Best Ways to Enjoy Asparagus
The first vegetable that bombards us in the spring is asparagus, and until you have tasted a fresh LI asparagus, you simply haven’t lived. There are so many ways to prepare asparagus. One of my favorite ways is fairly simple and very Italian.
Carefully wash the asparagus. If you feel any grit after this initial wash, you will have to soak the asparagus over and over until they are clean. The end of the asparagus must be discarded. Take a spear in one hand and gently apply pressure on the end that you will be discarding and snap.
Coat a fairly large frying pan with two tablespoons of olive oil. (You might need more oil depending on the size of the pan and the amount of asparagus.) To the warmed oil, add the asparagus and two or three smashed cloves of garlic. On medium heat, sauté the asparagus, being sure to coat each spear with the oil. The asparagus should begin to change color and soften. Season with freshly ground pepper and a little salt if desired.
When the asparagus wilt, add a little liquid of choice-broth or water- and cover. Continue for a few more minutes until they are cooked. This is the tricky part-to cook the asparagus to the correct degree of doneness without winding up with mush. Remove from the heat source and pulverize the cloves of garlic in the bottom of the pan, mixing with the liquid to create a delicate sauce.
There are many ways to serve this dish. Drizzle with your best quality olive oil and lemon, or if you want a bit more kick, add the oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, being sure to roll the asparagus around, coating each spear. A hearty toasted round of bread goes well with this dish, especially if you serve it as an appetizer.
About the simplest way to prepare asparagus, especially when you are cooking something else in the oven, is to roast them. Lay the asparagus in a pan and drizzle with olive oil and some freshly ground pepper. Roll them around to make sure each spear is coated. Roast at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes and serve
Best Ways to Cook Corn
As the winter slowly fades and the days lengthen, we itch for the beginning of that heavenly period of time we call spring. Soon after that, the farm stands begin to open, offering us lucky residents their delicious bounty.
Can you remember the first time you ever tasted Long Island corn? I can. I was about 12 years old and staying with my aunt in Jamesport. I ate about 8 ears in one sitting. To this day, when the season arrives, I eat it almost every day, and I have eaten corn grown in many other places-Long Island corn is the best.
Here are the two best ways I have used to make corn:
Shuck the corn while you bring a large pot of water to boil.
Places the cleaned ears into the boiling water, making sure there is enough water to cover the ears. Bring the water to a second rolling boil.
Remove from the source of heat and cover. Let the corn rest for a few minutes and serve.
Method 2 (Microwave)
Wrap the ears, which you have left one layer of husk on, in damp paper toweling and microwave for approximately 6 minutes.
There is a third way, which we see offered on some of the farm stands, roasted corn.
Although this is fairly popular and easy to prepare, especially when grilling, it is not a favorite of mine.
Leftover cold corn also makes for a nutritious and low-calorie snack.