May 9th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

At a fancy dinner party, an elegant lady asked Babe Ruth why he didn’t eat asparagus. The greatest Yankee of them all responded: “Because they make my pee smell funny.” HG/BSK are not concerned about the after effect of asparagus. They are now in season and BSK prepares the delicious vegetable in many ways: Roasted on the grill; gently steamed; mixed with garlic, ginger and a bit of soy sauce in a Chinese stir fry; as the filling in an omelet. Last night, BSK steamed a batch and seasoned them with melted butter and lemon juice. They proved a worthy companion to HG’s preparation of Coho salmon a la unilaterale. A very simple dish. HG melted a mix of butter and olive oil in a cast iron pan. When quite hot, HG placed the salmon in the pan skin side down. A minute of high heat; covered the pan and turned heat to medium low. After four minutes, HG checked the fish. Found it rare (but cooked to HG’s liking). Placed it on a warm platter (like a steak, grilled salmon continues to cook after its removal from heat). Sauced the fish with melted butter, lemon juice and a dash of cayenne. Asparagus and salmon: A perfect marriage. (like HG/BSK). Tossed salad in a pungent vinaigrette provided a healthy finale.


Spring: A Glorious Season For Asparagus

March 13th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Yes, even though winter continues to buffet HG/BSK’s children and grandchildren in Brooklyn and Rhode Island, spring, gentle spring, has arrived in New Mexico. A big spray of golden forsythia is on HG/BSK’s dining table. There are crocuses galore peeping out of the garden and the first daffodil and hyacinth have made their appearance. Best of all, there are the fresh asparagus in the markets. Had a glorious dinner last night of salmon (pan fried unilaterale) with steamed stalks of asparagus glistening with melted butter and lemon juice. HG is looking forward to asparagus omelets, stir fries of asparagus with garlic and ginger, asparagus on a bed of Virginia ham. Can’t get enough of that vegetable when it’s in season. Unlike Babe Ruth, that rough diamond of the diamond, HG never turns down asparagus. As you may recall, The Babe told a society matron who offered him some asparagus: “Nope. It makes my pee smell funny.”


Charles de Gaulle…And Other Asparagus Matters

March 31st, 2011 § 3 comments § permalink

Because of his height, big nose and high forehead, Charles de Gaulle was called by the irreverent French, “La Grande Asperge” — The Great Asparagus. Well, last night HG had some truly great asparagus. Big, fat guys purchased at Whole Foods and labeled European Asparagus. BSK steamed them and served them with olive oil, a bit of melted butter, lemon juice and sea salt. Yum.

Asparagus doesn’t marry well with most wine. HG likes them with Le Ferme Julien Rose if you can find it or a crisp white or even beer. When only skinny asparagus are available HG suggests they be cut into short lengths and stir fried with a bit of garlic and ginger. Fat white asparagus are a European obsession. Veronika H., the German-born pal of HG and BSK, said all work would halt in Germany on the first day these delectables hit the market. HG and BSK first tasted these lush asparagus many decades ago in a long gone restaurant on the Boulevard Saint Germain in Paris. They were wrapped in a linen cloth to keep warm and served with great ceremony by the maĆ®tre d’ who used silver tongs. A big gravy boat of Sauce Mousseline (Hollandaise mixed with whipped cream) accompanied them. Wow! This was followed by rare spring lamb and souffle potatoes. The meal ended with the first wild strawberries of the season. Ah, springtime in Paree when we were young and the exchange rate favored the dollar!!

Babe Ruth had the last word on asparagus. Invited to a classy dinner of blue bloods, the rough diamond of the diamond, was asked by the hostess why he declined the asparagus: Said Babe: “Because they make my pee smell funny.”

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