Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring is Here

Spring has arrived. Some spring vegetables we look forward to are peas and asparagus. Here are some recipes to try using these spring vegetables and Smithfield products. Spring Pea, Mint and Bacon Salad: This bright spring green salad of sugar snap peas and sweet green peas is loaded with crispy bacon and tossed in a lemony vinaigrette. Ingredients: 1 lb. Smithfield bacon, cooked until crisp an roughly chopped 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas 1 lb. sugar snap peas, strings removed 2 tsp. sugar 2 tbsp. Champagne vinegar (can substitute white wine vinegar) 3 tbsp. olive oil Juice and zest from 1 lemon 1/4 cup fresh mint Steps: Prepare a medium bowl of ice water. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the mint to the peas and drizzle with the dressing. Toss to coat. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. When ready to serve, add chopped bacon. Toss and arrange attractively on serving plates. Garnish with fresh mint. Serve with grilled pork or lamb.

Elegant Ham, Sausage and Asparagus Brunch Bake Ingredients: 12 oz. Paula Deen Ham Sausage 1/2 lb. fresh Asparagus 1- 1 1/2 cup seasoned croutons 2 tbsp. butter, melted 1/4 cup green onions, sliced 1- 1 1/2 cup sharp cheddar 2 tbsp. parsley, chopped 4 eggs, beaten 1 3/4 cup milk 1/2 tsp. dry mustard 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper Directions: Cook ham sausage according to package directions. Drain and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside. Cut asparagus into 1-inch diagonal pieces. Cook in boilng salted water 2 minutes or until just tender. Drain and set aside. Grease a 13X9X2 inch baking pan. Place half of croutons in dish; drizzle with half of butter. Layer with half of the cooked ham sausage, asparagus, green onions, cheese and parsley. Repeat layers. Beat together remaining ingredients. Pour over casserole. Cover; refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover casserole and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and set. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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