Squid & Asparagus with Ponzu-Chili-Lime Vinaigrette

This salad is so yummy it makes me want to throw up… so I can fill my belly with it again. Sorry for that unappetizing intro, but it really is something of a new phenomenon. All these weeks of waiting for spring asparagus have paid off handsomely. Not only are the asparagus crisp and slender, but it provided plenty of time to ruminate on how to make them shine.

Blanched Asparagus with Almonds, Shallots & Lemon

There are a few famous bedfellows for asparagus, when cooking it simply as a side. One is Hollandaise sauce. Shaved parmesan and a poached egg a la Milanese tradition has very much taken root in restaurants here. A faction of moms only dress asparagus with grated, hard-boiled eggs, according to some friends. And not that everything hasn’t been wrapped with bacon, but a bundle of stalks secured with a strip has become quite notorious, too. Now, there are few things … Read More

Spring Nachos with Ramps, Asparagus, Smoked Cheddar, Roast Pork and Spicy Radish Salsa

Just because jalapenos haven’t ripened in these parts yet, and neither have tomatoes (unless you splurge for the hothouse types), doesn’t mean it’s nach-yo season for nachos. Or at least, that’s what the founders of Nachos NY think, year-round. And who am I to argue with that kind of authority? After a successful Guactacular Invitational, for which the site’s founders Lee and Rachel asked me to be one of the judges of ten guacamoles, they suggested we get in the … Read More

Asparagus and Tofu Cold Noodle Salad

Carpe diem — asparagus season is here! This is no time for beating around the bush(el). At Greenmarkets and farm stands, you’ll see plenty of sprue asparagus right now, too, the first tender shoots that are often as skinny as coffee stirrers. I had the rare pleasure of snapping a spindly green one straight from the soil at Sang Lee Farms last weekend, and eating it raw right then. (I’ll bet that anyone who claims not liking asparagus has never … Read More

Savory Asparagus Pie with Goat Cheese and Creme Fraiche

First of all: Holy heatwave! Bake at your own risk! I was kind of wondering when New York City weather would pull its annual trick of mutating overnight into a festering hotbox of city smog, in turn whipping us into hapless victims of stench. I’m still racking my brain for that clean water-saving alternative to showering twice or thrice daily.

Asparagus, Portobello and Watercress Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette

Go East, young asparagus whore. That’s my motto for this salad, only the fourth or fifth dish this spring of what we should call the Asparagus Chronicles. I threw a dinner party last night, and this was one of the test salads I ultimately rejected for the night’s first course. That salad will probably end up in The Book, and the other unused salad was essentially the same as this one, only with olive oil and lemon juice instead of … Read More

Penne and Asparagus Salad with Pecans

This is either a very boring fact or a semi-interesting cooking tip, and if you grew up eating lots of Chinese food like me, you probably already know it even if it’s never been said aloud, but foods that share a similar shape and size go together. They just do. So if you’re cutting up chicken to go with green beans, you do long, thin strips. If you have something like fava beans and you’re cooking it with firm tofu, … Read More

Baked Eggs and Asparagus with Lemon Bechamel

This could be one of my favorite things I didn’t know I was making. Not knowing I was making in the sense that I had no idea it would turn out like this. I didn’t predict the asparagus would cook so perfectly, still juicy and a little bit crisp, and the egg’s yolk would combine with the lemony bechamel to drown it in an even richer sauce. Nor that a few scattered slices of Swiss would find its way into … Read More

Rosemary Crusted Rack of Lamb with Wild Rice Ragout, Asparagus and Red Wine Reduction

Happy day after Easter, everyone. This recipe may be a day late, but as you’ll see later on in the Cost Calculator, not lacking in dollar value. Admittedly, the most important Christian holiday has little significance for me other than being a time to see my family, and together obsess over having something really nice to eat. (Is that so sacrilegious?) The fruit of this year’s obsessions was a nice rack of lamb, French trimmed by the butcher, and simply … Read More

Garlic and Asparagus Soup with Oregano Pesto

This Christmas dinner, I was preparing a meal for nine people including myself. At least one of them was lactose-intolerant; at least one was kosher. And the main course for the evening was unquestionably rich — a prime rib of beef, to be exact. But I still wanted to make a soup that was heady and savory. The kind of soup that makes people want to finish a whole bowl of and call it a meal. I suppose I should … Read More

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