A few birthdays ago, my friend Adel took me out to a lovely dinner at one of the new restaurants at the Americana at Brand. We ordered asparagus as an appetizer. Boy, what a surprise that was. Those asparagus were dripping in melted butter and Parmesan, and just delicious. I wanted to make them at home.
I had forgotten about them until I saw something similar on Pinterest, and pinned them to my Recipes I Gotta Try board. When I looked at the recipe, I knew that I could improve it, and I did.
The original recipe calls for and egg wash and a dip in flour, then dipping in cheese and Panko bread crumbs. I’m sure they are delicious, but asparagus CRIES out for butter. Butter also makes an excellent coating to which a variety of things will cling, so I decided to forgo the egg and flour, and go with butter.
These asparagus spears were supreme, and that is why they are called Supreme Asparagus Fries. My recipe is for 6 spears per person, but if you have asparagus lovers, you might want to increase the recipe.
When I was making all the dishes for Thanksgiving today, I got hungry, but there really wasn’t anything in what I was preparing that I could munch on. I looked in the cupboard and saw I had a nice can of tuna in oil. But, I didn’t want a sandwich, because tomorrow I am having The Sandwich, and I’m having stuffing tonight. That’s a lot of bread. However, I also spied a package of corn tortillas in my refrigerator. Mexican sounded like the perfect thing for a Thanksgiving snack.
Whilst at the local grocery store this morning trying to figure out what I was going to make with the defrosted chicken in my refrigerator, I came across some lovely large mushrooms, perfect for stuffing. I don’t know about you, but I love mushrooms, and stuffed ones even more.
The Braised Chicken with Onions and Mushrooms that I am making for dinner also calls for bacon, so it was just a matter of cooking off a bit more to add to my stuffing. You will love the way these taste, I had fun eating the little bit of stuffing that was left in the bowl!
I will admit I have been remiss at not sharing this recipe earlier. As I was going through photos that my friend sent me from Memorial Day, I happened upon this one, and forgot that I had never shared this with any of you. This dish is so simple, great as an appetizer, or you could have it with rice and something green as a main dish. I actually made this on my Weber, but you could also make it on the stove top.
I subscribe to Saveur Magazine‘s digital edition, and was thrilled to find this recipe in their June/July edition. I adapted it to the ingredients I had available, and it was fantastic.
I am so happy that it is finally getting cooler in Southern California. As a matter of fact, there was thick cloud cover this morning, and I had to wear a sweater. It was a good day for soup.
After making Crab Salad with Thousand Island Dressing, I had a half a package of crab left over. I also had some cream left over from making something else. I knew I needed to use that crab, I needed to use the cream, and I wanted something warm. I have always liked crab bisque, so I decided to make that.
I had this brilliant idea when looking in my pantry and spying a can of Great Northern white beans. I didn’t have that much cream, and I really wanted the soup to be filling. To compensate for not using real crab, or real crab stock, I added a little anchovy paste for flavor. Both additions worked beautifully. Honestly, if you wanted to, you could omit the cream completely, as the beans do a fine job of thickening without all those calories.
Why would anyone want to write about Thousand Island Dressing? It’s yucky! It’s that reddish stuff that sits on the salad bar and congeals because no one wants it, and rightly so. It’s the “secret” sauce on the Big Mac, and has become so common that you probably don’t even notice it on your sandwich anymore. That’s a pity, because this is a grand dame of salad dressings with an interesting and honorable history.
Thousand Island Dressing is named for the archipelago of 1,864 islands that straddles the Canada-U.S. border in the Saint Lawrence River. Some of the islands are very small indeed. The one pictured above supports a single tree and two bushes. The dressing was popularized by May Irwin, a Canadian vaudeville star in the 1890’s. She had a home in Grindstone Island, one of the Thousand Islands. She said that the dressing reminded her of the Thousand Islands, and enjoyed the dressing so much that she requested the recipe from Sophia LaLonde, a fishing guide’s wife who frequently made the dressing for her husband. Miss Irwin then gave the recipe to George Boldt, the proprietor of the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, who instructed his the hotel’s maître d’hôtel, Oscar Tschirky, to put the dressing on the menu. In 1950 the dressing became a standard, and started its decline into the gloppy mess we have today.
One of the things we do at The Good Plate is to reconstruct packaged foods, so they taste better, and don’t have the preservatives common in packaged foods. I knew that venerable Thousand Island Dressing deserved a better place, and making it from scratch would make it one of my favorites, especially for sea food salads.
I made a crab salad for the dressing, and some Balsamic Toasts to go with them. This was in the midst of Spane and his friend making Play Dough on the stove. There are little bits of homemade Play Dough all over the place. Time to clean!