Quick and healthy: asparagus with potatoes and ham

Here in Central Europe May is the month of asparagus and strawberries and rhubarb! In France they tend to eat more of the green kind that is only peeled at the bottom end. Here in Germany both kinds are sold, but the fat, white stalks are the most common, from Pörnbach, Abensberg or Schrobenhausen, although they are also sent up from Greece. The first ones arrive in April and the last harvest is traditionally towards the 24th June, Johannistag (St. John’s).

One kilogram usually costs about €12. I’d suggest buying about 5-6 stalks per person. I use a special peeler (cf. photo) and peel first the ends, then the top end while staying away from the shoot which doesn’t necessitate anything. The yellowish in-between layer must also be peeled away. Then the bottom end is cut off, a little more if the end is tough.

My asparagus are cooked in a large skillet, but professionals use special cylindrical pots so the bottom is cooked longer than the bud. I cook mine for approximately 10-11 minutes in salted water, some people add in a bit of sugar, some like them more al dente and cook them a minute less.

Meanwhile wash some potatoes with flaky skin and cooked them in salt water for about 20 minutes depending on their size. I poke them after 18 minutes or so to check the degree of softness.

You can make your own sauce hollandaise out of butter, shallots, egg yolks, vinegar, salt & pepper, whisked creamy in a bain-marie. Or you simply buy a packet of sauce hollandaise, also as fat-reduced, and heat it along with the asparagus, adding a splash of lemon.

Delicious accompaniments are cooked honey, smoked, lemon-pepper or serrano ham, also small veal scallops or beef tournedos.

Palm Beach – Our favorite salmon recipe

Many years ago we passed through Palm Beach and had dinner at an amazing restaurant with this amazing dish. We enjoyed it so much that I have been preparing it quite often. It is so quick and easy to make so that you might want to try it.

Added to that, salmon is one of the very best kinds of health food with its omega acids and non-saturated fats. These elements are also good to build up a good, optimistic mood. So, go with the bears and enjoy more fish!

For 2 servings:

  • 2 generous slices of salmon, with the skin
  • 2 portions of spaghetti
  • 1 packet of chunky tomato sauce
  • 1 jar of capers
  • lemon juice

Rip off a large square of aluminum foil for each slice of salmon. In the middle I always place a bit of sulfurized paper so the fish won’t stick. Roll up the sides of the foil to make little packets and place them on a baking sheet. Cook on the middle rack of your oven at 200° C/ 390° F. for about 12 – 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.

Meanwhile bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti at middle temperature for about 9-11 minutes, depending on how al dente or cooked you like them.

Whenn the spaghetti are finished, drain them and heat the chunky tomato sauce with the warm pot. Salt and pepper according to gusto.

Serve the salmon with lemon juice drizzles over it and a sprinkling of lemon pepper. Serve the tomato spaghetti dotted with capers.

Enjoy! Bon appétit! Que aproveches!


Blueberry cheesecake – easy as pie!

Here’s the ultimate summer recipe: fat, luscious blueberries (mmmh!) on a no-bake crust and (light, light, light! almost no calories) layer of yummy cream cheese.

It’s quick, no-nonsense and even healthy – did you know that all red and blue fruits and vegetables have lots of anti-oxidants and are therefore anti-aging superfoods? No problem, just load on those berries and smile while your wrinkles just fade away.

Ingredients

for the crust:

1 packet of graham crackers / Bahlsen Vollkornkekse, crushed

3 – 4 tablespoons melted butter

Crush the crackers and mix with the melted butter. Press down firmly into a 10″/ 24 – 26 cm cake pan on top of baking paper.

for the cheese:

2 – 3 p.  cream cheese light

150 ml (1 glass) milk (or light cream)

1 – 2 tablespoons sugar or vanilla sugar

juice of 1 lemon

Whip the ingredients into a light, fluffy cream, add just enough milk to make the mixture smooth.

for the topping:

1 pint/ 500 g fresh blueberries (or canned and thickened)

1 pk. cake glaze, prepared according to directions (with orange juice to enhance flavor)

Distribute blueberries evenly and pour glaze carefully over them. Leave cake to chill for at least 1 hour.

Enjoy on a sunny terrace in a cool breeze!