Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Asparagus with Orange Sauce - Because it's Spring...........

Aaahhh, asparagus. Always a welcome sight in Spring. Although available, imported of course, in the grocery stores nearly all winter long, the sudden drop in price signals that Spring is here. Well, officially here........just don't look out your window.

I recently did this recipe for a Spanish Cocina class. Thought I would share :) I thought the orange made for a nice change from the usual lemon that usually accompanies asparagus, at least in our house. Of course, this would also be lovely with lemon substituted for the orange.

Asparagus with Orange Sauce

1 pound (give or take) asparagus, tough ends trimmed

1 TSP butter

1 TBSP water


1 TBSP butter

1 TBSP brown sugar

juice of 1 orange

1 TSP finely shredded orange zest

pinch salt

In a small pot, heat the 1 TBSP butter over med/low heat. Add the brown sugar, stirring to dissolve. Add the orange juice, zest & salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture has turned slightly syrupy. Set aside while the asparagus is cooking.

Using a large frying pan, that has a lid (or use tinfoil if you have no lid), heat the butter over medium heat until bubbly. Add the asparagus & 1 TBSP water. Cover & allow to cook for a few minutes. The amount of time will depend on how thick your asparagus is. Check it after a couple of minutes, & keep checking until it's almost at the tenderness you prefer. Uncover, & allow the remaining water to pretty much boil off.

Drizzle the prepared orange sauce over top, tossing to combine (with tongs, or by flipping mid-air in the pan, if you are feeling especially daring). Serve immediately.



Wild Serendipity Foods

Monday, March 16, 2009

Disregard the Post Below :(

If it makes us feel any better (& it is a small comfort), it snowed in Vancouver on Friday..............
it will come eventually........won't it??!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Well, I do declare.............

.............that Spring is finally here!!
It just feels like it, doesn't it? After the rather brutal weather we've had over the past 4 months, hopefully this really is it!
Yesterday was our "It's Your Lucky Day" at the Saskatoon Farmer's Market, in honour of St. Patrick's day on the 17th. As I started doing for last year's St. Patrick's Day, I made my Matcha Green Tea White Chocolate scones. If you haven't seen them, they are a pale green - I always feel like I should mark on the label "don't be afraid" because they look so......well, odd. But for those that love green tea, they are always a hit.
Since I am adamant that Spring has arrived, I did a couple of seasonal things - my flatbread pizza with asparagus (& feta, pesto.......) and Greek Avgolemono soup. There's something about Greek food, in general, that seems to shout out "Spring".
We moved into a new house a little over a year ago, & the sod was laid quite late in the summer. Now that there are flower beds & a bit of shrubbery, surrounded by a fence, no less, I am looking forward to planning out a bit of landscaping. It's kind of exciting starting with a blank slate. The general theme will be low maintenance; evergreen trees/shrubs, some perennials. We'll see if my blue hydrangea survived this winter. And of course, lots & lots of sunflowers :) Now that most people around us also have sod & fencing, the dustbowl (& subsequent constantly dirty children) that we endured last summer will have passed, thankfully.
So, Happy Spring (may it truly be)!!!
Michelle Zimmer
Wild Serendipity Foods

Sunday, March 01, 2009

New Recipes, as seen on ShawTV

I recently filmed two more episodes with ShawTV - they'll be airing in a week or two. Here they are:

Strawberry Salad with Chocolate Balsamic Dressing:
I did this dish for my "Chocolate Lovers" class just before Valentine's Day - it's really refreshing, a great salad for Spring or especially Summer, when you can get local, vine-ripened strawberries.

4 to 6 cups mixed baby greens
2 cups strawberries, halved
1/2 English cucumber, sliced into half moons
1/2 cup crumbled cheese (chevre, blue cheese, pear, or other fruited blue cheese, Boursin with pepper)
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup balsamic dressing
1/2 cup sugar
25 grams dark chocolate, chopped (1 square, if using Baker's chocolate)

To make dressing, heat the balsamic vinegar & the sugar in a small pot, stirring frequently. Continue to cook until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat & add the chocolate. The residual heat will melt the chocolate. Set aside to cool.

Rinse & dry the greens. Arrange on plates. Top each salad plate with sliced cucumber & strawberries. Garnish with the sliced almonds & crumbled cheese.

Whisk the cooled chocolate balsamic dressing until smooth; drizzle over the salad just before serving. Top with freshly cracked black pepper.

Baked Apple Oatmeal
I love this dish - it's great on its own, or served along with other brunch dishes. Any leftovers can be eaten cold, or reheated.

1 1/4 cups oats (quick cooking or minute - do not use quick oats)
1/2 cup raisins or cranraisins (omit if you have picky cooked fruit eaters in your household)
2 cups milk - homogenized, preferably, but use any kind you like
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 TSP (or more) cinnamon
1/2 TSP vanilla
pinch salt
1 TBSP melted butter
2 cooking apples (Granny Smith), peeled, cored & chopped
sliced almonds, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon & salt. Add the milk, vanilla & melted butter. Stir to combine. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. (prepare the apples while waiting).

Lightly oil or grease a 2 quart baking dish. Mix the apples into the oat mixture & pour into the baking dish. Top with sliced almonds. Bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Allow to stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve with additional milk, if desired.