Tag Archives: asparagus

No Recipe Fish Dinner

No Recipe Fish Dinner

While I have spent much of my career developing, writing and
editing recipes by natural instinct and preferred way to cook is
without a recipe or to use recipes and ideas as a guide.

This style of cooking is most useful when there isn’t a lot in the fridge, freezer or pantry. I just put everything on the bench and then decide how I am going to cook the individual items – sometimes it
involves combining them and at others they are cooked separately then combined on the plate.

For this dinner, the items on the counter where a couple of potatoes, a couple of onions, some fish fillets and a bunch of asparagus. I chopped the potatoes into bite-sized pieces and cut the onions, into wedges, then placed them both in a bowl, drizzled with a little oil and seasoned with a good grind of salt and tossed to coat with the oil. The potatoes and onions were than tipped onto a greased baking and roasted in a preheated 200°C for 30-45 minutes or until golden and cooked.

About 10 minutes before potatoes and onions were ready, the fish was tossed in seasoned flour and pan-cooked in a mixture of oil and butter for 3-4 minutes each side or until golden and the flesh of fish flaked when tested with a fork.

At the same time the asparagus was cooked in the microwave – it could also have been boiled or steamed – any seasonal vegetable could, of course, be served.

This time I kept things fairly simple, using just salt and pepper for
seasoning, but herbs and/or spices could have been added to the flour that coated the fish and/or to the potato/onion mixture.

And that’s how this meal came together – who needs a recipe!

Happy cooking and eating.

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New Potato, Leek & Asparagus Braise

New Potato, Leek & Asparagus Braise

Oh, yeah, at last asparagus is plentiful and we have had several meals of it just steamed, so now it’s time to enjoy it some other ways and here it is as part of a celebration of spring vegetables – new
season’s leeks, potatoes and asparagus.

Hawke’s Bay has long been an asparagus growing area and the first asparagus always signals the end of winter.

I remember years ago when I was flatting with my brother and a girl, Rose, who later became my sister-in-law (and who sadly, a few years ago, was a victim of breast cancer), arriving home with a kilo of asparagus only to find they also each had a kilo. We had all
purchased our asparagus at the same road side stall for 50c per kilo! So what did we do with our three kilos of asparagus – no, we didn’t keep it for the next few nights, we cooked all three kgs and ate it just with butter and freshly ground black pepper – it was one of those memorable meals for its seasonal simplicity and the enjoyment of sharing food you love with people you love – oh happy memories and if only asparagus could still be purchased for 50c a kilo!

New Potato, Leek & Asparagus Braise

Serves 4

4 slim leeks, thinly sliced
olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
600g new potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 cup vegetable stock
500g asparagus, cut into 2cm pieces – keep stems and tips separate
a good handful of parsley, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1              Place leeks and a splash of oil in a large frying pan over a
medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until leeks are soft. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until fragrant.

2              Add potatoes and stock, cover, bring to simmering and
simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

3              Add asparagus stems and cook, for 3-4 minutes or until just tender. Add asparagus tips and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in most of the parsley, reserving some for scattering. Season to taste with a good grind of salt and black pepper.

So tell me, how do you like to prepare asparagus?

Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Asparagus, potatoes, leeks, parsley; JJ’s Organics; Garlic: Krismaw Gardens – Hastings; Olive oil: The Village Press – Hastings; Store Cupboard Ingredients: stock, salt, black pepper.

Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Other asparagus recipes you might like to try:

Sesame Salmon & Asparagus Salad

Sesame Salmon & Asparagus Salad

Roasted Chorizo & New Potatoes with Asparagus

Roasted Chorizo & New Potatoes with Asparagus

Smoked Salmon, Cucumber, Asparagus & Mint Salad

Smoked Salmon, Cucumber, Asparagus & Mint Salad

Asparagus - A Spring Treat

Asparagus – A Spring Treat

 

Sesame Salmon & Asparagus Salad

 

Salmon & Asparagus Salad 008aAs the end of the asparagus season is in sight and growers start to say things like “Only a couple more weeks”, I get a slight feeling of panic and start thinking “I haven’t made the most of the season”, which, of course, is rubbish and as regularly readers know asparagus has had a good showing here over the last few months – but, oh, it does seem such a long time until next September!

Anyway, there was still plenty available at the markets last
weekend, so I am continuing to make the most of it while it is still around!

This light spring dish with its Asian flavours is perfect for a girl’s lunch or serve in smaller portions as the first course for a spring meal.

Sesame Salmon & Asparagus Salad

The best way to prepare asparagus is to hold the base of the stalk in both hands and snap it – it will naturally snap at the tender spot.

If your salmon still has the skin on, cook it until crisp and cut into pieces and use to garnish for the salad.

Serves 4

500g asparagus, trimmed
500g salmon fillets
½ tsp Chinese five spice powder
sea salt
vegetable oil
2 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 soft-leaved lettuce, separated into leaves
GINGER SOY VINAIGRETTE
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) or soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

1              To make vinaigrette, place ginger, garlic, vegetable oil,
vinegar, tamari and sesame oil in a bowl and whisk to combine.

2              Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, add
asparagus, bring back to simmering and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until asparagus is tender. Drain, refresh under cold running water, drain again and set aside.

3              Season salmon with five spice powder and salt. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat, add a very little vegetable oil and swirl to coat base of pan, add salmon skin side down and cook, for 4-5 minutes, turn over and cook for 4-5 minutes longer or until flesh flakes when tested with a fork. Remove salmon from pan and set aside until cool enough to handle.

4              Meanwhile, add asparagus, cucumber and coriander to
vinaigrette and toss to combine. Line a serving platter or individual plates with lettuce leaves, top with asparagus mixture, then flake salmon and pile on top. Drizzle with any remaining dressing and
garnish with additional coriander, if desired.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Other asparagus recipes you might like to try:

Asparagus, Radish & Rocket Salad

Asparagus, Radish & Rocket Salad

Roasted Chorizo & New Potatoes with Asparagus

Roasted Chorizo & New Potatoes with Asparagus

Trevally, Bacon & Asparagus Burgers

Trevally, Bacon & Asparagus Burgers

 

Asparagus, Radish & Rocket Salad

Asparagus & Radish Salad 020aThe asparagus season is in full swing, but before we know it, it will be over, so I am making the most of it!

The new season’s radishes are also fabulous, so I’m enjoying those as well and here I have teamed the two with some rocket and an Asian-style dressing for a salad to serve with barbecued or pan-cooked meats.

Asparagus, Radish & Rocket Salad

The asparagus and radish mixture can be left to sit at room temperature for an hour or two before serving.

Serves 4 as a side dish

500g asparagus, trimmed
1 bunch (about 6) radishes, cut into thin wedges
a couple of handfuls rocket leaves
SPICY GINGER & SESAME DRESSING
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Bird’s eye chilli, sliced and seeded, if desired (optional)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) or soy sauce
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sesame oil

1              Cut asparagus spears into several pieces, separating tips and lower parts of spears. Set aside.

2              Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, add lower parts of asparagus spears, bring back to simmering and simmer, for 3-5 minutes longer. Add asparagus tips, bring back to simmering and simmer for 2-3 minutes longer or until asparagus is just tender. Drain well.

3              For the dressing, place ginger, garlic, chilli, vinegar, tamari and oils in a bowl and whisk to combine.

4              Add asparagus and radishes to dressing and toss to combine.

5              Just prior to serving, line a serving platter with rocket and top with asparagus mixture.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Smoked Salmon, Cucumber, Asparagus & Mint Salad

Smoked Salmon, Cucumber & Mint Salad 010aThis salad is fabulous made with freshly smoked still warm salmon, but is an equally delicious salad meal made with purchased hot smoked salmon.

Smoked Salmon, Cucumber, Asparagus & Mint Salad

I plated the flaked smoked salmon and cucumber salad separately, which gives a great visual appearance, but the flaked salmon can be tossed through the vegetable mixture, if you prefer.

Serves 2

300 piece hot smoked salmon fillet, skin and bones removed, flesh flaked
CUCUMBER, ASPARAGUS & MINT SALAD
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
juice 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges for serving (optional)
250g asparagus
1 cucumber
2 tbsp shredded fresh mint leaves

1              For the salad, place onion in a small bowl, pour over lemon juice and stand for at least 10 minutes.

2              Trim woody ends from asparagus spears, then cut into 5 cm pieces, setting aside the tips.

3              Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the asparagus pieces, but not the tips, bring back to the boil and cook for 3-4 minutes or until just tender. Add tips and cook, for 2-3 minutes longer or until tender. Drain and refresh under cold running water.

4              Meanwhile, cut cucumber into 5 cm long batons – the
cucumber and asparagus pieces should be about the same size. Place in a bowl, add asparagus, onion with lemon juice and mint and toss to combine.

5              To serve, place a pile of cucumber salad and a pile of smoked salmon on serving plates and accompany with lemon wedges and crusty bread, if desired.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Learn more about asparagus:

Asparagus - A Spring Treat

Asparagus – A Spring Treat

Other recipes using asparagus you might like to try:

New Potato & Asparagus Salad with Sheep Curd

New Potato & Asparagus Salad with Sheep Curd

Roasted Chorizo & New Potatoes with Asparagus

Roasted Chorizo & New Potatoes with Asparagus

 

Leeks & Asparagus à la Grecque

Leeks & Asparagus a la Grecque 003aThis very simple vegetable preparation is a classic which is a
delicious and easy way to showcase the season’s bounty.

Almost any vegetable can be prepared à la Grecque or “in the Greek style” and here I have teamed beautiful slim new season’s leeks with in-season asparagus to create a dish that is a great addition to a
buffet table or when served with crusty bread, is the perfect make in-advance, first course.

Button mushrooms prepared in this way are great served as cocktail food.

Leeks & Asparagus à la Grecque

As my leeks were very slender I left them whole, but if larger, split as
described in the method.  

Serves 4

12 very slender leeks or larger leeks
1 cup water
½ cup olive oil
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 lemon
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
250g asparagus, trimmed
chopped parsley

1              If using larger leeks, split in halve lengthwise and wash well to remove any dirt that might be hiding between the layers, but take care not to separate the layers.

2              Place water, olive oil, tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme sprig, garlic, juice from the lemon and salt and pepper to taste in a large non-reactive frying pan with a lid. Place over a medium heat, bring to simmering and simmer for 2 minutes.

3              Add leeks, reduce heat, cover pan and cook for 10 minutes or until leeks are tender. Add asparagus and cook for 5 minutes longer or until asparagus is tender.

4              Remove lid and set aside to cool. Serve at room temperature, scattered with parsley.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Roasted Chorizo & New Potatoes with Asparagus

Chorizo, New Potatoes & Asparagus 007a

Seasonal, locally grown new potatoes and asparagus are teamed with local made chorizo sausage from artisan producer Rob Beard of Wild Game Salamis to create a simple meal which is inspired by one which appears in Nigel Slater’s book Eat 4th Estate 2013.

Roasted Chorizo & New Potatoes with Asparagus

During cooking the chorizo give up quite a few juices, do not discard, as they are full of flavour and delicious as a dipping oil for bread.

Serves 4

500g new potatoes, scrubbed
4 (100-125g each) chorizo sausages
1 large red onion, sliced
500g asparagus, trimmed

1              Preheat oven to 180°C.

2              Place potatoes in a saucepan of cold water, cover, place over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Remove lid, add salt to taste and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes just tender. Drain and cut into slices or cubes, if desired.

3              Cut chorizo sausages in half lengthwise and score several times on rounded side.

4              Place potatoes and onion slices in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine. Top with chorizo and bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing a couple of times.

5              Meanwhile, boil, steam or microwave asparagus until tender. Serve with chorizo mixture.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Other recipes using chorizo you might like to try:

Chorizo-stuffed Potatoes

Chorizo-stuffed Potatoes

Squid, Chorizo and White Bean Stew

Squid, Chorizo and White Bean Stew

Warm Roasted Mushroom, Potato & Chorizo Salad

Warm Roasted Mushroom, Potato & Chorizo Salad

 

New Potato & Asparagus Salad with Sheep Curd

Aparagus & Potato Salad 036a

New potatoes and asparagus are an unravelled match, add a light lemon dressing and top with torn fresh sheep cheese and you have a spring meal that can stand alone or makes a great side for barbecued meat, chicken or fish.

One of the things I love most about shopping at our Farmers’
Markets is finding the new products and produce that our artisan producers and growers are developing or find ways to grow in our region. The fresh sheep cheese, White Point, from Origin Earth is just one such product.

This lovely fresh curd cheese (if we were in France it would probably be called fromage frais), is shaped as little pyramids has a texture like a very soft cream cheese with a delicate, slightly tangy, complex fresh flavour.

Here I have used it simply torn and scattered over the salad, but I am looking forward to trying it in other ways. White Point – another great addition to the Origin Earth sheep milk range of products.

Spring Bounty from the Hawke's Bay Farmers' Markets

Spring Bounty from the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Markets

New Potato & Asparagus Salad with Sheep Curd

If the salad is served warm the cheese starts melting into the dressing to give a lovely creaminess.

Serves 4

500g asparagus, trimmed
600g small new potatoes, scrubbed
sea salt
1 x pyramid Origin Earth White Point (fresh sheep cheese) –
2 green onions, chopped
MUSTARD LEMON DRESSING
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper

1              Cut asparagus spears into several pieces, separating tips and lower parts of spears. Set aside.

2              Place potatoes in a saucepan of cold water, cover and bring to the boil. Remove lid, season to taste with salt and simmer,
uncovered, for 10 minutes or until potatoes are just tender. Remove potatoes from water and drain well.

3              While potatoes are cooking, making the dressing. Place
lemon juice, oil and mustard in a bowl and whisk to combine. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.

4              Add lower parts of asparagus spears to potato water, bring back to simmering and simmer, for 3-5 minutes longer. Add
asparagus tips, bring back to simmering and simmer for 2-3 minutes longer or until asparagus is just tender. Drain well.

5              Halve or quarter larger potatoes. Add warm potatoes and asparagus to dressing and toss to combine.

6              To serve, pile salad onto a platter and scatter with torn cheese and green onions. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Other recipes using Origin Earth cheeses you might like to try:

Bacon, Egg & Cheese Bagel 005a

HB Deli-style Bacon, Egg & Halloumi Bagel

Giant Mushroom, Tomato & Halloumi Sandwich

Giant Mushroom, Tomato & Halloumi Sandwich

Radicchio, Bacon & Camembert Bagel

Radicchio, Bacon & Camembert Bagel

 

Pan-roasted Sesame Asparagus

Pan-roasted Asparagus 009aThis combination of ingredients is courtesy of Rufus over at Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide, I saw his recipe a few days ago and as it is the height of the asparagus here in Hawke’s Bay, so thought it would be good to try.

For the first few weeks of the asparagus season I don’t do anything to the asparagus except steam it, but after a few weeks I start to look for different yet still simple ways to serve it and this recipe fits the bill. Rufus cooked his on the barbecue or grill, as I don’t currently have a barbecue I pan-roasted mine and made a few other very small changes.

Pan-roasted Sesame Asparagus

Serves 4 as a side dish

1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
pinch Orcona Chipotle Flake or dried chilli flakes
500g asparagus, trimmed
sesame seeds, to serve

1              Place sesame and vegetable oils, soy and fish sauces and chipotle flake in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add asparagus and toss to coat.

2              Heat a heavy-based pan (I used a cast iron one) over a high heat, add drained asparagus and cook, tossing occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until asparagus is cooked and slightly charred. Serve scattered with sesame seeds.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe adapted by Rachel Blackmore

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Find out more about asparagus and try some other asparagus
recipes:

Asparagus - A Spring Treat

Asparagus – A Spring Treat

Asparagus, Leek & Herb Soup

Asparagus, Leek & Herb Soup

Spring Salad of Hot Smoked Salmon & Asparagus

Spring Salad of Hot Smoked Salmon & Asparagus

 

Trevally, Bacon & Asparagus Burgers

Fish Burgers 005aTrevally is readily available in New Zealand and is often priced well, but for some reason some people seem to be a bit weary of it. It is a firm, dense, slightly oily fish, which I think is great in curries and fish cakes and also smokes well.

Trevally has a stronger flavour than many other fish so teams well with assertive flavours as in this burger.

Trevally, Bacon & Asparagus Burgers

The secret to these fish patties is to finely chop the fish with a knife not mince it in a food processor.

The uncooked fish patties can be made and refrigerated for up to 6 hours.

Serves 4

500g trevally fillets
2 rashers bacon, finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
1 tsp grated lemon rind
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
lemon juice
¼ cup mayonnaise
vegetable oil
4 rolls of your choice, split and toasted, if desired
mixed leaves, for serving
cooked asparagus spears, for serving

1              Finely chop fish, by cutting into thin strips, then stacking strips and cutting into small dice. Add chopped bacon to fish
mixture, then chop until fish and bacon are finely chopped and well mixed.

2              Transfer fish to a bowl, add dill, coriander, lemon rind, a good squeeze of lemon juice and a good grind of salt and black pepper.
Using your hands, mix to combine.

3              Turn fish mixture on work surface and shape into four
evenly-sized patties. Place patties on a plate lined with baking paper and chill for at least 30 minutes.

4              Place mayonnaise in a small bowl, add a squeeze of lemon juice and mix to combine.

5              Heat a non-stick pan over a medium-high heat, add a little oil and cook fish patties for 3-4 minutes each side or until browned and cooked through.

6              To assemble, spread bottom half of each roll with a little mayonnaise, then top with leaves, fish patty, asparagus, a dollop of mayonnaise and top half of roll.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Other burgers and sandwiches you might like to try:

Moroccan Lamb Burger with Spinach & Pickles

Moroccan Lamb Burger with Spinach & Pickles

Bacon & Cheese Burgers with Zucchini Slaw

Bacon & Cheese Burgers with Zucchini Slaw

Radicchio, Bacon & Camembert Bagel

Radicchio, Bacon & Camembert Bagel