Asparagus and mushrooms recipe

A trip to the City Market last Saturday netted me a few goodies including two bunches of fresh Edgar Farms asparagus (where I bumped into Sharon from Only Here for the Food when we both raced there to grab some before they sold out), and a 1 lb. basket of mixed wild and domestic mushrooms from Mo-Na Food. I also picked up a small container of morels to experiment with, but more on that on another post. I did think about some fiddleheads as well, but I’ve bought them a couple of weeks in a row and I needed a bit of a break from them.

My farmers’ market bounty inspired to cook up a simple vegetarian dinner.

I snapped the bottom ends of the asparagus and gave them a quick rinse, then popped them into some boiling water for a very quick parboil. I then popped them into cold water in order to shock them and stop the cooking process.

While the asparagus cooled, I cleaned and roughly chopped up my mixed mushrooms, diced a couple of garlic cloves, and chopped up another six portobello mushrooms that I had bought at Costco and added that also to the mix. I stir fried the whole lot with about three tablespoons of margarine and reduced the heat to a medium high temperature.

stir-fried mushrooms

stir-fried mushrooms

Once they cooked through, I splashed in about a tablespoon and a half of shao hsing Chinese cooking wine and added salt and pepper to taste (very little salt, as the cooking wine has salt in it already).

I then started plating. First, some drained asparagus. Then, spoonfuls of mushrooms. And to top it all off, scoops of the sauce over the whole thing.

asparagus and mushrooms

asparagus and mushrooms

Simple, fresh, nutritious and delicious. Great with a side of brown rice, or maybe some roasted potatoes. Myself, I toasted some whole grain bread and dipped it into the sauce until it soaked everything up.

Alternatives to the Chinese cooking wine include soy sauce, cooking sherry, or oyster sauce.

A warning – the amount of mushrooms that I cooked were enough to make at least 6-8 servings. I had plenty of leftovers.

News and events

Too many things going on right now. Between work and trip planning and events, I haven’t had much time for myself, let alone to think about the blog other than to write up posts as quickly as I am able.

News and links

News and links

I know there’s lots of other things happening around town, but Sharon at Only Here for the Food already does such a great job of recording all that already. So instead today you get links that I stumble upon and find at least mildly interesting.

Duchess Bake Shop, Edmonton

Yesterday afternoon, when I saw this post on Chowhound and saw Crazy White Girl With a Kitchen’s post and photos, I knew I HAD to stop by the Duchess Bake Shop after work. It is a stylish little place and makes a welcome addition to the shops and restaurants on 124th Street. (For those who are address-challenged and need visual landmarks to find their way around, the bakery is across the street from Koutouki Taverna.)

Look at these pretties! Can you guess what I picked up?

Duchess Bake Shop goodies

Duchess Bake Shop goodies

Oh yeah baby. Macarons and madeleines! Say goodbye to the diet (at least for the day). Hellooooo yummy sugar.

Duchess Bake Shop - macarons and madeleines

Duchess Bake Shop - macarons and madeleines

The madeleines I chose were lavender flavoured. I quite liked the floral flavour of the little sponge cake. I think I would have preferred them to be a tiny bit less dense, but I gave the other one to someone else to try and that person commented that the madeleine was very light tasting. At the bakery they told me the lavender came from Salt Spring Island.

They had three flavours of macarons available so I had to try them all. A lemon (which was fabulously lemony), a pistachio (excellent but maybe a touch too sweet for my preference), and a lavender (just a very faint floral taste, mostly tasted of vanilla). I ate one each, and gave the remainder to the aforementioned other person, who promptly scarfed one like a glutton instead of slowly enjoying it. Yeah, that person got a dirty look from me. Humph.

I was so excited about seeing the macarons that I forgot to ask them what kinds of cakes were in the case. Covered in egg whites with toasty peaks, they looked like stylized cake-shaped baked Alaskas. If anyone knows what they are, please let me know.

They’ve been open for less than a week, so I was told that their hours weren’t absolutely set yet. However on their front door it says that they’re open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

I am so fucking ecstatic that I can buy macarons in Edmonton now! Pardon my français. I’m so happy that I had to write this up right away instead of working on other delayed blog posts. I was starting to wonder if I would have to figure out how to make these things myself… or book another trip to Vegas so that I could raid the Bouchon Bakery. Too bad this means I have to do more exercise to work off all the calories… but I think they’re worth the pain for the yummy pleasure. And honestly, as long as you only eat one or two the calories aren’t too bad.

And while I was writing this I noticed that Only Here for the Food posted about the bakery as well. Looks like word is getting around fast.

Duchess Bake Shop
10720-124 Street, Edmonton
www.duchessbakeshop.com

Duchess Bake Shop on Urbanspoon