Friday, July 29, 2011

Salty Sugary Asparagusery

A simple & quick side. It's one of my standbys for all occasions. You can whip these up in 6 minutes from a standing start.

Put 1/2lb asparagus into 1/2 quart boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes until they are bright green. Throw them into the strainer, then put the back in the pot over the same heat. Add 1tbsp soy sauce and 1tsp sugar and roll it all around until you smell the sugar burning / carmelizing. Serve hot with a pat of butter.

What's going on here

Soy is an ancient mix of salt and savory. Caramelized sugar starts to bleed into savory territory as well. Add in the veggie bitter and texture of asparagus and you get a side dish that is surprisingly complex but flexible, equally good with bloody red meat, risotto and boiled chicken.

Frozen Summer Goo

No cooking, not much worry about the right

measurements, have fun tasting as you go.

It’s cold and gooey and tastes like summer.

I had fun inventing it and using up my ripe bananas.

2 large ripe bananas

½ cup un sugared applesauce

½ cup or so, un sugared chocolate powder, any kind you have

2 to 2 ½ cups walnuts

¾ to 1 cup slivered almonds

Sugar replacement of choice (Just like Sugar,

palm sugar, or even brown sugar) taste as you

go for how much to add.

Cut up and smash the bananas in a bowl and add the applesauce. Add the chocolate and mix well. Continue mixing and tasting and add enough sugar replacement to taste good but not too sweet.

After everyone agrees the batter tastes good, add the nuts and mix well.

Use a large cookie sheet lined with wax paper and smear the whole mess all over it until it is only one nut high and looks like peanut brittle would when spread out.

Cover with more wax paper and place in freezer for several hours. Overnight is best, because it’s solid and breaks easily. (It’s solid enough in about an hour.) When removing it, peal off the wax paper from the top and the bottom to break off a chunk. (Don’t EVER try to cut with a knife when frozen solid).

A non- chocolate non- nut variety would be:

Butterscotch bits in stead of chocolate; don’t melt them, just use less applesauce or more bananas.

Cherries cut up instead of walnuts

Teeny tinny marshmallows instead of walnuts

Any dry cereal instead of almonds

Any mints crushed up and sprinked on top after the goo is spread on the tray.

So, lots of ways to make summer goo, and a fun mess. Have fun!