Category Archives: asparagus

Asparagus with Bacon Sabayone

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This was one of the dishes I made when I had my great idea to cook a gourmet type meal for Kevin the other night. I have been making so many pasta dishes, soups, and Mexican food, I figured some red meat and fancy sides would put a smile on his face. Well I didn’t count on the smile being one that came from watching me run like a chicken with my head cut off in the kitchen trying to get everything done at once. That smile is not a fun smile for me.
Not that he complains, well OK he does complain but I know it is just to stir me up and make me crazy, but I do know his true love, aside from me I hope, is steak. A nice big ribeye steak preferably, cooked just enough to get it to lay still on the plate. We do both share a love for rare meat. I used to tell waitresses I wanted my steak cooked just long enough that a good vet could get it back on it’s feet in a few minutes!
Sorry to gross anyone out that doesn’t like their meat that way. I will go back to the meal. Ribeye is too pricey to eat all of the time, so I have been trying to find steaks that he will enjoy without saying they are too chewy. Hangar steak is one of them but they are too hard to find. So flat iron steak is another way to go. Especially when it is cooked medium rare it is very tender and not chewy at all. I am really not much of a red meat lover anymore but this is one of those steaks I do enjoy.
So now I can’t just salt and pepper the steak and cook it right? I mean that is great once in a while but I seriously doubt it would make for an interesting post for you all. Kevin doesn’t like sauces much but I figured a nice red wine sauce with a little bite of mustard would compliment the steak and make him smile. I was right, he loved the sauce YAY!! (See the steak recipe here)
Oops, I need to talk about the asparagus right? Sorry, got side tracked. If you want to see the recipe for the steak I have been babbling about take a look here

One thing we do both agree on is that asparagus is one of our favorite veggies. Normally I just steam it and then toss it in a hot skillet with a bit of olive oil, or sesame oil, and salt and pepper. Simple and tasty. But again I was trying to be “gourmet” so I decided to do a sabayone, and of course you have to have bacon right? I was very nervous about trying a sauce I had never made before but determined to make it.
I was really surprised at how easy it was to make. Except for having to whisk for about 4 minutes non stop, good upper arm work out, this was a pretty easy dish to get together.
Neither one of us had ever had sabayone before so it was fun to try something new. Big plus was we both really really liked it. I almost made it again for Christmas. 
Asparagus with Bacon Sabayone
4 strips bacon, chopped
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed
4 eggs yolks
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
Cook bacon until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel to drain, reserve the drippings
Bring a pot of water to boil, add salt and asparagus. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, drain and reserve.
Combine egg yolks, water, vinegar, mustard, and cayenne pepper in a heat proof bowl set over a simmering pot of water. Whisk until sauce thickens, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1 tablespoon bacon drippings. Add salt and pepper if needed.
Serve sauce over asparagus and top with reserved bacon and chives.
ENJOY!!
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Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto with Beurre Blanc

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Hello my fine foodie friends! Today’s Food Star Friday post is courtesy of Kelsey Nixon from Kelsey’s Essentials. I know she isn’t a “big” food star, but I have been watching a lot of the new shows lately trying to get a feel for the up and comers. This episode of her show was all about sauces and, as you know, a sauce can make or break a recipe. So I thought I would share the link for the episode as well as one of her recipes. The episode was entitled “Sauces” and the recipe, well as you can see I made some very yummy roasted asparagus with a Beurre Blanc sauce.

I am an asparagus fanatic! Hands down it is my favorite veggie with the artichoke coming in a close second. I have made asparagus just about every way possible I think, but am always open to new ways. A certain pizza I just found on Pintrest comes to mind so stay tuned for that one too!

In the past I have tried many variations of this dish. Asparagus wrapped in bacon, asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, asparagus wrapped in prosciutto with a little bit of Swiss cheese tucked under the prosciutto wrap, etc. But when I saw one of my favorite side dishes made with a sauce I had never tried I knew it was meant to happen.

The sauce takes a little bit of time but is oh so worth it! Actually it is not as much time as attention. If you let it get to hot you will break the sauce. But like I said this sauce is just, well perfect! We even drizzled it over our baked potatoes and steaks!!

Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto with Beurre Blanc

1 large bundle of asparagus (18 spears)
Proscuitto (6 slices)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Ground black pepper
Beurre Blanc sauce (recipe follows)


2 shallots, finely chopped
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup white wine
1/3 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the woody ends of the asparagus spears trimming the spears to the same length.

Bundle 3 asparagus stalks together and wrap each grouping with one slice of prosciutto, leaving the tips exposed. Drizzle the bundles with olive oil.

Roast the bundles for 10 minutes, or until the asparagus ends and the prosciutto slices are crisp.

Drizzle each prosciutto-wrapped asparagus bundle with the prepared beurre blanc and serve.
To make beurre blanc:
Bring the shallots, vinegar, and wine to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until the liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 5 minutes.

Add the cream, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in a few tablespoons butter. Continue to whisk and add a few pieces at a time of the remaining butter. Wait until each addition is incorporated before adding more butter. The sauce should remain warm, but never hot or the sauce will break.

Remove the sauce from the heat and season with salt, and pepper, to taste. If desired, strain the sauce through a sieve to remove the shallot. Discard the shallot. Serve the sauce immediately.

Beef and Asparagus Curry

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Hello my dear friends! I am preparing for a move soon (and I absolutely hate moving) so my cooking duties have been replaced somewhat by dinners out or, I am sad to admit, fast food. On the positive side of things, when I do get a chance to cook a meal I am sooooo excited!! Not that I wasn’t excited when I was cooking everyday, but I miss it and appreciate it much more than I did.

Last night I made Beef and Asparagus Curry from a recipe I found in Everyday Food. I love asparagus and was so excited to find a recipe that featured it. I am not a big red meat lover but Kevin is, so I figured this would be a “best of both worlds” recipe. The recipe was a good one but I would have done a few things different. First of all I think this would be a fantastic recipe for chicken too. With that said I wil tell you the things I will do differently with beef.

The recipe calls for you to cook the beef in the broth at the very end of the cooking process. The next time I make this I will season the beef with salt and pepper and then sear it in the wok first (just briefly) to lock in the flavor. Then remove it from the wok/skillet and reserve it on a plate covered with foil to return to the finished meal just long enough to warm the beef back up, at the most 1 minute would be required. I also will add more curry paste than it asks for. In a chicken curry I make I add the entire jar of the red curry paste (approx 1/2 cup) this called for 1/4 cup and I think it needed a bit more zing. Another thing that I think would add another layer of flavor would be to toss the finished rice noodles with a small (and I mean very small) amount of sesame oil, or cook the noodles to al dente and toss them in the curry for a bit to finish the cook process and allow them to soak up more of the curry flavor.

Ok with that said, this is an enjoyable meal, it is just that I like to tinker with recipes to try and maximize the flavors. I would love for you to give this a try, either the original recipe or my variation, and let me know what you think.

Beef and Asparagus Curry

1 can unsweetened coconut milk, shaken well
1/4 cup red curry paste
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound sirloin steak, thinly sliced against the grain
Salt and pepper
Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (optional garnish)
Lime wedges (optional)
In a large wok or skillet, heat 1/2 cup coconut milk over medium-high, stirring until shiny and thick, about 2 minutes. Add curry paste, stirring until fragrant, 1 minute. Add remaining coconut milk, stock, fish sauce, and brown sugar and bring to a simmer. Add bell pepper and asparagus and cook for 5 minutes. Add steak and cook, stirring, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over cooked rice noodles with cilantro and lime wedges.

Bobbi on a Budget – Chili Braised Pork with Asparagus and Mashed Potatoes

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WOW I am finally back! I haven’t been sick like I was in forever!! I realized I haven’t posted anything in a week. You KNOW a food blogger is sick when they don’t even want to cook! My poor family had to deal with leftovers and take out for over a week, I felt so bad.

Now that I am back I wanted to get more into my budget meals. I have been on the look out for recipes and ideas to provide for you since it was requested so much. I mean everyone loves to eat good food but not spend a fortune for it, right? It can be kind of hard to keep recipes down to $10 for a 4 person meal, but I am learning to buy things on sale and then work with them rather than chose recipes or ideas and then buying whatever I need at that time.

I had been looking through my Everyday Food magazine and found some recipes that sounded really good. When I went to the store it was wonderful to find so many of the ingredients on sale. I used asparagus in this meal because it was on sale for $1.99 a pound (Woohooooo) but you could easily use green beans or broccoli instead if your store doesn’t have asparagus on sale and you want to keep the cost down to $10.

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Chili Braised Pork with Asparagus and Mashed Potatoes
1 1/2 pounds of boneless country style pork ribs
Kosher salt
Ground pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, separated
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, separated 
3 tablespoons all purpose-flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cubed to 1 inch
1/2 cup sour cream
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 pound asparagus
Pat pork dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large straight sided skillet heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add pork and brown on both sides. Remove from skillet to a plate and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium and add 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Once the butter has melted add the 3 tablespoons of flour and whisk making sure to scrape the bottom of the skillet to get the brown bits up. Cook for a couple minutes to get the raw flour taste out and then whisk in the chicken stock and chili powder. Return the pork to the skillet and bring to a simmer, cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook until the pork is tender and the sauce has thickened, about 25 minutes. Season to taste.
Meanwhile in large pot bring the potatoes to a boil in salted water. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to pot, mash until fluffy, stir in the remaining butter, sour cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm.
In a large skillet bring about 1 inch of water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the asparagus and reserve in the colander. In the same skillet heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, just until golden brown. Return the asparagus to the skillet, toss with the garlic and olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Creamy Asparagus Soup

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So I have given my marathon of Mexican food recipes a rest but took a trip back to my soup obsession. Truthfully I had not been planning on making any soup. The weather here has been pleasantly mild with ZERO rain (What no rain in Washington???), so I wasn’t craving soup at all. Then I walked into the grocery store and saw a beautiful sight. Bundles of asparagus. Not the big thick ones that have been the norm, but nice thin tender ones. I was such a happy camper!! Asparagus is, hands down, my favorite vegetable, and the majority of the household feels the same. What was even better was that it was on SALE. Yessssssssssss!!! I grabbed two and finished up my shopping.

Once I got my little green bundles of joy home I started thinking about what I wanted to do with them. I didn’t want to use them as a side because I was so happy to find them I didn’t want them to take a back seat to anything. I thought about working them into a chicken main dish I have been working on but then it hit me….how do I let those babies shine? Put them center stage! BING the light bulb goes off in my head…..SOUP? Yes!!! I have made many soups but never an asparagus soup. I have no idea why since it IS my favorite veggie.

I was also planning on making grilled ham and Swiss cheese sandwiches to go along with this soup. Sounds yummy right? Well it WOULD have been but the kids ate all but three pieces of the ham so I had to scratch that. It turned out fine though. This soup was such a star I didn’t want anything else!!

I also got to use my new immersion blender with this recipe so that was an extra bonus. Don’t worry, if you don’t have an immersion blender a regular blender works just as well. This picture doesn’t show the green of the soup very well. I sooooo need a new camera!!!

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Creamy Asparagus Soup
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, chopped, (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pint fat free sour cream, room temperature
  • Cayenne pepper for garnish (optional)
Melt butter in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and saute 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add asparagus and saute another 4 minutes. Add the white wine and let it cook for about a minute then add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 30 minutes, until asparagus is very tender. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth or *Carefully transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the soup to the pan, stir in sour cream and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to serving bowls. Dust with cayenne pepper and serve.
*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

Rachael Ray Wednesday – Veal Scallopine with Dijon Sauce, Asparagus, and Avocados

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OK, I actually made this on the 14th. It was my daughters birthday and as usual I asked her what she wanted for her birthday dinner. That is the routine with my kids, and has been for years. She surprised me by telling me that whatever I wanted to cook was fine with her. She even told me to try the veal recipe if I wanted. I was shocked! She was really kinda nervous about trying veal. Like I said she is my Miss Picky. But I pointed out to her that she likes lamb so she agreed to try veal.


The first thing that surprised me when I started prepping to cook the recipe was, when I removed the the veal scallopine I bought from it’s packaging it was in thin strips. I have never cooked veal scallopine before, but I was expecting something more along the line of thin steak shaped pieces of meat, or rounds. That was just odd to me, but I kept on prepping. I was really surprised at how easy this was to make. The name makes it sound so, well, complicated I guess. Fancy name = lots of work, right? Nope, not true. Once I started cooking my biggest fear was overcooking the meat and making it tough but I cooked it just as is says in the recipe and it was perfect. 


I followed the recipe to the letter, like a good girl, and everything came out just as it was supposed to. I wasn’t sure how to place it on the plate so I did the best I could with Rachael’s instruction. Hopefully I was right. You can let me know how the picture looks.


As for the reviews, Jessi disliked it immediately. I think that could have been mostly in her head. She got herself psyched up that it she wouldn’t like it, I am not sure. Kevin and I were both on the fence with it. I liked the veal, but wasn’t jumping up and down about it. Kevin said he didn’t like it. He did love the sauce with the avocados and asparagus though. I kind of thought this was a weird combo when I was making it, but really when you eat it all together it really was good. I am thinking about playing around with this sauce and the avocados and some other meats. 


If you like veal you will love this recipe. Rachael says “this dish is one buttery, delicious, edible ode to spring” and it really was very buttery. Like I said, I liked it but just that, liked it, wasn’t head over heals in love with it. 

Veal Scallopine with Dijon Sauce, Asparagus, and Avocados

Ingredients

 Coarse salt
1 lemon
1 pound very thin asparagus tips
2 ripe Haas avocados
EVOO for drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/4 pounds veal scallopine
Coarse black pepper
1 tablespoon all purpose flour, plus more for dredging
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup cream or half and half
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


In a large saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Salt the water. Add a couple of curls of rind from the lemon and the asparagus tips. Cook the tips for 3 minutes, then drain and reserve.


Cut into and around the pits of the avocados. Scoop the flesh from the avocados, and slice. Dress the slices with a little lemon juice, a drizzle of EVOO, and a pinch of salt, reserve.


Preheat your largest skillet over medium heat. Season the veal with salt and pepper on both sides. Dredge the scallopine in a little flour. Add the two tablespoons of the EVOO and the two tablespoons of the butter to the hot skillet. WHen the butter melts into the oil, add the veal and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until evenly light golden in color. Place the veal on a platter under a loose tent of foil.


Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the tablespoon of flour to the skillet. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the wine and scrape up the pans drippings. Whisk the stock into the wine and add the thyme, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir in the cream, then remove from the heat.


Arrange the asparagus and sliced avocados over the veal and pour a line of sauce over the top. Garnish the dinner plates or platter with chopped chives and serve.


Serves 4

Veal Scallopine


Asparagus


Avocado
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Rachael Ray Wednesday – Grilled Mahi Mahi Fillets and Asparagus with Orange and Sesame

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Monday I had a Dr’s appointment and I realized I had gotten out of the house without my shopping list so I could pick up the ingredients for my next Rachael recipe for you all. Even though the store I needed to go to was all the way on the other side of town, and my house is somewhat in the middle, I just didn’t feel like driving back home. So off to the store I go with an idea in the back of my little brain.

I have this free app on my iPhone that is for Food Network. I got my shopping cart, whipped out my phone, and started searching. The planets must have aligned or it was fate or whatever you want to call it, but I went to the recipe section and clicked on the “Main Dish” tab up pops a few recipes. I had been really wanting to cook fish so I thought wellllll maybe I will just grab a fish recipe now and then come back out tomorrow to get the things I need to make a Rachael recipe. The first fish recipe that came up was this one and it sounded really good. Although I had never cooked Mahi Mahi I was feeling adventurous and like I said I really wanted fish. I clicked on the recipe and SURPRISE it was a Rachael Ray recipe! YAY I did the happy dance. People looked at me strange but since I was close to the pharmacy the must have figured “Aww poor girl needs her meds”.

The next thing that happened that made me know this was meant to be was when I got to the fish counter and asked for Mahi Mahi. I couldn’t see any and was beginning to feel bummed that I would have to substitute another fish or look for another recipe. WALA the fish girl pulls out 5 fillets DING DING DING I needed exactly 5 fillets! OK so maybe I get excited about strange things but this had me very very happy. She wrapped up my little beauties and, since I had already picked up everything else, I made my mad dash for the checkout and scooted home with my treasures.

Once I got home and began getting things ready to go a bit of panic set in. Mahi Mahi is a firm white fish. I could tell by the feel of it that it would be very dry if I over cooked it. If you have ever had over cooked Swordfish you will know what my fear was. But I told myself that I have gotten very good at cooking fish by sight and knew I just needed to keep an eye on it.

Kevin helped me get all the veggies prepped and I got the fish in the marinade. I didn’t heat the pan as quickly as she said to because it said to preheat it before the fish was even in the marinade. So I waited and preheated it as the fish was ready to come out.

There is a lot of ginger in the recipe and I was worried that Kevin wouldn’t like it because he really dislikes ginger. When we go for sushi I like to torment him by eating the pickled ginger and then trying to get him to kiss me. I am bad, I know.

I have to say that this recipe rated, out of the 5 people that ate it, well lets see, Jessi gave me a two thumbs up and a toe up, she said it would have been 2 toes up but she was sitting on her other leg. Seth barely made a positive ID check on his, Kevin’s son Dylan was all smiles, and Kevin said he loved the orange with it even though he had thought he wouldn’t. Everyone agreed that this one was a keeper and we wanted to have it again.

So I think that pretty much sums it all up. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!!

Again, not the best picture but trust me you will love love LOVE this one!!
Grilled Mahi Mahi Fillets and Asparagus with Orange and Sesame

4 portions, 6 to 8 ounces each, Mahi Mahi fillets
salt and pepper
2 limes, juiced
3 tablespoons dark Tamari soy sauce
2 inches fresh ginger root, grated, about 1 1/2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
20 blades fresh chives, chopped, or 3 scallions, thinly sliced
For the asparagus:
1 to 1 1/4 pounds asparagus
2 navel oranges
1 inch fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Preheat grill pan over medium-high to high heat. Season mahi mahi with salt and pepper. Combine the Tamari, lime juice, fresh ginger, and a little vegetable or canola oil in a shallow dish. Turn the mahi mahi in the citrus soy marinade and let it hang out for about 10 minutes. Grill on grill pan for about 6 minutes per side for 1 inch thick fillets. Or until fish is firm and opaque.
Take one spear of asparagus and hold it at each end. Bend it until it snaps and breaks. Use this spear as the guide as to where to trim the ends of your bundle of spears. Using a vegetable peeler to cut long thin strips of zest from the oranges. Cut the ends off the zested oranges and stand them up on the cutting board. Remove the pith with a sharp knife cutting down from the top of the orange. Discard pith. When the oranges are both peeled and trimmed turn them on their sides and cut them into 1/4 inch disks. Set the disks aside. In a skillet with a lid, bring 1 inch of water to a boil with the zests of the oranges and the grated fresh ginger root. Allow the zest and ginger to simmer for at least 1 minute then add salt and asparagus spears. Simmer the spears 3 to 5 minutes, until just tender. Drain the asparagus. Discard the orange zest and ginger. Assemble a few spears on each plate layering them back and forth, crisscrossing the spears over orange slices. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the asparagus and oranges and top with one portion of the grilled mahi mahi. Garnish the assembled fish with the chopped chives or thinly sliced scallion.
Serves 4

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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

Roasted Asparagus with Grape Tomatoes, Garlic, and Pancetta

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This one of those recipes that comes to mind on the fly when you have veggies in the fridge and need something to do with them. Last night I was making a meal for my Food Star Friday segment and had the recipes all picked out. When when WHEN will I learn to read ahead? I mean I go over the recipe to check ingredients but I am soooo bad about not reading the recipe thoroughly until the night I am making it. Well it bit me in the butt this time. I was going to make deep fried asparagus but when it came time to prep everything for the meal i look down and read “Soak asparagus in buttermilk for 12 to 24 hours” oh cr@p what am I going to do now?

My answer was to hit the fridge and pull out all of the veggies I had. I lined them up on the counter and looked them over. I probably looked like a drill instructor making sure his troops were staying in line. I then walked down the line and “shopped” for the items I thought would go well together. Satisfied with my choices I put the rest of the veggies back in the fridge with a promise that I would use them soon.

Once I made my choices I just knew they would be awesome together. I just hoped Kevin would feel the same. Into the oven they went and 10 minutes later I pulled out the yummy smelling goodness that once were random ingredients. WOW I was a happy camper. Kevin came in and the first thing he said was “What smells so good?” yesssssssss I love hearing that! And I am happy to say it tasted as good as it smelled.

Roasted Asparagus with Grape Tomatoes, Garlic, and Pancetta 
1 bunch pencil thin asparagus
1 cup grape tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 pound diced pancetta
1 lemon, juiced
Olive oil for drizzling
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F
Hold one of the asparagus spears and bend it till it snaps, use that as a guideline to trim the rest of the bunch. Throw away the woody ends and scatter trimmed asparagus on a rimmed cooking sheet. Scatter grape tomatoes, garlic, and diced pancetta on cooking sheet as well. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and spread out into an even layer on the cooking sheet. Roast in oven for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and place in a large bowl, making sure to scrape all of the roasted garlic from the sheet. Add lemon juice and toss. Salt if necessary. Serve warm