Roasted sumac asparagus and rap

Macklemore, aka Ben Haggerty, is part of a rap duo called Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. These modern day musical poets produced an album the lads and I love, named The Heist. Imagine tuneful rap with a social conscience. Naturally, half of the album is full of ‘swear’ words, hence, the boys do NOT listen to those songs.

Kid 2 was recently singing this song he made up. I wrote it down verbatim.

Macklemore swears a lot
In his songs
But he’s an awesome singer and rapper
I never heard him say a rude word
But I know that he does
He sings them quietly
It is the ‘S’ word
But I wouldn’t know it if I heard it
My maniac mum loves Macklemore even if he swears a lot
Which is weird cause she doesn’t like swearing
Even though she says the ‘S’ word

Just to be clear.

I never did.

Well, I may have but I am NOT a maniac.

This is more of an idea than a recipe, albeit a delicious idea. The lemony sumac was the bomb when paired with the sweet roasted asparagus.

If only McDonalds sold these little darlings in french fry boxes. ‘Will you have asparagus with that?’

ROASTED SUMAC ASPARAGUS

WHAT YOU NEED
2 or 3 bunches asparagus
Olive oil to drizzle
1 tsp sumac
Salt and pepper

HOW YOU DO IT
Preheat oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Wash and trim the asparagus, place on the tray.
Drizzle the asparagus in olive oil, add the sumac and season with salt and pepper to your taste. Mix well to ensure the asparagus is well coated in the seasoning.
Cook the asparagus for ten to 15 minutes until tender.
Remove from oven and et voila! As easy as that. A great accompaniment to a vast array of whatever takes your fancy. That evening we ate it with roasted carrots and pork fillet steaks that had been marinated in mustard seeds, honey, oil and vinegar.

A Cheergerm creation

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Ice-cream pants and an asparagus radish salad

Of late, there seems to have been much just cause and reason for celebratory eating. A good portion of this happy eating has included the devouring of some excellent ice-cream and gelato.

So much so, that this Cheergerm has been forced to coin the phrase ‘ice-cream pants’.

Definition: when ones trousers/waistbands/knickers/undies/jeans/skirts have become ‘ever so uncomfortably tight’ due to the over indulgence of delicious ice-cream. An example sentence would be:

‘Oh dear, I have ice-cream pants.’

One could be forgiven in thinking that you had spilt ice-cream on your pants. (Whilst this has been known to happen, it is a rare occurrence for the true connoisseur of ice-cream.)

In essence, when you experience the state of ‘ice-cream pants’, it simply means you have been eating a bit too much of the good stuff. It is an indication that you need to reign it in, just a tad.

To counter ice-cream pants, salads such as these will be thrown down my gob on a regular basis. I will also be exercising more and am about to set off on a walk, it will be a long one. A few days or so.

The Hornsby Market had the most divine bunches of Prince like purple asparagus and rosy red radishes. A brand new packet of lemony sumac spice was sitting in the pantry, crying out in its little sumac voice ‘eat me, eat me’. The crunchy, spicy radish goes beautifully with the earthy delicate asparagus and this zingy, sweet dressing. The purple asparagus loses a tad of it’s vibrancy when cooked but still tastes delicious.

ASPARAGUS AND RADISH SALAD

WHAT YOU NEED
2 bunches asparagus (I used purple), woody ends removed and trimmed into 5 cm pieces
4 medium radishes, sliced finely. (I did mine on a mandolin.)
Vinaigrette
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 tbl white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsps honey
1 tsp sumac
1/4 tsp salt
Zest of one small lemon
Black pepper to taste

HOW YOU DO IT
Boil the asparagus in salted water for two minutes until just tender then immediately refresh the asparagus in cold iced water. Once the asparagus has cooled, drain well and pat dry.
Place asparagus and radish on a shallow platter or in a salad bowl.
Place the vinaigrette ingredients into a small bowl, whisk until combined and pour the mixture over the radish and asparagus. Toss the salad gently.
We ate this with the most awesome bowl of monster cold king prawns (well, the lads and I did) and a scrumptious potato salad.

Cooking Note: Sumac is a deep red, purple spice used mostly in Middle Eastern and Greek cooking. It has a tangy, lemony flavour. It is wonderful sprinkled over a plate of tomatoes or sliced avocado. It can also be used in a marinade or in a dressing, as is done here.

A slight Cheergerm adaptation of a recipe from the Taste of Home website. Link follows the photos.

http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/radish-asparagus-salad#.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hornsby-Market/151427154911192?ref=ts&fref=ts


Spring has sprung and a gluten free asparagus and goats cheese tart

Spring has sprung, the grass has ris
I wonder where the boidies is?
They say the boidies are on the wing
That’s funny, I thought the wing was on the boidies.

Yes, spring has arrived in this Southern Hemisphere, slipping in and out admidst torrential rain and coolish days. Teasing us, then leaving us. With the tantalising promise that summer, in all it’s glory will soon be here.

Nothing says spring like an asparagus spear or two. Back in the good old gluten laden days, the Yak and I devoured many an asparagus tart made with puff pastry. Now the GF dust has settled, I am once again venturing into the whimsical world of pastry. GF styling it baby.

Thanks to the lovely ‘gf and me’ blog for their sour cream pastry recipe. I have provided a link to their original recipe below. This is purely a replica of theirs but I needed to add a dash of iced water, probably due to the difference in gluten free flour blends used. The sour cream in this pastry is banging. Having used it in my non GF pastry blends, it’s great to see it working here.

The pastry was light and crispy and The Yak has given this tart the big coeliac thumbs up. He is annoyingly endearingly asking me to make it again soon. Of course, you can use this filling in any regular gluten laden crust you desire.

This Meredith goats cheese was on special the other day and a free cheese cookbook was thrown in. Bonus! I have been loving on this cheese for quite a few years now. (It’s not illegal to love on a cheese, surely?) The experience of tasting this wee beauty at a farmers market years ago was surprising. It wasn’t all My Highland Goaty Oaty Oaty in your face but sweet, mellow and delicious.

This cheese is awash in golden fruity extra virgin olive oil with the herbaceous notes of thyme and garlic. Great in tarts, frittatas, fabulous tossed into a salad, thrown into a fritter batter or shmeared on a cracker or slice of fresh bread.

ASPARAGUS AND GOATS CHEESE TART

PASTRY
1 cup plain gluten free flour
1 tsp xanthum gum
1/2 tsp salt
113g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tbl chilled water

HOW YOU DO IT
Put flour, xanthum gum and salt into a food processor and pulse to combine.
Add the butter and pulse until the mixture comes together and forms pea sized balls.
Add the sour cream and pulse until the dough starts to hold together. You may or may not need to add the chilled water. I did.
Roll into a ball, cover with plastic and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 200C. Remove dough from fridge, let it sit for 10 minutes then place between two floured pieces of baking paper and roll out to the correct size to fit your tin. I used a 24cm loose bottom fluted tart tin. A rectangular one would be great. (I have misplaced mine.) Gluten free pastry can be very soft, don’t be surprised if you need to patch a few places.
Blind bake for 15 minutes. (This means lining the pastry with baking paper and placing beans or weights on it.)
Remove tart shell from oven, take out the baking beans then put back in the oven for another ten minutes.
The tart shell is then ready to fill.

FILLING
2 tbl olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 eggs
100ml cream
2 bunches asparagus, washed and trimmed
6 cherry tomatoes, sliced
100g marinated goats cheese
Pepper and salt for seasoning

HOW YOU DO IT
Sauté onions until soft for about ten minutes.
Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Let cool.
Beat eggs and cream, season with pepper and a wee bit of salt.
Place onions on bottom of blind baked tart and pour the egg and cream mixture over the onions gently.
Place the asparagus and tomatoes in an artistic (not so in my case) fashion. I did find it hard to squeeze the tomatoes in.
Break up the goats cheese and place on top. I dribbled a wee bit of the olive oil from the goats cheese jar over the asparagus. Season with black pepper and salt. (Remember the goats cheese is salty.)
Bake 20-30 minutes at 190C until egg is set and puffy and golden.
Serve with a salad, steamed green beans or whatever you fancy.

Pastry by gf and me, filling by Cheergerm

http://gfandme.com/2014/09/06/marys-pie-crust-no-one-will-know-its-gluten-free/#more-1808

http://www.meredithdairy.com/allproducts.html

Just to note, there is no affiliation with Meredith Dairy, I just love their cheese.