I’m baaaack….and I have kitchen reno pictures to prove that my little blog break was for good reason. I also have a pretty sweet grilled asparagus recipe that I hope you will accept as an apology.
Moving into this house almost two years ago, my husband and I were super thrilled to have a nice large open kitchen (disproportionally large in comparison to our little house). It had everything we needed, more than enough counter space, and plenty of storage. It wasn’t winning any beauty contests, but renovating it wasn’t really a top priority.
This is what it looked like…
Some of you may know that I’ve been working with the folks over at The French Barn (the Canadian distributer of Lacanche ranges) and sharing recipes and photographs on their blog. Well……I got a pretty sweet opportunity to get one of their gorgeous ranges over into our kitchen, but our old kitchen clearly wasn’t ready to house (both physically and visually) the range that we wanted, a beautiful 40″ Lacanche Chagny. We weren’t ready to gut the kitchen, so we brainstormed ways to make it work. All it would take was painting some of the cabinets, getting a new counter top, tiling the walls, removing some of the other cabinets, getting a gas line and an external exhaust, painting (and re-painting) some more, putting up some shelves, getting a new pantry, and installing some lights. It would take the two of us just a few weekends. Piece of cake!……….HAHAHA!!!! I think we missed just a few steps.
It started in March and well……we’re still working on it, but it’s mostly finished, with a only a few items remaining. We’re still alive….and married….and I have to say that even though it was WAY more work than we anticipated, it was actually enjoyable to work on this project together and quite rewarding to watch the new kitchen come to life.
If you’re curious about my partnership with The French Barn, it mostly involves the work that I will continue to do on their blog (all of my posts can be found here). I’ve agreed to do some social media promotion as well, but they are not sponsoring any of the content on my blog. The range will be popping up in my photos, because it is now the central and most beautiful piece in my kitchen, but I just want to let you know that the posts here, on From the Land we Live on, are not part of any promotional work, while some posts on my Facebook and Instagram channels will be.
I suppose it’s a little ironic that even though I’m super excited about our new range and kitchen, that today’s recipe comes from the grill in our back yard. Asparagus is at its best when slightly charred on the outside while still crisp, and a quick pass across the grill is my favourite way to cook it. So, today I’m celebrating our gorgeous new range, the almost-done kitchen, asparagus season, and the outdoor grill that’s been keeping us well fed while we worked on getting it all together :)
I don’t really know what to call this dish….it’s like a grilled veggie platter + a potato hash with some eggs-Benedict-like stuff going on, but with hard boiled eggs. Weird…but really really delicious. It won’t be something that you make on a week night, but with some do-ahead prep work it’ll come together in less than half and hour, should you choose to serve it for a special brunch or a side dish at your next dinner party. I was lucky to get to feast on this platter all by myself, with the camera still strapped around my neck, but I’m looking forward to making it again for my husband and I to share in celebration of all the awesome things that have greeted us this spring, after we put the finishing touches on the kitchen :)
- 1 large bunch of asparagus (~1.5 lb), trimmed
- olive oil and salt, for seasoning
- half a lemon
- 1 cup of baby potatoes, boiled
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- butter for sautéing
- salt, for seasoning
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. freshly grated horseradish (sub 1 tsp. prepared horseradish or dijon mustard)
- 1/2 cup of butter
- hot water, for thinning
- 2 hard boiled eggs
- 3 radishes, thinly sliced
- tarragon leaves, for garnish
- chives and/or chive flowers, for garnish
- brassica flowers, for garnish (optional)
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- Boil the eggs and potatoes in advance (you can do this up to a few days ahead, or right before starting). Slice the potatoes in halves or quarters (depending on their size), and the eggs into lengthwise quarters or slices. Chop the garlic.
- About 20 - 30 minutes before serving, heat up the grill to 500°F. Toss the trimmed asparagus with a little bit of olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt.
- Place the asparagus on to the grill, and with the lid up, let it char on one side for about a minute, then roll if over and let it char on the other side. Don't over cook it, it should be tender-crisp with some charred bits. Remove it from the grill.
- Squeeze half a lemon over the asparagus, toss, and season with more salt, if necessary. Set it aside.
- Melt butter in a medium cast iron skillet over low-medium heat and saute the garlic for a few seconds, until fragrant. Add the sliced (pre-boiled) potatoes and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes, toss them with a spatula, and cook for a few more minutes, until lightly golden in some areas. Take care not to burn the garlic.
- Arrange the grilled asparagus, potatoes, eggs, and radishes on a large platter.
- Right before serving, make the hollandaise sauce. It'll only take a few minutes, and these step-by-step instructions are fantastic. The only changes that I made were adding in the fresh horseradish instead of the mustard, adding some salt to the egg yolks, and whisking in a little bit of hot water at the end to thin it out (vs. the recommended vinegar).
- Spoon the warm hollandaise over the eggs and garnish with herbs, flowers, and black pepper.