Spinach Prosciutto Flatbread

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food Junkie Favorites: Spinach Prosciutto Flatbread! As the King of Hams, prosciutto reigns. Its savory and aromatic flavor is a result of a slow-aged process known well by the Italians. You will immediately notice the paper thin velvety texture of prosciutto. The sea salting process has a regional influence on the curing results as well. Many remain trade secrets for all time. You and I reap the benefits by shopping around. Always keep a little prosciutto on hand. It can mean the difference between ho-hum and WOW!

SPINACH PROSCIUTTO FLATBREAD

Ingredients:

1 prepared flatbread

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 asparagus spears wrapped in prosciutto, cut-up*

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup spinach leaves

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Brush flatbread with one tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Spread Greek yogurt over flatbread. Dot with goat cheese crumbles. Layer shredded mozzarella over all. In a skillet over medium low heat add one tablespoon olive oil, cut up prosciutto wrapped asparagus spears, tomatoes, and spinach. Stir with tongs to coat. Cover for 1-2 minutes or until spinach turns bright green. Spoon over flatbread. Bake assembled flatbread 2-3 minutes in oven. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

*Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus recipe may be found at the following link.

https://snapshotsincursive.com/2015/08/10

New Asparagus Spears

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Food Whisperer: New Asparagus Spears! Every once in awhile I have an “Ah-ha” moment when I come across fresh produce that I haven’t seen in awhile. This was one of those times. New asparagus smells clean and earthy. It also looks incredibly bright green with splashes of purple on the tips, which should be tightly closed. Make sure the stalks are firm and straight. If they seem to bend quite easily, they’ve already begun to wilt. Put them back. Personally, I prefer the thinner stalks simply because they cook much faster.

NEW ASPARAGUS SPEARS

Ingredients:

15-16 asparagus spears

1/2 red onion, sliced

1/2 cup caper berries, halved

2 tablespoons olive oil

Everything But Bagel seasoning, to taste

Fennel stalks, for garnish

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Wash and trim asparagus spears. Place into an iron skillet. Arrange the red onion slices and caper berries. Brush generously with olive oil. Sprinkle with Everything But Bagel seasoning. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until slightly charred. Remove from oven and garnish with fennel stalks. Serve immediately.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter C

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Clean Plate Club: Chop Chop Salad! Stop your scrolling and check this out. Because in every single bite, it delivers. Sure, it takes a few extra minutes to chop things up…but it’s so worth it. Check out the delicate, spears of baby asparagus. Imagine that sweet nutty taste. Or what about the thin-as-paper radish slices? They provide a slight tickle of pepper spray. Did you notice the tiny shallot rings nestled between the romaine and radicchio? Their subtle oniony/garlic taste may surprise you. Without a doubt, the finishing touch reveals feathery fronds of dill that promise not to overpower. Together, Chop Chop Salad comes across as ineffably sublime.

CHOP CHOP SALAD

Ingredients for Vinaigrette:

1 shallot, sliced and chopped

1/8 teaspoon lemon citrus peel

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon garlic wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons agave nectar

Instructions for Vinaigrette:

Combine shallot pieces, lemon citrus peel, lemon juice, garlic wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, and agave nectar. Whisk well. Set aside at room temperature.

Ingredients for Salad:

Kosher salt

1 cup snow peas

1/2 bunch baby asparagus

5-6 radishes, thinly sliced

1 romaine heart, sliced

1/4 head radicchio, chopped

1/2 cup dill fronds, snipped

Instructions for Salad:

Fill a large bowl with ice water. Add a handful of kosher salt. Stir. Submerge snow peas and asparagus in ice water for 10 minutes. This makes them very crisp. Drain well; pat dry. Chop into bite-size pieces. Mix together romaine lettuce, chopped radicchio, snow peas, baby asparagus, and radish slices. Pour vinaigrette over all. Toss to coat. Add dill fronds. Serve immediately.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter P

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Daily Special: Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus! For all the asparagus lovers out there, prepared to be impressed. Really impressed. And if you’ve never had the desire to taste a delicate stalk of asparagus that seems to demand an additional fee on the restaurant menu, you may have discovered a reason to give it a whirl. Prosciutto. These two ingredients were destined to marry forever and ever, in my opinion.

PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED ASPARAGUS

Ingredients:

1-pound fresh asparagus spears, ends trimmed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/8 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning

6 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced

Instructions:

Raise the oven rack to its highest level, which should be about 5 inches below the coils of the broiler. Preheat the broiler. Meanwhile take the asparagus spears and place in a gallon zip-lock bag. Add the olive oil and seasonings. Seal the bag, squeezing out the air, and flip to coat all pieces. Slice the prosciutto lengthwise. Taking one asparagus spear at a time, begin wrapping prosciutto midway from the tip to the stem base, spiraling as you go, overlapping the seams slightly. Place it on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick oil. Repeat until all pieces are prepared. Before broiling, make sure there is space between the asparagus. Broil for 3 minutes, remove the baking sheet, turn asparagus with a tongs, return to the oven, and broil another 3 minutes. Pieces should slightly char and appear crisp. The secret is to keep them spaced. For best results, choose medium-size asparagus instead of very thin stalks.

Dining Outside the Home: Off the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada

Dining Outside the Home: Off the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada! Get off the beaten path and you’ll discover a unique chophouse that serves the freshest food 24 hours a day in a city that never sleeps. You’ll want to remember that little detail. The bistro style atmosphere boasts kick-back comfort in its surroundings as well as its menu items. Go ahead and order the Rolled New York Strip with Asparagus. Turn it into breakfast by adding an egg over easy. The melted provolone cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and Marsala mushroom sauce is enough to make you swoon. This food is the real deal. I’d like to to tell you it’s the best kept secret in Vegas, but word is getting around. Meander down The LINQ Promenade and you’ll see what I mean.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter X

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Foodstuff Redefined: Xavier Grilled Steak! Just when you thought a juicy New York Strip steak couldn’t get any better, here you go. Grilled to taste, smothered in gooey Swiss cheese and crowned with fresh asparagus spears is a meal-in-one guaranteed to make anyone feel like royalty. For those who love onions, take it one step further. Sprinkle crispy French-fried onions over all before serving. Looks good, doesn’t it? Try not to stare. 
XAVIER GRILLED STEAK
Ingredients: 

2 New York Strip steaks, 1 1/2 inches thick

2 tablespoons olive oil

Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

10 asparagus spears, ends trimmed

4 slices Swiss cheese 

1/4 cup French-fried onions
Instructions:

Rub both sides of the New York Strip steak with olive oil. Season to taste with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place in a shallow dish. Marinate steak for 45 minutes in the refrigerator, turning once. Remove from refrigerator to allow meat to come to room temperature, approximately 15 minutes. Preheat outdoor grill. Cook steaks over medium heat 4-5 minutes until slightly charred. Turn the steaks over and grill 3 minutes longer for medium-rare, 5 minutes longer for medium, or 8 minutes longer for medium-well. Meanwhile to steam asparagus spears, bring water to a boil. Reduce to simmer. Place asparagus spears into the steamer basket. Cover and steam approximately 3-5 minutes until asparagus turns bright green, but is still tender. Remove from steamer. When steaks are cooked to perfection, place them on a platter to rest so the juices are absorbed. (This is the secret to juicy steak.) While the meat is resting, place two slices of Swiss cheese on each. Divide asparagus spears between them. Tent with foil. Let rest 5-7 minutes. Top with crispy French-fried onions before serving. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter Y

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Sunshine Eats: Yolk-Drenched Asparagus Spears! Sometimes I am taken by surprise at the elegance of simplicity. Remember the slang term for K-I-S-S? Keep It Simple, Stupid! Well, that goes for preparing and photographing food as well. By eliminating fancy techniques and complex recipes, it allows anyone to feel like a master chef. I know I did. Words of Advice: Do your prep work so everything comes together like clockwork in mere minutes. The proof came when my husband clapped his hands and asked me to make it again…soon.  
YOLK-DRENCHED ASPARAGUS SPEARS
Ingredients:

1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed

1/4 pound bacon, crispy but pliable

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

4 eggs

Sea salt, to taste

1/4 teaspoon dried parsley, for garnish 

Toast, for serving
Instructions:

Cook the bacon until crispy but still bendable. Drain on paper towels. Set aside. Steam the asparagus until crisp-tender, 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Divide into servings. Wrap one piece of bacon around each asparagus bunch. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese. In a saucepan, fill water enough to cover eggs, by sight. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat so the water is smooth. Gently crack eggs into the water, so as not to break the yolks. Leave plenty of space between eggs. Cover with a lid. Poach until the whites are set, but the yolks are runny, 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove each egg and set it on the asparagus bundle. Season with sea salt. Garnish with parsley. Serve with buttered toast. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter I

%#Letter I – What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Italian Pasta Mediterranean! This exotic colorful pasta dish will have you rolling your eyes in satisfaction over the hearty gourmet intensity. Its blend of gastronomic flavor tempts the taste buds to have a second helping of this culinary delight. 
ITALIAN PASTA MEDITERRANEAN 
Ingredients:

8 ounces penne pasta

Salt to taste

1/2 pound Italian salami, thinly sliced

1/2 pound asparagus spears

1/2 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes 

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon marjoram 

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Parsley Sprig for garnish 
Instructions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt. Add penne pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and transfer it to a large pasta bowl. 

Next to steam asparagus, place water in the bottom half of a steamer pan set. Bring to boil. Trim ends off the asparagus. Cut into quarters. Place in top half of steamer pan set. Steam for 5 minutes until tender. 

For dressing, mix olive oil, oregano, basil, marjoram, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes in small bowl. 

Combine penne pasta, asparagus pieces, diced sun-dried tomatoes, and salami rounds. Pour olive oil dressing over all. Gently mix. Add pine nuts. Garnish with fresh parsley sprig. Serve warm with garlic toast. This is an excellent side dish to Chicken Cacciatore. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter A

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? All the Buzz: Asparagus Shrimp Linguine! Whether you scour the ditches and railroad tracks, visit the local Farmers Market, or drop by your favorite grocers, the growing season of asparagus is upon us. Now is the time to take full advantage of its abundance. Look for signs of firm, tight buds for tender morsels. The delicate purplish tips are the best of the stalk. Indulge thy self. Permission granted. 
ASPARAGUS SHRIMP LINGUINE 
Ingredients:

3 ounces lemon pepper linguine

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons lemon olive oil

1/2 pound shrimp, precooked 

8-10 asparagus spears, cut-up

8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/8 teaspoon herb and garlic seasoning 

1/4 teaspoon marjoram 

1/4 teaspoon basil

1 tablespoon nonpareil capers

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved
Instructions:

Cook lemon pepper pasta with sea salt according to package directions. Drain. Set aside. In a large saucepan, heat lemon olive oil on medium. Add shrimp, asparagus, and tomatoes. Sprinkle with seasoned salt, red pepper flakes, herb and garlic seasoning, marjoram, and basil. Fry shrimp and vegetables until crisp and tender, 4-5 minutes. Add linguine and cook until heated through. Swirl to toss gently. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese shavings. Garnish with capers.