Friday, May 15, 2009


"After all, I don't see why I am always asking for private, individual, selfish miracles when every year there are miracles like white dogwood."
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

(Cornus florida)
~ Elegant dinner using fresh asparagus, an obvious choice for spring from The Gunflint Lodge cookbook
12-18 fresh asparagus spears
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. minced onion
1 1/2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup organic chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt & white pepper to taste
6 (7-oz.) salmon fillets
6-8 Tbsp. melted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
white wine or water as needed
4-6 oz. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Trim asparagus a half inch off butt ends and discard. Line up asparagus spears so tips are even and cut spears in half. Set aside the bottom ends and blanch tips in boiling water until crispy tender, abut 3-4 minutes. Cool quickly in ice water; drain on paper towels. Refrigerate until needed.
  • In heavy bottomed saucepan , melt 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter over low heat. Add onion and cover. cook over low heat until onions are transparent. Stir in flour. Cook slowly, stirring for 2 minutes without browning. Gradually whisk in chicken stock. Continue cooking slowly, whisking constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Cut bottom ends crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces and add to thickened stock. Reduce heat to very low; simmer 10 minutes. If mixture gets too thick, thin with a little water or additional chicken stock.
  • In food processor with steel knife, puree mixture. Strain through fine sieve into a clean saucepan, pressing down hard on the solids. Whisk in cream; cook over low heat until thickened and smooth. Season to taste with salt & white pepper. Keep warm while fish cooks.
  • Preheat oven to 450-degrees. Spray a shallow-sided cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Lay salmon fillets on it with skin side down. Brush with melted butter. Season to taste with salt & black pepper. Pour a little water or white wine in pan. Bake for 3-5 minutes. Place 3 asparagus spears on top of each serving of fish; top with Parmesan cheese. Return to oven; bake an additional 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted and salmon is done as desired. Place each serving of salmon on a warm plate; spoon asparagus cream sauce around fish. (6 servings)
1 cup wild rice, cooked in chicken stock according to package directions
4 Tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
1 finely chopped onion
1 small finely chopped green pepper
1/2 finely chopped red pepper
4 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, green pepper, red pepper, and mushrooms. Saute until vegetables are soft. Toss vegetables with cooked wild rice and parsley. Season to taste with salt & pepper. (6-8 servings)
Under the 'Sentinel Elm'
(Dogwood in bloom)


JC said...

I wish I had a dogwood in my yard. I did at my other place.

Anonymous said...

There are so many miracles of spring. :) Dogwoods being one of the prettiest. Enjoy your weekend, Joey.

Roses and Lilacs said...

You are so lucky to be able to grow Cornus florida. I have tried twice and both times they did not survive the winter. Beautiful.

Nutty Gnome said...

Dogwood is gorgeous, but your recipe even more so! I've got some asparagus in my fridge, so I'm off to make this for tea....!
(ps. I'm from Yorkshire and the evening meal is always called tea, but as Himself isn't from Yorkshire - but I don't hold it against him, we have to sometimes to refer to it as 'eating' tea!)

Jarlin said...

Good One...

Gail said...

Joey...That is a powerfully true quote! ...and the image of beautiful dogwoods blooming all over your blog makes me happy. gail

Rose said...

The dogwood is one tree I don't have. Every time I see one in bloom, I think "I want one of those!" Lovely images.

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Joey, I've been "out of sync" for awhile! I hate to miss your postings!! Again, I'm copying your recipes. :-)

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I only have a red-twig dogwood bush, not the tree, but I love the flowering dogwood. I love how the flowers sit on top of the branches. As an understory tree, it doesn't like strong wind. Love your photos.

ryan said...

Great dogwood quote. They're all finished in our area, sadly. Daffodil Planter posted a quote recently calling dogwoods "the last tree that God made." They're definitely one of the nicest.

joey said...

Wishing you another lovely dogwood to replace your memories, JC.

Thank you, dear Nancy. It's been a wild weekend with many stories to prove it!

Do hope you are feeling better, Shady. I was hit hard by the ugly flu this winter and feel your pain. Now it's time to eat and regain your strength to enjoy the joys of spring.

Delightful thoughts, Gail. Visits to your beautiful garden are always a joy. I would imagine you enjoy Anne Morrow Lindbergh's words as much as I do.

As always, thanks Jarlin ;)

Enjoy 'eating tea' Nutty ... your notes always make me smile.

Thanks Rose ~ a dogwood is a gift to a garden. Do hope you can incorporate one in yours ...

My old dogwood has survived many storms, Marnie and Monica. It's missing many arms yet lives to tell an awesome tail ... perhaps sheltered under the mighty elm, the 2 are a good pair and what life is all about.

Ryan ~ thanks for visiting. Indeed, the treasured dogwood is one of God's loveliest trees.

Chuck Dilmore said...

Spring is amazing, and
how you capture it is profound!

Just beautiful.


marmee said...

the dogwoods are perfectly beautiful. i think they are a must in ones garden or lawn.

i have one that has never bloomed this year it is still holding tight to the blooms that showed up...any ideas on what to do for it? my others have all bloomed and finished.
happy may gardening to you, dear joey

Frances said...

Hi Joey, what a splendid quote, her writing always brings a calmness to me. How wonderful the dogwoods are now for you. And I think I need to go some asparagus at the grocer's. :-)

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

That dogwood photo collage is scrumptious. I had salmon two times lately, and it was oh so good. Your recipe looks great too.~~Dee

Kathryn/ said...

Oh, yay, your dogwood bloomed! I know how you love these trees and I can see why! Meanwhile I got so hungry reading about asparagus and salmon I'm going to have to stop and have lunch! lol xoxo

joey said...

Chuck, you are so kind and thank you. Your photos are always amazing ... I'm honored.

Thank you Marmee ... wow, don't know but, like apple trees, some years my dogwoods are more prolific. Maybe yours is on vacation ... I hope it hasn't been hit by the dogwood borer ... does it get enough sun ... and water?

Hi Frances ... like the dogwood, asparagus speaks of spring. As you well know, there is so much happening in the garden, I can barely keep up ... from morning to night, the feeling changes.

Salmon is always a big favorite here, Dee, once or twice a week. I have so many favorite ways to prepare it, it's hard to choose. Thanks for your kind words.

Hi dear Kathryn ~ yes, like 'old faithful', my dogwood greets me each spring. Asparagus and salmon are good partners :) Your lunches always sound delicious ... hope this one did not let you down.