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Old 07-21-2006, 07:56 PM   #1
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Asparagus on the Grill

My wife and I picked up a porterhouse at the market this afternoon ($4.97 per pound at Von's) and grabbed some fresh asparagus to go with it. We like it grilled, which is easy to do:
  1. Select medium to large stalks -- avoid the pencil-thin stalks. Make sure they're fresh and firm, not limp, and reject any with bad spots.
  2. Cut off the tough ends, leaving each stalk about 6 to 8 inches long.
  3. Put them on a plate and drizzle with a little olive oil, then roll them around with your fingers to coat them all over.
  4. Season with a little salt and finely ground black pepper.
  5. Put the stalks on a hot BBQ grill, lining them all up across the grate so they don't fall through.
  6. Turn them after a few minutes using a spatula.
  7. The asparagus is done when a cooking fork easily pierces the thickest stalk -- but don't overcook. Total cooking time should be about 8 to 10 minutes max, depending on how hot your fire is.
One other hint -- asparagus from the market is often somewhat dried out, especially this time of year. To help correct that, trim the stalks a few hours before you intend to cook them and immediately stand them up in water, as you would fresh flowers (I put them in a coffee mug and add about an inch or two of water). This will refresh the stalks, making them firmer and juicier. Don't leave them in the water for more than a few hours.

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Old 07-21-2006, 08:44 PM   #2
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Thanks so much! I love asparagus too! I will try it on the grill!
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
One other hint -- asparagus from the market is often somewhat dried out, especially this time of year. To help correct that, trim the stalks a few hours before you intend to cook them and immediately stand them up in water, as you would fresh flowers (I put them in a coffee mug and add about an inch or two of water). This will refresh the stalks, making them firmer and juicier. Don't leave them in the water for more than a few hours.
Thank you for this hint!
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Old 08-14-2006, 05:01 PM   #4
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I agree grilled asparagus is the perfect compliment to a grilled steak. I use almost the exact same method, but I use a combination of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic flakes and sea salt to season and coat the asparagus before grilling. The same technique also works very well for grilling fresh green beans: http://www.kalamazoogourmet.com/perfect_asparagus.php

Michael Chiarello (NapaStyle) recomends a brief boil before grilling. See his recipe for Grilled Asparagus with Tangerine Mayonnaise: http://www.kalamazoogourmet.com/reci....php?recipe=53

Cheers,

Russ
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Old 08-14-2006, 05:06 PM   #5
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I grill my asparagus the exact same way. Try topping the asparagus with some soft cheese once you remove it from the grill (gorgonzola or feta or shaved parm) it melts quick and gives a nice twist
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Old 08-14-2006, 05:27 PM   #6
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Or you could wrap 4 or 5 stock together with a slice of bacon and grill..... yummy! I think grilled asparagus is the best!
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Old 08-14-2006, 05:39 PM   #7
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I agree that your recipe is spot on, but I would reject the idea of avoiding pencil thin spears. Those are the youngest and sweetest. The larger ones are old and tend to lose a bit of flavour when they get that old. Just grill them for a shorter amount of time.
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Old 08-14-2006, 05:58 PM   #8
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My experience as an asparagus picker is that any given season, each crown first sends up its largest stalk, then each stalk from each crown is smaller and smaller in diameter. I stop picking any crown when the stalks get to be pencil thin, because at that point, the plant can be overpicked that year.
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Old 08-14-2006, 06:37 PM   #9
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Russ, have you ever tried using Meyer lemon oil instead of EVO and lemon juice? I used to do a plate of prosciutto di parma with asparagus, meyer lemon oil and parmiggiano reggiano and I loved that stuff. A dozen of us went to a management away day at a neighboring Hilton and the kitchen did a big platter of that as a PM snack for us, along with 4 or 5 other platters of stuff. They put the asparagus down in front of me. Only when I noticed someone staring at me did I realize, I'd eaten the lot
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Old 08-14-2006, 06:49 PM   #10
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I too disagree on some points. The pencil thin avoidance (already mentioned) being one.

Another being cooking method. If you just put them on the grill, you run too much risk of them falling through the grates. I soak wooden skewers in water for about an hour, and then skewer about 5 stalks together using 2 sticks, thereby making asparagus rafts. I then grill them that way. It's much easier to flip them and you don't have them falling through the grate.


The last being cutting them. You don't need to cut them. All you have to do is grab the stalk with one hand just below the crown and at the base with the other hand and then snap them. Wherever the stalk breaks off is the spot by which the stalk should be reduced.
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