I’m back from an amazing week in the state of Massachusetts. When we weren’t pahking the cah in Hahvahd Yahd, we were traipsing around the lovely crooked streets of Provincetown, and being shown incredible East coast beaches by our friend Maryann. It was so nice to see the sun, walk out in the evening without a jacket (!) and to realize that the very difficult times of traveling with small children are almost behind us. It wasn’t easy, but both the flights and all the transitions (cabs, ferries, cars, ferries, cabs again – it wasn’t us pahking the cah in Hahvahd Yahd) went smoothly. I actually read almost the whole way to and from Massachusetts. Yahoo!
Oh yes, and I got a tattoo. I so wanted to post a photo today but it is in the process of losing the scab which looks about as attractive as it sounds. Story coming after healing process is over. From the precious few people who have seen it (including Erin who I got to meet over coffee), I have gotten thumbs up.
I made this wonderful side dish before we left and just didn’t have time to write about it. Often when I am making Asian food, I will just steam some broccoli to serve on the side. I could eat my weight in steamed broccoli but when I made these noodles, I wanted something with a little more oomph. In case you have never had asparagus together with shiitake mushrooms in a soy sauce spiked dressing, I highly encourage that you try it. The recipe said 8 to 10 servings but 5 of us polished it off even with a little fighting over the last few asparagus spears. The dressing might sound a bit odd – tarragon in a Asian inspired side? – but it worked beautifully in this dish. If you live in a climate where you can stand outside and grill without looking like the victim of a flood, then I highly recommend the grill rather than the safe-and-dry oven inside that I had to use.
One Year Ago: Mexican Pizza with Corn and Tomatillos
Two Years Ago: Gazpacho (still my tried and true recipe)
Asparagus and Grilled Shiitake with Soy Vinaigrette
Adapted from Food and Wine
Serves 8-10 (not in my family)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. chopped tarragon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1½ pounds fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
2 pounds thin asparagus
Light a grill. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, and tarragon and season with salt and pepper.
Brush the shiitake with 2 tablespoons of the soy vinaigrette; season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning once, until just tender, about 6 minutes. (DT: I roasted them in a 400° oven until they had absorbed the marinade and were tender, about 10 minutes.) Transfer the shiitakes to a bowl; cut any large mushrooms into quarters.
bring a large skillet of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Add the asparagus to the skillet and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the ice water to cool. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
Arrange the asparagus on a platter. Drizzle with about half the remaining dressing. Spoon the shiitakes over the asparagus followed by the rest of the dressing. Serve right away.
(Make ahead: The dressing, grilled shiitakes, and blanched asparagus can each be refrigerated separately overnight. Reheat the shiitake in a 400° oven for about 4 minutes and bring the asparagus and dressing to room temperature before serving.)