Showing posts with label asparagus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label asparagus. Show all posts

Friday, May 26, 2017

It's Asparagus Season!

I like asparagus. I like it steamed, with butter (oh, all right--I like almost anything with butter). I don’t like it drowned in sauce—hollandaise is good stuff but it kind of overpowers the delicate taste of fresh asparagus. But there are some things that it goes nicely with, and I found a new recipe!

Chicken with Asparagus and Leeks

2 medium leeks (white and green parts 
only, not the whole thing), sliced into 1/3” rounds

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp salt
a few grinds of black pepper

chicken breasts or thighs (a note: chicken breasts vary widely in size these days, from normal to ridiculously large, so saying use two or four really doesn’t help you much. I prefer white meat so I’m using two monster breasts, which together weigh maybe three to four pounds. This should be enough for two adults with healthy appetites with some left over for lunch the next day.)

1/2 cup dry white wine
1-1/2 cups chicken broth

3/4 lb medium asparagus with the tough ends trimmed off, cut on an angle into 2-3 pieces per stalk

1 Tblsp finely grated lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tblsp fresh dill, chopped


Rinse the leeks to get rid of any grit.

Heat 2 Tblsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot (but not smoking). Add the leeks and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook, turning occasionally, until they are just turning golden (about 15-18 minutes). Remove them from the skillet.

Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. In another skillet add the rest of the oil and saute the chicken pieces (f you’re using bone-in breasts or thighs, cook the skin side first), about 12-16 minutes depending on the thickness of the pieces (the chicken will finish cooking in the next step). Pour the fat out of the pan and discard.

Add the wine to the pan, bring to a simmer, and cook, scraping up the bits on the bottom (about 1 minute). Add the broth to the pan, then return the chicken pieces (skin side up). Lower the heat to medium-low and cover, cooking until the chicken is cooked through (maybe another 15 minutes—as I said, it depends on the chicken).

In the first skillet you used, cook the asparagus pieces in 2 Tblsp of water, covered, over medium heat, for about 5 minutes (don’t let the asparagus get mushy!). Remove the skillet from the heat and add 1/2 tsp of lemon zest, a bit of salt and a pinch of pepper. Stir gently.

To serve, place a chicken piece in each plate, then add the asparagus and the reserved leeks, Reheat the broth, add the lemon juice, then ladle the liquid over the chicken in the bowls. Sprinkle the top with chopped dill and some more lemon zest. You can serve this with rice or pasta.

Goodness! I'm in the middle of editing two books right now, but nothing new is coming until November! Don't forget me!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Asparagus with fried egg by Linda Wiken, author #giveaway #new release

I'm so excited! My Dinner Club Mysteries have now launched, with the first book in the series, TOASTING UP TROUBLE out this week! So, besides presenting a recipe today, I'm also doing a giveaway. But first, the food!

If you have the time in the morning to get creative with breakfast, here's a healthy and tasty alternative to a plain old fried egg. It would also be great for a brunch! Or lunch, or even dinner.
And, although it take a bit more time, it's really very easy to do.

Here's what you'll need:

one egg egg
handful of asparagus spears
shaved cooked ham (as much as you'd like!)
1/2 c. panko
half clove garlic, slivered
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper


And here's what you do:

In a skillet, saute asparagus in 1 tbsp. olive oil for approx. 3 minutes.

While still crisp, remove and keep warm. Add panko and slivered garlic; saute until golden.

In another skillet, add 1/2 tbsp. olive oil then fry egg to sunnyside-up perfection.

Layer on plate -- start with asparagus, then add the shaved ham, the fried egg and sprinkle with the panko mixture. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.


It's here -- TOASTING UP TROUBLE released last week! 

It's the first in the Dinner Club Mysteries and you can win a copy by leaving a comment on today's blog. The lucky winner's name will be drawn tomorrow at noon. Good Luck!

Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

Visit Linda at
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at

Visit Erika at 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Easiest Spring Salmon and Asparagus #dinner #recipe

LUCY BURDETTE: The farmers market opened in Connecticut last week on the town green and I can't tell you how happy that made me! So far we have nothing in the garden other than asparagus, so I went shopping with vegetables and bread on my mind. I was also in the state of mourning over the yellowtail snapper in Key West as well as the Key West pink shrimp. So I was happy to see the fish vendor's booth not too crowded. (Keep in mind that it was raining and in the low 50s, so only the most intrepid souls were out.)

I've never been a big fan of salmon, but we know it's good for us (try to eat wild, not farmed.) And our son-in-law made us a delicious grilled salmon on a cedar plank last month. So I decided to try a recipe for myself. 

"How are you going to cook it?" asked the fish lady.
"I have no idea," I admitted.
"I bake it with a basting of maple syrup and mustard. It's delicious and could not be easier."


Always on the lookout for low sodium products that taste good, I've come across some fabulous Canadian mustards, made by a company called Koslik's (MJ and Linda--you are so lucky!) They have a store locator so you can figure out whether a place nearby carries them. I've tried three kinds and they're all delicious. My latest obsession is with their amazing maple brand. Only 20 mg sodium, spicy with a tang of sweet--what could be more perfect?

Ingredients for simple baked salmon and asparagus (for two people)

8 ounces wild salmon 

3 tablespoons good maple syrup
1 tablespoon Koslik's amazing maple mustard

10 to 12 stalks fresh asparagus

Preheat the oven to 350. Cover a large baking tray with parchment paper and then brush
it lightly with olive oil. Drizzle more olive oil on the asparagus and roll the stalks in the oil on one side of the tray. 

Whisk the syrup and mustard together. Place the salmon on the other end of the tray and brush with the mustard maple syrup mixture. 

Five minutes into baking, remove the tray and brush again with mustard etc. Bake another five or so minutes until the asparagus is bright green and the salmon light pink. We served ours with a green salad (aren't those sprouts cute? They are called wasabi sprouts and have a little kick.)

The seventh Key West mystery, KILLER TAKEOUT, is on bookshelves everywhere. What about yours?

You can follow Lucy on Facebook,
and Instagram!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Pretty Veggies -- Again

It’s not my fault. Really. I posted about all those bright, cheerful vegetables last week, and I thought I had gotten it out of my system. Then on Saturday I went shopping at the market, as usual, and there it was.

One sole package of colored asparagus: green, white, and…purple! I have never seen purple asparagus. I have never seen this packaging in this store. I grabbed it up and had to restrain myself from bolting out the front door of the market, clutching the bag to my chest. It’s MINE!

Then I turned around and there was a bag of colored fingerling potatoes. Including purple ones. Obviously the universe was trying to send me a message.

I will concede that the asparagus is not grown locally. The green stalks are from Mexico, the white ones from Peru, and surprisingly, the purple ones are from the USA, and the package was put together in North Carolina. I'm not going to try to work out the economic logic of all that. BTW, you have to peel the white ones because the outer skin is kind of tough.

I am not going to take these pretty, pretty foods and make some elaborate dish where they lose whatever visual charm they have. I am going to let them stand alone so we can all enjoy the feast for the eyes, with a little protein on the side.

The potatoes are the waxy kind, so they take a while to cook. Start them first. I quartered mine so they’d cook a little more quickly, then tossed them with some olive oil and salt and baked them at the same time as the chicken. 

Then prepare your asparagus (cut or break off the tough ends, and peel the white stalks, as noted) and steam or poach them lightly, testing regularly for doneness (don’t overcook!). Add butter or olive oil, and a dash of salt. Then plate them with your protein (those chicken breasts handy, baked with a simple panko crust.)

If it were closer to summer, you could as easily prepare both the asparagus and the potatoes ahead and serve as a cold salad with a light vinaigrette dressing.

I did see a lavender mushroom in Ireland, but they haven’t yet shown up in local stores, and might even be poisonous. Who knows? And I once grew purple pole beans.

The next Museum Mystery, Dead End Street, is coming out in June. It's about urban decay, and how remembering history can make a difference in the present. That's what Nell Pratt hopes.

I doubt some of these neighborhoods have a lot of fresh vegetables available, but there's always the Reading Terminal Market not far away. The market has survived for over a century not only through changes (both good and bad) in its neighborhood, but also through a major building project right over its head. It never closed. The people of Philadelphia really do like food! I visit every time I'm in the city.

Dead End Street is available for pre-order at Amazon (where it was on sale yesterday for $5.92!) and Barnes and Noble.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Leek, Asparagus, and Potato Soup #recipe @Lucyburdette

LUCY BURDETTE: I bring you more treasures of the spring season today! We are still in the thick of our asparagus crop in Connecticut, but if you don't have any, the local market will provide.

We grew a lot of leeks last year, and abandoned the ones we couldn't eat to winter over in the garden as we fled to Key West. Once the snow melted, we were left with a happy surprise--most of them were still standing, and quite delicious.

This is an easy soup, nothing fancy except for good ingredients. We had it for a Sunday supper along with a green salad and a biscuit.


4 small leeks, cleaned and sliced
8 to 10 stalks fresh asparagus
5 to 6 small red potatoes
2 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter

Sliced leeks finely. Slice the asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces. Wash the potatoes and cut them in quarters. 

Melt the butter in a small frying pan and sauté, first the leeks, then the asparagus.

Simmer the potatoes in the chicken broth until they are tender. Add half the leek and asparagus sauté to the potatoes and using an immersion blender or food processor, whirl the vegetables until creamed. Stir in the sour cream and add milk as needed until the soup is the consistency you prefer. 

Salt and pepper to taste, and rewarm. Serve the soup with the remaining leek and asparagus saute on top as garnish.

When she is not blogging and cooking, Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries.

Fatal Reservations, the sixth book in the series, will be in bookstores on July 7, but you can certainly order it now!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Stri Fried Chicken with Asparagus, Broccoli, and Cashews #recipe @lucyburdette

LUCY BURDETTE: I love stir-fried dishes, though I'm never quite satisfied with my results compared to a good Chinese restaurant. But the craving hit me this week, and with asparagus still rocking the garden, I decided to try again. I'd seen a recipe something like this in our local paper for a slow cooker, and adapted it for stir-fry and tweaked the flavors.

This makes four servings if you're serving something on the side, 2-3 generous servings if not


Two boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons sunflower or canola oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons catsup
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (or sweet if you prefer)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
One bunch asparagus
One stalk broccoli
One half large Vidalia onion
3/4 cup cashews, unsalted

Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces, and combine with the cornstarch. Grind fresh pepper over the top, mix that in and set aside. Mix soy sauce, vinegar, catchup, chili sauce, and sugar in a bowl and set aside. (You could also add ginger and garlic, but it had enough going on in the flavor department for my taste. After I tasted, I did add a couple tablespoons of water as it seemed a bit salty.)

Cut the asparagus, onion, and the broccoli into bite-size pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet and stir fry the broccoli and asparagus until just crispy. Remove to a plate.

Add a little more oil to the pan, and stir fry the onions and cashews until soft and brown. Set all this aside. 

Stir fry the chicken until almost cooked through, then add the sauce and cook until bubbly.

And the vegetables back in and heat through. Serve over brown rice.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

When she is not blogging and cooking, Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries.

Fatal Reservations, the sixth book in the series, will be in bookstores on July 7, but you can certainly order it now!

Monday, March 23, 2015

One Pan Chicken Breast Dinner

Where is the quinoa, please? I'm certain I bought it but I don't see it anywhere. Don't you hate it when that happens? So the interesting quinoa recipe that I found will have to be another week. In the meantime, I tried this one pan dinner by Jaime Oliver.

I have to admit that this is the way I like to eat. Quick, easy, fresh ingredients with a simple sauce. Elegant in its simplicity, colorful, and even healthy. I was drawn in originally because of the way he cut the chicken breast. Instead of pounding it (which I never like to do), he makes two slices in the thick portion so that it cooks as fast as the thinner end. I never saw anyone do that before and had to try.

My concern was that it would be easy to overcook the chicken. Chicken breasts are a staple in my life so I know there's nothing worse than dried out chicken. It turned out fine but don't walk away and ignore it. The chicken cooks quickly. I suspect I didn't have the heat up quite high enough. Start at medium high and turn it down if necessary.

I used thin stalks of asparagus. If you find that your asparagus isn't cooked enough for your taste, remove the chicken to a plate when it's done and let the asparagus cook a few minutes more.

There's bacon in the recipe, which was interesting to me. You're supposed to place a piece of raw bacon over each piece of chicken after it's browned. Now, I happened to have leftover bacon, so I cheated a little and used two slightly undercooked pieces. I also added a teaspoon of bacon grease to make up for the loss of that flavor. In the end, my bacon just became soft. So the raw bacon would probably fare better.

The recipe also calls for basil leaves. It's not quite that season here yet, so I substituted a fine herb blend. Remember to watch the chicken so it doesn't dry out. Oh, and we're carb people so I served it with rice.

One Pan Chicken Breast Dinner
by Jaime Oliver

olive oil
2 chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 slices raw bacon
asparagus (two handfuls)
16 cherry tomatoes
12 Kalamata olives
a few basil leaves or 1/2 teaspoon of fine herbs
1/4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon butter

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan at medium high. Slice the thick ends of the chicken breasts into three roughly equal pieces so they will cook as fast as the thin ends. Salt and pepper the meat. Brown on one side, 2-3 minutes.

Flip the chicken breasts with tongs and lay the raw bacon on top of the breasts. Add the asparagus, tomatoes, herbs, and olives. When the bottom side is browned, flip the breasts again so that the bacon is underneath the chicken breasts. The bacon should crisp up. Flip again, moving the veggies around so that they cook.

Pour the white wine in the pan, scraping up any bits of bacon. Remove from heat and place the chicken on plates. Add the butter and swirl the pan to incorporate it into the sauce. Plate the veggies and pour the sauce over top of the chicken.

Slice the thick ends into three equal parts so they cook as fast as the thin part!

After browning, place raw bacon on top of the chicken. (Mine was cooked.)

Add the asparagus, olives, tomatoes, and herbs and . . .

. . . flip the chicken so the bacon crisps underneath it.

Flip back and add white wine.

Drizzle with the sauce.

So colorful!