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Posts Tagged ‘welcome books’

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It’s that time of year — asparagus is filling the green markets and being plucked from home gardens.  There is nothing as delicious to see than those bright green heads peeking up through the softening earth.  When I was a little one – there I go again talking about when I was —- my mom and aunt would take me in hand as they scouted the edges of irrigation ditches looking for the first spring crop.  I have absolutely no idea why asparagus grew along the ditches but if any of you readers do please tell me.  We would have asparagus every night until it got too warm and the asparagus disappeared.  It would also be canned and pickled.

When I use it in risotto, I like to add the trimmings to the stock to deepen the asparagus flavor.  And, if you don’t have stock or broth on hand, just add the trimmings to water and that will give you a flavorful stock.  If you have any on hand, a small dice of fennel also works to add some complexity to the final dish.

Serves 4

Approximately 4 cups hot chicken stock or low-sodium chicken

broth

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ cup finely diced onion

Salt

1 cup Arborio rice

½ cup dry white wine

1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut, on the diagonal, into

thin pieces

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pepper

Place the chicken stock or broth in a large saucepan over medium heat.  If you have them, add the trimmings from the asparagus to the stock to add flavor.  Bring to a simmer; then, remove from the heat and keep warm.  

Place the butter in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat.  When melted, add the onion and season with salt.  Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or just until the onion begins to soften.  Lower the heat, add the rice and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until the rice is shiny and has absorbed some of the butter.

Return the stock to low heat.

Add the wine to the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes or until the rice has absorbed the wine.  

Begin adding the hot stock, about ¼ cup at a time, and continue to cook, stirring constantly, as each ¼ cup is absorbed and the rice is creamy but, al dente.

Stir in the asparagus and olive oil and cook for an additional 4 minutes or until the asparagus is still crisp-tender.

Remove from the heat and stir in half of the cheese.  Cover and let stand for 3 minutes.

Uncover and pour into individual serving bowls.  Garnish with the remaining ½ cup of cheese and a sprinkle of pepper.

Serve immediately.  

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tuna Tartare

 

If you have followed my posts for a bit (or are the owner of our recent book, An American Family Cooks, Welcome Books) you will be familiar with (my son) Mickey’s passion for cooking.  Every once in awhile he shows up in my kitchen with his family (complete with dog, Lily) in tow and manages to turn it into a disaster area, using every pot and pan and dish that I have (and I have a goodly supply).  However, these photos will show you what results so you know that I don’t mind doing KP.  On the menu for his recent cooking marathon:
With our bubbly:  I made hummus (as always) as requested by Laurel, Mickey’s wife and Mickey decided that some baby Brussels sprouts I had would be just the right amuse – so he sautéed them with some pancetta and orange.
Then:  Tuna Tartare with Lime-Ginger Dressing followed by Seared Sea Scallops with a Melange of Purple Asparagus and Exotic Mushrooms followed by Hangar Steak with Balsamic Reduction, Gnocchi with Parmesan and Butter, Carrots and Snap Peas Poached in Butter.  For the kids, the big hit of the night seemed to be my mound of Vermont butter slathered on Italian bread.  Go figure……

 

scallops

Hangar Steak

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AnAmericanfamilycooks

We are so excited about the reception our new book, An American Family Cooks, has received .  Just this past week we were featured on Amazon as one of the top selects for Thanksgiving cooking.  For cooks, recipes seem to be inviting and for readers, the stories entertain.  If you haven’t seen it, Amazon or Welcome Books (www.welcomebooks.com) are great places to read a bit about it and, should you desire, order your very own copy.

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Cocktail_Test.IMG_5253

Cheers to the end-of-summer!  Celebrate the coming of fall and the family holidays ahead with my latest cookbook  An American Family Cooks to be published by Welcome Books on September 24th.  It may be pre-ordered online:

http://www.welcomebooks.com/americanfamilycooks/

or through your favorite bookstore.

Mine is Micawber’s Books in St. Paul. ( micawbers.blogspot.com )

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AFC_cover

Wonderful News!  Coming this fall from Welcome Books is An American Family Cooks, my dream book, featuring recipes and tales from my family of cooks.  My sons, Mickey and Chris, feature prominently with wine suggestions by Chris a special treat.  My grandchildren will also be found among the pages as will paintings from Steve Kolyer.  We will keep you posted on our activities as the October publishing date gets close.

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