🌿 Cream of Asparagus Soup (Hot or Cold) 🌿
“An excellent light supper need be no more than a good soup, a salad, cheese and fruit. And combined according to your own taste, a good homemade soup in these days of the can opener is almost a unique and always a satisfying experience,” so says Julia Child in Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume One, Fortieth Anniversary Edition published by Alfred A. Knopf 2006.
And the beauty of this soup is that it is equally excellent served either hot or cold. Depending on the occasion, the weather, your menu, your mood… whatever it may be – choose the hot or cold version for your delicious soup-centric supper.
The month of May is the perfect time to serve this super-easy, seasonal asparagus soup! The color is quite spring-y. It has a lovely mild, grassy flavor with earthy and nutty undertones plus an exquisite creamy texture. It’s simultaneously simple and elegant, suitable for a weeknight supper or a weekend gala.
Cream of Asparagus Soup Recipe
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🌸🌿 Thai-Style Pan-Seared Pacific Cod 🌿🌸
Panang Curry, Fried Basil
Bell Peppers, Onion, Ginger, Peanuts, Coconut, Lime
Panang Curry, with its savory blend of shrimp paste, Thai chilies, and aromatics such as lemongrass, kaffir lime, and galangal is heavenly when paired with Wild Alaska Pacific Cod. Cod is a very pleasant fish with a slightly sweet, mild clean taste and a lean flaky texture.
Together, the result is a delightful dish that is just bursting with flavors. Bell peppers, onion, and ginger form the vegetable base; where roasted peanuts add crunch and nuttiness; a drizzle of coconut milk adds creamy tropical notes; and a squeeze of lime adds that sour punch.
The best part is plenty of fried basil leaves, adding shattering herbal notes. Jasmine rice is served on the side to sop up what might be left of that exotic fragrant curry.
🌸🌿 Thai-Style Cod, Panang Curry Recipe 🌿🌸
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🌊 Maine Scallop Crudo 🌊
Maine Dulse Seaweed, Kumquat, Radish, Jalapeño, Lemon Ponzu, Cilantro
Maine’s long coastline and clean, cold waters inspired this dish featuring raw, buttery, day-boat Sea Scallops with their slightly sweet flavors; and Dulse (Palmaria palmata) a beautiful red seaweed that has a rich, meaty, umami flavor.
Crunchy peppery radish balance the tender scallop slices, jalapeños add vegetal spiciness, and seasonal kumquats add sweet tart notes. Lemon ponzu provides a base of sweet, sour, and salty flavors, where the olive oil adds a subtle richness.
When they’re raw, dulse flakes taste like briny ocean waters, but when sautéed, the smoky and savory characteristics emerge, giving dulse the nickname “bacon of the sea,” which pairs perfectly with this coastal crudo.
Lastly, a little mound of cilantro leaves brings the bright herbal notes, a sashimi style learned from Chef Nobu.
Maine Scallop Crudo Recipe
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Old School Homemade Salisbury Steak Dinner
Mushroom Onion Gravy
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Buttered Green Beans
Old Dr. James H. Salisbury (1823-1905) probably wouldn’t be surprised that the recipe he introduced in 1888 is still going strong. The good American doctor believed that beef was an excellent defense against many different physical problems. And while his suggestion that Salisbury steak be eaten three times a day is extreme to say the least, many of us do enjoy his comfort-food creation from time to time.
Salisbury Steak Dinner Recipe
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🐙 🐙 Tender Charred Octopus 🐙 🐙
Royal Corona Beans, Charred Tomato, Jalapeño, and Lemon
Fried Capers, Fresh Oregano, Olive Oil
What better way to celebrate our great spring weather than with a charred smoky octopus appetizer? Truth be told, we actually cook outside on the Blaze Grill all year long here in Las Vegas, but it is especially nice in April when it’s not too hot and not too cold.
Here I begin with Cooked Octopus Tentacles (Pulpo Cocido). Among other places, this product can be found in the refrigerated seafood section at Costco. The octopus is from the Eastern Central Atlantic Ocean, a product of Spain. It has already been cleaned and tentacles have been separated from the head. Preparation is as easy as opening the package.
The tender pre-cooked octopus is marinated in olive oil and dried oregano, then grilled until it is hot, smoky, and charred. It is plated with enormous creamy royal corona beans; charred tomatoes, jalapeños, and lemons; and fried capers. It is so tasty, colorful, and impressive that your guests will definitely think “restaurant quality.” Crusty bread makes a great accompaniment, along with a local IPA or a nice Sauvignon Blanc.
Charred Octopus Appetizer Recipe
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