As you might have noticed, I’m totally blowing it lately on keeping you updated on, well, anything.
That’s pretty much because I’m totally NOT blowing it at school. In fact, considering a semester of sick kids and sick me, I’m kicking butt. Or at least I feel like I am this week.
On top of all my busy school schedule this week, I needed something snazzy to take to a women’s pre-holiday get-together tonight. I made an asparagus appetizer from my Banquets & Catering class, with my own little twists.
Oh, I know, you don’t think you like asparagus, or you know that your family will turn up their noses if you bring it out for Thanksgiving. (Wait, what? Thanksgiving is coming? I’m so not ready.) But I’m pretty sure these will change your mind.
The problem with most asparagus is that it’s overcooked. This method ensures green, crisp yumminess, plus some roasty goodness to boot. And you get some yummy fat, too.
Soppressata-Wrapped Roasted Asparagus
- 100 stems asparagus (or whatever it is you call an individual asparagus)
- 50 very thin slices of soppressata (I used Applegate Farms from Whole Foods; salami or prosciutto works, too.)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 lemon
Gently bend each asparagus until it naturally breaks the woody stems away. If you’re in a hurry, you could go ahead and cut the whole lot in about the same place the first handful broke, but you’ll probably have some woody stuff left here and there. Meanwhile, get a large pot of salted water boiling. Near the stove, have a large bowl of ice water ready, along with some paper towels laid out on the countertop or on trays.
Leave the asparagus in the boiling water for just a minute or two, or until it just gets bright green. You might push them around a bit to make sure they all get cooked evenly. Immediately pull them out with a spider (I used a combination of tongs and the large slotted thingy that comes with a Fry Daddy), drain as best you can, and dump them in the ice water.
Somewhere in the middle of this, answer the door to find a punk kid claiming to put himself through UCA and help Arizona-I-mean-Arkansas Children’s Hospital selling $55 magazine subscriptions. Oh, that was just me? Huh.
Pull the cooled asparagus out of the ice water (more quickly than I did, lest the vitamins leech out) and dry them as best you can on the paper towels. Word to your mother, you just learned to blanch and shock! Don’t you feel like an Iron Chef?
Set up two sheet pans lined with parchment paper or Silpats. Wrap two stems (pieces? stalks?) of asparagus with one piece of soppressata. Lay this on the pan seam-down, repeat until all are done. Season lightly (the meat is plenty salty) with kosher salt and pepper. Zest the lemon and sprinkle over the whole deal.
Roast in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until the soppressata is just crisp.
Delish! Even if you don’t think you like asparagus.