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Dave the Cook

Asparagus: the Mexican crop is in!

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After months of Paris Hilton specimens -- skinny, expensive and tasteless -- we've now got asparagus spears at the market that would do John Holmes proud. And it's cheap: $2 a pound.

I did a quick braise with shallots last night, finishing with a little mustard and lemon juice. What are you going to do?


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Paris Hilton specimens -- skinny, expensive and tasteless

:laugh:

I just bought a bunch of beautiful asparagus last night, and I was sitting here at the computer sipping my coffee and thinking about what I might do with them because I'm ready for lunch and I know they will figure in there somehow. I think they're going to find their way into the omelette I'm planning.

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$1.69 / lb in Jersey since Wednesday. (Probably $3.99 in Manhattan. :laugh: )

Steamed. Good butter. Works for me. Already had 'em twice.


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Sauce Gribiche!
Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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We bought several pounds at $1.99---my Jane made 10 jars of pickled asparagus.


Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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Yesterday was my initial foray into this year's asparagus now, as Dave the Cook notes quite correctly, and I roasted the batch with glee, olive oil, and Fleur de Sel .. they were glorious!


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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actually, they're starting to pull asparagus out of the sacramento delta right now. that's the largest plot of asparagus in the us. first asparagus tend to be the biggest and thickest--the size is a function of plant vigor, not of variety or growing area. so plants that have overwintered have the most energy stored for throwing up spears.

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I won't be getting in asparagus harness until tomorrow evening, roasted/olive oil/sea salt, I believe, however the treatment could well change between now and then, so meanwhile I dredge up from eG history The March of Asparagus.


Priscilla

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

 

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Olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little dried oregano. Throw them on the grill for a couple of minutes. Green heaven.

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Did this last night, using a variation (no chervil in the house) of the Chez Panisse recipe. For the record, gribiche is also quite tasty on a cracker with smoked trout.

We bought several pounds at $1.99---my Jane made 10 jars of pickled asparagus.

So you could send me a jar, right? Sounds like you've got some to spare . . . :wink:

actually, they're starting to pull asparagus out of the sacramento delta right now. that's the largest plot of asparagus in the us. first asparagus tend to be the biggest and thickest--the size is a function of plant vigor, not of variety or growing area. so plants that have overwintered have the most energy stored for throwing up spears.

Thanks for this info, Russ. Of course it makes sense -- and explains the progression from fat to skinny and back to fat that we see repeated as the crops come in from different places ; it just hadn't occurred to me.

I won't be getting in asparagus harness until tomorrow evening, roasted/olive oil/sea salt, I believe, however the treatment could well change between now and then, so meanwhile I dredge up from eG history The March of Asparagus.

Some really good stuff in that topic! Thanks, P.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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I had already asked hubby to pick up some asparagus for dinner tonight when I saw this topic. I normally roast asparagus and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and some parmesan.

The braise intrigues me. Can you elaborate on this one Dave?


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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The fat guys have not hit our markets here yet. But when they do I'll have to name them Ryan, Randy and Simon as American Idol is the only cool TV show I watch.

Those little dolls Ryan Randy and Simon will be roll cut then stir fried till they almost crackle on the outside but remain pleasantly smooth on the inside. Removed from the heat in their pan, a bit of beef broth will be poured upon them with a dash of soy sauce. Quickly a raw egg yolk or two (depending on what the fellows deserve, based on their performance in the hot pan with the broth) will then be stirred in to make a smooth, slightly emulsified covering sauce for them. A grind of pepper and Ryan, Randy and Simon will be ready to eat.

Yum. :smile:

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I had already asked hubby to pick up some asparagus for dinner tonight when I saw this topic.  I normally roast asparagus and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and some parmesan. 

The braise intrigues me. Can you elaborate on this one Dave?

It's this recipe, adapted for a smaller amount of vegetable, and substituting shallots for the onion. I cut the cooking time a bit, too, lest I end up with objectionably wimpy spears.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Mine never made it far enough for a recipe. I just parboiled them, shocked them in cold water, and we ate them with our fingers! :laugh:

(Next time I plan to broil them in pairs spiralled with bacon.)


SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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I`ll wait until the local producers supply starts as I prefer to source locally, however butter and lemon is always a winner.


"It's true I crept the boards in my youth, but I never had it in my blood, and that's what so essential isn't it? The theatrical zeal in the veins. Alas, I have little more than vintage wine and memories." - Montague Withnail.

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The recipe is a little more complicated,

but those who enjoy the process of cooking

(as opposed to just the outcome) :)

and enjoy South Indian home cooking,

try the Asparagus Paruppu Usilli recipe I posted

ages ago on recipegullet.

It was my first post to this group, and I won

a contest on the India forum with that ....

(fond memories.....) :wub:

Milagai

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I`ll wait until the local producers supply starts as I prefer to source locally, however butter and lemon is always a winner.

Is that more like April, May, in Scotland? Also, are the typical offerings green, as opposed to white, asparagus? I guess that white asparagus are most popular in Germnay and Spain, perhaps?

Some other information regarding asparagus production and export from Wikipedia: click

Peru is currently the world’s leading asparagus exporter, followed by China, then Mexico.[3] The top asparagus importers in 2004 were the United States (92,405 tons), followed by the European Union (external trade) (18,565 tons), and Japan (17,148 tons).[4]

The United States' production for 2005 was on 54,000 acres and yielded 90,200 tons, making it the world's largest producer and consumer when import quantities are factored in. Production was concentrated in California, Michigan & Washington.[5]

Stockton, CA hosts the Asparagus Festival, which takes place annually during the last weekend of April. While initially a regional event, the attendance of asparagus enthusiasts has increased in the past few years.

Importers in the United States import both green fresh asparagus and white fresh asparagus from Peru. While both types are imported and marketed in the United States, the color requirements of the current U.S. grading standards only provide for the grading of green asparagus.

White asparagus is very popular in Germany where it is known as spargel. Germany produces 57,000 tons of spargel a year; however, that is only enough to meet 61% of its consumption demands.[6]


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I`ll wait until the local producers supply starts as I prefer to source locally, however butter and lemon is always a winner.

Is that more like April, May, in Scotland? Also, are the typical offerings green, as opposed to white, asparagus? I guess that white asparagus are most popular in Germnay and Spain, perhaps?

Mid March looks like a winner this year as it`s so mild and some producers are using poly-tunnels to extend the season.

I have only seen green here but who knows? The best we have had were from a farmer who`s name escapes me at the moment, but is not far from Glamis castle.

Yum, I can`t wait.


"It's true I crept the boards in my youth, but I never had it in my blood, and that's what so essential isn't it? The theatrical zeal in the veins. Alas, I have little more than vintage wine and memories." - Montague Withnail.

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Our spring tradition with fresh asparagus is to dip them whole (less the tough ends) in beer batter, tempura batter or even panko ...and deep fry them until golden and crispy... served with broiled or grilled Copper River salmon ...my kids feel it is not spring with out this dish!

if you have never dipped and fried whole fresh spring asparagus ...well ...trust me on this one!!!


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Broiled with salt, pepper, olive oil and french feta over the top.

Also a grilled leek and asparagus soup, with the stems.

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I also like to add parboiled slices of asparagus to avogolemno soup. The contrasting color and crunch with the lemony soup is fabulous. A quick and easy pantry dish to use up some "extra" spears of asparagus.


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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$2.79 a pound here in Manhattan yesterday. Cut up into 2" lengths, sauteed very briefly in butter, added eggs and made a nice frittata, finished by topping with parmigiano and running it under the broiler. I'm ashamed to admit I also added a little white-truffle-infused olive oil to the butter.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I always wait for the local crop, too. Asparagus to me is one of those things, like berries, that I only eat when it's in season locally (April-June), even though it seems like it's the lastest thing to be available year round from somewhere. I've just never had good experiences with any produce from Mexico and so I avoid it.

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