(Potato Omelette, Auvergne-style)
1 tablespoon good quality lard (may substitute vegetable or olive oil)
13 ounces baking potatoes, peeled, washed, dried, cut into ½-inch
1 thick slice raw ham, cut into small cubes (7 ounces)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 ounces Cantal cheese, coarsely grated (or aged cheddar)
3 tablespoons cream
Melt the lard in a 10-inch nonstick skillet. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Cover and cook over low heat for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the ham and cook for 2 minutes.
Break the eggs into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Beat with a fork until blended. Pour into the skillet and stir for 1 minutes. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until the bottom is just set. Turn, and cook the other side.
When the omelette is cooked, pour the cream over and sprinkle with cheese. Slide onto a plate and serve immediately.
Compliments of our friend Laura Laiben, the “Main Dish” and founder of The Culinary Center of Kansas City.
1 ½ pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 small tomatoes, cut into wedge
3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
¾ Tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. grated onion
½ Tsp. salt
½ Tsp. paprika
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese, optional
In a large saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Ad asparagus; cook, covered, until crisp-tender, 3 – 5 minutes. Drain; place in a large bowl. Add tomatoes; cover and keep warm.
Place vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, onion, salt and paprika in a blender; cover and process until smooth. While processing, gradually add oil in a steady stream. Toss with asparagus mixture. Top with almonds and, if desired cheese.
CRUNCHY SWEET RHUBARB MUFFINS
2 ½ cups flour
1 Tsp. baking soda
1 Tsp. baking powder
½ Tsp. salt
1 ¼ cups brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 Tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 ½ cups diced rhubarb
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1/3 cup white sugar
1 Tsp. ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 12 cup muffin pans or line with paper cups. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the brown sugar, oil, egg, vanilla and buttermilk with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour in the dry ingredients and mix by hand just until blended. Stir in the rhubarb and walnuts. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, filling almost to the top. In a small bowl, stir together the melted butter, white sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle about 1 Tsp. of this mixture on top of each muffin. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed, about 25 minutes. Cook in the pans for at least 10 minutes before removing.
TANGY LEMON BARS
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups white sugar
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
¼ cup lemon juice
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar for decoration
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Combine the flour, 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar and butter. Pat dough into a prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until slightly golden. While the crust is baking, whisk together eggs, white sugar, flour and lemon juice until frothy. Pour this lemon mixture over the hot crust. Return to the preheated oven for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into squares.