Parmesan-Crusted Asparagus √
Note: This offers rich, roasted flavor with an ultracrispy, cheesy coating. By poking holes in the asparagus and salting it, the extra moisture in the vegetable is taken out. Avoid pencil-thin asparagus for this recipe. Panko bread crumbs are larger and lighter than traditional dried bread crumbs, which could be substituted. From “Cooking for Two,” by the editors of America’s Test Kitchen.
• 1 lb. (1/2-in. thick) asparagus, trimmed (see Note)
• Salt and pepper
• 1 1/2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (3/4 c.), divided
• 1/3 c. panko bread crumbs (see Note)
• 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• Pinch cayenne
• 1 egg white
• 1/2 tsp. honey
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil spray. Using a fork, poke holes up and down asparagus stalks. Toss asparagus with 1/4 teaspoon salt and let stand for 30 minutes in single layer on large paper towel-lined platter.
Meanwhile, combine 1/2 cup Parmesan, panko, butter, 1/8 teaspoon salt, pinch of pepper and cayenne in bowl. Transfer half of panko mixture to shallow dish and reserve remaining mixture.
Using a handheld electric mixer, whip egg white and honey together on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape egg white mixture into medium baking dish, then gently toss asparagus in mixture, working quickly (or salt will deflate the egg white).
Working with 1 spear at a time, dredge half of asparagus spears in panko and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Refill shallow dish with reserved panko mixture and repeat with remaining asparagus.
Bake asparagus until just beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan and continue to bake until cheese is melted and bread crumbs are golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes longer. Serve.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 250 Fat 9 g Sodium 403 mg
Carbohydrates 29 g Saturated fat 5 g Calcium 311 mg
Protein 17 g Cholesterol 22 mg Dietary fiber 5 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 1 bread/starch, 1½ medium-fat meat, ½ fat.
ROASTED LEMON CHICKEN WITH ASPARAGUS AND PEPPERS √
Note: If you prefer, you can use all chicken thighs or legs in this recipe. From Susan M. Selasky for the Detroit Free Press Test Kitchen.
• 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (see Note)
• 4 chicken legs with skin (see Note)
• 1/3 c. olive oil
• 1/4 c. lemon juice
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tbsp. olive oil
• 1 to 2 tbsp. lemon juice
• 2 tbsp. Dijon or favorite grainy mustard
• 2 tbsp. maple syrup or honey
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1/2 lb. asparagus
• 8 mini bell peppers
• 1 tbsp. olive oil
Pat chicken thighs and legs dry. Remove any excess fat from the chicken thighs. In a glass measuring cup, mix together 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, salt and pepper. Reserve a few tablespoons of this mixture for the asparagus. Place chicken pieces in a large bowl and drizzle the olive oil mixture over, tossing to coat. Refrigerate 2 to 8 hours.
In a small bowl, make the glaze: Whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken pieces in a roasting pan, skin-side down. Roast chicken 25 minutes. Turn chicken skin side-up, brush pieces with some of the glaze and roast 10 more minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven and place chicken on a platter; tent with foil.
Pour off as much fat as you can from the roasting pan and set the pan over 2 burners. Heat, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the remaining glaze and heat through. Pour sauce into a small bowl (there won’t be a lot of it) and serve with the chicken.
To make the asparagus and peppers: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and trim tough ends from asparagus. Slice peppers into strips. Drizzle a sided baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil and place in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes. Using oven mitts, carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven. Add the asparagus spears and pepper pieces to the pan; they will sizzle. Place in oven for 7 minutes or until barely tender. Remove from oven and drizzle with the reserved olive oil/lemon mixture or simply season with salt and pepper.
Nutrition information per serving of chicken only:
Calories 399 Fat 32 g Sodium 741 mg
Carbohydrates 9 g Saturated fat 6 g Protein 19 g Cholesterol 69 mg Dietary fiber 0 g
Marinated Asparagus Spears √
Serves 4 to 6.
Note: From “Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook,” by Alex Guarnaschelli.
• 1 tbsp. honey
• 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
• 3 tbsp. sesame oil
• 2 tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
• 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
• Kosher salt
• 1 lb. asparagus (preferably pencil-thin), ends trimmed, cut into 2-in. pieces
• 1/4 c. sesame seeds, toasted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
To make the dressing: In small pan, heat honey over medium heat until it froths and turns golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully pour vinegar over it. Return to heat and simmer to reduce for an additional minute.
In a bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce and red pepper flakes. Season with a pinch of salt. Whisk in honey mixture.
To cook the asparagus: First prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl halfway with ice cubes and adding some cold water. Set a colander squarely inside the ice bath. The colander will keep you from having to pick ice out of the asparagus later.
Add salt to the boiling water until it tastes like seawater. Add the asparagus and cook until bright green but still crunchy, 1 minute for thin spears and 1 1/2 to 2 minutes for medium ones. Use a slotted spoon to remove asparagus from the water and transfer them to the colander inside the ice bath. Move them around gently to accelerate the cooling process. Vegetables take longer than you think to cool, so allow them to sit for a few minutes in the ice water. Hold a piece of asparagus in your hand for a few seconds to assure that it’s really cool (even in the center).
Lift up the colander to drain the asparagus and then spread them out on a kitchen towel. If the asparagus are still wet, pat them dry thoroughly with another kitchen towel, or even allow them to air-dry and chill in the refrigerator before adding the dressing.
To finish the salad: Toss the asparagus, sesame seeds and dressing together and refrigerate for an hour or until ready to serve.
Nutrition information per each of 6 servings:
Calories 123 Fat 11 g
Sodium 264 mg Saturated fat 2 g Carbohydrates 6 g Calcium 14 mg
Protein 2 g Cholesterol 0 mg
Dietary fiber 2 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 2 fat.
Asparagus Risotto √
Note: From “Cooking Light Pick Fresh Cookbook.”
• 1 1/2 lb. asparagus, cut into 1-in. slices (about 4 c.), divided
• 3 c. fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth, divided
• 1 1/2 c. water
• 1 tbsp. butter
• 2 c. chopped onion (about 1 large)
• 2 c. uncooked arborio rice or other medium-grain rice
• 1/2 c. dry white wine
• 4 oz. grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 1 c.), divided
• 1/4 c. heavy whipping cream
• 1 tsp. salt