How to Make Crunchy Asparagus

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19-09-2017, 11:00
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Asparagus is known for having a delicate texture and flavor. To prevent it from becoming soggy, toss it with a mixture of breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Roast the spears in the oven until they become crisp and golden brown. You can also coat them in a buttermilk batter and fry them quickly on the stove. If you prefer to grill crunchy asparagus, keep the cooking time short and grill them over high heat. Always serve crunchy asparagus immediately to prevent the spears from becoming soft.

Making Crunchy Oven-Baked Asparagus

  1. Preheat the oven. Turn the oven on to 425 °F (218 °C).
  2. Prepare a baking sheet. Get out a rimmed baking sheet and lay a piece of parchment paper on it. Drizzle one tablespoon (15 ml) of the olive oil on it and spread the oil evenly over the paper. Set the pan aside while you prepare the asparagus.
  3. Mix the soft breadcrumbs with the panko crumbs. Measure 1 cup (125 g) of soft breadcrumbs and 1 1/2 cups (135 g) of panko breadcrumbs into a large sealable plastic bag. Squeeze the air out and seal the bag shut. Shake the bag and knead the breadcrumbs so they combine. Set the bag aside.
  4. Set up a dredging station. To make coating the asparagus easier, place three rimmed dishes that are long enough to hold the asparagus on your work surface. Place 1 cup (120 g) of flour in one dish. Crack 2 large eggs into the middle dish and use a fork to beat them with the last 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil. Pour the breadcrumbs from the bag into the last dish.
  5. Add cheese and seasonings to the breadcrumbs. Put 1 cup (100 g) of freshly grated Parmesan cheese into the dish with the breadcrumbs along with 1 teaspoon (6 g) of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon (2 g) of freshly ground black pepper. Use your fingers to toss the mixture gently until the cheese is distributed.
  6. Trim the asparagus and dip it in the flour. Wash 1 pound (453 g) of asparagus. Snap the tough ends off of the asparagus and discard them. Put several spears into the dish with the flour and turn them until they're coated. You'll need to coat the asparagus in batches.
  7. Dip the floured asparagus in the egg. Lift the asparagus out of the flour and tap them a few times to shake off any extra flour. Put the asparagus into the egg mixture and turn it over to coat the spears evenly.
  8. Roll the asparagus in the seasoned breadcrumb mixture. Lift the asparagus out of the egg mixture and let the excess drip back into the dish. Put the asparagus into the dish with breadcrumbs and roll it on all sides to coat the spears completely.
  9. Arrange the asparagus on the baking sheet. Set the coated asparagus spears on the prepared baking sheet. Ensure that the asparagus is in a single layer and aren't touching. You'll need to coat the rest of the asparagus in the flour, egg, and breadcrumb mixtures.
  10. Spray the asparagus with olive oil spray and bake them for 12 to 14 minutes. Bake the asparagus until it becomes crunchy and golden brown. This should take 12 to 14 minutes. Serve the crunchy asparagus immediately.
    • You may want to use tongs to turn the asparagus halfway through the baking time. This will help them cook evenly.
    • Avoid storing the leftover pan-fried asparagus since the coating will become soggy as it's stored.

Making Crispy Pan-Fried Asparagus

  1. Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Place a deep skillet on the stove and pour about one-inch (2.5 cm) of vegetable oil into it. Turn the heat on to medium and let the oil heat while you prepare the asparagus.
    • Depending on the size of your skillet, you may need 1 cup (240 ml) of vegetable oil.
    • To test whether the oil is hot enough to fry the asparagus, place a one-inch (2.5 cm) cube of bread in the oil. It should crisp up and become brown after 40 seconds. If it cooks too quickly or burns, the oil is too hot.
  2. Whisk the buttermilk with the spices. Pour 2 cups (475 ml) of buttermilk into a bowl that's wide enough to fit the asparagus. Add 1 teaspoon (2 g) of ground paprika and 1 teaspoon (2 g) of ground black pepper. You'll also need to zest one and a half lemons and add the zest to the bowl. Use a whisk to combine the buttermilk spice mixture.
  3. Create a dredging station. Set the bowl of spiced buttermilk at your workstation. Get out another wide bowl and set it next to the buttermilk bowl. Measure 1/2 cup (60 g) of all-purpose flour into the empty bowl. Set a plate next to the stove and lay a paper towel over it.
  4. Trim and dip the asparagus in the buttermilk mixture. Wash one bunch of fresh asparagus. Snap off and discard the tough ends. Take one-third of the asparagus and dip them into the buttermilk mixture so the spears are completely coated.
  5. Coat the asparagus in the flour. Lift the asparagus out of the spiced buttermilk and let the excess drip back into the bowl. Place the asparagus in the bowl with the flour. Use your fingers to coat the asparagus with the flour.
  6. Fry the asparagus for two to four minutes. Shake the asparagus a little to let any extra flour fall off. Slowly lower the coated asparagus into the hot oil in the skillet. Fry the asparagus until it's crispy and golden brown. This should take two to four minutes.
    • If you're anxious about lowering the asparagus into the hot oil, you can use tongs.
  7. Remove the asparagus. Use long tongs to lift the fried asparagus out of the pan and set it on the paper towel-lined plate. Serve the crispy pan-fried asparagus immediately.
    • Avoid storing the leftover oven-baked asparagus since the coating will become soggy as it's stored.
  8. Fry the asparagus in batches. You'll need to coat and fry the asparagus in batches so they cook evenly. Once you've finished frying a batch, you can pan-fry the rest of the asparagus in batches.
    • Remember to bring the oil back up to heat before you add another batch of coated asparagus to the pan.

Grilling Crunchy Asparagus

  1. Place the asparagus and seasonings in a sealable bag. Wash 1/2 pound (226 g) of asparagus (about 12 spears) and snap off the tough ends. Put the trimmed asparagus into a sealable gallon bag along with:
    • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) melted butter
    • 1 pinch of coarse salt
    • 1 pinch of cracked black pepper
  2. Marinate the asparagus for 30 minutes. Seal the bag shut and press it a few times to combine the asparagus with the seasonings. Put the bag in the refrigerator and chill the asparagus for 30 minutes while you heat up the grill.
  3. Heat a gas or charcoal grill to high heat. When you're ready to grill the asparagus, turn on a gas grill to high heat or heat charcoal briquettes until they're lightly ashy. Dump the hot coals into the center of the grate of a charcoal grill. Give the grill about 10 minutes to heat up before you cook the asparagus.
  4. Place the asparagus on the grill. Remove the bag of asparagus from the refrigerator and lift the asparagus out of the bag. Carefully lay the asparagus on top of the grilling grate so they don't fall through the gaps. You could also place the asparagus into a grilling basket in a single layer. Set the basket on the grill grate.
  5. Grill the crunchy asparagus for four to five minutes. Use long tongs to turn the asparagus once or twice as it grills. The asparagus should look a little charred once it's finished grilling. Serve the grilled asparagus immediately while it's still crisp.
    • Avoid grilling the asparagus for too long or it can become limp and burnt.
    • You can refrigerate the grilled asparagus in an airtight container for three to five days. Keep in mind that it will become soft the longer it's stored.

Ingredients

Crunchy Oven-Baked Asparagus

  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup (125 g) soft breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup (120 g) flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (135 g) panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 pound (453 g) asparagus (about 20 to 24 medium spears)
  • 1 cup (100 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) freshly ground black pepper
Makes 4 servings

Crispy Pan-Fried Asparagus

  • 1 cup (240 ml) vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 cups (475 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lemons, zested
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed
Makes 5 servings

Grilled Crunchy Asparagus

  • 1/2 pound (226 g) asparagus (about 12 spears)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) melted butter
  • 1 pinch of coarse salt
  • 1 pinch of cracked black pepper
Makes 2 servings

Things You'll Need

Crunchy Oven-Baked Asparagus

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Digital scale
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Large sealable plastic bag
  • 3 shallow bowls
  • Fork
  • Tongs

Crispy Pan-Fried Asparagus

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Digital scale
  • Whisk
  • Two wide bowls
  • Deep skillet
  • Plate
  • Paper towels
  • Tongs

Grilled Crunchy Asparagus

  • Sealable plastic bag
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Grill
  • Grill basket, optional
  • Tongs
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