Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Servin' of the green gets done crisply with this veggie dip combo

Hubby and I couldn’t get over how great these veggies tasted: crisp-tender asparagus and green beans served as appetizers with a refreshing herbed dip.

The dish, Herbed Dip with Baby Vegetables, was part of Southern Living’s recent feature (February 2011) pulling together recipes for an early spring brunch. I’ve already blogged about one of these suggestions—the terrific Sunshine Citrus Platter.

I was amazed at how these two veggies—asparagus and green beans—worked with a dip; normally one thinks of chilled cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli as dip go-togethers. The recipe told how to boil them briefly and then plunge immediately into ice water. Not only were they exactly the right cooked crunchiness, they also greened up in this process. Sounds like a St. Paddy’s Day idea to me.

The dip is a sour cream/mayo stir-up with some fresh parsley, dill, and onion plus seasonings added. Hubby had a grocery store adventure tracking down Beau Monde seasoning that I put on his list but finally found it nesting comfortably in the spices aisle (we used Spice Island brand).

Here goes the recipe for this great must-try:

Herbed Dip with Baby Vegetables

1 cup mayonnaise (we used the lite variety)
1/2 cup sour cream (we used fat-free)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped sweet onion
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1 teaspoon Beau Monde seasoning
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1 pound thin asparagus
1/2 pound haricots verts (tiny green beans), trimmed (I used the regular variety)

In a small bowl stir together first 8 ingredients until well-blended. Cover and chill this dip mixture 4 to 24 hours. Meanwhile snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Cut asparagus into 6-inch pieces. Reserve any remaining end portions for another use. In a large saucepan cook asparagus in boiling water to cover. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Repeat procedure with green beans. Place vegetables in zip-top plastic bags; seal and chill until ready to serve. Serve dip with chilled vegetables. Makes 8-10 appetizer servings.

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