Two of my gal pals gave me "An Occasion to Gather" by the Junior League of Milwaukee, and I am a huge fan. In addition to a plethora of drool-inducing recipes, it's filled with commentary on the Milwaukee social scene. This "local flavor" gives you a sneak peak into some of Milwaukee's traditions.
One example is Bunco. This dice game is uber popular in 'sconsin. It's an excuse to get together for laughter and libations, it's perfect to play during the arctic winters. "An Occasion to Gather" offers a quip about the game, explains how to host a Bunco party, and provides a menu for the occasion to gather. (Hmmm...starting to understand the title...)
Although it wasn't for a Bunco party, Kelly and Christoph came over recently to cook dinner. We whipped up this fab side dish from "An Occasion to Gather." If you think this looks good, come back later this week to hear about our main course!
Are you interested in some delish recipes served up with a taste of Milwaukee? Contact the Junior League of Milwaukee to order your copy of "An Occasion to Gather." (www.jlmilw.org or 414-289-9242) Oh, and it's also an opportunity to support the good work that the Junior League accomplishes. Bonus!
|Yes, I forgot to add the sesame seeds before taking the photo. Sorry.|
From "An Occasion to Gather"
1 pound asparagus spears
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
Snap the woody ends off the asparagus. Bring about 6 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan and fill a separate medium-sized bowl with ice water. Cook asparagus in the boiling water for 1 minute. Immediately plunge the asparagus into the ice water to stop cooking and set the green color. After a couple minutes in the ice bath, drain asparagus and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium-high. Saute the bell pepper for 2-3 minutes. Add asparagus, and saute another 2 minutes, until asparagus is heated through and bell pepper is crisp-tender. Add soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir until combined. Place asparagus on a serving platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.