Spring is in the air, kind of, so my mind obsesses over spring vegetables. My mouth waters with images of tender asparagus, green peas, morel mushrooms, colorful leeks and any other early season vegetable that wants to get married in a pan. I stocked up on several items with the intention of making a potpourri of spring color to lay next to our charbroiled steaks.
Also - in California, on Brother Bear's night to cook for the family, my sister-in-law Kelly made some killer stuffed mushrooms. I simply had to try these on the grill, so they starred as a hearty appetizer to whet our appetites for the main event.
But as always - let's rid ourselves of the primary obligation, shall we? With the warmer weather I itched for something refreshing, cool, minty and peppy. A mojito, I thought, would fit the bill. And a bit of reggae on Muse.
How ridiculous does this look in my Ball Jar? About as goofy as the bloody marys I served in these suckers at a party recently. So I poured it into the Ball's cousin - the ever loving Mason Jar.
I don't know if it's because my limes aren't picked fresh or if powdered sugar has a funky taste or what, but I didn't looooovvvvveee it. I do like this drink when I order it out (rarely), so I'll try again sometime with a blasted simple sugar syrup (maybe). But don't get me wrong - I had no issue sipping this down in the hot sun on the patio while Mr. Musky cooked mushrooms and steak. Speaking of which...
I started by cleaning out the mushrooms with my oddly looking, purplish hands,
then combined the rest of the ingredients in a bowl with a splash of Marsala and a couple of dashes of Worcestershire. I microplaned the garlic and shallot...
The stuffed mushrooms went into a handy aluminum grill pan. We go through tons of these in the summer months. I splashed more Marsala over the top and all around them,
OR - any spring vegetable and herb combination you like. This one is hard to screw up.
I started by boiling the peas in water for about 7-8 minutes, or until they were rather al dente. Done, but still firm to the bite.
Mmmmmmmmm. This was exactly what I was looking for to pair with our steaks. The flavors exploded in my mouth, with hints of the herbs perfectly complementing the tastes and textures of springtime. Fresh, clean, colorful, and the feeling that you're eating a multivitamin on a plate. It tastes great and looks beautiful. I turned off the heat, and we ended up eating this at room temperature, which we decided was just as good (if not better!) than hot.
For obvious reasons. Look! Singed arm hairs!