Posts Tagged ‘asparagus recipes’

Asparagus Croque Monsieur

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

grassweb

Asparagus is still sticking up happy stalks at local farm stands, which makes me ecstatic. I try to eat it every day, if only in a salad. I know it will go away all too soon.

Naturally, I wanted to use it for my appearance last week on Mass Appeal. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it—and then suddenly I had a vision of asparagus in the middle of a Croque Monsieur.

I have always adored this French version of a grilled-cheese-and-ham sandwich. It’s my favorite thing to order in Parisian cafés—or it WAS in the days when I frequented those establishments. (Someday I hope to get back to Paris. It has been several decades, hélas.)

Here’s how I made the sandwiches last week. To tell you the truth, I’m not sure the sandwich needs the béchamel (white) sauce. It would be pretty good with just a little extra cheese. But then, when does one ever NEED béchamel? It does make the sandwich just a bit more decadent and French, however.

As I said on the air, a Tinky could conceive of grilled cheese with asparagus. It takes a French person to think of throwing béchamel on top. I have to admit that a French person might have been a bit more sparing than we were in the video below.

My television appearance on Thursday coincided with National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day. Local strawberries are just coming in so I happily made a strawberry-rhubarb crumble. If you’d like to make that, just use my friend Ginny’s rhubarb crumble recipe. Substitute strawberry slices for half of the rhubarb and omit the cinnamon. (I also like to substitute oats for part of the flour.)

P.S. You’ll note from the crumble video that I have now adopted the soubriquet “The Diva of Deliciousness.” This was suggested by Craig Hamilton, a delightful chef on the Jersey Shore. What do you think of the new name?

Asparagus does excited me!

Asparagus does excite me!

Croque Monsieur aux Asperges

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons sweet butter plus butter as needed for browning bread
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup warmed milk
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 pinch salt
4 slices of good bread (I used King Arthur Flour’s pain de mie recipe.)
Dijon mustard to taste
2 slices of ham
4 thin slices Gruyère
4 pieces of cooked asparagus, cut to fit the bread
1/4 cup shredded Gruyère

Instructions:

In a saucepan over low heat melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour, and cook, whisking, for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the hot milk. Cook and whisk until the sauce thickens a bit, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat, and stir in the paprika and salt. Set aside.

Begin assembling your sandwiches. Spread the slices of bread lightly with mustard. Top two of the slices with a slice of cheese, ham, asparagus, and another slice of cheese. Place the other slices of bread on top to make two full sandwiches.

In a frying pan melt a small amount of butter. Pop the sandwiches into the pan and lightly brown them, adding a little more butter if needed.

Put the sandwiches on a baking sheet. Top them with some of the sauce (you don’t have to use it all; I just like to make sure I’ll have enough!) and the shredded cheese. Broil them until they turn golden brown and bubbly.

Serves 2 decadently.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RU9esxHVKME[/embedyt]

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-TRFqsio[/embedyt]

Asparagus Quiche

Friday, May 20th, 2016
It looks as though we're in the midst of a Shakespearean tragedy—but we’re actually discussing diets.

It may look as though we’re in the midst of a Shakespearean tragedy. Actually, we’re discussing diets.

After a wet couple of weeks we finally have enough sun to bring asparagus up in our area. I eat grocery-store asparagus in the winter from time to time. But I CAN’T STOP EATING farm-stand asparagus in the spring. To me the flavor of asparagus embodies this green, lush, delicious season.

I tend to eat asparagus plain, but as the many asparagus recipes in these pages attest I do also put it into other dishes. Yesterday on Mass Appeal Seth Stutman and I put it into a quiche I have served several times already this spring—first with sautéed dandelion greens, then with sautéed spinach, and now with asparagus.

I based it on the idea of a spinach salad so I wanted to add red onion and plenty of cheese. One could of course add a bit of cooked bacon as well—particularly in the spinach or dandelion versions. I’m not sure the asparagus version needed the bacon; it has plenty of flavor the way it is. In fact, another time I might try a milder cheese to let the asparagus flavor dominate more. I’m happy with the recipe as is, however. (I just like to tinker!)

Seth and I also made rhubarb bread. That recipe was adapted from Land O Lakes. If you want to try my version, add 1 tablespoon orange zest to the batter and double the streusel. And if you’d like to use three little pans as I did, bake the bread for less time than the recipe suggests. The mini-breads took 45 minutes in my oven, but when in doubt use that toothpick!

You’ll note from the rhubarb video below that I forgot to add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. I also FORGOT TO ADD THE CHOPPED RHUBARB!

I’m sure all TV stars have days like yesterday. At any rate, I hope they do.

I stirred the missing ingredients into the batter in the pans before baking the bread and threw a little more brown sugar on top for color. The end result was delicious; the recipe is very forgiving.

quicheweb

My Quiche

Ingredients:

1 red onion, peeled and sliced
2 splashes of extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
2 pinches salt (divided)
3 cloves of garlic, slivered
1 large bunch asparagus, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces and blanched for 1 minute (about 2 cups of pieces)
4 eggs
1 cup cream
5 to 6 ounces crumbled blue cheese
1 9-inch pie shell

Instructions:

Sauté the onion pieces in a little oil until they caramelize (ideally, half an hour or more, but you can get away with 15 minutes if you have to). Sprinkle on a little salt, and remove them from the sauté pan.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Splash a little more oil into the pan, and sauté the garlic briefly (3 to 4 minutes) to soften it. Toss in the asparagus pieces, and sauté them just until they are warm.

In a bowl whisk together the eggs, the cream, and a pinch of salt.

Sprinkle two thirds of the cheese over the pie crust. Top the cheese with the onion, asparagus, and garlic pieces; then pour on the cream/egg custard, and top with the remaining cheese.

Place the quiche on a rimmed cookie sheet to prevent spillage, and bake it for about 40 minutes, until the custard is set and the top is golden. Serves 4 to 6, depending on appetite.

And now the videos….

[youtube]https://youtu.be/WLc_4fVmIu8[/youtube]

[youtube]https://youtu.be/qjw-slYXADc[/youtube]

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Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry

Monday, June 14th, 2010

 
I’m afraid this may be my last asparagus recipe for the season. (Sob!) I’ll keep eating asparagus, of course. But it is beginning to disappear from our local farm stands.
 
I’m always up for a stir fry. You can do the chopping in advance and just throw the thing together in minutes.
 
This recipe is flexible. You may add just about any vegetables you like. I’ve used peppers, water chestnuts, and broccoli. I just look in the refrigerator! And I don’t see why vegetarians couldn’t substitute tofu for the chicken.
 
You may also skip parboiling the asparagus and carrot pieces, but then you will have to cook this dish longer.
 
The Stir Fry
 
Ingredients:
 
for the marinade:
 
4 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
4 teaspoons dry sherry
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon canola or peanut oil
 
for the sauce:
 
6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch paste (1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in a little water)
 
for the stir fry:
 
canola or peanut oil as needed for frying
2 boned, skinned chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
crushed red pepper to taste (I used about 3/4 teaspoon)
1 large or 2 small green onions (mostly white part), finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup asparagus, chopped into bite-sized pieces and parboiled for 2 minutes
1 large carrot, cut into bite-sized pieces and parboiled for 2 minutes
a splash of sesame oil
 
Instructions:
 
Combine the marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade. Let them marinate for 15 minutes.
 
In a wok or heavy frying pan heat enough oil to lightly cover the bottom of the pan. When it the oil is hot drain the chicken (reserving the marinade) and lightly brown the pieces, stirring. Toss in the red pepper and stir briefly.
 
Remove the chicken from the pan or move it to the sides. Quickly add and stir fry the onion and garlic pieces for a minute or two; then add the remaining vegetables. Stir fry for 1 to 2 more minutes. Return the chicken to the pot, add the sauce and the reserved marinade, and cook until the sauce thickens slightly and has coated all of the food. (This shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.)
 
Remove the pan from the heat and toss in the sesame oil. Serve over rice. 

Serves 4.


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Stockton Asparagus and Chicken Enchiladas

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

 
This creamy casserole comes from a small, gem-packed cookbook sent to me by the Stockton Asparagus Festival in Stockton, California. I think next time I may try spicing it up a little—or I may not! My family ate every bite of it this way.
 
In my constant quest for spice I often forget that mild flavors can be appealing as well.
 
The original recipe called for 3 to 4 cups chicken broth. I used 4—and as you can see from the photo below my enchiladas were very wet! So I suggest sticking to 3………
 
Have fun!

 
Asparagus and Chicken Enchiladas
 
Ingredients:
 
2 pounds asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
12 tortillas (I used flour)
oil as needed for softening tortillas
1/2 cup (1 stick) sweet butter
1/2 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup salsa verde (a little more if you like)
3 cups (generous) grated cheese—Monterery Jack or sharp cheddar or a mixture of the 2
2-1/2 to 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1/2 cup chopped onions
 
Instructions:
 
Blanch the asparagus for 2 minutes. Cool them with ice cubes and drain them; set them aside.
 
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
 
Cook each tortilla briefly on both sides in an oiled skillet until it softens. Set the tortillas aside to drain and cool.
 
In a saucepan melt the butter. Whisk in the flour for a minute; then whisk in the broth. Cook until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly.
 
Add the sour cream and salsa; heat thoroughly. Remove from heat.
 
Mix together 2 cups of the cheese, the chicken, the onion pieces, and the asparagus. Divide this mixture evenly among the tortillas, and top each with 3 tablespoons of sauce.
 
Roll up the tortillas and place them, seam-side down, in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining sauce and cheese.
 
Bake for 25 minutes. Serves 6.
 

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Asparadillas

Friday, June 4th, 2010

 
Recently I made a batch of tasty asparagus enchiladas. It’s been so hot lately that I don’t have the heart to post the recipe, however! Presumably we’ll have a cooler spell before summer sets in permanently.
 
In the meantime, here’s a recipe that doesn’t involve turning on the oven. It’s easy to boot. And it’s extremely toothsome.
 

I recommend it with all the options, but one of my tasters felt the Prosciutto was out of place (too Italian for a southwestern sandwich) so I am exercising caution in my recipe writing.

 
Asparagus Quesadillas
 
Ingredients:
 
canola or peanut oil as needed for light frying
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces and blanched for 1 minute
lots of freshly ground pepper
4 small flour tortillas
1/2 to 1-1/2 cups grated cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a blend)
4 slices Prosciutto (optional but good)
chopped cilantro to taste (ditto)
 
Instructions:
 
In a small saucepan heat a small amount of oil and sauté the slices of onion until they brown around the edges—about 10 minutes over low to medium heat. Stir in the asparagus, and toss for a minute or two. Grind pepper over the combination and toss again. Remove from heat.
 
In a larger pan or griddle place a small amount of additional oil and let it heat up. Place the first tortilla in the oil, let it heat for just a moment, and then flip it over. Toss on cheese to taste plus a quarter of the asparagus mixture.
 
At this point you may add a slice of Prosciutto (for a sort of Italian-American quesadilla) or a little cilantro (for a more Mexican-American quesadilla). Or you may leave well enough alone.
 
Fold the tortilla in half to seal the quesadilla, and make sure it is brown on both sides.
 
Remove it from heat and keep it warm while you repeat the process with the remaining tortillas. 

Serves 4.


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