It’s definitely spring! Asparagus and strawberries are the stars of the season, and I’ve been trying to use them as much as possible. Here’s a few of the more exciting dishes I’ve made:
Asparagus, Salami, Mushroom and Roquefort Pizza
I can’t take any credit for this – it was all Johnny. In the interest of time, he used a store bought sprouted wheat crust. For the sauce he mixed some pre-made pesto with tomato paste – then he piled on Mozzarella, Salami, Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Roquefort Cheese.
Mmmmmmm……Here it is before cooking…..
And here it is right out of the oven. The large pieces of Asparagus made it a bit of a challenge to eat, but we managed! It was delicious!
Polenta Casserole & Strawberry Shortcake
It had been a while since we’d had Polenta, so I decided to make a spring themed Polenta dish. Above is the Green Garlic in the setting sun. Green Garlic is basically a baby garlic clove, harvested before it’s had a chance to develop. I sauteed chopped Green Garlic with Spring Onions……
Plus some spicy Italian Sausage, Asparagus……
Local Red Russian Kale, and a little Sage from the front porch…..
I layered the vegetable/sausage mixture with sliced Polenta (I bought the Polenta pre-made, although if I had more time I could easily have made it from scratch.) I topped the casserole with canned Tomato sauce, Fontina and Parmesan Cheese (I chose these cheeses only because we had some in the fridge that needed to be used.) I baked the whole thing until it was bubbly.
We ate it with a salad of local Spring Mix, Walnuts, and Blue Cheese.
And Strawberry Shortcake for dessert. We sell these little $.99 shortcakes at the Co-op. They’re really good! I didn’t even bother to whip the cream, I just poured it over the top. Delicious! The Strawberries aren’t quite at their prime yet, but they finally taste like real strawberries!
Rosemary Roquefort Buffalo Steaks and Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding
I’ve been meaning to make Bread Pudding for a while. Johnny eats a Cashew Butter/Apple Butter sandwich with sliced Hazelnut sandwich bread every morning, but he never eats the heels. They’ve been piling up in the freezer waiting to be made into something. Tonight I decided it was finally the time. I had some Buttermilk that needed to be used up, so I searched for a Buttermilk Bread Pudding recipe. Here’s the onethat I found, which I followed loosely.
First I mixed the bread with melted butter and chocolate chips….
Then I combined the bread mixture with a mixture of eggs, sugar, milk, buttermilk, and vanilla. The whole thing is soaked for a few minutes and then put in a baking dish (I used a pie pan,) sprinkled with nutmeg, and baked.
Here it is out of the oven. The setting sun was really bright at that particular moment, so the picture isn’t that great.
It turned out really well. What a great way to use bread that would have otherwise been thrown out! I made a strawberry sauce to go with it – just pureed strawberries with Agave Nectar, Cream Sherry, and Vanilla.
While the pudding was baking, I cooked the steaks. This recipe is taken from epicurious.com. First I trimmed all the fat off the buffalo steaks and seared them in the cast iron skillet.
Then I spread Dijon Mustard on the steaks, sprinkled them with fresh Rosemary, and roasted them for about 10 minutes.
Here they are out of the oven. We moved them to a cutting board, sliced them horizontally, and stuffed them with a mixture of Butter and Roquefort Cheese (the recipe calls for Gorgonzola, but we happened to have some Roquefort, so we used that instead.)
We had them with baked potatoes on the side. This was seriously one of the best dished I’ve made in a long while! Really rich, but totally worth it! I really like buffalo – it’s leaner and higher in iron than beef. Plus, since buffalo haven’t been willing to be domesticated like cattle, there ‘s really no such thing as non-free range buffalo.
And of course, Leo the cat watches it all with interest……..He’s always delighted when we eat anything meaty since he gets to try it too!
Last weekend we planted potatoes!
I cut them up the day before so they could heal over a little….
Here’s the patch that we planted. We made a kind of elliptical shape. I hope they come up! It’s been a week, and there’s no sign of anything yet.
We used some of the compost from our kitchen composter when planting the potatoes. There’s an amazing number or worms in it – definitely a good sign! Using composted kitchen waste to help fertilize next years potatoes which will eventually contribute to the kitchen waste….it’s a simple cycle, but it feel really good on a symbolic level.