First off, we’re sending big virtual hugs to those of you who made suggestions for the March Mother and Son Cooking Spree.

We’ve chosen two: asparagus and cardamom. It actually works out to three, if you count the suggestion of doing a one-dish meal. And, we’ll get to ketchup at a later time.

Pinky-swear promise.

We seem to be falling into a routine where Jeremy does the main dish and sides, and I finish things off with a dessert. So far, I’m not complaining. How about you?

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

A fun little starter or side dish that only takes a couple of minutes to make. Try not to eat all of these before your guests (or dinner) arrives. They are really delicious! And so tempting to nibble on.

Ingredients:

1 pound asparagus (you’ll use some in the next recipe too)

1 package prosciutto

Here’s How You Do It

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and coat with olive oil.
  2. Wrap one slice of prosciutto around each asparagus spear, starting at the bottom, and spiraling up to the tip. Place the wrapped spears on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove, and shake the pan back and forth to roll the spears over.
  4. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes, or until asparagus is tender, and prosciutto is crisp. Serve immediately.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Heavy Cream

This is a fast, fun, and easy to make pasta dish. And it’s definitely a one-dish meal. It’s going to knock your socks off, roll them into a little ball and return them to your sock drawer. It’s that good.

 

Ingredient List:

Bowtie Pasta with Asparagus and Tomatoes

1 can Artichoke hearts in water (rough chop)

1 pint grape/ cherry tomato’s (Halved)

1 tub of hearty mushrooms, quartered (I used the baby bellas)

1 pint heavy cream

1 onion (rough chop)

1 box Farfalle pasta (Bowtie)

1 clove chopped Garlic

Salt, pepper

Olive oil

Red pepper (Cayenne)

 

Here’s How You Do It

  1. Start heating some olive oil in a chef pan and add the chopped onions. Let this cook until they start to brown. Add any remaining prosciutto to the onion mixture.
  2. Add the chopped asparagus and mushrooms. You want to let this cook for a little while to get some of the moisture out of the mushrooms.
  3. Add the chopped garlic, artichoke hearts and about half of the sliced tomatoes and mix together.
  4. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Add the drained pasta to the pan. Do it in small batches, as you don’t want the dish to be overpowered by the pasta. I cooked the whole box and used about half.
  5. Add the cream and the rest of the sliced tomatoes. Let this cook for a while until the cream thickens and the pasta mingles with all the flavors. Here’s where I like to add the red pepper. Just a little with the cream. It kicks up the dish, but the heat will be muted by the cream.
  6. Enjoy.

 

Ready for dessert?

Baked Apples with Cardamom and Cranberries

Somewhere around thirty years ago, Jeremy and a friend were scrounging around the trash bins (as young boys do!) of a bookstore in a strip mall close to our house.

He proudly returned home with a gift for me – The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two by Anna Thomas. Aside from some black smudges on the cover, the book was in perfect condition. I’ve used it many, many times over the years. It’s filled with amazing, rich, flavorful recipes. For me, hands down it has the best baked apple recipe I’ve ever made.

I’ve adapted it over the years, adding an ingredient or two. Today, you’re getting my latest adaptation – Baked Apples with Cardamom and Cranberries.

Make it tonight – you won’t be sorry. The house will smell wonderful, and your family will love it and you!

Ingredient List:

4-6 large baking apples (I used  Rome)

2/3 cup flour

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

grated rind of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cardamom (more if you want an even stronger taste)

1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup white wine ( or water)

heavy cream or half-and-half

Here’s How You Do It

  1. Core the apples, making a generous round cavity but not breaking through the bottom.
  2. Mix the flour, brown sugar and cut in the butter with a pastry blender or your hands. Add the lemon zest, spices, cranberries and nuts. Stuff the apples with this mixture, packing in as much as you can.
  3. Arrange the apples in a shallow casserole dish.
  4. Combine the orange juice and wine (or water) and pour over the apples.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes. Every ten minutes or so, baste the apples with the liquid.

The filling will puff up and form a hard little cap on top of the apple. Spoon any remaining liquid over the apples.

Serve warm or cold with a generous splash of cream. You could also use whipped cream or ice cream if you aren’t a fan of heavy cream.

Of course, I couldn’t relate because in our family cream was (and continues to be) one of the four main food groups!

Cut into this delectable treat, making sure to get some of the filling with each bite.

Now, close your eyes and listen. Is that the Mamas and the Papas singing California Dreamin’?

Maybe.

This cookbook always does that to me.

 

 


 

 

Advertisements