Skip to main content

asparagus

Asparagus and Sausage Meatball Orzo with Parmesan Beer Cream Sauce

Twenty minute dinner: Asparagus and Sausage Meatball Orzo with Parmesan Beer Cream Sauce

I get a little itchy if I don’t get to cook.

The way musicians get when you keep them away from a stage, or an athlete when you take the ball away or how a runner will start to chew on the curtains if he can’t get out on the road. Even on the tail end of writing recipes for my second cookbook, like this one, I spend most days cooking in my kitchen surrounded by dirty dishes and half empty bottles of beer. And even though I should be writing recipes for my cookbook, I just wanted to make something that I wanted to make because I wanted to make it. It just happened to turn out photogenic, and so delicious that I wanted to share it with you. It’s an amalgamation of stuff in my fridge as well as half started recipes in my brain, and it also helped me use up one of those half empty bottles of beer I had laying around. And in the midst of cooking three other recipes, this one just took twenty minutes, which is good given the amount of cooking I need to do on a daily basis.

After six hours of cooking, and three rounds of dishes, I feel a little less itchy. But I do need a beer, a full one.

Twenty minute dinner: Asparagus and Sausage Meatball Orzo with Parmesan Beer Cream Sauce

Asparagus and Sausage Meatball Orzo with Parmesan Beer Cream Sauce

Ingredients

  • ½ lbs raw Italian sausage (removed from casings)
  • 2 tbs pale ale, plus ½ cup pale ale, divided
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 lbs asparagus
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 wt oz fresh shredded parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups orzo
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes (optional)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl stir together the sausage, 2 tbs pale ale, and 1 tsp red pepper flakes with your hands. Form into small balls, about half the size of golf balls.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the meatballs, cook until browned on all sides and cooked through, remove from pan.
  3. Add the asparagus to the hot pan, cook until softened and starting to blister, about 5 minutes, remove from pan.
  4. Add the remaining ½ cup pale ale, scraping to deglaze the pan. Lower heat to medium, stir in the cream. Simmer until reduced and thickened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the parmesan, honey, and black pepper
  5. Cook the orzo in lightly salted boiling water for 6 minutes or until just before al dente. Drain and add the orzo to the sauce, stirring until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add the meatballs and asparagus back into the pan, simmer until meatballs are warmed through. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with parsley and tomatoes.
https://domesticfits.com/asparagus-sausage-meatball-orzo-parmesan-beer-cream-sauce/

Twenty minute dinner: Asparagus and Sausage Meatball Orzo with Parmesan Beer Cream Sauce

Asparagus Pale Ale Soup

Asparagus Pale Ale soup2

Lately, I’ve been struggling with a creative plateau I can’t seem to push myself past. A dissatisfaction with everything I make. The recipes that just don’t seem creative enough, the photos that I can only see as average, and the sub-par writing. I’ve been trudging through this phase, trying to push myself, and the things I create, closer the level I want to be on.

A few days ago I came across this quote from Ira Glass that reminded me that although I’m not where I want to be, I just might be on the right path.

Ira-Glass

 

Because maybe discontentment is the only common thread of successful people. Maybe it’s dissatisfaction that pushes anyone towards the best self they can ever achieve, and maybe complacency is an anchor into mediocrity.

Maybe.

I don’t know if I have more talent to unearth in myself, or if I’ve squeeze every bit out of an average ability, but Ira Glass did give me hope that the struggle is part of the journey. And it’s a normal part.

I see this struggle in brewers, too. The ones that make the jump from homebrewer to successful brewery owner share that same dissatisfaction, the push to be better, learn more, create great beer, and master the simplicity of classic styles. The biggest leaps in potential comes from feeling self-dissapointment in the middle of your own celebrations. When everyone else is cheering your accomplishments, you are taking inventory of your short falls.

Seasonal and special release beers are brewers pushing the levels of their own creativity. A way for the rest of us to thoroughly enjoy the fight these talented, creative, souls are engaged in to push themselves higher in their own climb.

Bison Brewing Hop Cuvee The Beeroness

Hop Cuvee is a newly released pale ale from Bison Brewing. It’s a beer that has an accessible, balanced, hoppiness that uses three different types of hop as a celebration of the best hop crops of the years. It’s crisp and citrusy with notes of pine, it’s a great choice for summer. Dan Del Grande, Bison’s fearless leader says, “My hop blend in Hop Cuvée will change every year, like a vintage, to reflect the best crops that our organic hop farmers have to offer.” Bison is a great brewery to get to know, they have a love of great beer, and have figured out how to give it to us in a way that’s organic, eco-friendly, and aims for a lower carbon footprint every year.

Bison Brewing Hop-Cuvee The BeeronessThis is a beer that celebrates seasonal crops, making it perfect for the asparagus that just came into season. It finishes the soup to give it a bit of an earthier taste. I prefer this soup warm, but it can also be served as a chilled soup when the weather jumps into the triple digits.

Asparagus Pale Ale Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 large sweet white onion, chopped
  • 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
  • 5 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup pale ale

Directions

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven heat the butter over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook until slightly darkened, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the broth and cook until asparagus has softened, about 10 minutes, remove from heat.
  3. Using a blender, food processor or immersion blender, puree until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cream and return to heat, brining to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat, stir in beer.
https://domesticfits.com/asparagus-pale-ale-soup-2/

Asparagus Pale Ale Soup_