Local Asparagus Demo at Tenbroek Commons


Local Asparagus is GOOD!

Cooking demo for Seniors at TenBroek Commons, Lake Katrine, NY

I love cooking for seniors in assisted living centers---(I'm almost there myself!) For a group that is currently being fed processed hospital food, they really get the Local food thing. It is how they grew up. The whole thing has come around. 
It is that time of year! Asparagus is in full swing on the Hudson Valley.
Consodered a luxury vegetable, asparagus is very heathly and actually is known as an aphrodisiac!

My pals at Ten Broek--a few napping, buy respectful nonetheless!
Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.
It is a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.
Asparagus is also packed with antioxidants, ranking among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. 
Good, Right?
Eat your grass!


Hudson Valley Asparagus from Gill's Farm, Marbletown,NY
Asparagus Risotto
This recipe can be make super low fat by omitting the dairy and going easy on the oil, or you can get all luxurious on yourself by spooning in a dollop os mascarpoe or a chunk of butter at the end of cooking. A little truffle oil drizzle at the end is also a nice option!
Ingredients
  • 2 qts  of store bought vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 stick butter (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 onion – very finely chopped
  • 4 peeled cloves garlic – finely sliced.
  • 1 lb risotto rice (Arborio or Carnoli)
  • 1 small glass of white wine 
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 bunches of asparagus
  • Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
  • mascarpone cheese or heavy cream (optional)
  • Freshly chopped basil – optional  •
  • Truffle oil - optional
Instructions
  1. Prepare the asparagus. Snap each stalk to find the breaking point. Reserve hard parts to your stock pot. Chop the middle sections into small rounds, and reserve the tips for finishing the risotto.
  2. Chop the hard stems up and add to a blender with the some of the stock. Puree well and strain it out, discarding the fibers and keeping the flavorful juice.
  3. Heat about ¼ of the butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan. Add the finely chopped onion and sweat until soft and translucent. Now add the garlic. Saute intil lightly colored.  Season lightly with salt and pepper. Now add the mid pieces of the asparagus.
  4. Now add the rice and stir until well coated. Pour in the glass of white wine, zest and lemon juice. Allow it to reduce until there is no liquid in the pan. Stir continuously.
  5. Add a ladle of vegetable/asparagus stock, stirring continuously. As soon as the liquid is absorbed add another ladle-ful of stock and continue this until the rice is cooked. Stir continuously.
  6. The rice should be slightly 'al dente' but soft and loose. When you are happy with the consistency, stir in the Asparagus tips and basil
  7. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, the rest of the butter and the mascarpone cheese
  8. Season to taste with salt and black pepper
9. drizzle with a little truffle oil and more cheese

Get more of Ric’s Recipes at www.ricorlando.com   Ric is Chef of  New World Home Cooking in Saugerties and New World Bistro Bar in Albany, NY and is a two time Food Network CHOPPED CHAMPION!!

Asian Asparagus Salad
Serves 4
This easy-peezy salad is a great way to showcase the delish texture of asparagus!
We are going ot feature shaved raw and lightly cooked asparagus in this dish
I bunch asparagus
1 carrot, grated
1 small bunch scallions or garden chives
a handful of micro greens, sprouts or baby lettuces
a small amount of enoki, beech or hon shimenji mushrooms ( or regular while mus
salt
1 Tbls soy sauce or tamari
1 Tbls rice vinegar
1 Tbls sesame oil
1 Tbls mirin
fresh ginger
sesame seeds

Start by snapping the asparagus at the breaking point. Discard the steams or save for stock.
Using a peeler, shave enough asparagus to yield 1 packed cup.
Use a large skillet here. Fill about halfway with water. Salt the water generously, but not over the top!.
Bring to a boil. Lay the asparagus in the pan in a layer.
Boil for 30 seconds and turn off the heat. Let the asparagus steep until it is just perfectly cooked, not chalky, still green, but tender.
Rinse under cold water until cool.
Whip up the dressing using equal parts soy, sesame oil, rice vinegar and mirin.
Toss the shaved raw asparagus, carrots and scallions with enough dressing to coat.
Place the cooked asparagus on a plate. Top with the tossed veggies. Spring with sesame seeds and drizzle any remaining dressing on each pate


 

Ric Orlando Thai DIshes Jungle Curry

Travel to Thailand with Ric Orlando
The world tour continues with my absolute favorite cuisine in the world- Thailand!
That’s right, I said it. Thai food is my favorite cuisine. That doesn’t mean my love for regional Italian, Szechuan, Indian, Provencal, Andalucian, Vietnamese, North African, Greek, Oaxacan, Peruvian, Caribe or regional American are losing the love in any way. I am just saying that if there was one Cuisine that has inspired me the most to cook professionally, it is Thai. My first Thai experience in 1982 in Boston pretty much changed my world forever. I was mesmerized and wanted to know how it was done. What I love most about Thai cooking is the idea of what I like to call “Climbing the taste ladder”.   All Thai food has magnificent balance, but consists of an array of flavors, stacked perfectly. Visualize being on a bicycle, zooming down Main street, piled with books, groceries, flowers, tools, flags and and...well, you get it. There is a ease of balance, carefully worked out over generations of cooks, that have made Thai
cooks the most skilled in the  Art of creating Balance.
Thai is --- Hot, Sour, Salty , Sweet, Spicy, Bitter, Soft, Crunchy.
Yum!

All ingredients are available at most Asian markets. Explore.
For a thorough overview of the regional cuisines of Thailand, visit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_cuisine

Recipes

Thai Chile Condiment nam pla phrik

Jungle Curry Kaeng pa or Phuket



Nam Pla Phrik
My face Thai Chile condiment
What is easy to make, lasts for ever and makes your life hum like a hornet.
Money? Love? no it’s Nam Pla Phrik!
1/2 cup thai chiles, sliced small
juice of two limes
fish sauce
Put the chiles in a clean jar.
Add the lime juice
Cover by 1 inch completely with fish sauce
Spoon on everything.
Store in the fridge, covered.
Lasts forever.

Jungle Curry
Jungle Curry, from the North central region of Thailand is curry made without coconut milk, as there or no coconuts growing there This dish is pretty hot, but in a reviving way, designed to get the sweat going! Traditionally this was the recipe for preparing Wild Boar. It is easy made vegetarian with green papaya, yams, long beans etc, or can be served with chicken or pork as well.
 
Phuket Jungle Curry Paste
This is the core---the base-the essence.
1 shallot, halved and peeled                                                                                                                          
 6 garlic cloves, peeled                                                                                                                          
¼ cup minced lemongrass, about 1 stalk                                                                                                  1 teaspoon salt                                                                                                                                           1 teaspoon dry turmeric                                                                                                                          10 to 15 Thai red chilies                                                                                                                      
1 teaspoon shrimp paste or 1 tablespoon miso paste or anchovy paste                                                     1 tablespoon black peppercorns                                                                                                               ¼ cup cooking oil
Place everything except the oil in a blender. While the machine is running, pour in cooking oil as needed. Blend until smooth.
Make the curry--
This is almost more of a wet sturfry than a stew. There will be just enogh liquid to keep it all steaming.

3 tablespoons red curry paste or fresh Jungle Curry paste from recipe above
2 tablespoons veg oil
1 cup water
1 cup diced green papaya, peeled and seeded, about ¼ of a whole small green papaya
1 cup wedged Thai eggplants, about 5 whole Thai eggplants
1 cup long beans or green beans, cut into 1 inch-lengths
¼ cup Thai basil
4 Kaffir lime leaves, shredded
1 tablespoon palm sugar or brown sugar
2 dashes fish sauce, or more to taste
Blend red curry paste and canola oil in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add water and green papaya chunks, stir, then cover with a lid and let it cook for 3 minutes or until green papaya starts to look half-cooked. Add eggplant, yardlong beans and eggplant. eggplant is soft but not mushy. Stir in basil, Kaffir lime leaves, and sugar and cook for 30 seconds more; add fish sauce to taste. Remove from heat and serve with Jasmine rice.
more to come