the friend that offered me a food processor. One of the topics at the lunchroom table that afternoon was gambling, and I’d mentioned that I was waiting to see if I would win a sweepstakes that was giving away stand mixers. She was suprised that I don’t own one yet and that I don’t have a food processor either. Then she remembered that she had one in a box on her give-away shelf that she would be glad to let me have.

So, I had to do some research to see if I would really want a gadget that would take up space in my kitchen. What would I do with a food processor that I couldn’t do with a chef’s knife and/or a blender?

Google helped me come up with this list: potato latkes, yucca pizza dough, carrot salad, hummus, pesto, curry paste, date truffles, tzatziki, tomato sauce, and shaved brussels sprouts.

I was convinced enough to accept her offer.

I already had chickpeas, garlic, and olive oil, so hummus wouldn’t be a problem. Potatoes and onions for latkes? check! The shaved Brussels sprouts with cranberries recipe was tempting enough for me scribble “Brussels sprouts” down on my list of things to look for at the South Philly “Italian” market that weekend.

Saturday. After I’d taken the produce out of all the little bags from the market and put them away, I decided to take a look at the food processor. The cardboard pieces and bubble wrap were still wrapped around the pieces. But when I had taken everything out of the box, there was no metal blade. Perhaps they’d come up with a way for the plastic disc to to the work? No. So I re-wrapped the pieces and returned them to the puzzle box.

Thankfully, I had only purchased enough Brussels sprouts to make a test batch. With the  sharp blade of my 21-year-old chef knife, making shreds out of the miniature cabbages wasn’t too difficult. I even decided to slice a root of ginger to make my own crystalized ginger for the recipe.

shredded brussels sprouts craisins red onion

There were recipes for either cold or warm shredded sprouts. Rather than make a sort of coleslaw, I decided to braise the ingredients (in chicken broth) then add butter, salt, and pepper. The next evening I warmed the shredded Brussels sprouts with some pieces of leftover pork. Potato-and-Cheddar-cheese perogies were a satisfactory compliment to our meal.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts & Pierogies

Categories: Brussels sprouts, Food and drink, Pork, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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