St. Patrick’s Day Sides: Oven Roasted Asparagus with Garlic Brown Butter

First asparagus of the season. Oven roasted with garlic brown butter. I love #spring!

I was quite happy to find asparagus everywhere at farmers’ market last weekend. I love asparagus, especially during the spring when it’s super thin and not gross and woody. Roasting just about any vegetable makes it about 100 times better in my book and asparagus is no exception. Roasting the asparagus give it a little crispy crust to the tips that is just amazing. While not a traditional Irish side dish, it’s green, seasonal and delicious. It’s also one of the simplest side dishes in the world. Perfect for a quick, weeknight dinner or a fancy dinner party.

This dish is adapted from my balsamic roasted asparagus, but I made an amazing garlic brown butter sauce instead of the balsamic. As much as I love balsamic, it is a bit harsh and very overpowering. I think the garlic brown butter sauce works with a lot more dishes.

Excuse the Instagram photo, I wasn’t planning on posting this originally, but it turned out too delicious not to. 

Oven Roasted Asparagus with Garlic Brown Butter

For the Asparagus:

  • 2 pounds fresh asparagus, woody stems removed
  • cooking spray
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the Brown Butter Sauce:
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6+ garlic cloves, minced (I used a whole head, but I’m crazy)
  1. Heat oven to 400F/200C.
  2. Arrange the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray until coated and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the asparagus in the oven and roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender and just starting to crisp.
  4. While the asparagus is in the oven, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is almost completely melted, add in the minced garlic. Stir to coat. Allow the garlic to cook until crispy, stirring occasionally so the butter and garlic don’t burn.
  5. When the asparagus is done, place in serving dish and pour garlic and butter over. Serve immediately.

Mustard Glaze Corned Beef

Mustard Glazed Corned Beef

Even though I’ve posted two beef recipes in a row, I am generally pretty picky about my red meat. I usually only eat red meat on the rare (pun!) occasion I go to a steakhouse (NY strip, medium please). Red meat in general, and steaks to be exact, are the one thing I have yet to find and master a go-to, fail-proof recipe (quality beef is too expensive to experiment with). Brisket would be the one exception to the red meat rule. I can make a mean brisket. I did learn from the best. Mama CC makes the best corned beef I have ever had. Yes, I am completely biased, but really her recipe is wonderful. So wonderful I need to share it.

The special secret to her corned beef is the amazing mustard glaze she puts on top before serving. It’s delicious. There is something about the sweet, slightly caramelized mustard and the combination of salty corned beef that is out of this world. If you really want to impress any St. Patrick’s Day guests, I highly recommend this recipe. I would also recommend serving with a horseradish sour cream sauce on the side. It’s the perfect finishing touch.

Mustard Glaze Corned Beef

For the Corned Beef:

  • 3-5 pounds corned beef (with spice packet or brine, if included), trimmed of excess fat
  • 12 ounces pale ale/light beer or low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut in half
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 dried bay leaves
For the Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup grainy mustard
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (dark or light, doesn’t matter)
  1. Place corned beef in a large pot. Add the beer/broth, onion, garlic, carrots, bay leaves, 1 1/2 cups water and the contents of the spice packet/brine, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until very tender and easily pierced with a fork, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  2. Heat oven to 375ºF. Transfer the beef to a foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the mustard and sugar. Brush the beef with the mustard mixture and roast until the sauce has thickened and set slightly, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the beef to a cutting board and let sit 5-10 minutes. To serve, slice thinly across the grain.

40 Shades of Green Salad

40 Shades of Green Salad

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day! That makes me happy. I happen to particularly enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, but I have yet to meet for an excuse for a party that I didn’t like. That and I’m Irish (thanks ma and da). I have some traditional (Mama CC made/approved) and not so traditional things in store for the week. Unfortunately, my celebrations can’t begin until I’m done with midterms. Hopefully dreams of potatoes and whiskey will be enough to see me through…

This salad is definitely not your stereotypical Irish fare. It’s light and healthy and vegan actually, the exact opposite of meat and potatoes.  It would be a great starter for any dinner party. It would definitely help balance out any and all corned beef and whiskey that might be consumed. I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this salad. I really like salads with multiple lettuces and this had a great mixture. The crispy, cool iceberg, peppery arugula, soft butter, and some spinach just because. They all really worked together and made each bite interesting. I basically opened the fridge and grabbed anything green. It worked out to be a festive little number and perfect early spring lunch.

Johnny Cash wrote a song “Forty Shades of Green,” which I am a bit embarrassed to say that I only discovered yesterday. My Ireland born, Johnny Cash-loving father will be so disappointed. I remember flying into Dublin when I was younger, and shockingly, it wasn’t raining. I think she was trying to get me to shut up, but my mother told me to try to count the 40 shades of green out the window and that’s been the only connotation I’ve ever known until yesterday. 

 

40 Shades of Green Salad

INGREDIENTS:

For the Cilantro Lime Dressing: 

  • 2-3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1-2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Salad:
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 cups butter lettuce
  • 1/4 head iceberg lettuce, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch (about 8) green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 pound green beans, trimmed, blanched and cut in half
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced

INSTRUCTIONS:

For the Cilantro Lime Dressing: 

  1. In a small bowl, combine all the vinaigrette ingredients and whisk until thoroughly blended.
For the Salad:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the lettuces, green onions, and green onions. Gently toss the greens thoroughly with about 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Place the greens onto six salad plates (white looks nice), arranging any of the little pieces that have fallen to the bottom of the bowl on top.
  2. Place several pieces of the diced avocado on each plate. Lightly drizzle with a bit more vinaigrette. Serve immediately.