Asparagus

Blue Cheese Asparagus

Posted in Asparagus, Vegetables on March 16th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

My simple dinner plans were some pre-seasoned pork chops from QFC, Mexicano flavored. I love these but can’t recreate the seasoning on my own so I’m stuck buying them whenever I see them for sale. I just throw them under the broiler, so to use up the leftover asparagus from the Pi Day quiche I went looking for an asparagus recipe I could broil at the same time.

My end recipe was very loosely based off of California Asparagus with Blue Cheese
and Pine Nuts
which looked to be a a restaurant menu item but actually is some kind of official asparagus web site’s menu suggestion. When I saw ’24 servings’ I though I’d have to cut this thing way back, but the ‘Per order’ starts “arrange 3 asparagus spears on a serving plate.” Three!

Ingredients:

  • Asparagus, trimmed and blanched
  • Finely chopped shallot
  • Red or white wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Firm blue cheese
  • Pine nuts, toasted
  • Salt
  • Pepper

I do have a bad habit of overcooking my vegetables, but since mine were being double cooked I was able to limit myself to blanching for 30 seconds, about the time the asparagus started to smell green.

I had a high shallot to asparagus ratio because I tend to mistakenly hold back on them, afraid of overdoing it.

I used the red wine vinegar option, mostly because between the two that’s the one that gets the least used in our kitchen. I cut back 1/3 cup of each the vinegar and olive oil to 1/4, and then cut that back slightly to under the lip of the measuring cup. I mixed all that together and spooned over the asparagus which fit perfectly on my little broiler pan.

I was hoping we still had pine nuts left over from the pesto because there was no way I was paying over $7 for that itty bitty bag. We didn’t, so I chopped some walnuts since they’re supposed to be a pine nut replacement in pesto itself, and sprinkled on top.

It was looking pretty at this point so I took a picture prematurely, afraid that adding the blue cheese would ruin the look. It didn’t.

I threw this into the oven with the pork chops and cooked until the chops were done.

I added some more cheese at the end as well. Yummy.


…until Andrew ruined it by asking if I had anything I wanted to fry. He’s been playing with his own beer batter for fish and had leftovers. I had more raw asparagus left and thought, wouldn’t that be tempura? My first tempura. Beer batter tempura.

Tell yourself you want the light oilve-oil drizzled, fancy vegetables all you want but once you have them deep-fried in batter you’re ruined for life… or at least the rest of the evening. In the end I threw in another handful of asparagus, some broccoli, and a single brussel sprout just to see if you could. I’ve managed to find a new favorite way to eat vegetables that’s even unhealthier than covering them in cheese.

Asparagus with Shaved Parmesan

Posted in Asparagus, Vegetables on December 2nd, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

It is a fact that vegetables taste better with cheese. It’s not a healthy, calorie-counting, fat-limiting, heart-friendly fact but it is a fact. It’s not that I don’t like vegetables for their own merit, but how can something not be made better by adding cheese?

I didn’t even know I liked asparagus until I had it with cheese on top.

I assume the size is a matter of preference since I’ve seen asparagus in the stores ranging from pencil thin to thick enough to practically stand on its own. Personally I only buy asparagus when I can find it pencil thin.

The trick is then to snap off the ends where they want to break naturally to get rid of the tough parts. It feels wasteful seeing how much gets thrown out but you’re left with a nice set of asparagus tips. (This is where an experienced cooking blogger would instruct you to save those ends to use with other scraps to make a vegetable stock. I’m just looking forward to being able to have a compost bin someday.)

The recipe doesn’t say to cook the asparagus first but as I mentioned before I like my cooked veggies to be well cooked. I either boil or steam until fork-tender.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound asparagus, bottoms trimmed
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

    Melt the butter and cook the asparagus on the stove, skipping the pre-cooking if you want to keep ti crisp. Add almonds and parmesan cheese. I found that the fresh shaved parmesan is the easiest to coat and melt over the asparagus.

    By the way, according to Miss Manners asparagus is properly eaten with the fingers. But good luck finding other people to dine with who also know this tradition… it might be best to eat this one in private.