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Old 04-13-2009, 12:49 AM   #1
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Asparagus Debacle

I had all the components ready for a fabulous asparagus salad ready today... toasted walnuts, boiled egg whites and egg yolks, feta cheese, and vinaigrette made with scallions, white wine vinegar and walnut oil.... then I cooked the asparagus - and in only 4 minutes the veg had cooked to a pulpy mess. I have cooked asparagus many, many times and have never had this happen. It looked fresh enough, though the tips were a little droopier than I would have liked, but it went from that to a slimy mess in 4 minutes. Can you ken it?

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Old 04-13-2009, 01:15 AM   #2
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I had all the components ready for a fabulous asparagus salad ready today... toasted walnuts, boiled egg whites and egg yolks, feta cheese, and vinaigrette made with scallions, white wine vinegar and walnut oil.... then I cooked the asparagus - and in only 4 minutes the veg had cooked to a pulpy mess. I have cooked asparagus many, many times and have never had this happen. It looked fresh enough, though the tips were a little droopier than I would have liked, but it went from that to a slimy mess in 4 minutes. Can you ken it?

????????
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:18 AM   #3
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also ??????????? on KEN
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:21 AM   #4
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Thats real Scottish talk for 'understand'......lolol. So #1 must be a wee Scots lass??
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:23 AM   #5
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Thats real Scottish talk for 'understand'......lolol. So #1 must be a wee Scots lass??
aha thank you for the 411.
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:27 AM   #6
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I had all the components ready for a fabulous asparagus salad ready today... toasted walnuts, boiled egg whites and egg yolks, feta cheese, and vinaigrette made with scallions, white wine vinegar and walnut oil.... then I cooked the asparagus - and in only 4 minutes the veg had cooked to a pulpy mess. I have cooked asparagus many, many times and have never had this happen. It looked fresh enough, though the tips were a little droopier than I would have liked, but it went from that to a slimy mess in 4 minutes. Can you ken it?
were they fresh? if so did you store them in the back of the frig? i ask because some parts of the back of my shelves freeze things, which is cool for beverages (i took out an up-rite soda and it had ice in it like a slushy), but not so good for veggies. i cooked my fresh asparagus for 7 minutes and it was perfect. sorry i can't be of more help.
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:28 AM   #7
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4 minutes seems like a very long time to cook fresh asparagus.

I cook mine for a minute, maybe.
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:36 AM   #8
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4 minutes seems like a very long time to cook fresh asparagus.

I cook mine for a minute, maybe.
really? i simmer mine 7 minutes and they are bright and crisp.



but these were the thick ones. the really thin ones i simmer about 3 mintutes.
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:01 AM   #9
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4 minutes seems like a very long time to cook fresh asparagus.

I cook mine for a minute, maybe.
Yes, it depends on the size of the spears and the use, I think. I usually roast asparagus for about 7 minutes and steam it for 4 minutes or under. The 4-minute timer hadn't sounded... it seemed that I turned my back and the stuff went all slimy and mushy - not just a little overcooked, but completely unusable. It wasn't frozen, even a little bit. It's a mystery.
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:04 AM   #10
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If you put your asparagus in a glass of water like a bouquet of posies, it will not get limp like that.
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:08 AM   #11
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If you put your asparagus in a glass of water like a bouquet of posies, it will not get limp like that.
that also works well for celery, brings it back to life.
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:10 AM   #12
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If you put your asparagus in a glass of water like a bouquet of posies, it will not get limp like that.
And they continue to grow like this as well.
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:29 AM   #13
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And they continue to grow like this as well.
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If you put your asparagus in a glass of water like a bouquet of posies, it will not get limp like that.
Yes, that's how it was stored. And it wasn't really limp... just the ends were starting to droop over a bit on some of the spears. The asparagus was purchased on Saturday.

I forgot to add this: On Thursday I steamed asaparagus as part of a dinner for 150 people. It came from the same source (Costco) and it was stored for two days in the refrigerator (not in glasses of water). I think it was in the pots 4 or 5 minutes, and it was perfectly crisp-tender.

I wish I had taken a photo of the mess. The outer part of the spears just sloughed away as I got them out of the pan.

Could too much salt in the water cause this?
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:32 AM   #14
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If you put your asparagus in a glass of water like a bouquet of posies, it will not get limp like that.
I want to try asparagus, never have had it, would you do this in the fridge or on the counter?
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:34 AM   #15
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I want to try asparagus, never have had it, would you do this in the fridge or on the counter?
Either is fine.
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:08 PM   #16
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Asparagus is excellent raw. That's how I'd serve it in a salad. :)
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:46 PM   #17
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Asparagus is excellent raw. That's how I'd serve it in a salad. :)
I like it raw and barely blanched also, but for this salad it needs to be a little tender.
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:28 PM   #18
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Thats real Scottish talk for 'understand'......lolol. So #1 must be a wee Scots lass??
Thank you for the explanation.

I like my asparagus cooked, not tender crisp, not mush. Cooked.
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:17 PM   #19
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I also put the spears in a glass of water to crisp them up for an hour or so before cooking -- but be sure to cut off the dried-out ends first.

My wife told me that she complained to the manager at the local market that the asparagus was not standing in water to keep it fresh. Surprisingly, he said that other customers had complained when it WAS in water because they said that made the asparagus heavier and thus more costly! Go figure!

Anyway, I usually steam asparagus, and it takes about 3 to 5 minutes once the water comes to a boil. Grilling takes 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the heat of the fire and the thickness of the spears.

Back to your question -- I've recently found that the tips of the spears are sometimes rotten, even in the store, especially if they've been bumped hard. Rotten asparagus has a terrible smell, especially when cooked. So now in addition to inspecting the spears visually, I always smell the tips. If they're bad, you'll know it immediately.
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:28 PM   #20
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I also put the spears in a glass of water to crisp them up for an hour or so before cooking -- but be sure to cut off the dried-out ends first.

Back to your question -- I've recently found that the tips of the spears are sometimes rotten, even in the store, especially if they've been bumped hard. Rotten asparagus has a terrible smell, especially when cooked. So now in addition to inspecting the spears visually, I always smell the tips. If they're bad, you'll know it immediately.
That's all good advice.
A cooking buddy at the church kitchen today said that the asparagus may have frozen "in the field." The appearance of it would have been okay, but that might explain the total deterioration with very little cooking. Maybe?
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