First Tuesday Recipes for March

I hope I’m not speaking prematurely, but spring seems to be in the air! As I write this it’s supposed to be almost 60 degrees this afternoon and it’s beautiful and sunny out.

My thoughts are turning to spring meals. I’ve got two desserts and a decadent soup for you this month—and they feature lemons, strawberries, and asparagus. It doesn’t get much more spring-y than that!

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Asparagus Soup with Parmesan Custards

For the custards:

2 1/2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

1 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. whole large eggs

2 lg. egg yolks

1/8 t. salt

pepper

For the soup:

1 lg. leek, white and pale green parts only, finely chopped

1/2 c. shallot, finely chopped

1/2 t. salt

pepper

1 t. unsalted butter

2 1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-in. pieces

3 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 c. water

1/4 c. heavy cream

For this recipe, you’ll need 6 2-inch ramekins. If you don’t have them, you can order them from Amazon here. I have a set of them and I use them often for dips, garnishes at the table, etc.

 

Make the custards:

Butter ramekins and set aside.

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring cheese, cream, and milk just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and steep for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Pour steeped cream through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing lightly on the cheese solids. Discard cheese solids. Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add steeped cream in a thin stream, whisking until smooth. Divide among ramekins.

Place ramekins in a baking dish and fill dish with a hot water bath about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. I use a kettle to boil the water while the cream steeps so the water is hot and ready to pour into the baking dish when the ramekins go in.

Bake in center of oven for 40-45 minutes or until centers of custards are completely set. Transfer ramekins with tongs to a cooling rack and cool for five minutes. Do not cool longer than five minutes. Run a knife around the ramekin to loosen the custard, place a soup bowl over the ramekin, and invert so the custard is in the soup bowl.

While the cream steeps and the custards bake, make the soup:

Wash the chopped leeks in a bowl of cold water and drain well. Pat dry. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leeks, shallots, salt, and pepper; cook until leeks are softened, about 3 minutes. Add asparagus, broth, and water; simmer, covered, until asparagus is just tender, about 10-12 minutes. After 2-4 minutes, remove 6 asparagus tips, cut each in half, and reserve for garnish.

Use an immersion blender to purée soup or purée in batches using a blender. Transfer soup to a large bowl and wipe out saucepan. Pour soup through a sieve into the saucepan; discard any solids. Stir in cream, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook over medium-low heat until hot.

Ladle soup over custards, garnish with reserved asparagus tips and extra shaved cheese, if desired. Serve hot.

 

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Lemon Chiffon Crunch

1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs

1/3 c. light brown sugar

1/2 t. cinnamon

1/3 c. melted butter

1 3-oz. pkg. lemon Jell-O

3/4 c. boiling water

1/2 c. sugar

Juice and peel of one lemon peel, zested and chopped

12 oz. evaporated milk

 

Combine first four ingredients; mix until crumbly. Reserve 3 T. crumb mixture; press remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of a buttered 9-inch square pan; chill.

Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water; add sugar, lemon juice, and peel. Chill to consistency of unbeaten egg whites. Ten minutes later, pour evaporated milk into a freezer tray and freeze until ice crystals form around the edges. Turn into chilled bowl; whip until stiff. Fold whipped evaporated milk into Jell-O mixture. Spoon into pan on top of crumb layer. Sprinkle top with reserved crumbs. Chill until set.

 

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Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Crust:

3 c. flour

2 1/2 t. sugar

3/4 t. salt

2/3 c. chilled shortening, cut into pieces

1 1/4 sticks chilled butter, cut into pieces

10 T. ice water

Filling:

3 1/2 c. rhubarb, trimmed and sliced 1/2-inch thick

16 oz. strawberries, hulled and halved (for very large berries, cut into quarters)

1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed

1/2 c. sugar

1/4 c. cornstarch

1 t. ground cinnamon

1/4 t. salt

Egg wash:

1 lg. egg yolk

1 t. water

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add shortening and butter and mix with a fork or pastry knife until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add ice water, 1 T. at a time, until dough comes together in a ball. Divide dough into two disks and chill. When chilled, roll out disks into two circles. Place one circle into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate.

Mix filling ingredients in a large bowl. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes. Spoon filling into pie crust. Roll out second disk of dough and place on top of the pie. Trim edges. Whisk egg yolk and water; brush over top of pie.

Place pie on baking sheet and cook in 400-degree oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, lower oven temperature to 350 degrees and cook pie for another hour and 25 minutes. Cover crust with foil if it is browning too fast.

 

Remember that readers are always invited to share recipes. Just email them to me at amymreadeauthor[at]gmail[dot]com and I’ll put them in a future post.

Enjoy!

 

Until next time,

Amy

First Tuesday Recipes and a New Release!

Contrary to what the thermometer is telling us today in South Jersey, it’s still winter out there. With that in mind, I’ve got three comforting winter dishes for you this month. And in keeping with my New Year’s resolution to have more plant-based meals in 2020, the recipes I’m sharing are vegetarian.

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Barley Vegetable Soup

2 T. olive oil

1 med. onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 carrots, diced

1 stalk celery, sliced thinly

1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 c. pearled barley

1/2 t. each dried basil, oregano, and thyme

6 c. vegetable broth

1 potato (I use white, but you can use sweet), diced into bite-sized pieces

1/2 c. frozen green beans

1/2 c. canned corn

1/2 c. frozen peas

salt and pepper to taste

In a large stock pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add carrots, celery, tomatoes, barley, basil, oregano, thyme, and broth to the stock pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once barley is softened, add potato. Simmer for 10 more minutes, or until potato is tender. If using sweet potato, you will probably need to simmer for longer.

Add green beans, corn, and peas; stir to combine and heat for another 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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 Veggie Frittata

2 1/2 c. broccoli florets, trimmed to bite-sized pieces if necessary

1/4 c. roasted red peppers, cut into small strips and patted dry

1/4 c. artichoke hearts, chopped and patted dry

8 eggs

1/4 c. 2% milk

2 t. Dijon mustard

1/2 t. salt

1/8 t. pepper

1/2 c. grated Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large saucepan with 1 inch of water. Place broccoli florets in a steamer basket over the water and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer; cover; steam 4-6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain broccoli and pat dry.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, pepper, and cheese until blended. Add red pepper strips and artichoke hearts. Mix well.

Spray an ovenproof nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat until hot. Pour egg mixture into the skillet and heat over medium-low heat until edges are set, about 5 minutes.

Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are set and no visible liquid eggs remain, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; allow to sit for 5 minutes before slicing into wedges and serving.

This is really good with salsa.

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Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta

(I have shared a Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta before—here—but this one is different and just as good)

1 1/2 t. unflavored gelatin

1 T. plus 1 1/2 t. water

1 c. milk

1/3 c. sugar

1 c. buttermilk

1 c. whole milk Greek yogurt

honey for drizzling

In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the water and let sit until softened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, bring milk and sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about a minute. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin until it is dissolved. Occasionally I have to put the saucepan back on a low burner, stirring constantly, in order to dissolve the gelatin.

In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk and the yogurt. Whisk in the warm milk mixture until smooth. Pour mixture into 6 (4 oz.) ramekins and cover with plastic wrap. Chill 3-4 hours. To serve, drizzle with honey.

Enjoy!

Remember, you’re invited to to submit recipes for my First Tuesday posts! Email me at amymreadeauthor[at]gmail[dot]com.

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And don’t forget that today is Release Day for Be My Valencrime! Click here to order your copy today! Many thanks to everyone who has already ordered the paperback and preordered the ebook! ❤

Until next time,

Amy

 

First Tuesday Recipes for May

Has anyone else noticed how quickly 2019 is going? It’s already May! The weather here in New Jersey is getting warmer and the frost-free date is upon us. It’s time for a few recipes to use springtime produce! In this post, as I’ve done a couple times in the past, I’ll post links to recipes I’ve enjoyed rather than writing out my own. Click on the title of the recipe to link to the original.

Asparagus and Goat Cheese QuicheThis recipe is one I found in Southern Living Magazine and two of my children, both of whom hate asparagus and leeks, loved it. I did have some trouble with the filling overflowing the crust, so next time I would make it in a pie plate or a springform pan rather than a tart pan.

Strawberry, Kiwi, and Spinach Salad. This salad is perfect for a light meal. If you prefer to have it with a larger meal, it’s great with pork!

Cold Sesame Noodles with Crunchy Vegetables. This is a great dish if you’re looking for something meatless (which, as I look at the recipes I’ve given you, seems to be a theme this month) and filling. Change up the vegetables you use so it’s different every time! I use peanut butter in this recipe instead of tahini or another nut butter, but I bet those substitutions would be good, too. Spaghetti works just fine in this recipe, so don’t go nuts looking for Chinese egg noodles. And one more thing: I don’t use the hot sauce/Tabasco, but I put it on the table to pass in case someone else wants it.

Let me know if you try any of these! And please remember that I love to have submissions from readers, so don’t hesitate to send me any recipes you’d like to share.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Amy