Monday, April 17, 2017

Asparagus with Avgolemono Sauce

Two weeks ago (yes, I'm aware I didn't post one week ago), I posted a recipe about Chicken and Asparagus.  Asparagus is one of those vegetables that I enjoy, but as I learned to eat them from my father, I prefer cold, with a hollandaise sauce (actually just mayo and Italian dressing).  I spotted this recipe in the Washington Post Food Section and think I might give it a try.

Asparagus With Avgolemono Sauce
Avgolemono is a lusciously silky, brightly citrusy Greek sauce made with egg and lemon juice that can be drizzled liberally over anything from vegetables and poultry to fish. It takes just 5 minutes to whip up, and it’s healthful to boot. Here, it turns simple steamed asparagus into a truly elegant dish.
Make Ahead: The sauce can be refrigerated a day in advance.
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup no-salt-added chicken broth
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch (14 to 16 ounces) asparagus, tough ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish

Directions
Bring about 2 inches of water to a rapid boil in a large pot fitted with a collapsible metal steamer.

Heat the broth in a medium saucepan over medium heat; once it bubbles at the edges, reduce the heat to low.

Whisk the egg in a medium bowl until foamy, then add the lemon juice and cornstarch, whisking until incorporated. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of the hot broth to the egg mixture, constantly whisking to incorporate.

Pour the tempered mixture into the saucepan with the remaining broth (over low heat); cook, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes, to form a lightly thickened sauce. Remove from the heat, stir in the salt and cover to keep warm.

Place the asparagus spears in the steamer basket, cover and steam for 3 to 6 minutes (depending on their thickness), until crisp-tender.

Serve the asparagus drizzled with the sauce and garnished with the parsley leaves.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Alan LeGloahec, 1929-2017


On Monday, April 3, 2017, my father left this world for the next. His journey ended just days after a diagnosis of leukemia. My father was not a patient man, so my siblings and I all agreed that once he was presented with this diagnosis, he was going to get on with it. We would have liked more time with him, but we were blessed with 87 good years. The picture above shows him at 40 years of age - I found the picture about 10 years ago and was immediately struck by how much I looked at him. For many years, I had thought that I favored my mother's side of the family - but there was no denying that he was my father. The picture shows my father in his element, a book in his hands (though there is likely a glass of scotch close by and probably a cigarette burning in an ashtray) and the model ship in the background is one that he surely made, a lifelong devotion of his, making models, and painting lead soldiers.

This picture to the left shows my father at the Jones Beach airshow, just last summer. My father was not a veteran - but loved war movies, military history, and history in general. Below is a picture of my father at a tank museum that my siblings and I took him to, also just last summer. He made many a model of tanks - and there are many, many models of tanks that he never got to build. Maybe I can get LBA and SoBA in model building.

My mother passed away 11 years ago, this past February, and I am sure that he is back with her now. My mother firmly believed that when you got to heaven, you got to be whatever age you wanted and I hope for his sake, she is about 20 and he is the same. They were married for 53 years and raised four children - I am the youngest of all of us. He was also the proud grandfather of eight, LBA and SoBA, along with three children from my brother and sister. He also became a great grandfather just in the past few years.

For the past nine years, he was blessed to have found a companion who took care of him as much as he took care of her. While she could never replace my mother, he found love a second time, and my siblings and I were grateful that she was in his life.


My father spent his professional life on Madison Avenue. He was a Mad Man, before any of us knew what a Mad Man was. He started working at American Home Products, which later became Wyeth, before being bought by Pfizer, in pharmaceutical advertising. He later left AHP to go over to the advertising side exclusively, ending his career at McCann-Erickson. He really enjoyed watching MadMen, as we all did - and we looked forward to talking to him about the latest episode after it aired.

I can't begin to express my thanks to all of those who have supported me and my family over the past week - so many messages of love and support have come to us through Facebook, texts, phone calls, and emails. When we sent my father home on Thursday morning, my brother offered some words of remembrance about my father, quoting Napoleon, one of my father's favorite historical figures, by saying, "What is history but a fable agreed upon?" He offered several stories about my father, which my siblings and I all contributed to, and also included the words of the "Chairman of the Board":

"I’ve lived a life that’s full
I’ve traveled each and every highway
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way."

Thanks Dad for everything.  Rest well, you've earned it.  We all love you and miss you - but we know that you are always with us.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Chicken and Asparagus

I'm always on the hunt for easy dinners. By the time we all get home - one moment of indecision can lead to dinner on the table by 7:30 or later. We use the crock pot when we can - but the dinner in 30 minutes or less is always welcome. From A Saucy Kitchen via BuzzFeed.

One Pan Lemon Chicken with Asparagus
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breasts boneless, skinless
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper plus more for seasoning
  • 1 pound asparagus stalks ends trimmed and then cut in half
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 zest of lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley roughly chopped + more for garnishing
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic cling wrap and pound them down to make them even in thickness. This will help the chicken cook evenly and make for more tender chicken. If your breasts are extra thick you can also just cut/slice them in half. Place the flour, salt & pepper in a shallow dish and gently toss the chicken breasts to coat in flour.
  2. In a large skillet add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and bring to a medium high heat. When the oil is hot add the chicken to the skillet and cook each side for about 5 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Once cooked remove the chicken and place on a paper towel lined plate. Set aside while you cook the asparagus.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet. Add the asparagus stalks and sauté for a minute. Add the garlic and sauté another minute longer until fragrant.
  4. In a small bowl or cup whisk together the lemon juice and mustard until fully mixed. Pour into the skillet with the asparagus along with the chicken stock. Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce down to a simmer. Cover and let cook another 3-4 minutes or until the asparagus is tender.
  5. Stir in the parsley and then add the chicken back to the pan and rotate the breasts to coat in the liquids. Taste the sauce and season with more salt & pepper as needed.