|I bring my asparagus home and put it in a |
jar of water to keep for 2-3 days - change
the water every day.
I'm surprised when I take my little bundle of spears up to a checkout counter and the person at the register asks me to name that vegetable. There are still many youngsters that have not yet been exposed to the wonder that is Asparagus and there are many older adults who's only exposure to it is from a can. Like many people, I grew up eating the canned version of this and always thought this was a mushy, squishy vegetable and not particularly good.
I stood in the checkout line this week behind an elderly gentleman who had a can of asparagus in his cart. We struck up a conversation and he was shocked to learn that there was a fresh alternative to the can. I showed him my little bundle and with all the righteous indignation I could muster explained that he needed to put the can back on the shelf and go on a fresh veggie adventure. And I think I could have made a convert right then and there if I'd had an extra 10 minutes to explain how to cook the fresh version. He politely thanked me for my wisdom, bought his can of mushy asparagus and promised that next time he'd try to go "fresh". In hind sight he might well have simply been trying to get away from the crazy vegetable lady standing in line behind him.
|This broth was something new for me to try|
and it turned out to be quite good.
Mostly chicken broth, this also
contains white wine and herbs.
The risotto is cooked to a perfect al dente with just a bit of a bite left and the asparagus can be cooked to your liking...I prefer mine with a little crunch left. Tonight I used a special broth that I found at the discount store for $.50. You can substitute straight chicken or vegetable broth, either would be just as delicious. I also baked my fish in orange juice but it would have been equally as good with the broth I used for the risotto.
Remember that rice takes about 20-25 minutes to cook overall. Because of that I got my fish ready for the oven and got it baking before starting to cook the risotto. I baked my fish in my favorite mini-oven (my toaster oven) and when it was finished with the 20 minutes, the oven turned off and the fish stayed in the oven warming until the risotto was ready. You can do the same with a regular oven but you'll have to remember to turn off the oven when the time is up.
SIMPLE BAKED FISH FILLET
4 oz. white fish fillet (tilapia or similar)
1/3 cup orange juice
salt, pepper and garlic parsley powder to taste
drizzle of olive oil
|Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In an ovenproof dish, pour in the orange juice and top with fish fillet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a pinch of garlic parsley powder. Drizzle with olive oil and bake in oven for 20 minutes.|
When the fish is done, the juice is a bit thickened and can be spooned over the fish on the plate.
SPRINGTIME ASPARAGUS RISOTTO
If you've never made risotto before please give this a try. It's simple and amazingly delicious. One secret to keeping the rice cooking throughout the process is to use hot stock or broth. I simply put mine in a measuring cup and heat it in the microwave.
4 stalks of asparagus, chopped to 1/2 inch pieces, tips set aside
1/4 cup arborio rice
2 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbls. minced shallot
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
3/4 to 1 cup hot broth
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
|Once rice has cooked 20-25 minutes until tests done (tasting is always good for this!) add back in the asparagus and stir while reheating. Add in most of the grated cheese and stir until melted.|