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Old 01-10-2009, 12:50 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Glorie View Post
I usually steam mine and serve with melted butter
Ditto! We eat asparagus twice a week when it's cheap, on special occasions when it's not so cheap. Steaming is the best way to prepare asparagus, IMHO, and I don't see much reason to get more elaborate -- as with a good steak, simple is usually best if it's something you really like.

Be sure to trim off the ends -- you probably want only the top 6 to 8 inches or so as the bottom half can be quite tough. Some people peel the bottom ends to get a little more edible part, but I rarely bother as the tips are the best part.

Treat them like roses -- I cut the bottoms off and immediately stand the stalks in a cup of water for an hour or so before cooking to let them drink a little water, which helps to make them crisp.

Cooking time, how much to cut off, and the question of peeling the bottom part of the stalk will depend on how thick the asparagus is. Thin stalks, about the thickness of a pencil, cook quickly. Really fat ones (about the size of a nickel) can be quite fibrous unless they're young. I generally prefer the medium stalks, about the size of a dime, which I find to have the best combination of flavor and texture.

Be sure to check the tips -- make sure they're not bruised, broken, or rotted. I actually smell them in the store; asparagus tips will rot quickly if they get bruised, and the smell can get really bad. When that happens, they go in the trash, although I suppose you could lop off the tips and eat the stalk.

The trick is to steam the asparagus just until it's easily pierced with a fork, about 5 minutes for medium stalks, 3 for thin ones. Serve hot with a little butter and some salt and pepper.

Although I generally steam asparagus, I also like to grill it, again treating it quite simply: trim the stalks as above, but before cooking, lightly coat them with a little good olive oil and add some salt and pepper, maybe a squeeze of lemon juice. Cook directly over medium heat, turning every few minutes, until grill marks appear and the stalks are easily pierced, about 8 to 10 minutes.
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Old 01-10-2009, 01:27 PM   #22
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Sauteed, grilled or roasted.

Sauteed: Heat a couple table spoons of olive oil in a skillet, add the trimmed asparagus, salt, pepper, sliced garlic, red pepper flakes. Saute until al dente and serve. There should be just enough oil to make a bit of sauce. Finish with lemon juice.

Grilled: Coat with oil, salt and pepper. Line up 4 or so asparagus spears and insert toothpicks to make little rafts. Cook over a high grill untill al dente.

Roasted: The same as sauteed, just in a 375 degree oven. Sometimes I'll add halved cherry tomatoes.

Asparagus pairs most awesomely with seafood! For an elegant presentation, peel the lower 2/3 of the spears with a veg peeler and taper down to a point, then steam.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:35 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by quicksilver View Post
Thanks, Dave. Just one of my favorite ways, for one of my 2 favorite veggies. (Artichokes my other favorite)
Never cooked chokes before. I'll get the courage up one day to try it.

I think I'll make the asparagus, grill a tariyaki steak and thin slice it and serve the whole thing over rice.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:43 PM   #24
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Sounds good, Dave. I'll eat white rice with anything.

As for the chokes, just for now, buy a can of hearts and put them in your salads with homemade italian dressing. Or buya jar of the marinaded ones. Love em!
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:17 PM   #25
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Never cooked chokes before. I'll get the courage up one day to try it.

I think I'll make the asparagus, grill a tariyaki steak and thin slice it and serve the whole thing over rice.
i do the chokes in the microwave. have tried other ways but always come back. try it. place in pan upright. no water necessary, cook about 10 or 15 min on high. til you can easily tear out a leaf. i like mayo to dip in, lots of people like melted butter. yum yum
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:11 PM   #26
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You'll love this...

Prepare one pound asparagus by peeling with a potato peeler and snap off the ends. In a pan with 3 Tbs. melted butter, saute the asparagus and toss in a minced clove of garlic with chopped green onions, one bunch. Dissolve a chicken bulion cube in one half cup of water with a teaspoon of sugar. Pour over asparagus and simmer on med low heat, covered, about twenty minutes. Top with toasted sesame seeds. This is fantastic. It usually steals the show.
I posted this a moment ago in a different thread.
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:31 PM   #27
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Phil - re: "peeling asparagus & snapping off the ends", isn't it one or the other rather than both?

If I'm not going to peel asparagus, then I do cut/snap off the lower portion of the stalk (& save for soup stock!); but if I am going to peel the stalk, then there's no need to snap or cut off the stalk except for perhaps an inch at the very bottom. The purpose of peeling is to reduce the fibrous/toughness of the lower stalk portion on thick asparagus.

And obviously if you're using "pencil" asparagus, neither peeling or "snapping" is required.
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:40 PM   #28
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Breezy....

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Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
Phil - re: "peeling asparagus & snapping off the ends", isn't it one or the other rather than both?

If I'm not going to peel asparagus, then I do cut/snap off the lower portion of the stalk (& save for soup stock!); but if I am going to peel the stalk, then there's no need to snap or cut off the stalk except for perhaps an inch at the very bottom. The purpose of peeling is to reduce the fibrous/toughness of the lower stalk portion on thick asparagus.

And obviously if you're using "pencil" asparagus, neither peeling or "snapping" is required.
I never said I was a chef
What you say about the peeling is correct. However, I was taught that you hold the end stalk with one hand and gently bend the asparagus toward the stem until it snaps. However, sometimes it's about two inches or more. Lately I just cut off about an inch at the bottom. I'm an old man still learnin'.
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:40 PM   #29
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I've seen asparagus served where it's only 2" long and the end has been shaped like a pencil point. Different presentation. I don't mind the outer "skin", but if I were to make a real nice dinner I would peel and cut the ends off.
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:04 PM   #30
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Never cooked chokes before. I'll get the courage up one day to try it.

I think I'll make the asparagus, grill a tariyaki steak and thin slice it and serve the whole thing over rice.
Hey Dave, did you ever try the asparagus method I suggested?
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