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Old 05-22-2006, 02:40 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Challenge: Asparagus with Ground Beef

I have some beautiful pencil-thin asparagus I got at the farmer's market and I have some ground beef. What can I make for dinner tomorrow night using those two items?
Only 2 limitations: no cheese, no egg as a main part, such as an omelette.

What can you think up?

PS - (please, not the bowtie pasta/asparagus/gr bf toss - thx!)

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Old 05-22-2006, 03:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkath
I have some beautiful pencil-thin asparagus I got at the farmer's market and I have some ground beef. What can I make for dinner tomorrow night using those two items?
Only 2 limitations: no cheese, no egg as a main part, such as an omelette.

What can you think up?

PS - (please, not the bowtie pasta/asparagus/gr bf toss - thx!)
JKath this would've been so much easier if you had steak instead of ground beef!

I'm not even sure how this would come out but here goes. I'll scale this impromptu recipe for 4-6 servings

Morrocan Spiced Polpette (Meatballs) with a Truffled Shaved Asparagus and Fried Brunoise Potato Salad

Ingredients:

2 lbs. Ground Beef
1 Large Egg, beaten
1/2 c. Unseasoned Breadcrumbs
1/4 c. Fresh Grana Padano, Pecorino, or Parmesan Cheese
3-4 cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
3-4 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger, minced
2 Tbsp. Lemon Zest, minced
1 tsp. Allspice
2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Fresh Cracked Pepper
3 tsp. Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp. Fresh Oregano, minced
2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, minced
Olive Oil for frying

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the olive oil and knead together until they are all incorporated. Roll out into balls of desired size, and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and brown the meatballs on all sides. Transfer the meatballs to baking sheet pans and finish in the oven.

Okay now for the salad.

2 lb. Asparagus, blanched
2 lb. Potato, cut into bruniose (1/4 to 1/2" dice; keep the sizes even)
2 c. Mizuna, Arugula, or similar peppery salad green
2 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
3-4 Tbsp. White Truffle Oil
Fresh Grana Padano, Pecorino, or Parmesan cheese to finish
Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper to taste
3-4 Tbsp. Olive Oil for frying

Method:

Prepare a pot of slightly salted boiling water and a large bowl of iced water. Remove the tough part of the asparagus stems, and quickly blanch the asparagus (about 30 seconds; don't add too much at a time or else the water temp. will drop too fast) and immediately shock in the iced water to stop the cooking process. Drain, dry, and reserve. In a saute pan, heat the olive oil until lightly smoking. Add the potatoes and saute until browned and tender. Remove the potatoes from the pan and drain on paper towels to blot the oil. In a large mixing bowl, use a vegetable peeler and shave the aspragus into thin ribbons (or just cut them into 1/2" pieces if you don't want to do this step). Add the potatoes, green, lemon juice, vinegar, and truffle oil and toss until everything is coated. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper and toss again. Using a vegetable peeler, shave of pieces of the cheese over the salad to finish.




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Old 05-22-2006, 03:26 PM   #3
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I would use the ground beef and make hamburger steak, and use the asparagus as a side dish.
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:27 PM   #4
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Also, you may need to add more salt to the meatballs as I was just making a guess. I would fry off a small piece and see if you need more salt or not, or to see if it just tastes like crap and you need to order pizza or Chinese.
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Old 05-22-2006, 05:04 PM   #5
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Ironchef, your recipe sounds wonderful! Thank you so much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef
Also, you may need to add more salt to the meatballs as I was just making a guess. I would fry off a small piece and see if you need more salt or not, or to see if it just tastes like crap and you need to order pizza or Chinese.
As to the salt, don't forget, I cannot have salt as a rule, so I don't use it unless it's absolutely necessary....so your recipe works! (is there anything you'd sub for the cheese? I'd love it, but son #1 really doesn't like it. And, yes, he is from another planet)
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Old 05-22-2006, 05:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkath
Ironchef, your recipe sounds wonderful! Thank you so much!



As to the salt, don't forget, I cannot have salt as a rule, so I don't use it unless it's absolutely necessary....so your recipe works! (is there anything you'd sub for the cheese? I'd love it, but son #1 really doesn't like it. And, yes, he is from another planet)
You could increase the bread crumbs but you'll have to use salt. The cheese helps to bind the meat plus add flavor. I don't think he'll taste the cheese if you add it in. The cheese will blend with the other flavors and do more for adding a subtle saltiness than anything.
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Old 05-22-2006, 05:25 PM   #7
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This is my favorite recipe for using asparagus - thin in particular. I wouldn't hesitate to substitute ground beef for the chicken.


Chicken Asparagus with Oyster/Black Bean Sauce
2 boneless skinless chicken breast pieces (about a pound or so), sliced & cut into bitesized pieces
1 bunch fresh asparagus (about a pound or so), tough ends trimmed & cut into 2" pieces
2 stalks of Bok Choy, ends trimmed, cut into 1" pieces
2" piece of fresh Ginger, peeled & minced
3 large or 6 small cloves of garlic, peeled & chopped
3 tablespoons Chinese salted/preserved/fermented black beans
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon oriental chile paste/sauce
8 fresh shitake mushrooms, stemmed & quartered
3 tablespoons or so Peanut or vegetable oil for stirfrying
Cooked Jasmine Rice for serving.

Soak beans in hot tap water to cover & let sit for 15 minutes. Drain beans, add garlic, & mash together with a fork to make a rough paste. Add sherry, oyster sauce, & chile paste & stir.
Bring a pot of water large enough to hold asparagus pieces to a boil & add all asparagus pieces except for the tips. Boil for 2 minutes, then add tips & boil for another minute. Drain.
Make rice according to package directions.
Heat wok (or large frying/saute pan) until drop of water sizzles. Add oil & swirl.
Add Bok Choy & ginger & stirfry for 1 minute. Add chicken pieces & continue stirfrying until chicken is just about cooked thru. Add mushrooms & stirfry for another minute. Add blanched asparagus & bean paste mixture & stir for another minute. (If there isn't enough moisture in the pan, you can add a splash or 2 of water or chicken broth.)
Serve over Jasmine Rice.
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Old 05-25-2006, 07:07 PM   #8
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So JKath, what the heck did you end up making with the ground beef and asparagus?
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