Recipes for May 28th Shares...

Asparagus Soup, Grilling any Vegetable and Meat!

Asparagus Soup and Base from Krys Cail

BASE: Boil tough stump ends of asparagus thoroughly in water-- time may vary depending on the thickness of the stalks, but they should be beginning to fall apart when you take them out of the water with tongs and/or a slotted spoon.  Put directly into a food processor or blender, and blend until it is all one goopy green mass.  Take out of blender and put into a Foley food mill, a Victorio strainer, or a fine sieve.  Force the good stuff through the mill or sieve, leaving the fibrous parts behind to compost.  This will yield a thick, pea-soup-like substance that might double as baby food if you have a baby in the house.

You can turn this base into soup a number of ways, and you can freeze it now and decide how to make it soup later, too.

SOUP: For one gallon of soup base, make a roux of 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup flour.  Add a quart or more of stock to the roux, and cook, stirring regularly with a whisk, until it boils and thickens.  Adjust thickness to your preference by adding additional stock or milk.  Add the gallon of asparagus soup base, along with about a half pound each of blanched asparagus tips and shredded meat-- I used slow-boiled corned venison, but any mild-flavored boiled meat would be fine. Bring to a boil and cook until asparagus pieces are tender-- will not take long. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Freezes well for later use, too.


Grilling Any Vegetable From Early Morning Farm

Armed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a set of tongs you can grill just about any vegetable that comes in your CSA share. I’ve never had a grilled vegetable I didn’t like, but there are a few tips for success. Some vegetables taste great with just a bit of char and not much time on the grill – like the pictured Hakurei turnips above – but for firmer roots and winter squash you’ll want tender vegetables with charred edges for the best flavor. I like to use a gas grill, the flavor of a charcoal grill is unbeatable, but I love the convenience of gas. I also find it a little easier to control.

For gas grills, I get the best results when I crank up the grill and preheat at least 15 minutes. Let it get really hot. Quick cooking vegetables will take just a minute or two per side. For longer cooking vegetables, char each side, then turn the middle burner to off or low. Move everything to the middle and let it cook through before removing from the grill.

For charcoal grills, use direct heat for quick cooking vegetables, and indirect heat to finish longer cooking vegetables. Because I typically use gas, here are some great charcoal grilling tips.

Don’t have a grill? You can fake grill marks with a cast iron griddle, and finish off in a pan or the oven. I love my Lodge cast iron griddle, and the flat side is also great for pancakes and fritters.

Grilling Meat: Pork Chops

from Fine

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 1 to 2 limes)
  • 1/4 cup Asian sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup less-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 Tbs. grated fresh ginger (from a 5-inch knob)
  • 2 Tbs. fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • Six 3/4-inch-thick boneless center-cut pork loin chops (about 6 oz. each), trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 ripe golden pineapple, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings, and cored
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cleaned
  • Vegetable oil for the grill
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine the lime juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, orange juice, vinegar, olive oil, sugar, and orange zest. Arrange the pork in a 9x13-inch dish and pour 1/2 cup of the marinade over the meat. Add the pineapple rings and scallions to the remaining marinade and toss. Marinate everthing in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes, turning the ingredients occasionally.

Meanwhile, prepare a medium charcoal or gas grill fire. Brush the grill grate clean.

Remove the pork, pineapple, and scallions from their marinades. Season the pork lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill, covered, until the pork is just barely cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side, and the pineapple and scallions are warmed through and grill-marked, 2 to 3 minutes per side for the pineapple and 1 to 2 minutes per side for the scallions. As each item finishes cooking, transfer it to a serving platter. If your grill isn't big enough to fit everything at once, grill the scallions last.