Week 5: Turns out I’ve been making asparagus all wrong

I guess it was only a matter of time before I discovered that something I’ve been doing for years is all wrong in culinary world.  Asparagus wins the prize.  Normally, I prepare asparagus by snapping off the ends and steaming them until soft.  Or if the grill is fired up, I douse them with balsamic vinegar and grill until the tops are a little crunchy.  My asparagus would end up tasty, but I’d lose all that beautiful green color.  If you want to do asparagus the (ahem) “right” way (read: the way restaurants prepare asparagus which requires at least half a dozen more steps and accoutrements you need to wash later), then here you go:

Step 1: wash and then peel ends if your asparagus is thick, or snap off ends if your asparagus is thin to get rid of the fibrous end
Step 2: salt some water in a pot and bring to a rolling boil
Step 3: prepare an ice bath (water and ice in a bowl)
Step 4: blanch the asparagus in the boiling water until they are still slightly al dente (hold one up, they should bend but not flop over), just a few minutes depending on thickness
Step 5: remove from boiling water and immediately submerge in ice bath to stop the cooking process and preserve that beautiful green color
Step 6: when asparagus is cool, remove quickly from ice bath (to prevent water log) and dry on a towel
Step 7: saute in a hot pan with olive oil, salt and pepper if desired
Step 8: top with sauce- hollandaise* (like the French do) or red wine vinaigrette (like the Italians do) both work nicely. 

Voila.  After the demo I saw in class I decided to practice my asparagus skills and paired it with marinated flank steak and potato puree (basically boiled potatoes with lots of butter and cream and salt, yum. I attend a French cooking school. Butter and cream are my new best friends). 
Asparagus with hollandaise sauce recipe

*Fun fact: hollandaise is one of the 5 classical mother sauces in French cuisine.

And the asparagus? Beautiful, boldly green, slightly crisp. Restaurant quality. Worth the effort. asparagus-1-of-1


  1. uah!!! look like is never late to learn………

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