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asparagus tart
Asparagus Pastries with
Tarragon Cream

lamb with rosemary
Grilled Lamb Chops with
Rosemary Butter

new potatoes
Roasted New Potatoes
with Lemon, Green Garlic

carrots green garlic
Carrots with Green Garlic

Menu Plan for the week of May 3, 2013:  Saturday's Recipes

Asparagus Pastries with Tarragon Cream
Grilled Lamb Chops with Rosemary Butter
Roasted New Potatoes with Lemon and Green Garlic
Carrots with Green Garlic

Cooking time:  40 minutes for menu     Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

       The potatoes can be roasted on the oven or barbecue, before being finished with the lemon and green garlic.  Lamb chops are best on the barbecue but can be fried and, as they cook fast, are done at the last minute. Substitute pork chops if you can't get good lamb.

Asparagus Pastries with Tarragon Cream     Preparation and cooking time: 25 minutes
      Whole asparagus spears nestled on a bed of Tarragon Cream; a savory version of the sweet pastries in the windows of fancy Paris shops.

10 asparagus spears, green or white
1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) white wine
1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) chicken stock
1/4 cup (2oz, 60gr) Greek or plain yogurt
1 tsp fresh or dried tarragon
1 - 2 tsp cornstarch (maizena, corn flour)
1/2 large sheet puff pastry

Thaw the puff pastry, if needed. 
The asparagus:  Snap off ends of asparagus.  If white use vegetable peeler and peel bottom half of stalk, laying it flat on the counter to prevent breaking.  Cut to 4in (10cm) lengths, from tip.  Reserved ends for another use.  Bring 1 - 2 inches (5cm) of water to a boil in a skillet large enough to hold the asparagus in one layer.  Add the asparagus and blanch for 2 - 4 minutes, depending on thickness.  Mine were as thick as my index finger and I did 4 minutes.  Remove and refresh in cold water. 
The sauce:  Heat wine, stock and tarragon in a small saucepan.  Dissolve cornstarch in 1 tbs of water.  When wine is boiling add cornstarch mixture and stir to thicken.  It should be very thick.  Remove from heat and stir in yogurt. 
The pastry:  Lay out puff pastry and cut 2 rectangles, each the size of half of the asparagus laid flat with 1/2 - 3/4 inch (2cm) all around - or trim the asparagus to fit.   Lay the cut pastry on a baking sheet.  With a butter knife lightly score a line around the pastry, 1/3" (1cm) from edge.  Divide the Tarragon Cream evenly and spread on the pastry, up to the line.   Lay the asparagus on top of the cream - it should just cover it.  Bake in pre-heated oven at 420F (205C) for 10 - 13 minutes, until sides of pastry have puffed around middle and are golden brown.  Remove and serve.

Lamb Chops with Rosemary Butter                Preparation and cooking time:  20 minutes
    Lamb chops with Rosemary.... Is there a more perfect combination?  Use the light marinade before grilling, then finish with a dollop of rosemary mustard butter to melt onto the hot chops.  You can substitute Pork Chops if you prefer.  

4 - 6 center-cut lamb chops,  depending on size
1 tbs oil
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder 
1 tsp dried rosemary
Rosemary Mustard Butter:
1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary    substitute 2 tsp dried
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
4 tsp soft butter

Mix oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and 1 tsp rosemary.  Brush on chops and and allow to marinate until ready to cook chops.  Cook chops on barbecue grill for 2 - 5 minutes per side depending on thickness and desired degree of doneness (I don't know if that is a word - but you get the idea).  We do ours on a hot grill 2 minutes per side for medium rare.  When you think they might be close take one off, cut into center and peak.  You can always put them back on to cook more - you cannot undo... You could also sauté in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for about the same amount of time.  When done to your liking remove from heat, put 1 tsp rosemary butter on each chop and serve.
To make Butter:  Mix all ingredients, and allow to rest at room temperature to blend flavors.

Roasted New Potatoes with Lemon, Green Garlic                              Time: 35 minutes
New potatoes are early, tiny, immature potatoes of any color, usually 1" (2.5cm) or less in diameter. They have a high moisture content, are very creamy and usually cooked whole.  If you can't get new potatoes, use regular potatoes, cut into 4ths or 6ths.

12 - 16 new potatoes, depending on size   enough for two people
4 tsp olive oil, divided
2 green garlic   substitute 2 green onions and 1 clove garlic
2 tbs fresh chives
2 tbs fresh lemon juice  1/2 lemon

Leave new potatoes whole and unpeeled; just wash lightly.  Toss with 2 tsp oil and put into a baking dish large enough for them to be in a single layer.  Bake at 400F for 30 minutes.  Stir half way through baking time.  Could also be done on barbecue grill in a grill pan or basket. 
Just before potatoes are done: Trim and slice green garlic, using most of the green tops. Snip chives, Squeeze lemon. Heat remaining 2 tsp oil in a medium skillet. Add green garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add chives, lemon juice and potatoes. Stir / toss to combine and coat potatoes. Remove and serve.

Carrots with Green Garlic                                    Preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes
    A bit of green garlic adds spring flavor to this year-round staple.

2 - 3 carrots, depending on size
2 green garlic    substitute 2 green onions and 1 clove garlic
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tsp olive oil

Peel carrots, cut in half, then each half again so you have carrot sticks.  Trim and slice green garlic, using most of the green tops.  Heat oil in saucepan.  Add green garlic and sauté briefly.  Add carrots and stock.  Cook, covered, 15 minutes or until carrots are done.  Remove cover, drain or cook off any remaining liquid and serve.

Cooking Schedule: 40 minutes for menu
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
scissors, small bowl, large bowl, medium skillet, small
saucepan (used 2X), baking sheet, baking dish or grill
pan, skillet, skillet or barbecue grill, plate for chops

Thaw puff pastry if needed
Turn oven on 400F (200C)
Arrange 2 shelves if using oven for potatoes
Light / turn on barbecue grill
Heat water in skillet for asparagus
Wash potatoes, toss with oil, bake or barbecue
Snip all herbs
Make marinade for chops, brush on, set aside
Make Rosemary Butter
Trim asparagus
Blanch asparagus
Cut pastry, place on baking sheet, score

Drain asparagus, refresh in cold water
Make Tarragon Cream for asparagus
Mind the potatoes
Assemble pastries, bake
Trim, slice green garlic
Peel, cut carrots
Sauté green garlic for carrots
Squeeze lemon
Add carrots, stock to green garlic, cover, simmer
Remove pastries and serve
     Done? Remove potatoes
Cook chops
Sauté green garlic for potatoes
Uncover carrots, cook off, finish
Turn chops
Add chives, potatoes, lemon to green garlic, finish
Check chops, remove when done
Top chops with Rosemary Butter, serve all

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