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Parmesan Grits with Asparagus & Charred Steak

Ever since we broke ground on our first backyard garden in Baltimore I have wanted to plant asparagus. Asparagus, tender and crisp and one of the the first fleeting signs of spring, takes a prohibitively long time to cultivate as an apartment dweller. Over the years we’ve had gardens in front yards, back yards, pots, and on kitchen counters. We’ve grown herbs and vegetables and even tried our hand at small orchards in pots (all with varying degrees of success), but I’ve always yearned for a kitchen garden that I could make my own, that I could invest time and energy in over the course of years. Thankfully I have that opportunity now, in a yard that I can finally call my own.

 

 

 

I have big plans for the garden at our new house, but haven’t yet broken ground. But my dreams! They’re big! I’m thinking of building the beds in the front yard, since that gets the best consistent light. I want tomatoes, so many tomatoes, and peppers, garlic, and kale, and (of course) asparagus. I want a garden we can rotate throughout the seasons, something that can provide food for our table and a little peace for my mind.

 

 

 

Tonight’s dinner was borne of my spring fantasies. Spring has finally, gleefully sprung here in Wilmington. That azaleas have painted the town shades of pink, the dogwoods are in full bloom, and everything is coated in a thin layer of yellow pollen. The local farmer’s market opened this past weekend and with it came the first crops of berries and asparagus. The berries were gone the instant Everett got his hands on them but the asparagus made it’s way into dinner, lightly steamed with lemon and served over parmesan grits with buttery mushrooms and steak charred in a hot skillet.

 

 

Parmesan Grits with Asparagus & Charred Steak

 

grits:

 

2 cups stone ground yellow grits

6 cups water

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp sea salt

 

 

3 cups porcini mushrooms

3 tbsps butter

1 lb flat iron or skirt steak

1 bunch asparagus

2 lemons

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus a bit for sprinkling on top

 

 

Begin by making your grits. Combine grits, water, salt, and butter in a pot. Bring to a boil, stir well, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the grits are thick. Stir in parmesan and the juice from 1 lemon.

 

Clean and slice mushrooms and toss them in a pan with 1 tbsp butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes. Set aside.

 

Keep the skillet hot and add another tbsp of butter. Place the steak in the hot skillet and top with a bit of sea salt. Cook 5 minutes on each side and then allow to rest for 5 minutes.

 

While the steak is resting, trim the asparagus and place in a stainless steel pan with 1/2 cup water and the juice of 1 lemon, over medium heat. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the asparagus is bright green and tender.

 

Serve the grits piled high with sliced steak, mushrooms, and asparagus. Top with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of parmesan.

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Roasted Cabbage

In preparation for today’s St. Paddy’s Day festivities I’ve been in the kitchen this afternoon roasting some cabbage. Roasted cabbage is one of my favorite winter time vegetables- it’s easy to come by all winter long, it pairs well with a wide variety of protein, and it offers a combination of flavor, crunch, and nutrition that I’m desperate for during the long winter months.

 

 

This winter I’ve been trying to be more thoughtful in my weekday meal prep. I realized that I was not eating lunch/scrounging for lunch/going out for lunch way more often than I was being thoughtful about what I was eating. So for the past few months I’ve been sticking to a strict ritual of food prep on Sunday afternoon so that I have lunches parceled out for the whole week before I even have to drag myself out of bed Monday morning.

 

 

 

I like my roasted cabbage prepared pretty simply with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. There’s a fine line between perfectly roasted and burnt (I live on that line), and the if you hit it just right the cabbage is sweet and crunchy with just a tang of vinegar. It’s a treat, whether or not it’s St. Patrick’s Day.

 

 

Roasted Cabbage

 

1 head cabbage

3-4 tbsp olive oil

2-3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

 

Halve and slice your cabbage into thin (1/4″) strips. Heat oven to 375F and spread cabbage out on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until browned.

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Colcannon

They say that on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish. And while the sentiment is certainly admirable, for those of us with deep roots in the South, this is also pretty true. A serious case of the norovirus a few  winters ago had me in bed and on ancestry.com for the better part of a week; just enough time to dig three hundred years back into my dad’s family history. It turns out that my grandmother’s description of our family history as “you know, a little Scotch, a little Irish, and a little English” was pretty accurate, and that with the addition of one Pole who immigrated to Wilmington in the early 1800s (the O.G. Rosemond), that’s what we are. Scots-Irish mountain folk who made their lives and found their homes in the foothills and mountains of North Carolina.

 On my mom’s side of the family things are a little more clear cut, as the immigration has happened more recently. My Grammy is Sicilian and my Poppie (a Waldron) is Irish. His family immigrated from County Mayo in the late 1800s.

 

 

Even more immediately my youngest sister, Genevieve, has elected to immigrate to Ireland. She’s engaged to a nice Irish lad and has absolutely no plans to ever move back stateside. And, while I miss her desperately, I’m not too sad to have a reason to visit Ireland and somewhere to stay in Dublin. Plus, when Everett and his cousin Iris are old enough I’ll be ready to ship them off to Auntie Gen & Uncle Naoise Camp across the ocean. Based on the amount of colcannon that Ev ate last night I have a feeling he’ll fit right in.

 

 

Colcannon

 

4 russet potatoes

1/2 cup whole milk

3 cups of shredded kale

1 white onion, chopped

1 green onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

6 tbsp butter

Salt & pepper to taste

Pinch of nutmeg

 

Clean and boil your potatoes, skin on. Sauté chopped white onion and garlic in 1 tbsp butter. Once onions have browned (3-4 minutes) add kale to the pan, stirring frequently until wilted.

 

Using a mixer or a large bowl and a strong forearm mash potatoes with 2 tbsp butter, milk, and spices. Add in kale and onion mixture and fresh green onions. Transfer to your serving dish.

 

Make a well in the top and add the remaining 2 tbsp butter, allowing it to melt into your hot potatoes!

 

 

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