Posts tagged ‘asparagus’

Asparagus and Ham Strata

A new recipe! Yay!

Sorry it’s taken me so long to get around to posting one! But what with moving…and then moving again… I’ve barely had time to even think about cooking anything new or post about it.

This is a dish I made several weeks ago and didn’t get the chance to post about it before the moving frenzy began.

If you’ve never had a strata, it’s a layered casserole consisting of bread, eggs, and cheese, usually with the addition of some kind of meat and/or vegetable. It’s quite similar to a quiche or frittata, except that it doesn’t have a pie crust, like quiche, and instead it has torn up pieces of bread in it.

It’s a really easy, but delicious dish, and honestly, it’s good anytime of the day. Even those times in the middle of the night when  you wake up ravenous, and you raid the kitchen thinking know one will ever know….but they know….they so know.

Feel free to substitute any vegetable of your choice for the asparagus. Broccoli, zucchini, spinach, and summer squash would all be great alternatives.
You can also add any kind of meat you want instead of the ham, or leave it out altogether.

Asparagus and Ham Strata

(serves 6)

  • 10 baguette slices (or 5 – 6 regular slices of bread), torn up
  • 1 lb fresh asparagus, cut into 1 1/2 in. pieces
  • 1 c. cubed ham
  • 1 c. grated cheese
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 c. plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream (optional)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325° F.
  2. Bring a large pot of boiling water to a boil. Cook asparagus for 3 – 4 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and set aside.
  3. Grease a 3 qt. rectangle casserole dish. Spread half the torn up bread pieces in the bottom. Top with ham, asparagus, and cheese. Top with the remaining bread pieces.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, yogurt, mustard, onion powder, a dash of pepper (and salt if not using ham), and the cream. Pour evenly over the mixture in the casserole dish.
  5. Bake, uncovered, for about 60 minutes, or until egg is completely cooked and the top is golden brown. Let set 10 minutes before serving.

Mmmm, yummeh in my tummeh~


June 27, 2012 at 11:36 am Leave a comment

Roasted Asparagus

I love asparagus season.

Asparagus is one of those vegetables that always seems gourmet, no matter how you prepare it. And it’s always delicious. Except maybe when it’s not in season and has been sitting in the bottom of the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator for two weeks. Then it probably won’t be delicious. It will be limp and icky. And maybe a little slimy if you’re especially unlucky.
But if it’s asparagus season, and you don’t neglect your asparagus, it will be delicious!

I love all the things you can do with asparagus.

  •  Put it in a quiche or frittata!
  • Put it in an omelet!
  • Put it in a strata!
  • Put it in a salad!
  • Serve it with hollandaise sauce!
  • Serve it wrapped in bacon!
  • Serve it with toasted walnuts and drizzled with a balsamic glaze!
  • Serve it sautéed with garlic and pine nuts!
  • Serve it  with pasta!
  • Serve it in a stir-fry!

I could go on forever…

Or at least another 10 lines…

The great thing about asparagus though, is that you don’t have to do anything fancy with it. Keeping it as simple as possible really lets its great natural flavor shine through.
And it stills seems somehow gourmet.


Roasted Asparagus

(serves 7 – 8 as a side)

  • 3 lb. asparagus
  • salt
  • pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. Wash asparagus stalks thoroughly. Trim about 1/2 inch off the ends. If stalks are thick, use a vegetable peeler to peel the thick base of each stalk.
  3. Place in a rimmed baking pan. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss until asparagus is well coated.
  4. Bake until tender, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

April 13, 2012 at 11:45 am Leave a comment

Spring Coconut Curry

When Hisa and I got up this morning to go swimming, it was dark, raining, and thundering and lightning. We went to the pool though, only to discover that when there’s lightning the pool closes (which seems odd considering it’s an indoor pool). So, we came back home and I baked muffins for breakfast. And my parents were happy. Because there were muffins. And they were good. The end.

It really is quite a cold (compared to the 70’s temperatures we’ve been having this week), wet, miserable day. But on the other hand, we really need the rain, the trees are starting to leaf out, and spring is on its way (or I suppose it’s already here really). Nonetheless, we’re going to try and go swimming when the pool opens for lap swim this evening, although, I admit, I would love nothing more than to snuggle up with a blanket, have a cup of cocoa, and watch movies and read all day. That’s what rainy days are for, right? 🙂

We had this dish for dinner one night while we were in Texas working on the farm. The sauce is basically made up of Rotel, coconut milk, and buttermilk, three things I would never had thought to combine. For whatever reason though, it works. And the resulting slightly spicy, coconut milk curry is really really good.
This curry is great for featuring spring vegetables like asparagus, carrots, spring onions, peas, leeks, fennel, etc. I used a big bunch of new asparagus, carrots, mushrooms, onions, and green bell pepper as well as diced chicken, and served it over steamed brown rice, but feel free to use whatever spring vegetables you like/have, and leave out the chicken if you want to make it vegetarian. This is really good served on steamed rice, but I think it would also make a lovely pasta sauce.


Thanks Nancy, for such a wonderful dinner idea!


Spring Coconut Curry

(serves 5 – 6)

  • 1/4 c. coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1 – 1 1/2 in. pieces
  • 1 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 c. chicken cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
  • 1 can original Rotel
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 c. uncooked brown rice
  1. Cook rice according to package instructions.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and bell pepper, and saute for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add mushrooms, asparagus, and chicken, and saute until chicken is cooked through, about 8 – 10 minutes.
  4. Add flour, and mix until becomes paste-like. Cook for 1 more minute.
  5. Add Rotel, coconut milk, buttermilk, and oregano. Heat until hot, but not boiling. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve with steamed rice.

March 8, 2012 at 11:01 am Leave a comment

Sunflower Festival and Today’s Lunch

Sunflowers are such bright happy flowers, don’t you think? Not to mention the seeds are super yummy too.

Did you know, however, that there are over 80 different species of sunflowers? I sure didn’t.

There was a sunflower festival being held in a nearby town last weekend, so Hisa and I went to go check it out. I’ve never seen so many sunflowers in my life! It was beautiful!

Sunflowers, sunflowers, everywhere!

I forget what this particular type of sunflower is called, but they seem to be the more common type in Japan (disclaimer: I could be completely wrong about this. I’ve only seen this type of sunflower more than the typical American sunflower, so I assume it’s more common. If I’m wrong, don’t hurt me).

Next to the field of sunflowers, there was a huge field of cosmos flowers…and someone’s house (perhaps the person who owns the fields?).


Hisa posed like he was smelling the flower, but I wanted him to look at the camera, so now it looks like the flower in giving him a kiss on the cheek. Awww~!

If you paid, you could actually go out and cut a bunch of sunflowers to take home with you, but Hisa and I were content to just walk around and admire all the flowers. It was fun. 🙂

Okay, now for today’s lunch!

Egg salad sandwich on my homemade bread, asparagus spears with a spicy mayo dipping sauce, and one of my homemade granola bars.

August 30, 2011 at 11:49 am 2 comments

Sesame Asparagus

I think the only thing worse than having to go out on a rainy day is having to go out on a horribly windy day.

It’s sooooo windy here today, and being from Oklahoma, I know what a really windy day looks like.  Not fun.

I am happy that’s it’s warm though! I love the days when it suddenly gets warm in the spring (as opposed to the days when it suddenly gets cold. not a fan.). It would be a great day if it weren’t for the wind, but such is life.

I really hope the weather this Saturday is good! It’s going to be our one-year anniversary, and although we haven’t decided for sure what we’re going to do yet, it’ll be a drag if it rains. We’ll probably go to Tokyo and do something there.

Quick side dish for you today!

If you’re wondering what’s a good side dish for an Asian-themed dinner (or something like yesterday’s teriyaki salmon), this sesame asparagus is a great pick. It’s super easy to make, and if you like sesame, you’ll love this dish!

You can also make this with vegetables besides asparagus. I’ve also used green beans for this recipe, but I think it would also work for steamed broccoli, steamed spinach, sugar snap peas, etc. Be creative!

First, put a bot of water on to boil. Wash your asparagus, and cut it into 1 1/2 – 2 inch pieces.

Boil the asparagus just until tender, about 3 – 4 minutes. Drain, and place asparagus in individual serving dishes.

In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, and 1 Tbsp soy sauce.

Add 2 – 3 Tbsp ground white sesame seeds, and mix. If you can’t find ground sesame, toast regular sesame seeds, and then grind them in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle. You can use whole sesame seeds, but grinding them brings out the sesame flavor more.

When the sauce is mixed, spoon it over the asparagus and serve.

A nice way to include more veggies in your diet with fresh spring veggies!

Sesame Asparagus

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp ground white sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  1. Put a pot of water on to boil. Wash asparagus and cut into 1 1/2 – 2 inch pieces. Boil asparagus pieces just until tender, 3 – 4 minutes. Drain and place asparagus into separate serving dishes.
  2. In a small bowl, combing sesame oil, sugar, soy sauce, and ground sesame seeds.
  3. Spoon sesame mixture over asparagus and serve.

April 27, 2011 at 12:10 pm 1 comment

About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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