Category Archives: recipes

Here comes the asparagus, la la lala

Asparagus season has started and it’s time to have some fun. Here in Portland asparagus is found in expected and unexpected places, though thankfully no desserts. Yet.

But before proceeding the question of “what the hell is up with my pee when I eat asparagus?” is answered.

The smell comes from the way certain chemical compounds break down inside people’s bodies.  Namely  s-methyl thioesters: s-methyl thioacrylate and s-methyl thiopropionate.  Thioesters, like methanethiol, are primarily sulfur based except being formed from sulfur bonding with an acyl group.This is why cooking asparagus in various ways does not result in the same smelly byproduct as obviously the specific digestive enzymes that break down the compounds in the asparagus to produce the smell aren’t present. It seems that it happens to everyone but not everyone can smell it.

Anyway, roast asparagus at 450 with some olive oil and coarse salt until a bit charred looking.

Eat it like that or blend it with sauteed onions, chicken stock, some fresh dill and salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Or, do a quick stir fry with sesame oil and sesame seeds and at the last minute add some scallions.

Or, roll some Dover Sole around some skinny stalks and bake till the fish is done, with some salt and pepper and chopped garlic on top.

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before they are gone


Root Vegetable Hash

Celeriac is that ugly, lumpy vegetable you pass by in the produce section. Look past its unfortunate appearance—the delicate celery flavor is lovely in soups and stews. This recipe is perfect for brunch or a light dinner.


Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 25-30 minutes


Vegetable oil spray

3          cups peeled, cored and chopped parsnips (½-inch pieces)

2          cups peeled and chopped sweet potatoes (½-inch pieces)

2          cups peeled and chopped rutabaga (½-inch pieces)

1          cup peeled and chopped carrots (½-inch pieces)

1          cup peeled and chopped celeriac (½-inch pieces)

3          sprigs rosemary plus 1 more, for garnish on the eggs

2          tablespoons olive oil

1          teaspoon paprika

½         teaspoon black pepper

Dash of salt

½         cup chopped red onion (¼-inch pieces)

6         medium eggs

Hot sauce, optional


1.         Preheat oven to 400°F.

2.         In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the eggs and hot sauce. Toss well to distribute evenly. Place the vegetables in a single layer on 1 or 2 baking sheets.

3.         Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.  Add the chopped onions about 10 minutes before the vegetables are cooked, stirring once. Cover with foil to keep warm until the eggs are cooked.

4.         Coat a medium skillet with the vegetable spray. Cook the eggs, with the remaining rosemary,  2 at a time, to your liking.  Sprinkle with a bit of pepper.

5.         Either divide the vegetables onto 6 plates and top each with an egg or place the vegetables and eggs on a serving platter.

Serves 6. Per serving: 234 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g trans fat, 186 mg cholesterol, 160 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 8 g protein

simple fall dessert

try to buy good quality puff pastry.  Sometimes you can buy a piece from your favorite bakery. Here in PDX, Grand Central sells really good stuff. Keep frozen and then thaw in fridge.

On a floured surface, roll the pastry out a bit.  1/8 inch is what I like.  Place on a large baking sheet on parchment. Core and very thinly slice tart apples, leaving the skin on. Lay the apple slices decoratively on the pastry, in rows, or whatever you like.  Heat oven to 375. Sprinkle with a generous amount of brown sugar.  Try to get some sugar on all the apple slices. Bake until golden brown, until apples are tender, about 20-25 minutes.  Slices beautifully with a pizza cutter.


and another thing.  I have been making this appetizer for years, courtesy of my friend Marcy Blum, event planner extraordinaire. In a large skillet melt some butter. Add chopped onions and saute until they are golden brown and tender. Add chopped mushrooms and saute until they release their moisture and the liquid is mostly cooked away.  I usually only add salt and pepper, I love the earthy mushroom flavor. When done, remove from heat and add cream cheese,  mixing well.

Toast some bread. Spread the onion mushroom mixture on the toasted bread slices and just before serving, place in a 375 oven for about 10-12 minutes. Cut in about 9 pieces, if using bread from a loaf, and serve.

Made a mix of cooked roasted garlic,  potatoes and cauliflower, mashed with lots of half and half, butter, horseradish, salt and pepper. Place in buttered baking dish. Saute scallions and combine bread crumbs with some melted butter. Sprinkle the scallions and bread crumbs over potato mixture. Bake till golden and piping hot, whatever that means.

ricotta tart

ricotta tart.

For Mrs. Blackheart

Fresh Chard with walnuts and raisins       (serves 4)

About half a large bunch of  chard

3/4 cup walnuts, chopped

3/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup fresh-grated Romano cheese

1.Wash the chard well and let dry. Fold the leaves in half and slice away the tough stalk. Discard or compost. Cut the leaves in half, lengthwise, then slice into fine ribbons. You should have about 4-6 cups of finely sliced chard.

2. Put the walnuts in a small, heavy frying pan over medium heat and toast for about five minutes, shaking to keep them from burning. Add the raisins to the pan right at the end just to warm them through.

3. Whisk the olive oil, wine, and orange juice and sugar, together and taste. Adjust to taste and add salt and pepper.

4. Toss the raisins, hot walnuts, chard and dressing all together.  Sprinkle with Romano


Eggplant Japanese Style

Asian eggplants (about 4), trimmed, halved lengthwise, and cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces

3 tablespoons Japanese sweet rice wine

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger (use a Microplane)

1/8 teaspoon Japanese seven-spice powder  (togarashi)

3 tablespoons Canola oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped scallion


1.Toss eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt and drain in a colander, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes.

2. Rinse eggplant under cold water and dry well, pressing out any excess moisture.

3. Stir together rice wine, soy sauce, ginger, and seven-spice powder.

4. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté eggplant until browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in rice wine mixture and cook, gently stirring and turning frequently, until sauce becomes a glaze and eggplant is browned and tender, about 1 minute.

5.Serve hot or at room temperature, sprinkled with scallion



lamb burgers 4 beauties

1 lb. ground lamb

1 tablespoon minced scallion

1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon minced scallion

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


pinch cayenne

Combine burger ingredients and broil for about four minutes per side. In a small bowl combine the sauce ingredients. Grill buns. put burger on bun, some lettuce, sauce……go

Lamb burgers are a great change of pace. Don’t over cook. You can add some crumbled feta if you like, it’s a good combo.

cheese eggs

my dad used to make a really great breakfast. He would put some butter in a non-stick pan and when it began to foam he would add American cheese. He would let the cheese melt and then add beaten eggs. Cooked slowly and the scrambled eggs were sooooo good. Touch of salt. Great on a slice of buttered toast.