Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stir-Fry of Asparagus, Sugar Snap Peas and Pork Tenderloin

Sugar Snaps have joined the Asparagus
at The Farmer's Market 
         You may wonder how much more asparagus I can possibly eat this asparagus season.  The answer is I’ll eat as much as I can.  I love the fresh flavor and texture that asparagus brings to the dinner plate. And the season is all too short for asparagus fans like me.  Now another Spring favorite has arrived.  Sugar Snap Peas are in! This Asian inspired dish uses them both in a crunchy dish that cooks in all of 15 minutes.  You could make this dish with boneless breasts of chicken or, for a meatless meal, use tofu.  I chose pork tenderloin for a weeknight dinner recently.  Because this recipe is for 4, we ended up with enough for Andrew to enjoy a second helping a couple of nights later.  One note: While there are red pepper flakes in the recipe, when Andrew re-heated the dish, he gave it a shot of Sriracha Chile Sauce and loved the spicy result.  If you’ve got children, proceed with caution if you decide you want more heat.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Darina Allen's Pork Chops with Sage, Ina Garten's Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan and my own Smashed Potatoes

          I am amazed at how many people ask me for menus with a maximum of five ingredients.  I do understand:  You look at a long recipe and think that’s too much work, or I’m missing one of the spices or who has time for this?  So I was amazed when I put together an entire entrée course with just six ingredients!  The center of the plate pork chop requires olive oil and fresh sage.  The Roasted Asparagus requires a bit more olive oil and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese bringing us up to four ingredients. Finally, I served these with smashed potatoes topped with a little unsalted butter.  That’s numbers five and six.  Well, I did use a little salt and pepper but wow!  And the dinner was delicious.  The pork was juicy and tender. The asparagus flavor is transformed when they’re roasted and enhanced with the cheese.  And the buttery smashed potatoes are the perfect complement to everything on the plate.   And the whole thing is on the table in no time.  With so little labor involved, you almost feel like you’ve cheated.