Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ham Wrapped Asparagus

I loved those little baby dill pickles wrapped with cream cheese in corned beef appetizers, but dairy is off the table, and it's really surprising how many "trusted" brands of pickles actually add dyes to their pickles! I'm running low on homemade pickles, so this is a fun party-snack alternative I made this morning:

Ham Wrapped Asparagus

Nitrate-free honey deli ham (I used Hormel brand)
Ripe avocado
Farmhouse Culture's Garlic Dill Pickle Sauerkraut
Asparagus (I used purple asparagus), cut into 2" lengths

Slice the deli ham lengthways.  Spread on a little avocado and sprinkle with a wee bit of sauerkraut.  Place the asparagus on top and wrap them up.  Use a toothpick if necessary to hold them closed.

It doesn't matter which color/variety of asparagus you use as long as they are fairly thick stalks.  I used purple asparagus; it has a nuttier flavor. 
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Monday, April 4, 2016

Pink Deviled Eggs and Beet Red, Cabbage, & Kale Coleslaw

Deviled eggs don't have to be the same old thing time and time again.  Have a little food fun!  I saw a photo online of deviled eggs that had been dyed pink with beet juice, and the filling made green with avocado.  Yep, had to try that one!

For the first attempt, I only had pre-cooked pink beets on hand, so I chopped them into small pieces and covered the (hard cooked, peeled) egg with beet pieces.  After a couple hours, I had very pretty pink-speckled eggs!  The downside to using beet juice for dye is that it starts turning brownish after awhile, so these are not something you can make up ahead of time and expect them to stay looking pretty.  Make them and then serve them right away.

After the beets, I tried sliced raw red cabbage and also some blueberries.  I thought the blueberries made the eggs look a bit weird but the red cabbage had a nice blue effect:

So, onto Pink Deviled Eggs!  In case you were wondering, the flavor of beets does not stay in the egg; you can dye the eggs without worry they'll taste like beets.

First, hard cook the eggs any way you like - I like to bake mine.  Let them cool, then peel. In order to attempt to prevent the eventual browning the beet dye does (and hoping for a cool mixed color look, which didn't work) I placed the cooled, peeled eggs into a gallon size bag with both pre-cooked, chopped pink beets and thinly sliced raw red cabbage and let it all marinate for 24 hours in the fridge, moving the eggs around in the veggies every few hours to thoroughly coat.

The result?  Very nicely dark-ish pink eggs!

The bright yellow of the yolks makes a striking contrast and is quite pretty the way it is, but I wanted a green colored mixture.  Instead of using mayo & mustard for the filling, I used 2 avocadoes, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, garlic granules, sea salt, and a very tiny bit of pepper, all mashed together until the mixture was fairly smooth.  (I meant to put a little mustard in there, but I forgot.  It was good anyway!) Scooped it back into the egg whites (pinks?), sprinkled on some fresh chives, and here they are - deviled eggs (nightshade free, at that!) - perfect for a fun spring or summer dish!

As a side note, mixing the red cabbage in with the beets did have an effect on the color: instead of turning brownish, the eggs whites turned a more pinky-lavender color after a few hours.  Definitely better than brown!

So, since I'm not the type of person to waste food - what do you do with the leftover beets & red cabbage?  Add some kale and coleslaw vinaigrette (page 5 of Cavemom's Cooking), and you've got another tasty salad to add to the table!

Happy Spring!

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