My usual running around last week may not have proved wholly fruitful, but in terms of culinary discoveries, I did pretty well.
I nibbled on some wonderful foods: oysters at Azie on Main; several pieces of tuna and salmon sashimi, along with a few slices of melt-in-your-mouth organic grass-fed beef, at a Haverford School reception for parents of graduates; homegrown and homemade cherry cobbler prepared on a Phoenixville property; meaty, tender, finger-licking-good country-style pork ribs at a graduation party; pork, provolone and broccoli rabe sandwiches with hot peppers from Soprano’s in Broomall during Game 6; moist, rich and super chocolatey brownies from Carlino’s in Ardmore; plus my own kitchen-sink linguine, thrown together for some last-minute entertaining.
Needless to say, calorie counting was not a priority for me this week.
Being flooded with those graduation activities not only meant food was wasting away in my fridge but also that I had limited opportunity to take advantage of such goodies as Genuardi’s mega-pack onion, cheddar and bacon sliders, patty’d up and ready for your grill; Backyard Bison deals at the Oakmont Farmers Market; and two wonderful recipes sent to me by a professional chef and a friend.
But just because I don’t have time to play in my kitchen doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun in yours. One recipe is from Ambler’s Trax Restaurant & Café chef Steven Waxman, and the other is from PR expert Elise Brown. Both would be fabulous from a light and flavorful brunch. Try ’em out, and let me know how they taste.
• 3/4 cup fresh spinach
• 2 cups flour
• 1 1/2 cups milk, preferably whole
• 12 eggs
• 1/2 pound butter, melted
• 1 tsp. salt
• 36 stalks asparagus, grilled
• 24 slices prosciutto, thinly sliced
• 6 roasted yellow peppers, peeled and cut in half
• 1 tsp. oil, if you’re not using a nonstick pan
• 1 jar Hollandaise sauce, optional (available at gourmet groceries)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. If using spinach, blanch and purée it. In a food processor, pulse spinach, flour, milk and eggs, scraping sides after each addition.
3. Pour 2-3 ounces of the mixture into a nonstick crêpe pan (or a lightly oiled pan), and cook over moderately low heat, until edges start to brown.
4. Place three asparagus, two thin slices of prosciutto, and half of the yellow pepper in the center of the crêpe. Roll up the crêpe, and place it sealed-side-down in the nonstick pan (or oiled pan) until warm, approximately two minutes. (Repeat until you’ve used all of the egg mixture.) Top with Hollandaise sauce, and bake in the oven until brown, about three to five minutes.
Notes: The egg mixture can be saved in the refrigerator for several days. The crêpes can be stuffed with any seasonal vegetables, cheese, etc.
(Makes approximately one gallon)
• 2 green peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
• 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
• 2 ribs of celery, chopped
• 3 scallions, chopped
• 1 garlic clove, chopped
1. Chop all together in a food processor until minced. Add to a large bowl containing:
• 2 cups chilled chicken or vegetable broth
• 2 tbsps. white wine vinegar
• 2 tbsps. lemon juice
• 1 32-ounce carton plain yogurt (low-fat is fine, too)
• 1 tbsp. fresh chopped dill (or 2 tsps. dried)
• Dash of Tabasco
Mix well, and serve chilled.