Tag Archives: roasted asparagus

Steak and Summer Go Hand in Hand – Sirloin Steak with Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus

There are always some meals that I immediately associate with the summer. Naturally people think a lot about things like hamburgers and hot dogs, corn on the cob, potato salad, watermelon and all of the great summer fruits and vegetables you can get. One of the things I always associate with summer is steak. Even though I made steak throughout the year and I don’t even have a grill to use, the idea of grilling a nice piece of steak is something I love. Since I need to do next best around here, I very often use one of my grill pans when making steak to get that same feeling. As much as I love steak, the price keeps me from buying it too often. Every once in a while I will treat us to a rib eye steak for dinner or a New York strip, but that’s about it and only if they are on sale. When I last went to the farmers’ market here in Monroe, I picked up a meat package from Bishop Farms, a farm out of Fulton, NY that offers some great beef, pork, lamb, chicken and more that are all-natural, no steroids and antibiotics. I had purchased a few things from them before and got a package of ground beef, short ribs, beef kebabs and sirloin steaks that looked awesome. I decided to make one of the sirloin steaks the other night and used this recipe from Martha Stewart to make a quick and easy meal.

Sirloin Steak with Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for serving

1 garlic clove, crushed through a press

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large sirloin steak (about 1 1/2 pounds and 1 inch thick), trimmed and cut into 4 equal portions

1 pound red new potatoes, halved (quartered if large)

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds asparagus, trimmed

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Place the mustard mixture in a resealable plastic bag. Add the steaks, and rub the steaks to coat them well. Let the steaks marinate at room temperature for about 10 minutes or refrigerate them for up to 1 day.


On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil; season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Roast the potatoes for about 10 minutes, then add the asparagus to the sheet pan and toss them  with another tablespoon of the olive oil. Season the asparagus with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables until the potatoes and asparagus are tender, about 15 minutes more.


While the vegetables are roasting, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet or grill pan over high heat. Remove the steaks from the marinade, allowing  any excess to drip off. Cook the steaks for about 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. If the pan darkens quickly, reduce the heat. Let the steaks rest for about 5 minutes. Serve the steaks with the vegetables or slice the steaks into thin slices and serve over the vegetables on a large platter. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.

It’s a very simple recipe that comes out nicely. I used Yukon gold potatoes in my recipe because that is what I had on hand to go with the asparagus. I chose to keep the steak as one large steak and then slice it after it rested, but you could certainly do whatever is best for you. The steak was perfectly cooked and the marinade was quite nice with the mustard and garlic. The marinade would be good on other things like chicken or lamb, but I think I might add a touch of soy sauce to it next time to really boost up the flavor. The whole meal only takes about 30 to 40 minutes to cook, which is great for a weeknight and if you have a grill you could easily do it all outside without having to heat up the house.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!


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Posted by on August 13, 2016 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Grilling, Potatoes, Vegetables


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A week of Side Dishes, Part One – Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Glaze and Lemon Zest

As the snow starts to fall here as we get pummeled with the 1st blizzard of 2015 in my area of New York, I have been going through some of the recipes of things I have made lately and I realize I have a lot of side dishes that I have done recipes for that I have not posted on here yet. So I decided for this week I will post a different side recipe each day to give you some ideas of different things that you can try with your main dishes. The first one, from Williams-Sonoma, is for a roasted asparagus with balsamic glaze and lemon zest. Asparagus is one of our favorite vegetables around here so we do try to make use of it quite often and I have found that roasting it is one of my favorite ways to make it. The great thing about asparagus is that you can use it in a bunch of different ways and for several different kinds of meals. This one in particular can go pretty well with just about anything and is really simple to make any night of the week.


Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Glaze and Lemon Zest

20 to 25 asparagus spears, tough ends removed

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 450°. Spread the asparagus in a baking dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. Drizzle the asparagus with the balsamic vinegar and the olive oil, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Turn the asparagus spears several times to make sure they are all coated evenly. Roast the asparagus for 10 minutes, turning them from time to time. Remove the asparagus from the oven, sprinkle the asparagus with the lemon zest and turn the spears several times. Return the asparagus to the oven and continue to roasted until the spears are crisp-tender and the color has darkened slightly, about 5 to 7 minutes more. Transfer the asparagus to a platter and serve immediately. Or, let the asparagus cool, then cover with aluminum foil and allow it to stand at room temperature for up to one hour before serving.


I find that when you roast asparagus it really brings out the great flavor of the vegetable and with this recipe the balsamic vinegar in the lemon zest really add some extra punch to the dish. I think this side dish goes really well with just about any type of beef that you might serve, but it also would work great with poultry, pork or fish. Many people often serve asparagus as part of an appetizer before the meal if you are serving a more elegant dinner or even serve asparagus as part of a brunch, and this recipe could work well for either situation. 25 asparagus spears might sound like a lot, but it really does not go very far and this recipe is perfect for 3 or 4 people. We did not even have any leftovers when I served this one myself. You can serve the asparagus warm right out of the oven or let it cool to room temperature, which is the way a lot of people like it. Personally I prefer it hot but it tastes great either way.


That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day, stay warm and out of the snow, and enjoy your meal!




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Enjoy Those Spring Vegetables – Awesome Asparagus Soup

We love asparagus in our household so it is great when it is in season and you can get lost of it at a really good price around here. It has such great flavor and there are so many different recipes you can make with it (we love it roasted; if you haven’t tried it that way, give it a shot). Couple the spring asparagus with the ridiculous cold weather we still have here in New York, and it seemed like a great time to make this great soup recipe I picked up from the food network. This recipe also makes some Parmesan breadcrumbs, which I did not make, but they sound pretty good to me. I opted to make some biscuits instead, but you could just as easily do the breadcrumbs.

Asparagus Soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, minced
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
3 bunches pencil asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup thawed, frozen peas or 1 cup shelled fresh English peas (about 1 pound unshelled)
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups lightly packed baby spinach

For the Parmesan Breadcrumbs:
Four 1/8-inch slices day-old sourdough bread (about 3 ounces)
Olive oil, for drizzling
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
One 3-ounce wedge Parmesan

Garnishes for the Soup:
Creme fraiche
Finely chopped fresh chives
Fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges
Asparagus tips
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

For the soup: In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, bring the oil to medium heat. Add the shallot and salt and pepper to taste. Sweat the shallots until they are translucent, about 1 minute, being careful not to brown them. Add the asparagus to the pot and sweat the asparagus until it is beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the peas and sweat for another minute. Pour in the white wine and deglaze the pot. Add 5 cups of water and continue simmering until the asparagus are crisp-tender, about another 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside.

Working in batches (and carefully as the liquid will be hot), puree the soup until it is smooth in a blender. In the last batch, add the baby spinach and puree; this will give the soup a vibrant green color. Strain the soup back into the pot through a fine mesh sieve. Return the soup to a simmer until it is slightly thickened, about 4 to 6 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the soup from the heat.

For the Parmesan breadcrumbs: While the soup simmers, pulse the bread in a food processor until you have very coarse crumbs. Once processed, transfer the breadcrumbs to a medium mixing bowl. Drizzle the breadcrumbs with a generous amount of olive oil. Toss the breadcrumbs with the thyme. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a parchment-lined sheet tray. Using a grater, finely grate a few tablespoons of Parmesan over the breadcrumbs. Place the breadcrumbs into the oven and bake until they are golden and crispy, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the breadcrumbs from the oven and cool.

To serve: Ladle the soup into shallow serving bowls. Sprinkle the soup evenly with a few teaspoons of Parmesan breadcrumbs and top with a dollop of creme fraiche, if desired. Garnish with chopped chives, cilantro leaves, asparagus tips or a squeeze of a lime wedge and a splash of extra-virgin olive oil, if desired.Serve immediately.

The soup has great flavor from all of the vegetables and looks a great green color, just right for spring. One thing to remember when you are blending hot liquids, is to first let cool for 5 minutes or so, then transfer it to a blender, filling the blender only halfway. Put the lid on, but leave one corner open so you don’t have a vacuum that can make the whole thing explode on you. It’s dangerous and messy if you don’t do this. Make sure you  cover the whole thing with a towel too while you are blending to catch any splatters that can happen along the way as well. It’s a great soup that is very easy to make. The Parmesan breadcrumbs would be a nice addition because the soup does need the salt and pepper to get really good flavor and the breadcrumbs can give you that and more.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!



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An Easy, Awesome Side Dish – Roasted Asparagus with Lemon

One way to know for sure that spring is around the corner besides the facts that the weather might be getting warmer (hopefully) and the daylight hours are longer (for sure) is that you will find asparagus more plentiful and on sale this time of year.It really reaches its peak between March and May, but it has been on sale in my area for that last week or so and it always one of our favorite vegetables to eat with just about any meal. There are several good ways to make asparagus, but one of my favorites and one of my favorites to do any vegetable is by roasting it. This recipe from Williams-Sonoma is a very easy one to make with just a few ingredients that you can enjoy during the weeknight or with a more elegant dinner.

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon

2 pounds asparagus, tough ends trimmed and stems peeled

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

Zest of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges

Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Arrange the asparagus in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, minced garlic and the lemon zest. Brush the asparagus evenly with the oil mixture, turning the spears to make sure each one gets coated well, and then season the asparagus generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange the lemon wedges around the asparagus on the baking sheet.

Roast the asparagus until it is tender and just starting to turn a golden color, about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a warmed serving platter and drizzle it with any pan juices before serving.

Just a couple of things about asparagus in general. When you buy it from the store, you want to be sure that you choose spears that have bright green stalks and just a hint of purple color in the tips. If the tips are already starting to brown or the asparagus feels limp, choose another batch. If you are not planning to cook the asparagus that same day you need to make sure you store it properly so it doesn’t go bad on you. You can simply stand the spears upright in a pan filled with about 1 inch of water and refrigerate them until you are ready to cook them. They need the water to stay fresh and you should see them in water at the grocery store or on ice to keep them fresh. When you trim them, just make sure you cut off far enough to get rid of the woody stem at the bottom. Thicker asparagus does tend to need to be peeled so they cook more evenly, but if you buy thin asparagus you can get away without peeling them. This simple dish gives you great lemon flavor with the hint of garlic that goes so well with asparagus and it takes less than 10 minutes to make so you can do this one any night of the week.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!



Posted by on February 22, 2014 in Cooking, Cooking Tips, Vegetables


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An Anniversary Dinner: Pan Seared Rib Eye Steak, Port Wine Sauce and Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

Okay, so I probably want a little overboard with dinner for our anniversary last night, but it was certainly worth it. It was a lot of work to get everything prepared and it was an awful lot of food for just the three of us (of course Sean joined us for dinner), but everything tasted great so I had nothing to complain about. I went to the store yesterday morning and picked out some nice-looking rib-eye steaks to make and with a little help from Denise Landis of The New York Times I was able to put together a quick port wine pan sauce to go with the steaks. Both were pretty easy to do.

Pan Seared Rib-eye Steaks

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 (8-to 10-ounce) rib-eye steaks, 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick
Salt and pepper
1 recipe Port Wine Pan Sauce (to follow)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Meanwhile, pat the steaks dry with paper towels and season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Lay the steaks in the pan, leaving 1/4 inch between the steaks. Cook, without moving the steaks, until well browned, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, flip the steaks and continue to cook until the meat registers 115 to 120° (for rare) or 120 to 125° (for medium-rare), 3 to 7 minutes. Transfer the steaks to a serving platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil to rest or while preparing the pan sauce, then serve.

Port Wine Pan Sauce

1 small shallot, minced
1 small onion, minced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup ruby port
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

In the same skillet that the steaks were seared in, add the shallot, onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan. Deglaze the pan with the ruby port, stirring to loosen any browned bits. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, and gently swirl into the sauce until well blended, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vegetables back into the pan, season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir in till slightly thickened about 1 to 2 minutes more. Off the heat, add in the fresh thyme and gently mix. Serve the sauce on the side with the steaks.

The steaks were cooked perfectly and have great flavor to them even though the only spices I added were salt-and-pepper. I actually cooked them for about 2 minutes longer so they were closer to medium, but you want to make them to your own personal preference. The pan sauce was just right for the steaks. I love the taste that the port wine adds to the sauce on it blended well with the shallots, onion and mushrooms. It also tasted great on the mashed potatoes that I made to go along on the side.

And the other dish that I made to go along with the meal was a very simple bacon wrapped shrimp. This doesn’t have to be a messy project or a big production; there are really only three ingredients to the entire recipe and most of the work goes into the preparation and not the cooking itself.

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

24 large uncooked shrimp, shelled and deveined
6 slices bacon, cut into quarters
1 tablespoon Montreal Steak seasoning

Preheat the oven to 450°. Cover the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Insert a wire rack into the baking sheet. Spray the baking sheet with nonstick vegetable spray. Wrap each shrimp in a 1/4 slice of bacon, being sure to wrap the bacon tightly. Secure the bacon with toothpicks if necessary. Place the shrimp on the wire rack in the baking sheet. Sprinkle the shrimp with the steak seasoning on both sides.

When the oven has come up to temperature, place the baking sheet inside the oven and bake the shrimp until opaque and the bacon has begun to crisp, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

It doesn’t get much easier than this one. There are a couple of notes to take into mind when making this for yourself. First, make sure that you using large shrimp for this particular recipe. The size of the shrimp will take just about as long to roast in the oven as the bacon will to crisp so you won’t end up with any rubbery shrimp. If you are using smaller shrimp such as a medium-sized shrimp, you may want to think about cooking the bacon slightly before you wrap the shrimp to make sure that the bacon will be crisp at the same time the shrimp is done. You don’t have to use the steak seasoning if you don’t want to, although I think it added a nice flavor to the shrimp and the bacon. You could also use a barbecue sauce instead of the seasoning if you wanted to try something a little different. Having the shrimp up on the wire rack in the pan allows the air to get underneath and the heat to get underneath so that the bacon and the shrimp both cook on both sides. You could also put the shrimp on a skewer if you didn’t want to use toothpicks, or if you wrap the bacon tight enough, as I tried to do, you don’t really need any toothpicks at all.

I also served a side dish of roasted asparagus for the vegetable. Overall, I think it was a pretty good meal and we all seem to enjoy it. There were some leftovers of course but will be able to re-purpose them for another meal.

That’s all there is for today. Check back next time this see the recipes I use for dinner tonight. I’m hoping to get to the Ethiopian stir-fry tonight; I’m curious as to how well that one will turn out. Check back and see how it goes. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!


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Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Sauce, Seafood


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