Friday, April 11, 2008

a day off

So I recently took a day off, right in the middle of the week! And without any plan for the day, I just stayed in bed and read more of this book, which was lent to me by a cousin and I am thoroughly enjoying. So I got inspired.

The other day I was in our local grocery store (called Foods, I kid you not) and I saw asparagus. And you know what asparagus means, SPRING! I had to get it, even though we have an abundance of vegetables waiting to be prepared already. So I made the recipe below, and it only took me 20 minutes, start to finish, and I'm not lying like they always do in cookbooks. The recipe is from Cook What You Love, a book I've mentioned before. For a book that I bought on a whim, basically just for all the pretty pictures, it's pulled through on numerous occasions. This time I managed to burn my fingers (more than once, let's just say patience isn't one of my virtues) as I tried to eat the scalding asparagus right out of the pan.

A little trip through my recipe folder and I came across an egg salad recipe I printed out from 101 Cookbooks. I made some significant changes to it, but the idea is the same. Egg salad, like potato salad, pasta salad, etc, is one of those things I am skeptical of. I just picture a soupy mess with some semblance of that which it is named for somewhere in the mess. My discovery of German Potato Salad (another one I'm going to have to write about at some point) made me realize there was another way. This egg salad only has about 1 tbsp mayo in it, and lots of crunchy vegetables, mmmm. Warning, this is very filling, don't make yourself a gigantic sandwich and then attempt to eat it in one sitting without scheduling in some recovery/food coma me on this one.

Asparagus with Lemon Juice

1 lb asparagus, trimmed
1 tbsp olive oil
kosher salt and pepper

3 tbsp butter
1-2 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp lemon rind, grated
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400. Toss the asparagus, olive oil, salt and pepper together and lay out (in one layer) on a baking sheet. Cook for approx 8 minutes, until the asparagus is tender.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saute pan over med-high heat. Add the garlic and lemon rind and cook for about one minute. Add the cooked asparagus and the lemon juice, toss.

Egg Salad

6 hardboiled eggs
1 tbsp mayo
couple drops lemon juice
salt & pepper
5-7 scallions, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped

Note: I tried hardboiling the eggs in the way suggested, (7 minutes with the heat off after bringing to a boil, instead of my usual 13) and they were good, but a royal pain in the ass to peel. Very moist though, which is good for this salad because I like to go easy on the mayo.

Peel the eggs and put them in a bowl. Add the mayo, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mash with a fork but leave quite chunky.
Add the scallions and celery.

I made a sandwich with toasted oat bread, iceberg lettuce and this salad and it definitely hit the spot.

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