Thursday, April 3, 2014

Think Spring

Snow in April

If you must slight me, let it be the touch
That snow in April, falling soft and white
Gives to the blossoms delicate and light,
So I don’t suffer, it won’t harm me much.
If you must spite me, let it be as quick
As snow in April falling, not to last.
Lies just one moment then, like mist is past,
So it won’t sting me; I won’t feel the prick.
If you must fight me, let the tender blows
Like snow in April, make no lasting mark
As soft, spring sunshine, on the grassy park,
Brings green renewal. But yet April snows
Can still surprise me, stir me from my rest
For snow is April’s chill, unwelcome guest.

by C. Richard Miles

Perhaps browsing some spring recipes will add a little sunshine to your day :)
Bourbon: The Spirit of the South

No drink – not Coca-Cola, not Dr. Pepper, not sweet tea – is as identified with the South as bourbon. It’s a go-to choice for a wide variety of occasions, and opinions about bourbon are as varied as opinions about the weather or where to go for lunch.

Bourbon was born in the late 18th century in the hills of Kentucky when Scotch-Irish settlers applied their traditional distilling techniques to corn, the grain they had on hand in their new home. The real boom for "Old Bourbon" whiskey — named for the area around Bourbon County, Ky. — came in the last decades of the 19th century, as thousands of new distilleries were built and new brands were launched, many of which are still popular today. The Samuels family claims the title of oldest bourbon family and is still going strong.
Bourbon-Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin
Cook's notes: This marinade/sauce can also be used with ham. Pork can be grilled or baked. Garnish the serving platter with fresh sprigs of rosemary. Garlic-chive mashed potatoes and skillet cornbread are two suggested sides.
recipe adapted from Southern Living February 2011
  • 1.5 lb. package Hormel Extra Lean Pork Center Loin or pork tenderloins
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup minced green onion
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup lite soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch 
  • Whisk all ingredients except cornstarch. Brown sugar should be well incorporated 
  • Pour into a large Ziploc bag, add in pork, seal and chill 8-12 hours, turn several times
  • Remove pork and reserve marinade
  • Combine reserved marinade and cornstarch in saucepan, bring to boil over medium heat, stir constantly till thickened 
  • If grilling baste pork with marinade or bake pork at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until therometer registers 160 degrees. Baste several times during cooking time 
  • Drizzle pork with remainder of warm marinade sauce when serving
Asparagus Pasta with Toasted Pecans
Cook's notes: This flavorful dish pairs ingredients together that I would not have thought would work so well. It can be a vegetarian meal by substituting vegetable broth for chicken broth.  The recipe called for adding all the broth with asparagus to the pasta at the end but I thought it was too much liquid. So I drained and reserved the broth, adding 4-5 tablespoons to pasta to keep it moist.
Recipe serves 4-6 and comes from Southern Living April 2004
  • 8 0z. dried penne pasta about 2-1/4 cups
  • 3/4 lb. fresh asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced 
  • 1/2 cup yellow or Vidalia onion, diced 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 3 TB. chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 cup pecan halves, toasted and divided  
  • Prepare pasta according to directions (al dente) and drain
  • Heat oil in skillet, add in onions, garlic, asparagus and saute 4 minutes
  • Add in red pepper and stir for 2 more minutes
  • Stir in chicken broth. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 4 minutes or until asparagus is cooked al dente
  • Drain mixture reserving chicken or vegetable broth 
  • In a large bowl toss asparagus mixture with pasta, 1/2 cup cheese, basil and 1/2 cup pecans
  • Add about 5 TB. chicken broth to asparagus/pasta mixture 
  • Remainder of broth can be used any left over the next day
  • Sprinkle pasta with rest of Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup pecans
  • Let pasta sit 10 minutes before serving for pasta to absorb liquid. 
  • Serve warm or at room temperature
Buying fish ahead of time
It is recommended to cook fish on the day of purchase if not freezing it. Otherwise unwrap fish, pat it dry and put it in a Ziplock bag. Be sure to press out the air. Set the package on a bed of ice in a shallow bowl in  the back of refrigerator where it is the coldest. Stored this way fish will keep one day longer. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm printing the asparagus recipe right now as it sounds delish.

    More snow here in Minnesota overnight and into today.