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The March of Asparagus


Priscilla
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Today for lunch I did the F&W / El Amparo slowbake that FoodMan mentions above. Bought my first role of parchment expressly to try it; salted capers from the Italian women and heavy creme for the sauce. Had one stray if relatively lively tarragon sprig hanging 'round, which did make for an interesting flavor with the capers and creme. But I dunno: perhaps 2 hours was too long, or perhaps my 175 degrees were more like 200. Whatever went wrong, the spears were too mushy for me. Made the house smell good though. Perhaps I'll try it once more before abandoning hope. :huh:

Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons: That is all there is to distinguish us from the other Animals.

-Beaumarchais

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  • 2 weeks later...

My three favorite ways with asparagus...

Like my mother cooked it (but you have to have it growing in your yard to taste really good): cut into one inch pieces and cooked until tender in boiling salted water--not too much--then add cream and butter and serve in sauce dishes sorta like soup

Pureed asparagus soup: cook one bunch of asparagus, cut up, with a few slices of onion in a quart of chicken broth until soft; puree and sieve, whisk in 8 oz. mascarpone and season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and a bit of sugar. My asparagus-hating grandchildren are mad for this

For the first splurge of the season, for lunch or dinner, Dutch Asparagus: for each serving, cooked asparagus spears, one or two hot hard-cooked eggs, and softened butter. Each person finely mashes the eggs with a fork and incorporates as much butter as preferred, usually 1 to 2 tablespoons per egg. Season with salt and pepper, if desired (I use salted butter and it doesn't need salt). The butter melts into the egg, making a kind of thick sauce. Eat with fingers. Beats the heck out of asparagus with fried eggs.

Other favorites: asparagus with brown butter or hollandaise.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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Here is one that I haven't seen...

Wash and snap off tough ends. Bundle 5 or 6 spears, depending upon thickness, and spiral wrap with a strip of good bacon. Tuck onto a rack with bacon ends down and roast over a pan at 375 for 30 to 45 minutes. Baste with some of the bacon grease after enough collects in the pan. This works best if the bacon is not too thick.

It is pretty to serve too.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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tried the slow bake again and found the asperagus still too soggy. did however remember to add the juice from the parchment paper to the cream sauce this time.

i'm thinking perhaps horseradish creme next time...anyone know how to do that with fresh horseradish root?

Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons: That is all there is to distinguish us from the other Animals.

-Beaumarchais

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My new Japanese cookbook has a recipe for aspargus to be wrapped with a very thinly sliced piece of pork, seasoned, rolled in flour, then egg. then in sesame seeds. It is then roasted and served with soy and karashi (Japanese mustard).

Can't wait to give it a try.

Oh that sounds wonderful! Care to tweak it a little so you can add it to the archive? :biggrin:

My favourite way is steamed, served with a lemon, garlic butter and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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My new Japanese cookbook has a recipe for aspargus to be wrapped with a very thinly sliced piece of pork, seasoned, rolled in flour, then egg. then in sesame seeds. It is then roasted and served with soy and karashi (Japanese mustard).

Can't wait to give it a try.

Oh that sounds wonderful! Care to tweak it a little so you can add it to the archive? :biggrin:

My favourite way is steamed, served with a lemon, garlic butter and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.

I will give it a try and see what I can do! :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 1 year later...

Second asparagus dish of 2005 (the first was a nice pureed soup, not thick, full of asparagus flavor): Last night roasted fairly skinny spears with excellent olive oil, fresh-ground pepper, sea salt. So good.

Looking forward to all the old faves and some new preparations, too.

As I said over in the soup discussion, I have issued the standard March warning to my family, look out, asparagus ahead. Nobody minded at all, in fact.

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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i grew up picking wild asparagus and eating it raw.

blanched asparagus, wrapped with thin slice prosciutto and provolone, heated and served with garlic toasts.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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I've discovered a stir fry asparagus with sesame, ginger and soy sauce that has rapidly become my favourite way to make it.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Wild asparagus: with clams soup or with seafood pasta

"regular" asparagus: quiche, fritatta, gnocchi and risotto

Here is risotto with asparagus, porcini mushroom and robiola cheese

Ingredients: rice, porcini, marjoram, tyme, shallot, robiola, asparagus butter, dry withe wine and vegetable stock.

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Cook the asparagus saving the water.

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In a hevy pot saute the chopped shallot in a little butter till the shallot is soft; add the rice and sautè for a few minutes; deglaze with a glass of wine.

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Now add the chopped porcini, the thyme and the marjoram. Stir for 2 minutes and immedialy add the boiling stock (the veg broth must be hotter than the rice); continue to slowly add the veg broth little by little.

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In the meantime blend some chopped asparagus with their water (that you saved) and add to the rice near the end of the cooking process.

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When the rice is al dente and all'onda make it rest covered with the robiola cheese for 3-4 minutes (this is what we call "mantecare")

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Despite an inchoate intention to branch out, last evening roasted asparagus with excellent olive oil, sea salt, and pepper was it again. Suited the menu, the available time, and so forth -- inexorably pointed straight to what was the right thing to do. And no complaints! Seems like a good year for asparagus.

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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Despite an inchoate intention to branch out, last evening roasted asparagus with excellent olive oil, sea salt, and pepper was it again. Suited the menu, the available time, and so forth -- inexorably pointed straight to what was the right thing to do.  And no complaints!  Seems like a good year for asparagus.

Same perperation for us on Sunday. Same as what we did most of the time last year. Same. Same. Same. Same.

And it was perfect.

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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  • 1 month later...

Happened onto some extra beeyootiful really fat asparagus (for 99 cents/lb. to boot).

Peeled, blanched, etc. Treated to Marcella Hazan's alla Parmigiano -- laid out ends overlapping in a baking dish, stalks sprinkled with Parmesan and dotted with butter, (tips left nude, as per Marcella's admonition), salt & pepper, baked in the uppermost of a hot oven until some crustiness formed.

Several stalks per person topped with a perfect poached egg, courtesy of my husband, the egg poacher of the family. (Years ago he set out to learn to poach eggs because they are about my very favorite food, and I continue to exploit his skill whenever possible.)

Well. What a fantastic dish. One of the classic flavor profiles. Could give roasted a run for its money. Will be back multiple times in the next run of dinners, I predict.

I am thankful for the extended asparagus harvest of recent years -- we're now buying CA, but the earliest on the market was from Mexico. The several extra weeks give a person a chance to satisfy whatever asparagus-preparation jag she may have got onto, and still have time for variety.

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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A technique I learned in a cooking class last year (my first ever) with Chef David Kinch has replaced all other methods of cooking asparagus, if I have time to do more than steam it.

Peel (extremely important) big spears, blanch to medium rare in salted water, and shock in ice water. Then toss in beurre noisette (browned unsalted butter) until done (medium rare or so). Top with a citrus vinaigrette (lemon zest, lemon juice, s/p and EVOO) and pecorino.

I wrote up the class and took some photos, and exhaustive details are here. It had never occurred to me to put cheese on asparagus. This is just fantastic, though.

Edited by tanabutler (log)
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Here is risotto with asparagus, porcini mushroom and robiola cheese

Ingredients: rice, porcini, marjoram, tyme, shallot, robiola, asparagus butter, dry withe wine and vegetable stock.

That risotto does look good. I wouldn't have thought of it myself; but, I can see how marjoram would work well in this dish. Another use for the Monster that took over my herb garden. Thanks for taking the time to do the photos. I believe that will be dinner. If only I could get fresh porcini here.

<sigh>

My most common method is to snap thin-ish asparagus above the woody part, cut on the diagonal in 1 inch lengths, saute a clove or so of minced garlic or shallot in Olive Oil for a couple, add asparagus and cook until just colored, squeeze in half a lemon's worth of juice, toss with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Somehow it really accents the minty flavor of the fresh asparagus.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I prefer not to steam asparagus, which makes it turn gray, or to roast it, which makes it turn leathery. Instead, I drop the stalks into a big pot of boiling water, boil for 3 minutes, and then remove them. I serve the stalks with tarragon-lemon butter. To me, that is the essence of asparagusdom.

I also made a great pureed asparagus soup recently, using a simple recipe I found on Epicurious.com. It involved 3 lbs of asparagus, one leek, 5 cups of chicken stock, a little heavy cream, and some fines herbes.

I also stirfry it sometimes, but I don't find that method really brings out the asparagus taste. Somehow the asparagus just ends up tasting like stirfried any-other-green-vegetable.

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I prefer not to steam asparagus, which makes it turn gray, or to roast it, which makes it turn leathery. Instead, I drop the stalks into a big pot of boiling water, boil for 3 minutes, and then remove them. I serve the stalks with tarragon-lemon butter. To me, that is the essence of asparagusdom.

I also made a great pureed asparagus soup recently, using a simple recipe I found on Epicurious.com. It involved 3 lbs of asparagus, one leek, 5 cups of chicken stock, a little heavy cream, and some fines herbes.

I also stirfry it sometimes, but I don't find that method really brings out the asparagus taste. Somehow the asparagus just ends up tasting like stirfried any-other-green-vegetable.

I have a great Mollie Katzen recipe for stir-fried asparagus and mushrooms with tofu in linguine or vermicelli, and a marinade comprised of garlic, fresh ginger, soy, crushed red pepper, lemon juice, sesame oil, brown sugar, water, and salt. After the tofu has marinated, you put a little cornstarch in a bowl, add 1 cup of the marinade, and whisk, returning it to the marinade. After everything gets stir-fried, the marinade goes in, and thickens up. It's really really good.

I have never had asparagus turn grey from steaming; I do shock it in ice water when it's done, regardless of cooking technique.

EDIT: Hey, whadda ya know? The recipe for asparagus-tofu stirfry is online!

Edited by tanabutler (log)
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Here is risotto with asparagus, porcini mushroom and robiola cheese

Ingredients: rice, porcini, marjoram, tyme, shallot, robiola, asparagus butter, dry withe wine and vegetable stock.

Back at you from the other side of the world.

I did use dried porcinis, and a combination of the soaking liquid from the mushrooms, chicken stock, and the cooking liquid from the asparagus. Also did not have robiola, and used some parmesan instead. Also, I saved the tips of the blanched asparagus and added them to the rissotto at the end.

Turned out very tasty. Marjoram is a great match for porcini and asparagus.

asparagusrisotto.jpg

fixed image link

Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Asparagus plus morels and ramps - Tom Colicchio has several recipes in his Think Like a Chef.

Yesterday i made his pan-roasted poussin with morels, ramps and asparagus: very nice dish but next time i'll change the ingredients ratio:

his for 4: 3-4 poussins, 1/2 lb morels, 1/2 lb ramps, 1 lb asparagus, 1/4 lb sugar snaps;

mine for 2: 1 poussin, 1/4 lb morels, 1/4 lb ramps, 1/2 lb asparagus, 1/8 lb sugar snaps;

and still ramps were hardly discernable and there was no enough asparagus so the next time i'll double the amount of both;

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