Simple Spring Sauteed Asparagus

I’ve mentioned before how much I’ve grown to love asparagus recently (see post on grilling asparagus here). Until last week, the weather has meant no grilling, so we had to find new ways to prepare this wonderful spring vegetable. So I give you simple sauteed asparagus.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons butter
1 bunch fresh asparagus
3 cloves garlic, minced
Yes, just three ingredients.

Directions:
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. You want a pan big enough that the asparagus is in one layer and not stacked on top of each other. Add the garlic and cook for about one minute. Then add the asparagus spears (again in a single layer). cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until asparagus is tender. Don’t over cook! As soon as the asparagus is tender remove it from the heat.

My opinion:
I know what you’re thinking, this is so simple how could it possibly be that amazing? It is. Simple ingredients let the main star, the perfect spring asparagus, shine. I’m sure if you try it, you’ll be surprised. But of course, if you aren’t let me know!

Advertisements

Gazpacho

20110809-021244.jpg

This super easy and delicious meal is a great way to use up the extra tomatoes from your garden.

Ingredients:
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
2 red bell peppers, Seeded and chopped
2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Directions: put everything into a blender. You may have to work in batches. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Plate, drizzle with olive oil. Serve chilled with a few cocktail shrimp and toasted bread.

My opinion:
This is delicious. Wonderful on a hot summer evening.

Turkey Stuffed Peppers

This easy meal takes less than a half an hour including cooking time. It’s perfect for one of those rushed, weekday meals.

Ingredients:
6 ounces ground turkey breast
4 green or red peppers
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup shredded carrot
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion (red or white)
1/4 chopped baby spinach
1/2 cup wild rice (precooked)
1 tsp Italian seasoning

Directions:
Cut the tops off the peppers. Take out the seeds and membranes. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet, over medium heat, heat the oil. Add and brown the ground turkey. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Add the garlic and onions. Cook about 4 minutes, or until the onion in translucent and the garlic fragrant. Add the cooked rice, carrot, spinach. Heat through. Stuff the mixture into the peppers. Add stuffed peppers to an oven safe dish (we used a bread loaf pan). Cover with foil and cook 15 minutes. Remove foil and cook five more minutes.

My Opinion:
This dish was easy, filling and delicious. The only thing I’ll change is next time, I’ll add more Italian seasoning. The meat was well seasoned, but the rest of the dish needed a little more.

J’s Lasagna

I’ll be truthful, I prefer simple, clean flavors. I don’t like meat in the pasta sauce and I’m not in love with Ricotta cheese. After years of eating my family’s version of lasagna, J couldn’t take it anymore. He had to make his own.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
24 ounces cottage cheese or 24 ounces ricotta cheese (we used half and half to appease me)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 lb mozzarella cheese, divided
12 -15 lasagna noodles

Directions:
Brown ground beef, onion and garlic. Add salt and next 5 ingredients; stirring until well mixed. Simmer 1 hour. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside. Combine cottage cheese, eggs, pepper, Parmesan cheese and 1/2 of mozzarella cheese; In a lasagna pan, layer noodles, meat sauce, and cheese mixture; repeat. Top off with layer of noodles; sprinkle evenly with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until cheese mixture is thoroughly melted.

My Opinion:
I’m not 100 percent sure J followed this recipe exactly, but if he didn’t he followed it pretty close. He modified it from this Food.com recipe. All in all, it was pretty good. I would let him make it again. It was a bit light on the cheese, which is the part of the lasagna I like most. We’ll fix that. I’m sure over time, we can find a good blend of my version of lasagna and his version.

Don’t forget! #cookchat this Thursday, January 20 at noon! Hope to see you there!