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shaved asparagus salad with meyer lemon vinaigrette

7 May

summer timeeee!!! actually though, i dont know why people are always excited about summer. everywhere i have ever lived, summer just means its over 100 degrees every day. when i got into my car yesterday my thermometer said 109 degrees. its the first week of may. oy vay.

on a positive note…summer also means more fresh produce and lots of bright, refreshing food. (if you eat anything more than a salad you may not be able to move in the sauna that is a central texas summer)

enter: shaved asparagus salad with toasted pine nuts, parmiggiano reggiano and a meyer lemon cilantro vinaigrette.

What You Need for 2 servings of Salad:

1 lb of green asparagus

1/4 c toasted pine nuts

a few nice shavings of good parmesan cheese

for the meyer lemon cilantro vin:

2 meyer lemons, juiced

1 teaspoon white balsamic vin

1 T super finely minced cilantro

1/2 T of thinly sliced green onions

olive oil for streaming, maybe about 1/4-1/3 c

salt and black pepps

lets talk about meyer lemons. different than your standard lemon? yes. really fragrant and fruity, not quite as tart. meyer lemons are actually in season in early spring but whatever, they are the

to assemble:

using a vegetable peeler, shave each asparagus into ribbons. unfortunately it’s difficult to shave once you get past the halfway point of the asparagus. i just saved all of these bits to use later in a frittata or another salad. reserve all your shaved asparagus ribbons in a bowl, tossed with the pine nuts.

to make the vinaigrette, combine the herbs, lemon juice, balsam vin, salt and pepps in a bowl. while whisking, stream in olive oil until the vinaigrette comes together and thickens. taste and adjust seasonings.

once you are ready to serve, toss the asparagus and pine nuts with enough vin just to happily moisten but not drench the ribbons. top with shaved parm!


OH AND ALSO. this salad does beautifully as an addition to your breakfast the next morning…

top english muffins or crusty bread with a bit of the salad and a poached egg. yumyumyum! (sorry blackberry photo..)


breakfast sausage in the hizzouse

22 Oct

oh hi, I didn’t see you there.
haha ok. anyway, today, I made breakfast sausage. I made it at school because one of the cool things about going to culinary school is that you gain access to awesome kitchen appliances that most people don’t have in their own kitchen-in today’s case that would be a meat grinder. You, however, do not need a meat grinder to make this because you can just buy ground meat at the store. I recommend either ground beef, ground turkey, or ground pork butt (the pork butt already ground may be harder to find.) If you choose to use ground beef, use hamburger beef with a ratio of 80 lean/20 fat, feel free to even kick it up to 30% fat too-you need some fat in your breakfast sausage..that;s what makes it a sausage, so don’t go below 20% fat. 80/20 ground beef is available in the meat section of almost any grocery store.

I wanted to get all fancy shmancy though and make a delectable combo of perfect breakfast sausage meats that would be unavailable unless I ground it all out myself. So my double trouble meat combo is pork butt (which is actually the shoulder, not the tush) and DUCK FAT. Duck fat, my friends, makes the world go ’round-hence the url of this blog.

Ok, so 1 lb of ground meat will make 5-7 sausage patties. Double the recipe if you need more. Oh also, you can make this the night before and cook the patties off in the morning if you’d like!

Here’s the Set List:
1 lb of ground meat
1 big garlic clove minced (or 2 if they are small, or if you love garlic like me)
2.5 teaspoons of dry sage/rubbed sage-same thing
1 teaspoon dry marjoram leaves
1/2 a teaspoon of crushed fennel seed-just crush the seeds with the back of a spoon
2 teaspoons of salt
a large pinch of brown sugar, maybe about 3 teaspoons
a pinch of dried cloves
a teaspoon of crushed red pepper (more if you like really spicy)
a pinch of black pepper

here’s a picture of my elaborate meat grinding set up:

so assuming you are starting here…

here’s how to rock and roll this breakfast delight:
combine ground meat and all other ingredients in a bowl. If you’re lucky enough to have been blessed with a hand, use it to mix everything together. (i wear gloves, both for sanitary reasons and also because you wouldn’t want to get any pathogens from the raw meat under my nails). DON;T use a spoon, it just wont incorporate all the seasonings as completely. 
Heat a skillet over medium heat. While the skillet is heating, form a mini “tester” patty. Once hot, put the test patty in the skillet. You don’t need to add oil as the sausage is fatty enough to keep from sticking, if you are worried you can add a teaspoon of oil but don’t add any more than that otherwise you’ll have realllly greasy sausage. 
Let cook about 6-8 minutes, flipping once, then taste. Adjust the seasonings in the meat mixture as needed based on your tester patty (you may need more salt or more pepper, whatever your preference).
Once seasonings are adjusted, place patties into the skillet, leaving room between patties so that they can speak their piece. Let patties cook about 5-6 minutes on each side, don’t fuss with them, you want a nice crust to form on either side. 
and bravo! you are finished, look at how much work you did even before breakfast, you deserve a treat. good thing you have hot sausages.