Miso-Braised Asparagus, Ginger Sauce

miso braised asparagus, ginger sauce

Miso-Braised Asparagus, Ginger Sauce, Sliced Scallion
served on
My “Le PONT de la TOUR” China
in Honor of
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

While ginger sauce makes a heart-healthy alternative to hollandaise, braising asparagus in miso broth adds another layer of subtle flavor. A casual ladle of ginger sauce over braised asparagus makes for a zippy vegetable side. The addition of buckwheat noodles, tomatoes and pine nuts makes a vibrant meatless meal.

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Lucy Robinson Hanson
1886 – 1970

Over a century ago, Lucy Robinson and Jack Hanson were Londoners. Early in the 1900’s, Jack left England for Chicago to follow his dreams. Shortly thereafter and still a teenager, Lucy left her family and followed her true love to America. By 1952 Lucy was a widow, a mother of 7 and grandmother of 17 when Princess Elizabeth, while visiting Kenya, received the news of her father’s death and her own accession to the throne.

Lucy decided to take one of her grandchildren back to England to visit the family she hadn’t seen in many many years and to witness The Coronation which was to take place in Westminster Abbey on the 2nd of June 1953. They boarded the RMS Queen Elizabeth and sailed to England. The granddaughter that accompanied Lucy was my mother. She was 19.

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Japchae: Noodles for a Crowd

japchae, jap chae
 JAPCHAE
Korean Sweet Potato “Glass” Noodles

Spinach, Beef, Shiitake, Carrot, Cabbage, Onion
Sweet Garlicky Sesame Soy Sauce

sweet potato noodles, dangmyun
The following note was in my mailbox at work:

Lori Lynn – Please bring a COLD PASTA SALAD for the party on Thursday.
Thanks!

At our school, we have a festive monthly themed luncheon for the faculty and staff who are celebrating birthdays. This past month’s theme was football. With hot dogs and chili. And I was (happily) one of a handful of people asked to bring a dish. But I couldn’t bring myself to make the “cold pasta salad.” No farfalle. No rotini. No mayo.

I had a hankering to make japchae, Korean glass noodles with beef, vegetables, and a sweet garlicky sesame soy sauce – a perfect dish to feed a crowd. It’s transportable, economical, and one large bag of dangmyeon (glass noodles made from sweet potato starch) makes over 20 side-sized servings. And since it is often served at Korean celebrations, I thought it would make a great dish for our birthday party. It takes a little while to prepare because all the ingredients are cooked separately, but it is awfully easy.

On that Thursday morning I stir-fried veggies and beef, cooked the noodles, whisked together the sauces and had my dish in the teachers’ lounge by 11:15 AM, in time for the first lunch period.

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Gourmet Picnic with Spicy Cold Soba Noodle Salad

gourmet picnic
Gourmet Picnic

Spicy Cold Soba Noodles with Peanut, Scallion, and Cilantro
Radish, Tofu, Shiitake, Carrot, Cucumber, Edamame, Shrimp

Natasha, the 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! host the 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group, a fabulous monthly event for “sharing ideas and creating gourmet makeovers of selected classic dishes or flavor combinations.”

The 5 Star Makeover assignment for May is Gourmet Picnic Food, perfect for the Memorial Day holiday. “Take your favorite picnic food for a ride and make something special. Lots of leeway and freedom, you choose the ingredients. Just make sure it is 5 Star.”

My contribution to May’s Picnic is a makeover of the ubiquitous pasta salad. This one is portable, delightfully colorful, bursting with flavor, healthy, and since guests compile the salad themselves can be made vegan (just skip the shrimp).

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