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Saturday, May 05, 2012

Saturday Beefcake for Asparagus Lovers

We've been hearing that the asparagus is early this year on account of the warm winter and is quite good. Here are recipes using the wonderful vegetable along with this site's usual fare, and an artichoke recipe thrown in for good measure

Salmon Fillet with Tomatoes Concasse

Salmon Fillets, four trimmed 175 grams each
Olive Oil, one teaspoon
Ground Pepper
Butter, unsalted, 115 grams
Asparagus Spears, two bunches trimmed
Tomatoes, six, blanched, peeled, seeded, chopped
Fresh dill, chopped, one teaspoon
Lemon zest from one lemon
Preheated Oven 375F/190C

1. Place the fillets on a cutting board and drizzle with oil.
2. Season to taste with pepper. Cook the fillets in a skillet with nonskin side down first. Brown each side.
3. Transfer to roasting pan and bake in oven for twelve minutes until the fish flakes easily.
4. Melt the butter in a small pan and then let it stand until it separates and discard the white residue.
5. Cook the asparagus in boiling water for about three minutes, then drain and rinse under cold water.
6. Add the tomatoes, dill and lemond rind to the butter. Heat.
7. Plate onto four separate plates topped with the tomato dressing.

This recipe was stolen from a book the cover of which declares the recipes therein ravishing. Ravishing or ravished, there will be no quibbling here--ravish away.
In 1984 Elisa Celli wrote a very sensible diet cook, The Pasta Diet. It’s a two week low calorie regimen that points the dieter in all the right directions.

This recipe is quite delicious and versatile whether you’re following the diet or not.

Asparagus Stuffed Eggs

Asparagus, six fresh spears
Eggs, four, hard boiled
Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed, one quarter cup
Tarragon, fresh, minced, one teaspoon
Garlic, one clove, crushed, peeled
Pimiento, drained and cut into strips

1. Wash and trim the asparagus, breaking off the tough bottoms. Blanch them. They could also be steamed for five to six minutes.
2. The eggs are now shelled and halved.
3. Blend the yolks with the asparagus, lemon juice, tarragon and garlic until reduced to a puree.
4. Stuff the egg whites with the puree and garnish with the pimiento strips.
5. Roasted red pepper strips are easily a substitute for the pimiento. Also, this is grandly served on a bed of your favourite lentil recipe—an excellent presentation.

This is a very good accompaniment—with a variation or two—from La Celli using artichoke bottoms:

Artichoke & Mushroom Salad

Artichoke Bottoms, four, cooked, cooled
Mushrooms, six large, fresh, washed, trimmed
Vegetable Oil, one and a half tablespoons (maybe even olive oil)
Red Wine Vinegar (Balsamic?) two tablespoons
Dijon Mustard, one tablespoon
Dried basil and oregano mixture, one teaspoon
Romaine Leaves, eight

1. Cut the cooked bottoms into thin slices.
2. Cut the mushrooms into thinner slices than the chokes.
3. Combine the vegetables.
4. Combine the oil, vinegar, mustard and seasonings. Pour over the vegetables.
5. Divide the mixture and place in the lettuce leaves.

Enjoy the two young men here who are pointed in your direction. And we do love cooking bottoms.

Penne with Salmon and Asparagus

Penne, cooked, 250 grams/six to eight ounces
Chicken Bouillon Cube
Dry White Wine, one half cup
Salmon Fillets, four, three-ounce, skinned and boned
Fresh Asparagus, pieces, one inch, one cup
Sour Cream, one cup, nonfat is good, low fat is better
Mustard, whole grain mustard, three tablespoons
Sea Salt, three quarter teaspoon
Black Pepper, freshly ground, one half teaspoon
Chives, fresh, chopped, one quarter cup

1. Dissolve bouillon cube in boiling water, stirring add the wine.
2. Add salmon and asparagus to a large skillet. Poach for about five minutes. Fish should flake and asparagus should be "tender-crisp."
3. Flake the salmon into bite size pieces.
4. Remove the salmon and asparagus with slotted spoon to a bowl with the pasta.
5. Reserve the cooking liquid.
6. Beat the sour cream with mustard, salt, pepper and three tablespoons of the chives and reserved cooking liquid.
7. Pour over pasta mixture. Toss. Sprinkle with remaining chives.

The original recipe from Weight Watchers is per serving: 364 calories, twenty-nine grams of protein, seven grams of fat, forty grams of carbohydrates, two grams fiber, forty-seven milligrams cholesterol.
Might even do well with whole grain pasta.

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