|5/16/2019 1:06:00 PM|
Spring-fresh asparagus is best
If you're about the same age as I am you will remember the song “June is bustin out all over.” It's not June but something is bustin out all over and that would be asparagus. This is one of my favorite spring vegetables, along with rhubarb that's bustin out all over too. It's about asparagus today.
When a recipe calls for asparagus by weight, one pound equals about 14-16 spears, depending on the size and trimmed, 2 c. cut in 1-inch pieces and about 5 spears per serving., and will usually serve 3 people.
Storing asparagus: Fresh asparagus stores longer by cutting the tough ends off and standing them in an inch of water in a tall glass or quart jar, refrigerated. Change water everyday. Asparagus will keep 4-5 days. Do not wash asparagus until ready to use.
ASPARAGUS SWISS QUICHE
10 bacon strips, diced
½ c. diced onion
1 lb. fresh asparagus, trim off tough ends
1 c. shredded Swiss cheese
1 T. flour
¼ t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1 unbaked 9-inch pastry shell
½ c. half-and-half cream
In a skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towel saving 1 T. drippings. In the drippings saute onion until lightly browned; drain. Cut eight asparagus spears into 4-inch-long spears for garnish. Cut remaining asparagus into 1-inch pieces. In a saucepan cook pieces in a small amount of boiling water (about 2-inches deep) until crisp-tender; drain.
In a bowl, toss bacon, onion asparagus pieces, cheese, flour, salt and pepper. Pour into pastry shell. In a bowl, beat eggs and cream; pour over bacon mixture. Top with asparagus spears. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean and crust is golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Makes 6 servings.
SAUCY CHIUCKEN & ASPARAGUS
1-1/2 lb. asparagus spears, cut horizontally in half (cut off tough ends)
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 T. canola or vegetable oil
¼ t. each, salt and pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
½ c. mayonnaise
1 t. lemon juice
¼ to ½ t. t. curry powder
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
In a saucepan, cook asparagus in about 3 inches of boiling water, about 3 minutes; drain. Place asparagus in a greased 9-inch square baking dish. In a skillet over medium heat, brown chicken in oil on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange chicken over asparagus. In a bowl, combine soup, mayo, lemon juice and curry powder; pour over chicken.
Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until chicken is tender and juices run clear. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 4 servings.
FRESH AS SPRINGTIME ASPARAGUS FRUIT SALAD
¾ lb. Asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1-1/2 c.)
2 c. cubed ham (cut cubes in 3/4-inch squares)
1 – 11 oz. can mandarin orange sections, drained well
1 – 8 oz. can pineapple tidbits (in its own juice), drained well
½ c. diced red-skinned apple (delicious, braeburn)
½ c. sliced celery, cut in ¼ – inch slices
1-1/2 T. diced onion (red onion if you have it)
½ to 1 t. curry powder
1 – 8 oz. carton light sour cream
Additional apples slices, optional
In a medium saucepan, cook asparagus, covered, in a small amount of boiling water (about 2 inches) until crisp-tender, about 4-5 minutes. Drain and cool. In a large bowl, combine asparagus and next 6 ingredients. Using a small bowl, combine curry powder and sour cream. Fold into ham mixture. Chill 1 hour.
Line a salad bowl with lettuce leaves. Spoon in asparagus mixture. Garnish with apple slices around edge of bowl, if you wish. Makes 4 main-dish servings.
2 lbs. Asparagus, (25 to 30 – 9-inch spears)
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 stick (8 T.) butter, divided
Wash and trim asparagus. In a saucepan, add about 3-inches water; bring to a boil. Add asparagus. Bring to a boil; lower heat to medium. Cook, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until just tender... don't over cook. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine lemon juice and 2 T. butter; heat over medium heat until bubbly. Cut remaining butter into small pieces. Add to melted butter, stirring until butter has melted.
Drain asparagus; transfer to a shallow bowl or turn onto a platter. Stir lemon mixture; spoon over asparagus. Garnish with lemon wedges. Makes 4-6 servings.
Thought for the Day: Spring is that busy period when highway crews rush to get the main routes torn up in time for summer traffic.