Asparagus is Here!

469631828   Did you know there are male and female forms of asparagus?  And generally, we are purchasing male asparagus – who knew?  Whether it is green, white, male or female, asparagus is a fun, spring vegetable to eat – as it is proper protocol to actually eat with your fingers.  Try this crazy easy recipe for your next asparagus side dish.

Sauteed Asparagus with Easy Hollandaise – serves 4

1 bunch of asparagus – prepare by bending the stalk and it will automatically break at tenderness part to discard the woody stalky portion

1 T. butter

6 egg yolks, 1 cup of melted butter, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice, dash of hot sauce

In a large pan, add 1/2 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of butter and bring to low boil – add the asparagus stalks and cook until bright green – only 3 to 4 minutes.  In a blender,combine 6 eggs yolks, 1 t. Dijon mustard, 2 T. lemon juice and whirl in blender a few seconds.  Slowly add in to whirling blender – 1 cup of melted butter to form the sauce ( emulsion 101).  Keep the blender in a hot water bath and pour on asparagus just before serving – Yum!


Mushroom Tip # 6 – Add enough Fat

The reason most people stir their mushrooms too frequently is that as the mushrooms cook, the fat seems to inexplicably disappear from the pan. This causes folks to over stir the mushrooms leading to problems. Instead add fat in small doses through out the cooking process. Add a spoonful at a time as they cook instead.

Mushroom Tip # 5 – Leave them Be/Don’t stir them

Constantly sautéeing and stirring mushrooms means they won’t have an opportunity to become golden and brown – they won’t carmalize and develop their deep yummy flavor and will instead become grey and rubbery.

Mushroom Tip # 4 – Start with a really hot Pan

Use a good quality aluminum or cast iron pan and allow it to come to temperature first. Add the mushrooms, but don’t overcrowd them in the pan. Place mushrooms in the pan, stir them around a bit (to get coated in oil/fluid in the pan) then let them cook for a bit. If you want crispy mushrooms, resist the urge to stir.

Mushroom Tip # 3 – Salt them at the End

Seasoning food often and early is a good rule of thumb, except when it comes to mushrooms. Salt tends to draw the moisture out of ingredients, so if you’re cooking mushrooms, salting too early will draw the water out and cause the mushrooms to steam. See Tip #2 for why it’s not a good idea to steam mushrooms. Season them when they’re done cooking.

Mushroom Tip # 2 – Dry them properly

Washing mushroom with water is up for debate. Personally, we wipe mushrooms with a damp paper towel. If you do decide to wash your mushrooms, be sure that they are completely dry before cooking them. If they’re not totally dry, they will steam which can impart a rubbery texture to them. Place washed mushrooms on a towel and leave them to dry for 30 minutes or longer.

Mushroom Tip #1 – Don’t suffocate them

Take mushrooms out of the sealed plastic wrap container and place them in an brown paper bag in the refrigerator. Place a damp paper towel over the mushrooms to keep them from drying out.
The paper towel should be damp, not wet.

Strawberry Care

When you get them home, sort but do not clean them until just before you use them! Store the berries uncovered in the refrigerator in the original or a shallow container. When you are ready to use the berries, wash them quickly in cold water. Do not let them soak. Lift them gently from the wash water and drain them well before you hull them, and most importantly…..ENJOY!

Room Temperature Butter Tip

If your recipe calls for room temperature butter and you’re in a hurry, try this tip.  Put boiling hot water in a glass and let it sit for 30 seconds. Dump the water out and flip it upside down over your stick of butter. In a few minutes it will be soft and ready to use!  butter

Garlic Tip

Peeling fresh garlic can be a sticky and odiferous process. Try smashing a clove of garlic with the side of your knife insteadgarlic. It’s the quickest way to remove the peel. Place your knife flat on its side above the clove of garlic and carefully apply pressure until the garlic clove flattens. The peel and the flesh separate into two pieces, leaving the cutting board free of debris.