Sunday, April 17, 2011

Asparagus with Tomato Bacon Stew

When I first had children, I heard someone joke, "I used to cook but now I just fix dinner!" In my case, the two have always been interchangeable - from the beginning my cooking was always designed to get dinner on the table, usually in a quick-and-easy-but-still-tasty-as-possible way. I didn't cook until I stayed home with our babies, and I was so pressed for time that a certain simplicity was a necessity. In those busy years, my method was to make no more than one actual recipe for any given dinner. If the main course was from a recipe, the veggies would be simply steamed, but if we had leftover main dish I might branch out to a side dish recipe.

In recent years, I've had a bit more time to cook, but I still feel virtuously organized if I use a recipe to make a vegetable side dish. Some of my favorite vegetable recipes are from Thomas Keller's book, Ad Hoc at Home, which he describes a book of home cooking. While the recipes are often a bit more complicated (with sub-parts that require a different recipe elsewhere in the book) than most cooking that goes on in my home, I have loved trying the recipes, especially the vegetables. Keller has several asparagus preparations, and I began with his Asparagus with Tomato Bacon Stew.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- You can find the recipe here.

- For this recipe I went with the maximum smokiness of Benton bacon, which I nearly always use when bacon is the accent in a dish. I can buy the bacon locally, but I have also ordered it online.

- If you keep pre-cooked bacon lardons in your freezer, and also retain your bacon fat, this recipe goes fairly quickly.

the verdict:

I loved this way of cooking asparagus. The smoky, complex tomato sauce contrasted with the freshness of the asparagus.


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

This is an entire meal in itself with the Benton bacon highlighting the dish.

cocoa and coconut said...

Oooh I love the sound of this. Asparagus is not used enough in my house! Thanks.

Kayte said...

Oh this looks great...and doable...and I can see us loving this one for sure. Need to get to this one soon. Very soon. I have asparagus and all the rest of the ingredients, so possibly, possibly even tonight if I get that TWD tart done.

Unknown said...

I have an asparagus dish from Ad Hoc at Home in my queue as well! This one sounds wonderful, not sure how I missed it on my last flip through the book...

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Hey Nancy, It was so fun to read about you in the Oprah magazine. And great to see Dorie and the TWD being featured. :)

Anything with bacon is good, and this sounds great!


susan said...

Isn't this such a yummy dish! Thanks for the link to my blog!