Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Farmers Market: What to do with Asparagus

There's an abundance of fresh, crisp asparagus in the market now, since it's in season.

A quick and easy preparation is as follows:

  1. Simply shave the bottom of the stalks. 
  2. Fill a half cup cold water or just touching the bottom of pan and let the asparagus blanch for 7 minutes with healthy sprinkle of salt. 
  3. Serve at room temp with French vinaigrette. 
  4. Using a small bottle, add 3 tbsps of Dijon mustard, 2 diced shallots, 2 cloves crushed minced garlic, 1/8 cup champagne vinegar, salt, fresh crushed pepper and 1/4 cup of good olive oil. 
  5. Close lid tight. Shake well. 
For a light dinner, I serve with lamb meat balls with yogurt, cumin sauce, and a baguette.

When my friend James Oseland from Saveur Magazine comes into my studio for lunch, he does something even easier, just squeezing half a lemon and crushed pepper with olive oil over the cooked asparagus.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

May Says Flowers

May is the month where enormous quantities of flowers pour into the market. Peonies come in beautiful powdery light pink or Paper Whites with a hint of red in the middle. For Chinese wedding couples, it is the velvety red color that is bursting and cheerful.

A bunch of beautiful peonies as the centerpiece brightens your dinner tables. 

Get up early one morning and head to the flower market or have your caterer/florist to do some nice simple elegant floral arrangements. There are plenty of spring blossoms. It can be quince or cherry blossoms. You can make a nice statement in the entranceway to greet your guests with tall
magnolia branches.