Day 131: Entertaining Vegetarians
May 11, 2011
You know Spring is here when you can find the asparagus on sale. Growing up my mom had an entire garden bed dedicated to growing asparagus. They do take up a lot of room, but they are tasty when you can get them fresh. I love to eat asparagus all year-long and I am always looking for new ways to prepare. My favorite is to oven roast them with some balsamic and sea salt. You could even top it with some shavings of fresh Parmesan on top at the end. Once summer is here I take the oven roasting outside to the grill. When grilling asparagus I do like to pop them in the microwave for under a minute to give them a quick jump-start to cooking.
Chances are that if you have a party, one of your guests will probably be vegetarian. I live in the upper midwest and I am finding more and more vegetarians. We are blessed to live in an area where we can find grass-fed beef and organic beef and chickens. So the turn towards vegetarianism is slower than it is in other areas of the country. I know I can be a vegetarian, but I live with carnivores who need to be fed meat or they get grumpy. If you are a meat eater but have friends who are vegetarians, this would be a cookbook that would help you find some good offerings for those friends. The cookbook has great photos and most of the recipes are fairly simple to prepare. I think the tortellini skewers with herb oil sounds great!
The Ruling: Well, since only three of us eat asparagus only three of us ate it. We liked it, but there was some problems in the execution of the dish. Some of the pastry cream overflowed and made a mess in the oven. I think we also underbaked it as well….it should have stayed in the oven for an extra 5 minutes. So when you make it, check on it every so often to make sure it is behaving and doing what is supposed to be doing!
Simple Asparagus Tarts, page 76
- 1 pound 2 ounce medium-thickness asparagus spears trimmed
- 2 teaspoons semolina or cornmeal
- 13 oz. ready-rolled puff pastry
- 2 egg yolks
- scant 1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
- a pinch of salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- heaping 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus, return to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes. Drain under cold running water until cool, then pat dry.
- Sprinkle the semolina or cornmeal over a large cookie sheet, or over two small ones. Divide the puff pastry into two rectangles and place on the sheet. Using a sharp knife, score a 3/4 inch border around the egg of the pastry, not cutting through completely. Arrange the asparagus inside the pastry frames. To ensure that each slice has a fair share of the delicious tips, alternate the direction of the tips. Mix together the egg yolks, creme fraiche or sour cream, and seasoning in a measuring glass. Pour the mixture evenly into the middle of the two pastry frames, which should allow the borders to puff up in the oven before the custard runs off the edge. Quickly sprinkle the Parmesan over the two pastries and place int he preheated oven immediately.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the pastry is deep golden and the custard is patched with gold. Serve warm, each tart cut into four pieces. Cold tarts can be successfully reheated in an oven at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes.
To Joyful, Simplified Living,
MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com . Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at email@example.com. For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page here.
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