Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Parsley Soup & Dental Floss

I bought a pound of asparagus a week and a half ago, fully intending to make a Cheese & Asparagus Souffle, a recipe I have only made once to date. However, every afternoon while planning that night's dinner, I would gaze balefully at the asparagus and dread working on the complicated dish. This afternoon I noticed the asparagus was looking a bit peevish, so it was cook it or toss it. Rather than doing anything complex though, I remembered a recipe I had cut out from the AJC Food Section months ago for Julie's Asparagus. I'm sure the original article explained who Julie is, but I don't recall any details. I usually steam asparagus when I want it as a side dish, so I was interested in a new but still-simple way to get it on the table. I am pleased to announce that Julie knows her asparagus.

JULIE'S ASPARAGUS
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • Salt & black pepper to taste
  1. Rinse & drain the asparagus, and snap off the tough ends where they break naturally (This was news to me - until now, I had always arbitrarily picked a place to trim asparagus ends with a knife. I always worried that I was tossing out perfectly good asparagus parts, and I inevitably bit into some pieces and realized I had left the tough part still on. This "breaking" tactic worked smashingly).
  2. Arrange the spears in a glass casserole dish in 1 or 2 layers.
  3. Melt the butter and drizzle over the asparagus.
  4. Season with salt & pepper to taste (For me, this meant about 1/2 tsp of kosher salt and a very generous downpour of freshly coarse-ground black pepper).
  5. Cover the dish snugly with aluminum foil.
  6. Bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes.

For our main dish, because The Carnivore cannot live on asparagus alone, I made Yankee Corn Chowder, another great recipe from my America's Bounty cookbook, one of Big Mama's best yard-sale finds yet.

YANKEE CORN CHOWDER

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (I used red onion)
  • 1/2 cup russet potato, peeled and diced (I used new red potatoes and I vehemently disagree with the whole peeling thing - I left the peels on and didn't regret it)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery, with some leaves (whatever! I didn't leave any leaves on, and I'm glad of it - for what will seem to be a very obvious reason when you find out what I did with the parsley)
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped (This is a very important step. I got so hung up on the odd proportions of this dish - after all, the recipe called for half as much parsely as it did onion or potato - that I got completely distracted by the mounting PILE of parsley as I measured it out. Luckily, of course, I had plenty of fresh parsley due to the whole mistaken cilantro debacle from last weekend, but this still seemed ridiculous. Regardless, I ended up omitting the "chopped" instruction and threw the parsley into the stockpot without first doing the obvious. Suffice to say The Carnivore and I both needed dental floss after dinner.)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 15-0z can corn, drained
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil.
  2. Cook onion, potato, celery, and CHOPPED parsley for 15 minutes or until tender.
  3. Add milk and salt and heat just to boiling.
  4. Stir in corn and heat again, stirring.

Even with the large grass-like clumps of parsley, the soup was still very tasty for something with such simple flavors. I will definately make this again, especially since it is such a quick dish to put together and uses ingredients I keep on hand anyway, but next time I will use more onion, and I will pummel the parsley into submission before tossing it into the pot.

1 comment:

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