Saturday, October 30, 2010

All Abooooooooard!!!!!

I'm not exactly sure what the Rally for Sanity/Rally for Fear was supposed to accomplish, tho John Stewart's parting words were spot-on and made me a bit weepy and wistful. 
(Seriously, why are reasonability, sanity, compassion and kindness so difficult to practice?)

But if nothing else, the rally made for one truly wonderful moment.

I tried to crop Ozzy's gut out of this screen capture...
I have sung Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" many times.
Growing up, I listened to a lot of Cat Stevens/Yusuf, including "Peace Train".
Seeing them "battle" on stage and leave arm in arm was, in a word, FANTASTIC!

And yes, following that with "Love Train" basically had me dancing in my living room.

Good messages.
Good feelings.
End Selfishness.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Best Roast Chicken Ever

According to the hubs, this is The Greatest Roast Chicken Ever.

And to me, it's The Easiest Roast Chicken Ever.
But possibly also one of the tastiest possible.


And just whhhyyyyyy is it so delicious AND simple?


Also, it only requires 6 ingredients:
1 whole roaster chicken (between 3 and 6 lbs.)
3-6 slices of bacon (depending on size of chicken, or preference)
1/3 cup of brandy
1 onion, quartered
water or chicken stock
THAT'S IT!!!!!
There is no brining, no complex stuffing, no chopping except for 2 whacks at an onion, no picking the tiny leaves off of fresh herbs, nada.  The hardest part of this meal is just remembering to baste!
And frankly, in my house, the only things I'd have to go out and purchase for this meal would be the chicken and the bacon, as the other ingredients are always on hand in my kitchen.

It's such a magical food.
 This recipe was inspired by an episode of one of Nigella Lawson's cooking shows, but I could not find the recipe online later, so I just winged it, added a bit more bacon than she mentioned, and threw in the salt for the cavity and the onion out of habit.

Step One: Preheat your oven. (I do 425º for the first 30 minutes, and then the rest of the time cook the chicken at 350º but stick with whatever method you're used to.)

Step Two: Brown your bacon and set aside to drain on paper towels. Possibly make extra as you KNOW you're going to want to snack on some once you smell it cooking.

 Step Three: Pour your (pre-measured) brandy into the pan of bacon drippings and allow it to sizzle (step back!) and combine until it calms down. Set this aside off of the heat.

See the flecks of bacon from the drippings?!
For the bird, I salt the cavity and then place half to a whole onion (quartered) into the cavity for flavor and moisture. (Depends on the size of both the bird and the onion.)

Step Four: Insert bacon into the chicken's cavity and truss your bird. Refrain from placing broken bits of bacon under the chicken's skin, as they will burn a bit. (Things you learn the hard way.)

Step Five: Pour brandied bacon fat over the chicken.

Step Six: Add about 3/4 of an inch of water or chicken stock to the bottom of the pan for basting and to prevent spitting or burning.

 Step Seven: Cook.
(Yes I chose to throw some carrots and onion into the bottom of the pan as well because then you get roasted carrots THAT TASTE LIKE BACON!)
This happened to be a 6 pound bird, so it took 1 hour and 30 minutes to cook, and I basted every 15-20 minutes... or when I remembered.

Crappy photo taken because I just wanted to EAT!
Let the chicken rest on a baking sheet (or carving board, wherever works for you) and turn those amazing drippings into a sweet dark gravy. All I used was a tsp of flour to help it thicken and a little time over a burner with a whisk.

You're welcome.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Not Floundering For A Meal

Ha ha. Yes.
Terrible pun.
Shoot me.
Apparently I have some of my punster grandfather in me other than just the legs*.

Dinner last night was flounder, as it was on sale and every once in a while I try to feed us something a bit lighter than average for dinner. Especially since it's a relatively warm weekend for October, so the light fare feels good.

Have you ever done a search online for recipes for flounder? They are all SOOOOO boring!!! And the other 80% of them are recipes for flounder stuffed with crabmeat (of which I am not the greatest fan).
So, I did a spin on a sauce I made for chicken, and I have to say it worked great on the flounder. (Or any other white fish.)

For the cooking of the flounder, I simply patted it dry, seasoned with salt, dredged through a little flour, and cooked it in a sauté pan for about 2-3 minutes per side. It's done when you try to remove it and the friggin' thing will not stay in one piece for a pretty plating shot.

Not shown: Grandpa fresh dill, wine, stock
The above is the basis of the sauce. About half a pint of grape tomatoes, halved, 1 shallot, 2 cloves of garlic, the zest and juice of half of a lemon, about 2 tablespoons of capers, white wine and a splash of chicken stock if  you want to mellow the wine flavor a bit.

In olive oil, sauté shallot until softened (about 3-4 minutes). Then add the tomatoes and allow them to cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they look like they are starting to soften. Next add the garlic (minced or grated) and cook off for about 30 seconds, stirring well.
For 2 fish filets, I probably used about 1/4 cup of white wine and 1/4 cup of chicken stock to make the sauce. After adding the liquids, squeeze the juice from the half lemon, toss in the zest & capers, and about 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped dill.
(Reserve a bit for garnish.)
Let the sauce reduce and thicken a bit, season with salt, finish it with a tablespoon (more or less) of butter for richness and gloss, and pour over the fish.

Very tasty, and the tomatoes made it slightly different from the average lemon-butter-dill sauce.
To round out the meal I used some leftover leek & white bean purée (which I really just love, and this time did not contain mascarpone) and tossed in some peas for good measure. I enjoyed the meal, and so did the hubs.
Don't like dill? 
Try substituting cilantro. It will give a bright kick to the sauce.
But this is a light meal packed with protein and veggies.

*While my face clearly resembles my mother (tho she was much more of a knockout than I ever was) the rest of my body is kind of an odd amalgamation that does not directly reflect on either side of my family in any particular way. However, when I was still a teenager, possibly 18 or so, we were looking through some old black and white photos, and my mom found one of her father at the beach wearing swim trunks. She paused for a moment, pointed and exclaimed to me, "You have grandpa's legs!"
Maybe not exactly what every teenage girl wants to hear, but at least it solved part of the puzzle that is me.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Spinach & Artichoke Pasta

Only one reader liked my 3-day red wine-braised short ribs with porcini and tomato dinner?
That's just... well that's sad really. On a number of levels.
I'll stop shaking my head in disbelief long enough to post another meal, albeit a slightly clichéd one.

I have probably had the same package of frozen artichoke hearts for the past year, JUST IN CASE I ever wanted to make Spinach & Artichoke dip.

Finally, it all worked out.

I was without a protein to make for dinner and scrounging around, finding little in the way of fresh ingredients that would make an inspiring meal, when my brain clicked. I had just registered that I had fresh ricotta cheese and half & half, and I knew I could finally make S&A dip, only I would serve it over pasta so it would be dinner.

Step one: set water to boil and defrost artichokes and spinach
Step two: sauté one medium onion, chopped, in olive oil. Add 3 cloves of grated garlic (allowing 30 seconds to cook out and become fragrant) and toss in 1 package of defrosted artichoke hearts. 

Once the artichokes have warmed through, add in the defrosted (and well-drained) package of spinach and season with salt.
(Optional addition here of 1/4 cup of white wine to simmer and reduce down to almost nothing except flavor.)
Once those have picked up some of the onion-garlic flavor, it's time for the CHEESE!!!
 I used about 7 ounces of fresh whole milk ricotta.
Thin out the cheese into a sauce with any of the following:
chicken stock, half & half, pasta water
Use a little at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

This time about 1/3 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano.
Stir to combine.
If you like nutmeg, this would be a good time to grate a few wafts of nutmeg into the mix.
I like to add the juice of about half a lemon because I think it really brightens what could otherwise be a really heavy, creamy mess.

Check your seasoning and drain the pasta 1 minute shy of the box's directions, reserving a bit of pasta water in case you still want to thin out your sauce. Add pasta to the pan and stir well to combine.

I topped mine with a little more parmigiano reggiano and a little lemon zest.
It's a bit heavy, but it's a delicious indulgence and packed with vegetables.
So long as you keep your portions small ;)

Monday, October 18, 2010

So-Bro(nx) Teachers Dinner Party

I taunted you with the mention of an amazing dinner for a party, and now I am delivering.

This meal took me 3 days to cook, but it was absolutely worth it. (As are the leftovers!)

The whole dinner party kind of came together out of little bits of serendipity. The hubs announced one night that he wanted to have a dinner party with some of his coworkers before our roof closes for the winter. I did a little mental math and suggested drinks on the roof and dinner in our apartment, considering that eating outside in October is a good way to eat an unfortunately cold meal. He agreed, but no solid plans were made.

Next, I noticed that short ribs were on sale. This of course lead me back to a wonderful cookbook I own called All About Braising (by Molly Stevens), and which I mentioned when I made hard cider-braised chicken. (It really is a wonderful cookbook.) Then I thought how easy it would be to feed guests with short ribs.
You can see the lightning-quick flashes of brilliance that occur in my brain...

Finally, I checked the calendar and saw the Monday was Columbus Day, which would mean the teachers would have the day off. I then informed the hubs that, if he really wanted to (have me cook for all his buddies so he could) have a dinner party, that Monday was the day it was going to happen.
He agreed.
Everyone was in.
I started cooking... Saturday.

The recipe: Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Porcini Mushrooms and Tomato

Step one of this meal is to make a marinade, simmer, allow to cool, and THEN put the meat in for 12-24 hrs of luscious bath time.
The marinade includes:
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon allspice berries, crushed
8-10 black peppercorns
3-4 whole cloves
All of that goes into a little sachet of cheese cloth, to be used and re-used for the next 3 days. As I did not have any cheese cloth on hand, I used one of my empty tea bags I have on hand for brewing loose tea, and it worked perfectly.

In a heavy-bottomed pot, use 2 TBSP olive oil to sauté 1 large onion, 1 celery stalk, 1 carrot (all coarsely chopped and to be discarded later) 2 peeled and smashed cloves of garlic, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 whole bottle of "robust dry red wine". I opted for a Dolcetto, as that was what I had on hand. It worked beautifully.
Sauté the vegetables for about 7 minutes before adding the wine and spice sachet, and then allow to simmer on low for ten minutes to bring the flavors together. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

The gorgeous short ribs
Once the marinade has cooled, cover your short ribs (about 4 lbs) with the marinade & sachet in a non-reactive bowl and refrigerate overnight, stirring on occasion to make sure everything is covered.

This is what happens when you leave beef in a bottle of red wine overnight.
Day 2
About 20 minutes before you start to cook, soak 1/2 ounce of dried porcini mushrooms in 1 cup of warm water. (The water will be used later as well as the mushrooms.)
Preheat the oven to 325º

Make sure to let your short ribs come to room temperature and pat them dry.
In the same heavy bottomed pot, add another 2 TBSP of olive oil and begin browning your ribs on all sides. Do this in batches so as not to crowd your pan and prevent steaming instead of browning.
When all of your meat is browned, set them aside and wipe any charred bits from the bottom of the pot.
Brown bits are good. Burnt bits are not.
Pour out the fat rendered from the ribs and add 1 fresh TBSP of olive oil and add:
1 large onion, thinly sliced (or chopped) - allow to cook down until just browned and softened, 8-10 minutes
2 cloves of garlic, minced. Cook an additional minute.
1 14 oz can of chopped tomatoes with their juice
Porcini mushrooms, drained and coarsely chopped, and simmer another 8-10 minutes
Pour in the reserved (and strained) mushroom liquid and the wine used for braising (strained of the first round of onion/carrot/celery/garlic but RETAIN the sachet) and bring to a boil.

Add the short ribs to the pot, as well as the spice sachet and 2 sprigs of rosemary*.
If there is a great deal of space between the meat and the top of your pot, you can place parchment paper inside so that it is just shy of touching the food, and then add the lid. I did not do this step as my pot was quite full.
Place the covered pot onto the lowest rack in your 325º oven and braise gently 2 1/2-3 hrs, turning the ribs gently every 45 minutes or so, until the meat is falling-off-the-bone tender.

*The recipe does not say this, but I would place the rosemary in cheesecloth or a tea bag as well because otherwise in your final product you have giant loose rosemary leaves floating around, which can be unpleasant to eat.

Success! Meat has fallen off the bones.
While you COULD serve this meal at this point, I suggest letting it sit overnight. Not only will that allow the flavors to meld more completely, but it also allows you to much more easily degrease the sauce.

Let the pot cool down (this can take a few hrs) and then place it, covered, in your refrigerator overnight.
The next morning, scrape of as much of that congealed yellow fat as you can from the top of the stew.

Close-up Ew.
Cuz that's some seriously thick fat coagulation.
Aren't you glad you didn't eat that yesterday?

Reheat your meal gently on a low flame (or back in the low oven) with the lid on. (Discard spice sachet)
When you are ready to serve, place 1-2 short ribs on each plate and top with the sauce, which should be the "consistency of a thick vinaigrette." 
(Truthfully mine was a bit runnier, in which case I could have tried to reduce it a bit more without the meat in, or just serve it in a bowl. We did not mind the runny sauce as it was juicy and fantastic.)

Serves 6
But what do you serve WITH this decadent slow-cooked meal?

Mmm... charred.
I opted for a potato-cauliflower mash, which was DELICIOUS all by itself, and I was just as happy that there were leftovers of this as well.

 Take one whole head of cauliflower, chopped into reasonably sized chunky florets.
Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, and roast in a 400º oven until browning. About 20-30 minutes, depending on size.

In a large pot of water, add 3 medium-large sized yukon gold potatoes (peeling optional) chopped into chunks, and bring up to a boil. Cook until potatoes are fork-tender, and RESERVE the cooking water!!
(If you thought pasta water was starchy and could bring sauces together, boiled-potato water is even better!)
Could have used a touch more olive oil.
At the same time that the cauliflower is roasting in the oven, have the oven do double duty and roast half a head of garlic (or one small head of garlic, maybe 8 or 9 cloves) as well. Slice off the top of the head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil to prevent burning, and season with a touch of salt. Wrap in tinfoil, and since this is a small head or only the inner portion of "colossal garlic" it should only take about 35-40 minutes to roast.
Allow the garlic to cool before handling!

Yes, this photo was taken of the leftovers I snacked on all week...
The food processor does all the work for you. First, whiz the cauliflower with a bit of the potato cooking water to get it going into a rough chop. This will not only help get a smooth texture in the end, but make room in your FoPro for the potatoes!

Next squeeze the roasted garlic from its papery shell and add that to the food processor, along with the potatoes, and a generous pinch of salt. Add another small ladle of potato water so everything moves along easily.

The finishing touch that will make the whole dish luscious is 3/4 of a cup of mascarpone cheese. It will make the purée velvety and rich, and incredibly luxurious to eat.
(And when you consider 3/4 cup of mascarpone to 1 entire head of cauliflower and 3 potatoes, it's really NOT that much fat per serving, and so still a pretty healthy side dish.
At least that's what I'm telling myself as I devour it...)

Check again for seasoning, and if it's still too tight a mixture, just add a bit more water and blend until you get your desired consistency. It should be creamy, not watery, but also it should be smooth, not gunky.

Brownie Sundae!
Dessert was super simple. After 3 days of cooking, I wasn't about to make a fancy dessert too!
(OK, I DID bake the brownies myself, but from a mix, so not like it was hard work.)

Step one: warm brownies and then place in the bottom of a dish.
Step two: scoop desired flavor of ice cream on top of brownie (we offered chocolate or vanilla)
Step three: top with raspberry sauce
(OK I made the sauce too, but it was beyond simple. Bag of frozen raspberries, about 1/4 cup of sugar, a splash or two of water to hasten the maceration, mash with fork or potato masher, and serve at room temp or with 30 seconds in the microwave. I made the "sauce" about 3 hrs before we ate it and left it in the fridge ready to go.)

So did I deliver?
Was that not a meal to make you wish you lived in my neighborhood and could just "stop by" around dinner time?
Because really, it was. 
And it was also worth the 3 days of prep and cooking.
This is the perfect time of year for this kind of cooking, so I suggest keeping an eye on the prices of short ribs at your local market and planning a dinner party of your own some time soon.
Also, buy the cookbook.
It is chock full of great meal ideas, as well as idiot-proof in its explanations.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lesson Learned

I remember when I was younger that days like today would get me really worried.
Not because the wind is gusting to 30 mph or because it's overcast with the threat of rain. 
It's October. 
I expect those kinds of days.
No, what really got me worried was that it was only October 15th, and if the high temperature was only in the mid-50's this early in the month... 
Because that is just SO not cool.
Unless you're dressed as the Michelin Man*.

* Also not cool. Although Stay Puft would be acceptable.

So in this weather I make dinner a la Bolognese, or just a ragu, quite often and for many reasons. It's delicious, it's fairly easy**, it's comforting and satisfying... but the most common reason that it ends up on our plates is because ground meat is inexpensive. And if one particular meat is on sale that week, then that is going to be what we eat.

However, I recently learned my lesson on that front.
Beef Bolognese - delicious, rich, classic
Veal Bolognese - delicious, delicate
Chicken Bolognese - not my first choice, but with a little tweaking can be a nice change
Turkey Bolognese - tastier than chicken if you get a little color on it
Dark Meat Turkey Bolognese - Make Burgers Instead

Dark meat turkey is so much more flavorful than turkey breast that it just lends itself to making burgers or other meals in which the meat is the star flavor. When I used it in my bolognese recently, I was really thrown off by the strong turkey flavor. It was like having leftover Thanksgiving turkey but covered in tomato sauce instead of gravy and cranberry sauce.
Maybe it won't bother you, but for me it was just weird.

** Easy if you cheat and use a pre-made slow-cooked tomato sauce instead of fresh tomatoes which take hours and hours to cook down...
I started out sautéing a chopped onion, 1 grated carrot, and the dark meat turkey.
Just make sure it's opaque once cooked since it is poultry.

Add favorite tomato sauce if lazy, or a 14oz can of crushed tomatoes if you have all afternoon, and then the herbs and seasonings of your choice .

Such as fresh basil ribbons!
Don't forget the wine of your choice to cook down as well.

When the sauce has melded and come together, add a bit of milk or cream for richness.
Check for seasoning.

This looks just like any other sauce, but alas, it will not be happening again in my kitchen.
That is also why this is a bit of a slap-dash description of the meal.
I didn't actually want to remember it.
But, that's just me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Impromptu Breakfast Party!

So one of my dearest friends who lives waaaaaaaaaaaaay out in Brooklyn, and (unfortunately for me) lives in a little apartment block full of awesome people, so really, why venture to Manhattan other than for work?

Well, apparently for a really good yoga class just 3 blocks south of me!
It meets at 9AM... on a Saturday.

However, that still led to a lovely little impromptu breakfast date at Casa RocknRoll.

Worst photo of tomatoes ever.
By definition, impromptu means you have to work with what you have on hand. So while asparagus, smoked salmon, and goat cheese might have made an elegant fritatta for company, instead ours had tomato, basil, and arugula.
Step one: Preheat your broiler, then in a non-stick pan sauté 1 medium shallot in olive oil. Add tomatoes and season with salt.
When the tomatoes have cooked down for about 3-4 minutes, add one large clove of garlic, grated, about a TBSP of chopped fresh basil, and stir to cook and combine.

Next I add 5 eggs, beaten together with about 2 TBSP of cream (optional).
I had previously seasoned the eggs with a generous pinch of salt as well.
Once the egg has coated everything I added a handful or so of fresh baby arugula. 
(If you want more of a peppery bite, throw a couple handfuls of the arugula in to wilt with the tomato in the earlier step before adding the egg.)
Grate about 1/4 cup of parmigiano reggiano and sprinkle that over the top of the eggs.
Cook this on medium-high for about 4 minutes, or until the sides begin to set.

Once the sides of the eggs have set, place the whole pan under the broiler and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, until the eggs have cooked and the top has turned a light golden brown.

Fritattas are super easy to make, as versatile as your imagination, and easily feed a crowd.

Aside: I just made a killer dinner for 7 last night for some of the hubs's coworkers. It was definitely a success, and I am very excited to share it with you. However, since it took 3 days to prepare, I am a bit wiped out. So instead I am just dangling this little carrot for you so you check back in here in the hopes of finding that meal posted here.
And it will be.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Things I TOTALLY NEED. No Really. I NEED Them!

So......... I had a date with a dear friend tonight, but before that happened I:
Put away groceries
Washed dishes
Polished various tarnishing kitchen items and vases
Washed the dark polish smudges off my shirt
Cleaned the kitty litter
Vacuumed the hallway, living room, and couch cushions
Broke up cardboard boxes
Dropped off the hubs' broken badass boots at Fluevog for repair
Dropped off my dying 2002/2003 limited edition Fluevogs for repair (mine have purple embroidered flowers climbing up the side rather than the sexy slit... they are my FAVORITE)
Stopped at Sur la Table to pick up one or two necessary things...
And then I found:

My new favorite pointless purchase:
FYI "aglio" is Italian for garlic


And of course I already had enough garlic at home to fill it right from the get-go. I might have to break heads in the future if I have more to store!!!

Still, I'm impressed that I managed to walk out of Sur la Table with only this, a new container for drying silverware, a folding electronic meat thermometer (I don't own a single thermometer!), salve for butcher's blocks, and narrow rectangular measuring spoons that fit inside spice jars.

Pretty thrifty by my standards!!!

But still... isn't that container just TOO CUTE?!?!
Kitchen Supply Stores are to me as Tanning Beds and Liquid Eyeliner are to the abomination that is the cast of Jersey Shore.
Only my IQ doesn't drop every time I open my mouth...
No, really kids. 
Put your money in the bank, fade to a human color, WASH YOUR F*CKING HAIR, and take some freakin' elocution lessons.
I'm out.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

F*ck Frisée

I'm on a venting bender, I warn you.
Evil Roughage Trying To Take Over The World

I am so f*cking tired of being served Frisée. WHY is this a good thing to serve everywhere from frou-frou restaurants to Green Market rustic joints? Because it's "interesting to look at" as I read on one site discussing its use?

The Pretty To Look At Diet must work wonders.
Right up until you starve to death.

If it's pretty to look at, just plant it in your damned garden and let the deer eat it.
(Betcha they don't, tho!)

Even deer won't eat me!
I don't want to waste my time or calories on food that does not taste great. I do not eat so that I live. I live to eat. I am ALWAYS thinking about my next meal. And sometimes even the one after that.
I try to eat balanced meals whenever possible. In fact I do most of the time, but the idea of eating just so you have the energy to get through your day/life is just sad to me.
Which is why I do not understand the overabundance of Frisée on restaurant plates.
- It's bitter
- It's hard to stab with a fork
- It does not have a pleasant mouth feel
- It is difficult and costly to produce
- It doesn't even have nutritional value as a vegetable!!!


Serve me ANY of the following in ANY combination:
Butter Lettuce
Boston Lettuce
Swiss Chard
Red Leaf
Green Leaf
Hell even ICEBERG is better than Frisée.

Endive survives solely to be stuffed full of things that distract from the bitterness so you just enjoy the crunch and its handy boat-like shape.

But I say BAN THE FRISEE!!!!!

P.S. - raw Radicchio can go f*ck itself too. Everyone picks that shit out of their salad anyway.

End rant.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Heartier Asparagus Soup

It's October, it's been raining for the better part of a week+, and it's finally cool enough that I am anxiously awaiting the tell-tale hiss that means the radiators are turned on.
No such luck yet as I sit here in fuzzy socks and a hoodie. Indoors.
(I should really get the AC out of the window this week... and by "I" I mean wrangle the hubs.)

Remember a while back when I told you all about how asparagus is your liver's best friend, and I gave you a really basic version of asparagus soup, which I called Detox Soup?
Yeah, well, I made it tastier this time :)

It may not be the peak of asparagus season anymore, but if you live in a city, you can still find some decent looking bunches around.

For this soup I used/had on hand:
1 medium leek
1 small onion
1 large bunch of asparagus, trimmed
1 1/2 cups kale, stemmed and chopped (approx. amount)
1 medium yukon gold potato, peeled (you could use 2 for a much heartier soup)
3 medium cloves of garlic
2 TBSP fresh dill
1/2 parmigiano reggiano rind
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
olive oil
I used this photo because my flash made a heart in the soup!
After doing all the dicing...
Sauté leeks and onion in olive oil until softened and a few begin to show brown bits.
Add asparagus, salt, and cook another 5-7 minutes until soft.
Add minced garlic cloves, cook 30 seconds, stir, and add the chopped kale.
Stir the kale into the mix until it begins to wilt, about a minute or two.
Deglaze pan with white wine and cook another minute or two.
Add potato, dill, and chicken stock.
Bring to a simmer, turn heat back to low, add the lid and allow to simmer about 35 minutes to meld flavors and cook the potato.
Take the soup off the heat and use an immersion blender to purée.
Note: If using a food processor, allow to cool a bit.

Check for seasoning (it WILL need salt!), garnish with more fresh dill, and enjoy a slightly heartier version of this asparagus soup.
I certainly did!

P.S. - Recently after making this soup I had to be out of town for a night or two, which means the hubs was up to his own devices for dinner. (Read - PB&J when he remembers to eat.) Imagine my surprise when he related to me that, well, yes, he had grabbed a fast food burger on his way home, but then he saw "the green soup in the fridge" and decided it must be healthy and that he should have some to off-set the burger he ate.
And you know what? He REALLY liked it!
Score another point for the Rock 'n Roll Gourmet.