o Cookalong #8 - Asparagus

Posted by wizardnm (My Page) on Mon, Apr 27, 09 at 13:51

Coconut-nj has picked a great spring vegetable for us to concentrate on for the next two weeks, asparagus!

So let's dig out the favorite recipes.
Our Cookalong virtual dinner will be May 9, 2009. If you need to post something made using asparagus before then, that's fine.

If you are not sure about the few rules, check out some of the other Cookalong threads or just ask on this one.

Nancy

Here is a link that might be useful: Cookalong #7------------Exoskeletal Critters Follow-Up Postings:

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* Posted by chase (My Page) on Mon, Apr 27, 09 at 14:06

Asparagus! YUM!!! One of my favourite vegetables. I won't be joining the cookalong directly but maybe I'll order asparagus while at dinner in Michigan Saturday !!! YEAH!

This one is Weed's, excellent!

Asparagus - Parmesan Crusted (Weed)

1 Lb asparagus ends trimmed 3 Tbl butter room temperature 1 Tbl chopped fresh basil 1 large garlic clove finely chopped or crushed (I use my micr 1 1/2 Tsp fresh lemon juice 1/2 Cup (packed) grated Parmesan cheese

Cook or steam asparagus until just crisp-tender. Err on the side of undercooked, since you will be putting them under the broiler for additional minutes later. Plunge into an ice water bath to retain color and halt cooking. Drain very well. (I went as far as putting them on a clean kitchen towel and patting dry.

Preheat broiler.

Arrange asparagus on broiler proof platter. Mix softened butter with basil, garlic and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Put butter mixture in microwave and heat until pourable, but not totally melted.

Drizzle butter mixture all over asparagus, then sprinkle the parmesan on top.

Broil asparagus until topping browns, watching closely to avoid burning.
If you had to use a cookie sheet to broil them, slide a flat spatula under them to transfer to your serving platter - this will keep the yummy parmesan crust attached to the asparagus.

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* Posted by lisazone6_ma (My Page) on Mon, Apr 27, 09 at 15:34

I'll be at Foxwoods celibrating a friend's birthday so I won't be doing any cooking, but I will keep an eye on this thread for sure!!

I simply drizzle them with some extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and fresh cracked black pepper and throw them on the grill for a few minutes. Turn (without letting them fall thru the grill!)and cook a few minutes on the other side and they're heaven!

I ordered 10 asparagus crowns and need to get them in the ground! I won't be able to harvest this year, but hopefully I'll get a few spears next year, then the year after that I can go to town!

I'm excited about this thread - I LOVE asparagus!!

Lisa

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* Posted by annie1992 (My Page) on Mon, Apr 27, 09 at 17:21

I love asparagus too, but I don't know if I'll be cooking along. The 10th is our first anniversary, and Elery has to work that day, so I'm only assuming we'll be celebrating on the 9th. We'll see.

Chase, that recipe looks delicious, how did I ever miss it?

Annie

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* Posted by stacy3 (My Page) on Mon, Apr 27, 09 at 18:40

annie, I was thinking the same thing! looks like a keeper recipe. Thanks Sharon.

and OMG - one year ANNIE!!???????????? holy cow does time fly.

So is this the thread where we should take a tally on "how" asparagus affects you????

Yes, it definitely makes my pee odiferous...

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* Posted by lakeguy35 (My Page) on Mon, Apr 27, 09 at 22:59

I missed that one from Weed too...saving it now for sure. My faves for asparagus has always been simple. Steaming, roasting, or on the grill. I will add that I/we love it with some Hollandaise so I will link to this simple recipe that I got from Sara years ago. When it comes to Hollandaise just give me a bowl and a spoon....LOL

David

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* Posted by lindac (My Page) on Mon, Apr 27, 09 at 23:49

I will have company that weekend....but it's almost for surew e will be eating asparagus.....and if I have my way it will be quickly blackened on a griddle and topped with hollendaise.
And perhaps an asparagus and provolone omelet in the morning.
Linda C

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* Posted by azzalea (My Page) on Tue, Apr 28, 09 at 7:47

A suggestion to all asparagus lovers.

If you have a good, original asparagus recipe, keep it close to the vest (don't pubicise it here or elsewhere on the web). There's a contest currently for asparagus. Part of the prize is that your recipe will be sent to the White House chef, and there are other prize involved, too.

Good luck!!!

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* Posted by coconut-nj (My Page) on Tue, Apr 28, 09 at 8:44

Geez, I guess we'll all have to copyright our original recipes.

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* Posted by azzalea (My Page) on Tue, Apr 28, 09 at 9:26

Recipes cannot be copyrighted--which is why, if you have one that could possibly be worth several hundred$$$ up to one million$$$, it's a good idea to keep it confidential, until you're done using it.

Hey, you don't have to agree with me at all. I--and many others--find recipe contesting a fun and lucrative hobby, I happened to know there is currently an opportunity for some to win a little something from their asparagus recipes, and offered to share that. Feel free to ignore my post if it makes you happy. I was just trying to help and to share a fun way to use one's creativity.

and best of luck to any who decide to enter! wouldn't it be fantastic to have one's own recipe served to the president? And even better if it was the one recipe that changed his mind about asparagus!!!!!

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* Posted by sally2 (My Page) on Tue, Apr 28, 09 at 9:44

Yeah, we're back to veggies! I love asparagus. And I love parmesan cheese. I don't know if we need to go further than Chase's recipe!

I did a recipe from Giada a while back for DH for his birthday, which he really enjoyed. Here it is.

Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Bundles

Prep Time: 20 min Inactive Prep Time: 0 min Cook Time: 10 min Level: Easy Serves: 4 to 6 side servings

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed (about 20 spears) 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves Pinch kosher salt Pinch freshly ground black pepper 4 to 6 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon (1 slice per asparagus spear)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Lay the asparagus on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt, and pepper. Roast until cooked and starting to brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to another baking sheet to cool.
Once the asparagus have cooled, wrap each spear in a slice of smoked salmon. Arrange on a serving platter and serve at room temperature.

© 2008 Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Sally

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* Posted by caliloo (My Page) on Tue, Apr 28, 09 at 10:01

Okay - now don't shoot me..... but I have eaten so much asparagus already this spring I AM SICK OF IT! LOLOLOL!

And I am NOT posting any recipes until after the contest.

Alexa

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* Posted by coconut-nj (My Page) on Tue, Apr 28, 09 at 14:39

Azzalea, I'm sorry if I sounded like I don't care or thought you shouldn't bring it up. I do and am glad you did. I totally understand. I taught cooking online for AOL for a number of years and all the recipes I used were my original recipes so this came up at various times. That's one reason I choose not to enter contests, because I don't want anyone else having the rights to my recipes. Just personal preference. I'm glad you and others do it and can get some money from it. That's cool. Plus a lot of us get some great recipes from such contests. Maybe you or one of us will win the $1,000 and get their recipe to feed the President. Good luck!

Alexa, lol, you lucky girl. I tend to eat it till it's coming out my ears too when it gets in season around here. And yes, just to be safe, I might wait to post actual recipes till after the contest. ;-]

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* Posted by craftyrn (My Page) on Tue, Apr 28, 09 at 16:39

Can't join you on the 9th but here's an easy one I've just got to try :
Diane's Home Cookin Chapter: For 2 Asparagus Souffle ================= Reminisce Magazine -Patricia Patton, Jal, New Mexico SERVINGS: 2

Ingredients:
1 package (8 ounce) frozen cut asparagus, thawed and well drained 1/3 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese 1/3 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup chopped onion 1 egg white . Directions: In a large bowl, combine the asparagus, cheese, mayonnaise and onion. In a small bowl, beat egg white on medium speed until soft peaks form. Fold into asparagus mixture. Transfer to a greased 2-1/2-cup baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Yield: 2 servings.

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* Posted by ruthanna (My Page) on Tue, Apr 28, 09 at 18:48

I just received a gift of a big hunk of Piave cheese and will definitely use some for Weed's recipe.

I have been wanting to try an asparagus and blood orange salad from one of my cookbooks but forget which one. I'll post it when I get a chance to find it.

We like asparagus and are just starting to get it locally the last week or two. That's one vegetable that is so good steamed in the microwave. I haven't steamed it in a pot of water for years.

Here's where the Easter eggs that don't turn out that great go:

EGG AND ASPARAGUS BRUNCH DISH

1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed 1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms 3/4 cup butter or margarine 1/4 cup finely minced onion 3/4 cup flour 1 tsp. dry mustard 4 cups milk 1 can (14 ½ oz.) chicken broth 1 pound cubed fully cooked ham 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese 8 hard-cooked eggs, quartered 1/2 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper 1/4 tsp. crumbled dried tarragon (optional) 10-12 biscuits, warmed

Cut asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces, using only tender parts of spears. Cook in a small amount of boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes; drain. Set aside to cool. Melt butter in saucepan over medium-low heat and add onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft but not brown. Stir in flour and mustard until smooth. Add milk and broth; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for two minutes. Add ham and cheese; stir until the cheese melts. Add eggs, salt, cayenne, tarragon and asparagus; heat through. Serve over biscuits. Serves 10-12 Note: can also be served in toast cups or over rice or noodles.

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* Posted by lisa_in_germany (My Page) on Wed, Apr 29, 09 at 4:38

Asparagus season has also started here. I love asparagus, both white and green. I may even try and participate in this cookoff. The kids all like the white asparagus, but not the green.
Lisa

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* Posted by lpinkmountain (My Page) on Fri, May 1, 09 at 11:30

I don't know if I will be able to participate in the exact date of the cookalong, but this dish is on my "to try" list and I will definately be making it sometime this spring.

Risotto Marzolino from "La Cucina Ebraica" by Joyce Goldstein. "Marzo" is "March" so I'm already behind on making it!

Serves 6

1 lb asparagus Juice of one lemon 3 large artichokes 6 cups vegetable broth 1/2 tsp. of saffron threads, chopped 2-3 TBLSP of butter 1 small onion, chopped 2 cups Aborio rice 1 cup heavy cream 1/2 cup grated Parmesean cheese

Cut away all the tough ends from the asparagus, leaving only the tips and tender parts. (Unless you have an asparagus peeler Annie!). Blanch in salted boiling water for 5 minutes, then refresh in cold water. Drain, pat dry and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.

Have ready a large bowl of water to which you have added the lemon juice. Working with one artichoke at a time, cut off the stem flush to the bottoms. Remove all the leaves and cut the tender heart in half lengthwise. Cut away the choke, then slice the halves lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Drop into the lemon water. When all the artichokes are trimmed, bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Drain the artichokes, add to the saucepan, and blanch for 2 min. Drain and set aside.

LR's Notes: "Yeah right. Or buy a 10 oz box of Bird's Eye frozen artichoke hearts, thaw them out and cut them in half."

Pour the broth into a saucepan and bring to a simmer; adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Ladle one cup of the hot broth, place in a bowl, and add the saffron; set aside.

Melt the butter in a large, deep saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, 5-8 min. Add the rice and stir until opaque, about 3 min. Add a ladleful of the simmering broth and stir for 3-4 min. until the broth is absorbed. Reduce the heat and continue to add the broth a ladleful at a time, waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding the next. For the final cup, add the saffron and its broth along with the asparagus and artichokes. Stir until the broth is absorbed and the rice kernels are al dente at the center and creamy on the outside, 18-20 min. total.

Stir in the cream and Parmesean cheese and heat through, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a warmed serving dish. Serve immediately.

I'll probably use something other than heavy cream, and less Parmesean.

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* Posted by canarybird (My Page) on Fri, May 1, 09 at 13:26

I'll be participating in this one as Wolf has asparagus feasts in his German heritage. But I'll be making something quite retro with my asparagus!

And it will probably be on Saturday or Sunday next week. :-) till then.....

SharonCb

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* Posted by annie1992 (My Page) on Fri, May 1, 09 at 14:56

LOL, LR, no peeling asparagus for me! You could borrow my peeler, if you want. (grin)

I have a jar of white asparagus Peppi sent home with me because I've only had white asparagus once, I got it at the local grocery and never saw it again.

So, although I won't be cooking on Saturday, I'll be going out to dinner with Elery for our first anniversary (which is actually on Sunday, but he has to work), I'm thinking maybe I'll do something on Sunday with that jar.....

Annie

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* Posted by fearlessem (My Page) on Fri, May 1, 09 at 15:45

Hey Folks --

I'm making this shaved (raw) asparagus salad tonight -- will report back and let you know how it is!

Emily

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* Posted by katiec (My Page) on Fri, May 1, 09 at 22:50

If I can find decent asparagus, I'd love to play....try something new. We have a patch, but I don't get asparagus from it until June.

We've found some nice (and cheap!) asparagus lately. I made a nice asp. risotto the other night. No recipe....arborio, chicken broth, white wine, shallots, garlic, a few mushrooms, parmesan, some truffle oil, cream and the asparagus.

Also made this one...an old recipe from when we'd visit southern Idaho in the spring and walk the ditchbanks (before the subdivisions moved in). We'd wind up with bags and bags of wild asparagus....mmmmm....

* Exported from MasterCook *

Christy's Asparagus Casserole

Recipe By : Katie Serving Size : 1 Preparation Time :0:00 Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method -------- ------------ -------------------------------- 2 c cooked asparagus -- cut in 2" pieces 3 eggs 1 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper 1 c milk 3/4 c cracker crumbs 1 c cheddar cheese -- cut in 1/4" cubes 3 tbsp butter -- optional

Beat eggs, add salt, pepper, pimiento, milk, crumbs and cheese. Stir in asparagus. Pour into greased 1 1/2 qt. casserole. Melt butter and pour over top.

Bake at 350F, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until set.

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* Posted by amysrq (My Page) on Fri, May 1, 09 at 23:23

We like to sauce asparagus with mayonnaise thinned with orange juice. I also add all the zest of the orange into the sauce and a turn or two of white pepper. Always been one of my kiddo's favorites.

Luckily, I can post this since it won't likely win any big prize at the White House! ;-)

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* Posted by ruthanna (My Page) on Sat, May 2, 09 at 8:55

I made an asparagus and orange salad last night to serve with chicken. It was good but the orange flavors somewhat overwhelmed the asparagus.

No exact recipe since I couldn’t find the cookbook where I saw it but I did measure out the dressing ingredients as I made it.

ORANGE AND ASPARAGUS SALAD

1 Tbs. chopped shallots 1 Tbs. basalmic vinegar ½ tsp. honey 1 tsp. dry sherry 1/4 cup orange juice (I used blood orange juice, which is why the shallots are purple) 2 Tbs. olive oil

Put steamed and blanched asparagus and peeled and sectioned oranges in a bowl. Add dressing, toss, and chill. Just before serving sprinkle with salt, freshly ground black pepper, sliced orange zest and chopped fresh mint.

Photobucket

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* Posted by fearlessem (My Page) on Sat, May 2, 09 at 11:28

Hey folks --

I made the shaved raw asparagus salad last night and... Eh. The raw asparagus were delicious on their own, but the flavor is so mild that they got totally drowned out in the salad just by the addition of dressing. Oh well. It was a good excuse to buy some manchego cheese and eat some toasted hazelnuts.

Emily

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* Posted by ruthanna (My Page) on Tue, May 5, 09 at 10:28

We will be out on Saturday evening so made Weed's Parmsan Crusted Asparagus. I used Piave cheese instead of the Parmesan and less than listed in the recipe.

It was great! Thanks for posting it.

Photobucket

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* Posted by lpinkmountain (My Page) on Tue, May 5, 09 at 10:49

Oh Ruthanna that looks SOOOOOO yummy!!
An amazing picture, looks like I could just reach into the computer and grab a bite!

I have all the ingredients of make asparagus pasta salad but zero energy, so I don't know if I will get it done this week. I have to be at a conference Thurs-Sat. and I've been sick for three weeks with a cough that just wears me out completely.

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* Posted by canarybird (My Page) on Tue, May 5, 09 at 14:30

Ruthanna both your recipes look just great, especially the parmesano crusted one. I will have to make that for my DH as he is German and I think was born with asparagus growing between his toes. He loves it!

I did a trial run today of an idea I had for asparagus pinwheels using frozen puff pastry. I really want to make them with crustless white bread, as my mother used to do when her bridge club was coming....I was just small then. She would clean the house furiously, have her hair in pincurls all day, have tiny guest towels in the bathroom (don't you dare wipe your hands on them) and fill the fridge with every type of party sandwich, rollups, pinwheels and checkerboards using asparagus, cream cheese, devilled egg, red pimientos, pickles and then cover the trays of mini sandwiches with waxed paper topped with damp teatowels folded around.

So far I haven't found any long, square sandwich loaves that are unsliced but I will keep trying. Just in case this is my final entry....the puff pastry pinwheels were done using frozen pastry cut into long rectangles, a little wider than the length of the asparagus spears ( I used bottled asparagus because I wasn't sure if fresh would be tender enough for this), spread the pastry lightly with cream cheese, very thin slices of york ham and three asparagus spears. (Next time I will add some chopped caramelized onion as well.) Rolled up, sliced and sprinkled with paprika, they went on a floured tray in the toaster oven at 375F for about 20 minutes. Perfect for appetizers! I may still be back here with the party bread rollups/pinwheels this weekend if I find the bread.

These are about 2 1/2" across (6.5 cm).

SharonCb

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* Posted by dcarch (My Page) on Wed, May 6, 09 at 18:15

My asparagus with shrimps.
Desert is mango with mint sauce.

dcarch

Photobucket

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* Posted by lisa_in_germany (My Page) on Thu, May 7, 09 at 2:56

That looks fantastic, dcarch! Is that red asparagus??? I have seen white and green, but never red. Got any recipes? The shrimp look to die for, too.
Lisa

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* Posted by sally2 (My Page) on Thu, May 7, 09 at 9:43

I was trying to figure out what the red is, too.

Ruthanna, both your dishes look so good! I might try the salad one, since I'm needing (not wanting to) cut back on the amount of cheese I'm eating. I won't be participating until Sunday.

Sharon, the image of your husband with asparagus toes tickles me!

DH made a very good asparagus dish for me a few years ago I just remembered about. It had boiled eggs with it, too, but no ham. If I can find the recipe, I'll see if it's similar to yours, Ruthanna.

Sally

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* Posted by dcarch (My Page) on Thu, May 7, 09 at 15:05

"I was trying to figure out what the red is, too. ------"

I will give you the secrete in another thread, because the same technique can be used in many other preparations, not just asparagus.

dcarch

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* Posted by canarybird (My Page) on Fri, May 8, 09 at 13:25

Dcarch...that red asparagus is definitely interesting. I know I've accidentally coloured vegetables with beetjuice when in a salad but asparagus is quite pretty.

Well I won't be making those bread asparagus rollups for this challenge since I mentioned to my husband that I saw a large package of white frozen asparagus in the German supermarket, and how would he like a typical German asparagus dinner. He was all smiles so I guess that was my answer. I went down there today and picked up enough for two meals. Fresh white asparagus is out of the question here as it is brought down from somewhere far away, is stale and very expensive. So although the frozen is also expensive, I wanted to buy it just once this season.

One of the typical ways to serve it in Germany is to have it cooked together with boiled potatoes, hard cooked egg and slices of york ham and served with hollandaise sauce and/or a large bowl of melted butter. Since it was very late when I got home from my gym class and then the supermarket I didn't try to make a hollandaise sauce, but bought one ready made.
Hubby was delighted with the dinner. We ate outside on the patio beside the flowers and birds. And had berries and ice cream for dessert.

SharonCb

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* Posted by wizardnm (My Page) on Sat, May 9, 09 at 21:30

My Cookalong Dinner....

I used the recipe from Weed that Chase posted. Made one change, instead of Parmesan cheese I used asiago.
The asparagus was local...first of the season here.

Beef Stroganoff with Asiago Crusted Asparagus

Photobucket

Nancy

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* Posted by weed30 (My Page) on Sat, May 9, 09 at 22:19

Ha - I was going to post the parmesan crusted asp. recipe, and Chase beat me to it :) It really is delish.

Here is one I sort of made up - pretty yummy if I do say so myself! Here is a pic. Not the greatest photo, sorry.

Shrimp, Tomato & Asparagus Risotto

3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion/shallot mix 4 Tbl. butter 2 cups risotto Dry vermouth (or white wine) - about 1/2 cup or so - I just sloshed it in directly from the bottle :) 1 can Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes (any diced tomato will do, but get the best brand you can) 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, or to taste 6 cups chicken stock, + more if needed 1 1/2# 21/25 shrimp, cut in half crosswise 1 bunch asparagus, use about the first 3" cut in small lengths + a bit of butter.
salt and pepper to taste Parmesan for the table

Prep:
>Dice shallots & onions >Finely chop basil >Cook shrimp in simmering water with a little Old Bay seasoning until just done, about 2 - 3 min. Rinse with cold water to arrest cooking.
>Steam asparagus until just done, rinse with cold water to arrest cooking. Put back in a saute pan with 1 tsp butter, don't heat them up until the very end.

Make risotto:

>Saute the onion/shallot mixture in the butter until wilted and starting to color.
>Add the risotto and cook briefly to coat well >Add the dry vermouth or white wine and cook until absorbed >Add the tomatoes and cook until liquid from tomatoes is absorbed >Add the chicken stock, 1/2 cup - 1 cup at a time, cooking to absorb liquid. *Reserve 3/4 cup stock for later* >When risotto is the proper tenderness, take pot off the heat, cover very loosely.

~~ Take a 20 minute break, have a cocktail with your guests, serve your salad, or whatever you had planned to do before dinner :) ~~

Just before serving return pot to heat, add the basil, cooked shrimp and the remaining chicken stock. You don't have to get all this liquid to absorb, makes it creamier if you don't. Correct seasonings. Heat up the asparagus in the other pan.

Portion the risotto onto serving plates and sprinkle asparagus on top. Serve with a bowl of freshly shaved parmesan at the table.

I know most people would cook the raw shrimp in the risotto, but I just don't like to do that. It either ends up tasting too shrimpy, or I overcook the shrimp.

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* Posted by weed30 (My Page) on Sat, May 9, 09 at 22:27

A quickie:

This is an appetizer that the Chef did at work. Simply a cooked shrimp, steamed asparagus tip, and a bit of lemon crème fraîche.

He did a lot of different things, and the presentation was fabulous:

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* Posted by weed30 (My Page) on Sat, May 9, 09 at 22:40

Yeah, three posts in a row. I see that tonight was the night for cooking/having the asparagus. If it counts at all, I had to work today and into the early evening. I was on my way out, and the GM was in the restaurant with his wife having dinner. They invited me to sit down, and shared their food. Beef tenderloin, Kobe beef meatloaf, and.... grilled asparagus!

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* Posted by sally2 (My Page) on Sun, May 10, 09 at 10:37

Weed, I want to work where you work!

I'm going to do my aparagus tonight. I haven't made up my mind yet what I'm going to do, though. These all look so tempting.

Sally

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* Posted by ruthanna (My Page) on Sun, May 10, 09 at 13:10

What a great treasure chest of asparagus ideas and recipes!
I think I'm asparagussed out for a while. I forgot to post this one, which is good for using up aspragus that's a little past its prime.

ASPARAGUS PANCAKES – makes 20 (2 inch) pancakes

1/2 lb. trimmed fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch length 2 large eggs 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice 1/2 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. black pepper 3 Tbs. flour 1 Tbs. melted butter Hollandaise sauce (optional)

Cook the asparagus in salted water to cover just until tender, 2 to 3 minute (I microwave it). Drain and let cool to room temperature. Finely chop in a food processor or with a knife.

In medium bowl, whisk the eggs until thoroughly mixed. Whisk in the cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the asparagus and flour and stir until evenly blended.

Preheat a large heavy skillet or griddle over moderate heat. Brush very lightly with a little of the melted butter. Using 1 tablespoon of the batter for each pancake, spoon the batter onto the hot surface and cook until the edges become dry and dull and the underside golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn with a spatula and cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a hot platter and repeat with the remaining batter and melted butter. Serve topped with a little dollop of Hollandaise sauce, if desired.

Notes: Herbs like tarragon or marjoram can be added to the batter.

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* Posted by wizardnm (My Page) on Sun, May 10, 09 at 18:06

Nice collection of asparagus recipes here.

I'm open to suggestions on how this is working...it was unfortunate that the cookalong was on a Mother's Day weekend. The next one would be on Memorial Day weekend, which is bad for many..including me.

I've been noticing that the posts are usually during the first week and I wonder if just doing recipes and no cookalong would be better????
We could change this to just a weekly ingredient challenge.

Please add your thoughts...

Nancy

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* Posted by sheshebop (My Page) on Sun, May 10, 09 at 19:07

Nancy, other than the ginger challenge, every single cookalong has been a bad date for me. And as summer gets closer, it will get worse.
Although I loved the idea, I think that it is just too often, and people will stop posting. Maybe post ideas and recipes for a one month, and then a one or two week period in which to do the cookalong instead of a specific weekend. Just an idea.
Sherry

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* Posted by weed30 (My Page) on Sun, May 10, 09 at 19:12

Why not leave it open? You can cook or not on "the date", nobody will get in trouble :) I think these threads are excellent for building up our recipe files!

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* Posted by ssommerville (My Page) on Sun, May 10, 09 at 20:43

I would love the recipes and no cook along as it works better for me. Weekends we usually go out so it's hard to cook. Or you could let people do either or. Those that are able to cook can, and those that just want to post recipes can. Thatway it works for everyone.

Shelley S.

By the way, I loved the idea of this and am really enjoying all the recipes that are being posted!

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* Posted by coconut-nj (My Page) on Sun, May 10, 09 at 21:13

I think it's working pretty good. I'd say have the cookalong anytime during the two weeks that someone wants to do it. Also I agree about having people come back and post whenever they get around to cooking or if a new recipe comes up. Even when/if the threads get to page 3 or 4 they'll be easy to track down since you have the links on each one to the one before. I'd say encourage people to just post recipes if they want but also to make a dinner with the ingredient.... some time. I think this way if you want to make asparagus but know you won't get to it for a few weeks you can still just come back and post on the thread. That way it keeps the recipes and ingredients together. Same goes if you come across a new recipe for the ingredient you can track down the thread and post it. BTw, I still think 2 weeks is a good time before we change ingredient. With summer coming up and most of us being gardeners things will be hit and miss but I sure am enjoying it and hope we continue.

That's my opinion anyway... says Coconut who has Christy home for a four day extended weekend so we can work in yard and didn't get asparagus bought until today and won't cook until tomorrow. Btw, I'm making her eggs benedict for a brunch before we hit the yard. Since it's so rich I usually only make it at Easter with the leftover ham. I didn't make it this year but put the ham away to do it. Love asparagus on eggs benedict. I like to make my hollandaise by hand. Like it a bit thick.

Thanks for your efforts Nancy and for keeping up and trying to figure out the best way to make this work.

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* Posted by wizardnm (My Page) on Mon, May 11, 09 at 0:01

Good ideas... keep adding your thoughts.
I have to work tomorrow (Mon) so I may not be able to get back to this until evening.

Nancy

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* Posted by sally2 (My Page) on Mon, May 11, 09 at 0:46

It has seemed like all the recent cookathons or cookalongs have been on holidays. I like the idea of people being able to post or do their thing whenever it's convenient for them during the 2 weeks, or whatever time span is given. I work on Saturdays, which makes it more difficult for me to do a Saturday dinner, but Sundays work for me usually. So, I'm just now posting about my asaragus dinner. (Actually, I made the dinner, DH photographed it, and we ate it, then got involved in watching the television. It was late before I remembered about posting, so I'm probably after the deadline.)

I did a modified version of James Beard's Pasta Primavera. In spite of this cookathon's ingredient being asparagus, I found myself pulling up all that was left of my sugar snap pea plants, and harvesting all I could from them, as they were dying from the rain, humidity and beginning of the hot season. So, I thought I'd do some version of pasta with peas and asparagus. Well, in the cute and wonderful cookbook I found at Half Price Books, called Beard on Pasta, I found that his Pasta Primavera recipe called for asparagus and peas, along with mushrooms and tiny new beans. He's not clear on what exactly tiny new beans means, so I left the beans out of the recipe. DH is not a fan of cream sauce on pasta, so I left out the cream, and subbed wine. Not the same, I know, but if you don't have cream, and do have wine, and DH doesn't like cream sauces, what are you to do? So, I'll type up his recipe, and note my changes/adaptations in parentheses. I'm including part of his introduction to the recipe.

Pasta Primavera

James Beard Beard On Pasta Copyright 1983

"In Italian, Primavera means "spring," and a primavera sauce should be made with the first, tiny vegetables that pop out in the spring. ... I've suggested a springtime combination that would be just delicious. Just don't be formal about it. Use what you have in the garden or in the refrigerator. ..."

1/2 cup fresh peas 1/2 cup tiny, new beans (I omitted them, because I wasn't sure what that means - Green Beans? Cannolli Beans? Black beans? In any case, I didn't have any tiny new beans.) 1/2 cup sliced stalks thin asparagus 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (I used portabella, cause that's what I had.) 4 tablespoons butter (I used 3 tablespoons butter, and 1 glug of olive oil, which is decadent for me, as I usually only use olive oil, but it's Mother's Day.) 1 cup light cream, warmed (I omitted this, as explained above - I subbed white wine, because I had it.) Lots of freshly ground black pepper (I also used white pepper on my serving, as I really like the flavor with pasta.) 1 pound angel hair, linguine, or even orzo (I used whole wheat thin spaghetti) Grated Parmesan cheese

(Since I didn't use cream, and because I just love garlic, I did add a clove of garlic at the beginning. I melted the butter, and just before adding the mushrooms, I added 1 clove of garlic.

Lightly cook the peas, beans, asparagus, and mushrooms in the butter until everything is crisply tender. Add the cream and pepper and cook down briefly. Cook the pasta, drain it, and toss with the sauce. Sprinkle with lots of grated Parmesan cheese. (I used lots and lots and lots of parmesan cheese - again, it's Mother's Day.)

Even though I didn't follow the recipe exactly, it turned out quite tasty. I am curious as to how it would taste if made exactly as written, but I get the impression that Beard doesn't expect his readers to follow the recipe exactly. Here's a picture. Sorry it's so yellow. We haven't figured out how to get the yellow out of the pictures and DH hates to use the flash. We have a long way to go before we catch up to the skills of Ann and Sharon.

Pasta Primavera variation

Sally

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* Posted by canarybird (My Page) on Mon, May 11, 09 at 3:49

I'm okay with posting and cooking during a two or three week period as it keeps the time span compact. If we spread it out over a longer period it may just be forgotten. We already have a place to put recipes....it's The Recipe Forum... and previous attempts at keeping recipe threads here on The Cooking Forum have failed. They were okay for a couple of weeks but once they start sliding over to pages three and four they are out of sight, out of mind.

I'm happy with the two week period but I don't have to go to work every day or care for a young family so I can understand how others who have a full schedule find it unworkable. So if we change the challenge to once every three weeks that's okay with me. It's always nice if we can prepare the recipes and give our results rather than just posting recipes, as that didn't last for long on previous occasions when we tried it. It was alright for a while but after a month or so was forgotten about and ended up on the back pages.

SharonCb

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* Posted by canarybird (My Page) on Mon, May 11, 09 at 4:00

Sally2....sorry I didn't comment on your dish. The combo of pasta and fresh green vegetables is one of my favourite dishes! I'm sure yours was delicious.
I especially like the flavour of fresh peas with pasta and with cream and parmesano it must be over the top!

If you want to get the yellow out of your indoor photos when not using flash (never use flash on food)...check your WB....white balance setting. You will find it on one of your camera menus. If you are taking the photo under an incandescent bulb...switch to that setting....it's an icon of a little light bulb. There is also a setting for different types of fluorescent lights. If you have a chance to reset the ISO setting on the camera (light sensitivity setting) raise it up to about 400+ or more if taking pics in the evening under a lamp. But the WB setting is the clue to getting the yellow out of indoor pics using artificial light (not daylight).
Good luck!

SharonCb

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* Posted by ruthanna (My Page) on Mon, May 11, 09 at 7:18

I have had a grand time with the Cookalong threads, although I interpreted it differently to fit with my schedule.

To me, it was more of a two week "Iron Chef" challenge showcasing one ingredient and incorporating it into my menus any time during the period. I tried to use it in some new ways, either the posted recipes or ones I'd seen in cookbooks and had wanted to try sometime and report back on some of the results.

DH really enjoyed it and asked last night when we'd find out the next Star Ingredient (what I call it at home). I have found the threads a good source of inspiration for making our meals more interesting. Thank you, Nancy, and all who posted on them.

I thought two weeks was an ideal time period to be able to work the ingredient into a meal or two. Maybe it would be better to drop the cooking on a specific date part and make it anytime during the two weeks.

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* Posted by lpinkmountain (My Page) on Mon, May 11, 09 at 11:41

I've really enjoyed the cookalongs, although I can rarely participate on the "correct" days. I'm like ruthanna, I enjoy the recipes and try them when I can, either within the two week period or whenever I can. I did carrot the week after and I'm still working on lemon! Why not loosen it up and say you can cook and post anytime within the two week period and then move on to a new ingredient, realizing of course that folks can still post to the old topic afterwards. I really like "cooking along" with other folks out there. That's one of the big pluses about CF for me, since I am single and can rarely share my cooking with a "real" person. I loved hearing how different people in different regions of the country did their meals.

BTW, I finally got my asparagus pasta salad done. It is OK, but it had a few issues. I mixed short grain saffron rice with orzo and I think it would be better just done with plain pasta. I can't quite understand it myself, but I just don't like cold rice salads, even though the arborio with saffron was so yummy LOOKING and didn't taste bad either. It is a texture thing with me, for some reason rice (which is my favortie food) just doesn't seem right to me when it's cold. I keep trying to like it but I just don't.

Then, when I went to add the olives, I see I have bought "jalepeno" black olive slices. Didn't see that in the store when I put them in the cart. Never even heard of them before. Well, the can was opened and that was all I had so I just dumped them in and fished out a few red jalepenos. Still, the hotness, although not overpowering, was a distraction from the other delicate flavors of the salad.

I will make this again, but with fresh ingredients when I can get them.

Asaparagus Pasta Salad

One bunch asparagus, trimmed, then roasted (You can steam but I roasted just to be different.) Cut into 1 inch pieces.
~ 2/3 cup peas (I had to fish these out of a frozen pea-carrot mix which was all I had. Definately much better with fresh peas) 1 1/4 cups dry orzo (cook as you would any pasta, but don't drain in a colander with large holes, ask me how I know!) 1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, chopped 1 small jar black olives (1/3 - 1/2 cup kalamatta would be great but I can't afford them anymore) 1/4 - 1/3 cup parmesean cheese Olive oil and lemon juice to taste as a dressing Penzey's "pasta salad sprinkle" seasoning or any italian seasoning mix, to taste Fresh parsley if you have it.
Scallions or red onion to taste (A little bit goes a long way with me, so maybe 3 scallions or 1/4 cup chopped red onion)

Can add rehydrated dried tomatoes and some celery or red or green pepper if you need more color or crunch. Can also add julienned carrots. Even some marinated mushrooms would be good if you used fresh asparagus and fresh peas.

Kinda like sally's dish's flavors only cold.

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* Posted by sally2 (My Page) on Mon, May 11, 09 at 11:58

Lpink, I've thought about having the leftovers as a salad. I've done that with other pasta dishes originally served warm.

Thanks, Sharon. I couldn't find that setting on my camera, but DH did. We'll use it next time. By the way, I always find your photography to be exceptional!

Sally

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* Posted by annie1992 (My Page) on Mon, May 11, 09 at 12:48

I also like the idea of cooking a dish any time within a two week period or so, weekends are just bad for me with it being spring and the farm needing all my spare time then, plus Elery is usually only here on weekends and he usually has something in mind to cook too.

LP, that looks really good, and Elery really likes artichokes and olives, he'd love it. He'd love Sally's too, and the first Michigan asparagus is on sale right now at my local grocery for $1.29 a pound. I wonder how that canned white asparagus in my pantry would be in the salad, even though it wouldn't be so nice and colorful...

My favorite way to eat aspargus, though, is just oven roasted with a bit of coarse salt. Mmmmm.

Annie

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* Posted by lpinkmountain (My Page) on Mon, May 11, 09 at 14:34

Annie if you used the white asparagus, you could make the salad with colored pasta! I think the key is to have more crunchy than mushy ingredients. Like if you use canned asparagus, then use fresh lightly steamed peas, frozen artichoke hearts instead of marinated, and add carrots or green pepper for more crunch. On the other hand, if you use fresh asparagus and peas, then use marinated mushrooms and artichokes. You could also use lightly steamed fresh green beans instead of asparagus I think.

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* Posted by annie1992 (My Page) on Mon, May 11, 09 at 15:44

Thanks, LP, I think you're right, cooked asparagus and cooked pasta might be a lot of "soft" ingredients.

Ah well, maybe we'll have eggs benedict with asparagus!

Annie

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* Posted by wizardnm (My Page) on Mon, May 11, 09 at 21:02

I like the suggestions for changing a little...good ideas.

I'll set up the new thread with the changes.

BUT....first... need to draw a name......it is....

lpinkmountain!!!!

lp.... what's the next star ingredient going to be? Just post it on here and I'll set up the new thread. Thanks!

Nancy

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* Posted by dcarch (My Page) on Tue, May 12, 09 at 7:55

White asparagus omelet, with onions, mushrooms, and topped with crushed potato chips and tomato powder.

dcarch

Photobucket

Photobucket

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* Posted by sally2 (My Page) on Tue, May 12, 09 at 9:33

Dcarch, what can I say but "wow!"

Sally

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* Posted by lpinkmountain (My Page) on Tue, May 12, 09 at 10:41

DC, that's not food, that's art!!

OK, new ingredient is RICE, my favorite food. In all it's forms, rice flour, rice milk, cream of rice cereal, brown, red, white, jasmine, basmati, aborio, short grain, long grain, puffed, rice crackers and cakes, rice paper . . . be still my heart.

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* Posted by canarybird (My Page) on Tue, May 12, 09 at 10:56

Lpink.....Rice was also what I was going to choose if one day my turn comes up to name the ingredient LOL.

Okay rice it is....think I'll have to do a Spanish recipe this time!

Dcarch ...white asparagus is our favourite too!

SharonCb

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* Posted by coconut-nj (My Page) on Tue, May 12, 09 at 12:31

Good Grief DCArch!! Wow.... just .. Wow... You certainly know how to put an exclamation point on a great session of really good recipes. Thanks ya'll for playing along. I sure got my monies worth by choosing asparagus. I know it was a bit difficult since it's such a great thing to eat in the most simple ways, but ya'll came up with some great alternatives to my favorite just plain steamed with lots of butter and a little lemon juice.

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* Posted by wizardnm (My Page) on Tue, May 12, 09 at 19:09

Here's the link to #9-----Rice!

Here is a link that might be useful: Cookalong # 9 --- Rice o RE: cookalong --#8 -- asparagus clip this post email this post what is this?
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* Posted by dcarch (My Page) on Tue, May 12, 09 at 21:18

I am not done yet with asparagus. :-)

Thin asparagus, cheese and turkey Spam.

dcarch

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* Posted by rob333 (My Page) on Fri, Oct 23, 09 at 8:52

Here ya go.

Entered by ann_t

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