Category: Newman

Lemon Orzo with Asparagus, Peas, and Fennel

Lemon Orzo with Asparagus, Peas, and Fennel

Next day:  add some feta, more vegetables, and some oregano for a great salad.

When it’s spring, I’m all over asparagus.  You know that if you read my stuff.    But, it’s fennel, too.  Ramps (a bit like scallions) are also a treat if I can find them.  I like to bring all these April goodies together…and here’s one favorite I pair with a grilled or poached salmon.   Later on, come summer (or for next-day leftovers), I make a great salad by using this basic recipe with a few additions.  Try this:
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lemon orzo with asparagus, peas, and fennel
    serves 4-6
  • 1/2# orzo, cooked al dente according to dirrections and drained

  • 1T each olive oil and butter (use all olive oil for vegan option)

  • 1# trimmed asparagus cut into 1/2″ pieces

  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, and sliced

  • 1/2 cup fresh/frozen peas

  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion or ramps

  • Juice of a lemon

  • 1T grated lemon rind

  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper

While the orzo cooks, saute the asparagus, fennel, peas and onion in the olive and butter for 3-4 minutes until softened.  In a large bowl, mix together the drained orzo with the cooked vegetables.  Add the lemon juice, lemon rind, and season generously with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Add a bit of crushed red pepper  (or aleppo pepper if you want the taste, but not all the heat) and taste.  Adjust seasonings.  Serve hot or at room temperature.
For the next-day or summer cold salad, you can add to the leftovers chopped feta, dried oregano, fresh basil, any other on-hand chopped vegetables, a splash of red wine vinegar and a little more olive oil.  Taste and adjust seasonings again.
Two-Dog Kitchen and Around the ‘Hood:
Out of my garden:

All together:  Annual Lilac-Bloom Dinner last Friday at our house.

Newman came for the occasion.

Gabby’s always happy with guests!

Sing a new song, get outside,
Alyce

Timpano II and Other Journeys There and Back Home

Timpano II and Other Journeys There and Back Home

I have some really good friends in Colorado. That puts it lightly.  We never need a reason to get together, but…

Last year, we had a party we called “The Big Night” after the movie “The Big Night”  starring Stanley Tucci, Tony Shaloub, Isabella Rosselini, Marc Anthony, Minnie Driver, et al.  In this cult film-lover’s movie, two Italian brothers try to save their New World restaurant (and their lives) by throwing a huge party to which Louis Prima is supposedly invited.  I won’t spoil the story, but while Prima is the no-show star, a dish called “Timpano” (Italian for timpani) does make an appearance and steals the dinner scene. (See my post on our first Big Night, October 29, 2010.)

The Timpano (Italian for timpani) is a monumentally-large dish that feeds 20+.  Baked in a washtub, it features a sort of pizza crust filled with a multitude of layers that can include pasta, sauce, meatballs, Italian Sausage, Proscuitto, salami, Pecorino Romano, boiled eggs, beaten raw eggs, and so on.  Allowed to cool for nearly an hour after a long bake, the drum is then turned over and carved carefully, served with a great salad and lots of Chianti.

Doing this thing ourselves–having a party and making the timpano “just like in the movie”– was next-door neighbor Sara’s idea, I think, but it took a long time to make it happen.  For a while, we searched stores and Good Wills for a big, huge washtub pan…I promised to order one and didn’t.  We found dates and canceled them.  Went on vacations and forgot about the whole deal.  In fact, there were a lot of places our own first Big Night almost didn’t happen.  Except Sara kept envisioning it and never let us give up the dream.  She gave up on me briefly, however, and ordered the pan herself.  She planned the night in 2010, and while I did finally search out the recipe, Sara was the mastermind behind the entire enterprise. (Here’s the website with the newest crust.) In the end, we made it together, we did, Mary Pat, Sara and I.  Invited the ‘hood and various friends and ate most of the night, watching the movie for the rest.  We then talked about it the rest of the year.  And…

The night was so wonderful that we made a pact to do it again and set the date for October 29, 2011.  Despite moving to St. Paul, we made it back to Colorado Springs just in time for what turned out to be an even better and improved (delicious, in fact) timpano.  Here’s a photo album from


THE BIG NIGHT 2011

First things first.  Wash the wine glasses, said Chef Sara.

Megan:  Timpano Dog Extraordinaire

 

Chopping, chopping–Mary Pat
This new dough chilled for only an hour before rolling out.

Sara’s Sauce–Yum.

Dough-We took turns rolling this mother.

 

In pan with only a few places to patch.

 

First: Sauced Pasta topped with salami and eggs.

Thatsa meatball!  (And pepperoni)

Layer, layer, sauce.  More sauce is MP’s idea this year and it’s tastier.
Get it all in there.  Waste not.

A bit of crust piecing that worked.  Years of pie baking paying off.
In the oven.  Time for a glass of wine.

TA-DA!

Just out of the oven and resting for 30 minutes.

  

Turned over, pan removed and another 20 minutes rest.

A slice for you.

Inside the Timpano

Another slice for your friend

Waiting for its closeup

Sharing it all:

How shall we carve this?
We follow Dave’s plan and it’s a good thing.  As Alyce has always known.

 

Slideshow of last year’s Big Night

Ipad has more pics

Let’s get started.

 Two-Dog Kitchen (Three this week) or Around the ‘Hood


More on the week’s travels:

 

Back in Princeton and loving it.  Got a great version of Ps 147 for worship.

Dave and Emi up ahead

Looking back at the well-worn steps on the way towards chapel.

Talking with her hands–our Emi

On to Colorado….  Gotta Love It

Grandpa and Rhyan out for pizza again in Colorado!

Back home:  work on our kitchen while we’re away.

Back in St. Paul puppy sitting.

 

Newman..It’s a 3-Dog Kitchen, but in a borrowed house!

Writing recipes on ipad now. A new world.

Read the DinnerPlace post on Chicken-Pumpkin Chili?  Yummy and easy for fall.

Listening to Cantus, “There is a Meeting Here Tonight”  Want to feel good? Watch and listen.

Reading THE PASTOR by Eugene Peterson.  A great read.  Also listening to the choir’s cantata on nearly a loop.  Come hear our performance of “Canticle of Joy” by Joseph and Patricia Martin, on Sunday, December 11 at 9:30 am during worship.  Love to have you.

Do it all with joy and sing a new song,
Alyce