With St. Patrick's Day having passed only a few days ago, I felt this column should be green. No, I'm not talking about environmentally green. Although if you were to cut the column out and save it rather than throwing it in the garbage, that would be great. Okay, wishful thinking-- probably only my mom cuts them out and saves them-- but it makes a great liner for bird cages or crumples nicely into a ball to start fires! I digress. I'm talking green, as in vegetables--this is a food column after all! I have a new found love in roasted green vegetables. Now I know you think I'm crazy. So do most of the students in the classes I've been teaching recently-- until they taste it. Roasted green vegetables? Yes. They are the best vegetable I've eaten in years and here's how you do it: 1. You will need 1 head of broccoli,1 bunch of asparagus, several handfuls of fresh spinach, olive oil, coarse salt, sesame oil and sesame seeds. 2. To toast the sesame seeds, put them in a fry pan on the stove top-- no oil, no liquid, nothing. Heat them over medium heat. Continue to stir them as they toast. They will take 5-10 minutes, depending on how big the pan is and how many seeds you put in there. Once toasted, they have much more flavour. When they are done, remove them from the fry pan, so they stop toasting (you don't want them to burn by accident-- that's what I do all the time!) and set them aside. 3. Wash the broccoli and asparagus. Cut the broccoli into flowerettes and small chunks of stem (yes, I use the stem too-- its good for you and helps bring down the cost). Snap the asparagus to remove the woody bottoms. Don't cut it. Snap it. Only the asparagus
knows exactly where the good part stops and the woody part begins. 4. Set the veggies aside to dry. This is the KEY! If the veggies are wet, the oil and salt will not stick to them and they will not taste as good. Trust me. 5. Once the asparagus and broccoli are dry, toss them in a bowl with some olive oil (just enough to coat) and coarse kosher salt (yes, you have to use coarse salt as table salt is not the same and the result is very different). 6. Spread them on a baking sheet-- make sure they are directly on the baking sheet, not on parchment as they need to touch the heat of the steel. They also must be spread out. If you have them all mounded up, they will just steam and not taste nearly as good. You want them to carmelize. 7. Place the veggies in the oven at 425 F degrees for awhile, until they start to get quite brownish around the edges. Don't fret and take them out too early-- you want some good colour on all the pieces, not just the ones at the edge of the pan. 8. Now pour the hot veggies back into the bowl. Add the fresh spinach. Drizzle a little sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds on top. Mix well and pour back onto the same baking sheet. 9. Place them back in the hot oven, just long enough for the spinach to wilt (maybe 5 minutes).
10. Serve. Now, if you followed all the steps and those are not the best darn green veggies that you ever ate-- then e-mail me because I will be amazed! In case you don't like asparagus, try substituting green beans or sugar snap peas. Follow the same procedure. Have fun and keep cooking! (Lori and Gerry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Savoury Tea Biscuits
· 2 cups biscuit mix (like Bisquick) · 1/2 cup milk · 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese · 2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled · 3 tbsp chopped fresh chives
1. Mix all ingredients by hand, just until blended. Do not beat or overmix. 2. Pat out the dough to about one half inch thick. Cut with a drinking glass into circles. Reform dough and continue with scraps until all dough is used up. 3. Arrange biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet. 4. Bake in a preheated 425 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned on top and bottom.