Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A One-Two Punch... to get in the SWING of things!

Ohhh, I love a good groaner, pun, quip, whatever you want to call it. (Thesaurus online also informs me I could use the synonyms calembour, equivoque, or paronomasia-- good to know!)

So to follow up my first post in a while, I have a second post on the second day; that is my one-two punch, and I am hoping it will get me back in the swing of things, 'Things' being the new name for this blog.

Just kidding.

No, those are not potatoes...
Dinner tonight! (Talk about a fast turnaround.)
So what is so exciting it got me to post about it right away? It has nothing at all to do with the food, per se; the deciding factor was a little time on my hands, a surfeit of reading (heaven forbid!) and okay, I am proud of having yoinked out a new recipe.

I had radishes that were wasting away and I knew I'd seen and heard of a strange thing-- cooking radishes-- so I decided to try this new witchery and taste the results. I used another recipe of Deborah Madison's - she's a good go-to for vegetables that I didn't grow up with - "Braised Red Radishes." I link to the New York Times 'adaptation,' which consisted of doubling hers. I went the opposite way, as well as substituting garlic for the shallot, since I was plum out.
I had to simmer longer than 3-5 minutes, but they did turn tender. I cooked the liquid down, but maybe not long enough. I added a glug of red wine toward the wine, when maybe I should have added it at the beginning of the reducing time. What do you think? The sauce was disappointing, but the radishes themselves were interesting; they'd turned pretty bland, with just a whisper of wine and thyme. Will go for a more gravy-like sauce next time.

While I was waiting for that magic to happen (get it? witchery? magic?), I went in another direction to use the asparagus I'd bought on Sunday (only 2 days ago, but the poor bundle had been in the cold fridge unlooked-after). I steamed half of it under lemon, salt and pepper, let it cool, added oil, balsamic, and draped it with prosciutto. Sexy, hein? This is prosciutto from La Quercia in Iowa, a font of sustainable admirability. I mean, from what I can taste and read. I first tried their cured meat at The Publican, another incredibly amazing spot for foodies in Chicago. Maybe I'll rave more about them later. Back to dinner tonight.

What else is there in that picture? More green? Yep- that would be Trader Joe's Minted Peas, frozen and convenient. Mighty tasty, too. Here's to versatility!

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