Beer-battered Asparagus with Garlic Aioli

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Last night I got a wild hair to just make appetizers for dinner. I had mentioned the things I wanted to make to Kevin and he agreed they sounded good and he was looking forward to our “party” menu. We don’t entertain much, but I would like to learn more than just your basic “nibbles”. I like to be different, what can I say. I also seem to like to frustrate myself and Kevin. The food last night was good but somehow we made it waaaaaaaaay more work I think than it should have been!

The funny thing was I pulled my same old “boo boo” the first time I wanted to make this recipe. I didn’t check the TOTAL time and just looked at the cook/prep time (someday I will learn). When I pulled everything out to make it I FINALLY read the whole thing and saw 24 hours inactive….WHAT…..I read it closer……yup…ggrrrrrrrr you have to soak the asparagus in buttermilk for 12 to 24 hours. Back in the fridge they went in their little buttermilk bath and I was left to scramble around to rearrange my menu.

Now, the asparagus has marinated in the buttermilk long enough and I get all of my ingredients out for the meal. I made Mini Beef Wellingtons (that recipe will be posted soon) and the Beer-Battered Asparagus. Between the two recipes it should have taken about an hour if you go by the times listed on the recipes….HA….ummm 2 hours later we were sitting down to eat. Kevin was mumbling as I prepared all of this because I used a ton of dishes while I cooked too (when he isn’t my sous chef he is the dishwasher). But he helped me with some of the prep and once things got going they were OK.

Now, our opinion on this recipe? It was interesting, definitely different, the aoili was so yummy. I had a hard time getting the batter to stay on the asparagus so we had a few “naked” fried asparagus spears. So in my mind, and Kevin agrees, it is tasty and if you can figure out the batter issue it would be great. I am stubborn, I will figure this out!

Beer-battered Asparagus with Garlic Aioli

1 bunch medium asparagus, ends trimmed
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, separated 
3/4 cup beer, lager, or pale ale
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 white cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups peanut oil
Sea salt (I used Kosher )
Garlic Aioli, recipe follows
In a shallow pan soak the asparagus in buttermilk for 12 to 24 hours. Drain but do not rinse.
Combine well the egg yolk, beer, flour, cornmeal, salt, cayenne, and black pepper. In a large deeo sided pot heat the oil to 350degrees F. Meanwhile in a large clean bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer to stiff peaks. Gently fold egg whites into batter mixture. Dip the spears one at a time into batter mixture and lay in the oil, being careful not to overcrowd pan. Fry in batches, if necessary. Fry 2 to 3 minutes, turning spears with tongs to ensure even cooking. Drain on paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste, serve immediately with the aioli.
Garlic Aioli:

1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 lemon, zested
4 tablespoons finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon leaves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt
In a food processor, combine all ingredients, refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
Recipe courtesy Guy Fieri

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About Bobbi Burleson

Mom to 2 kiddos and one little Westhighland Terrier. A So Cal girl at heart, I now live with my boyfriend/sous chef in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I am a writer, recipe developer, photographer, and lover of wildlife, the out of doors, and scrapbooking. My philosophy is to hold those you love close and enjoy each and every moment you can. Oh, and eat mac and cheese, you can never have too much mac and cheese!

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