Local Folks Foods

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May 12, 2010

Mother's Day Dinner: Asparagus Anyone??????

                            Asparagus Anyone??????

OK. I already did a posting on asparagus a while back but I figured I would revisit the subject. It’s only in my later years that I actually appreciate this wonderful veggie. Part of that is because I finally learned how to cook it properly. You know the problem. Regardless of who cooked it, the all-often-but-unintended result is they get overcooked. They’re either cooked for too long or sit in liquid for a too long afterwards. I have finally figured out (ok, I did a quite a while back but work with me) how to avoid this mistake and how to cook asparagus properly. Here’s what I didn’t share on the previous post. This features matsutake mushrooms, which were samples I received from Marx Foods.

1. Apart from chopping off the lower part of of the stem (which is too hard to cook or eat), I read somewhere that you should shave the lower 2/3 of each stalk. Now there is some debate if this should be done or not. I did buy some white asparagus a while back (from Chile during the winter) and it did mention shaving the lower 2/3 of each asparagus. I did so and it has turned out very well.  So I've kept on doing this.

2. Now while I don't want to sound arrogant, I can't really put this any other way. For goodness sakes, make sure you do two things. First is to make sure that you find a pan big enough to accommodate the length of the asparagus. If they dont fit properly, they obviously won't cook properly. I've seen folks trying to cook these in a medium sauce pan (no kidding). Next is to make sure the water is boiling (almost like you're cooking pasta). All I added to this boiling water is some salt and extra virgin olive oil. These are my preferences alone. I cooked them for about 10 minute and removed them from the pot once fully cooked. I put them on a plate and covered with foil. That way you won't have this fine (and somewhat expensive) veggie go soggy and stay warm if you don't serve them immediately. Even when I do serve immediately, I drain the water from the pot and cover.


3. In a pot, I reconstituted these mushrooms for about 20 minutes (next time I might do it a bit longer). Then I did a nice sautee of the mushrooms. I used some chicken stock (enough to cover the bottom of the pot) and a little more olive oil. I sauteed them until they were soft (about 5 minutes or so over medium heat).


4. Then I returned the asparagus to the pot and tossed them with the mushrooms. One thing I will say. Since the asparagus was not overcooked (e.g., too soft), I could have made put this in a pasta salad and served them cold. That's a thought for another day. Below is the result of how we served this. The plate with the lobster (cooked by my Dad) was my Mom's plate and one with the steak was mine. We did have a salad as well but as you can see, the plate was too small to add (in both cases). The meal was a hit. Mom liked the compliment the mushrooms added to the asparagus.

(I placed some cayenne pepper on my mashed potatoes. Steak was medium rare of course!!!! The beauty of the Weber grill).

I hope you enjoyed this!!!

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