Oh my. Its been a month since I’ve posted anything. I have lots of
excuses reasons for that, work, busy, projects, blah, blah, blah. You get the idea. I did manage to make this week’s recipe – and how could I not since it includes my favorite ingredient, bacon and my favorite spring vegetable, asparagus. Asparagus is spring to me: I’ve picked the fresh sprouts directly from the ground in a childhood friend’s garden and I remember my mother showing me how to carefully clean and peel them (since the asparagus we got was generally gritty with sand and dirt). My favorite risotto was always a simple one of parmesan rice and asparagus, with asparagus stock as the base and lots of parmesan stirred in. The green stalks are going to find their way into a dish for my Easter guests: a primaverde pasta salad using some of the fresh vegetables I found at the farmers market this morning; arugula, cucumbers, fresh herbs, along with some slow roasted tomatoes.
Dorie’s recipe is very simple and lets the few ingredients shine. Steamed asparagus is dressed with a little lemon and oil, topped with bacon bits and onion. Fresh, tart, smokey and salty – very enjoyable flavors to go with just about any protein such as grilled or roasted pork, beef or chicken. Last night however I had a bag of shrimp to use up, so I improvised a Cajun inspired dish. Recipe is below and it includes some spiral sliced ham, so add it to your list of ways to use up Easter leftovers.
Other Dorista’s who dislike raw onion, take note, the finely chopped onion was sauteed in a bit of bacon fat before tossing onto the asparagus.
I normally have thick cut bacon on hand, but instead I had a bit of leftover jowl bacon and some regular sliced center cut, so this bacon is a combination.
These thin asparagus were on sale at Food Lion this week for 1.49 a pound!! They were steamed, not blanched, for my version.
Cajun Shrimp Saute
2 lb raw shrimp, thawed if frozen, tail on or off
1 cup of chopped ham, or some other smoked pork product like sausage
2-3 teaspoons of Cajun spice or blackening spice
2-3 T bacon fat, or your choice of oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large saute pan. Cook the onions and celery until soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the bell pepper and garlic, cook another 5 minutes. Add ham and cook until heated. Remove these ingredients from pan and set aside. Heat rest of oil, add drained shrimp and Cajun spice. Saute until shrimp are cooked, around 3-5 minutes, add rest of cooked veggies and ham, mix together and serve immediately.
In the hopper is a post on the Oscar party we hosted in February and it includes recipes that I’ve promised my guests, so look forward to that one next.