Thursday, 6 August 2009

More tasty dishes

Kenilworth weekly market continues to provide us with excellent produce. Sometimes I buy just because the fruit and vegetables look in their prime. Then when I get home, inspiration is called on to provide uses.

Recently there has been excellent asparagus. I bought two bunches, steamed them. The first eating was hot out of the steamer with breast of duck etc., the rest was put to chill in the fridge. We love soups, and a summer favourite is asparagus. When I steam the asparagus, I put all the washed tougher bits in the water, which is then strained off and used in the soup.
The spears too are trimmed to give shorter tips, similar to the highly packaged and expensive ones in Waitrose etc. All I am left with, after my wormery is fed the bits in the paper bag, is an elastic band, which is used elsewhere.
With the trimmings going into the soup, and only two of the shorter tips used to garnish the soup, a couple of bunches of asparagus was be used in three meals for us. In the batch of soup, started off by gently sweating a few spring onions in some butter, I added a good two handfuls of peas, and from now on asparagus and pea soup will be a summer favourite. The colour, texture, and taste were very good. To finish it off, I gently drizzled the top with some double cream, and a small shake of cayenne pepper.

Since watching some programmes where Chef's do what I call the equivalent of assembling ingredients, and remembering that my mother already had cooked items in the fridge ready to eat, I have found such half prepared items lead to quickly assembled dishes.

I had poached some excellent ripe and tart apricots in some fruit juice, and as they were in the fridge was able to come up with an impromptu desert. After blitzing the apricots , some of this was folded into whipped double cream, then layered in some old deco desert cups, the Amaretti soaked in Disaronno Liqueur was my spin on sherry soaked sponges in a trifle .
Mr S's request for pudding was well and truely satisfied, and so was mine!

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