We are in the season of rhubarb and asparagus. I’m not sure which pokes their head through the soil first but which ever it is I’m o.k. with either one. I chose asparagus recipes for today. Because it can be difficult to grow and harvest, asparagus cost more per pound in the produce department than most other veggies. But to most of us the taste is worth the expense. You who grow asparagus in your garden have the king of veggies in the spring right in your hand. Lucky you! This quick cooking veggie is low in calories with just 22 calories in 6 spears, low in sodium, lots of vitamins C and A, potassium and fiber. I would say this is a very nutritional food. It is best when used soon after buying. To keep for three to four days cut about 1-inch off the bottom of each stalk, place in a jar or water glass with about 1-inch of water and refrigerate. Do not wash asparagus until it’s ready to be cooked. Swish or spray the tips with water to get any specks of dirt out. Of course it’s asparagus recipes today.
ASPARAGUS ‘N SWISS CASSEROLE 1 lb. fresh, trimmed asparagus cut in 1-inch pieces 1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced and lightly sautéed 1/2 c. finely sliced celery 2 T. each, butter and flour 3/4 t. seasoned salt 1/4 t. freshly ground pepper 1/8 t. paprika 1 c. cream 1/2 c. shredded Swiss cheese Round crackers
In a saucepan with 1-inch of water, cook asparagus, covered, 5 to 6 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain and set aside. Heat butter in saucepan until melted. Stir in flour and seasonings; cook over medium heat until mixture boils, stirring constantly. Gradually add cream, stirring until blended. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat; Add cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Mix in mushrooms and celery. In a greased 1-1/2 qt. casserole, place half of asparagus. Pour sauce over asparagus. Put remaining asparagus over top. Crush enough crackers (Ritz or Town House) to sprinkle over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot. Makes 6 servings.
This is an equivalent for how much to use when a recipe calls for asparagus by weight or cup or servings: One pound equals about 14-16 spears trimmed, 2 c. cut in 1-1/2-inch, pieces, 1-1/2 lbs., about 20-22 spears and 5-6 spears per person These are approximate depending on length of spears.
CRUMB-TOPPED ASPARAGUS CASSEROLE 2 lbs. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups) 2 cans cream of celery soup, undiluted 1/2 c. each, heavy whipping cream and mayo 1 T. Heinz 57 or A-1 sauce 1/4 t. each cloves and nutmeg 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese 2-1/2 c. coarsely crushed seasoned stuffing mix 5 T. butter, melted
In a medium saucepan, cook asparagus in a small amount of water 5-6 minutes or until crisp- tender; drain well. Place in a sprayed or greased 11x7 or 9x9-inch baking dish; set aside. In a small bowl, combine soup, cream, steak sauce, cloves and nutmeg; mix well. Spread over asparagus; sprinkle with cheese. Toss stuffing with butter; sprinkle over cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Makes 6 -8 servings.
ASPARAGUS WITH ORANGE SAUCE 1-1/2 lbs. asparagus, trimmed, cut in 1-1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups) 1 garlic clove, quartered 3 T. butter or margarine 1/4 c. orange juice 2 T. grated orange peel 1/4 t. salt 1/8 t. pepper 1 medium navel orange, peeled and sectioned
Place asparagus in a large skillet adding about an inch of water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook 5-6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Meanwhile in a small skillet sauté garlic in butter for 1 minute; discard garlic Stir in orange juice, peel, salt and pepper; heat through. Drain asparagus and place in serving dish. Drizzle with orange sauce; garnish with orange sections. Makes 6 servings.
Thought for the Day: The way I see it, if you want to see a rainbow and green grass, you gotta put up with the rain.