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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Asparagus Breakfast Squares with Red Cabbage, Garlic and Onion.




Serves 2


The breakfast squares were delicious
with a side of pumpernickel toast and cream cheese.

Also, I made hors d’oeuvres by cutting off a wedge from a asparagus square. This recipe was easy to make and...


It was a good mix of flavors!

Ingredients

  • Oil and butter for cooking 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ small yellow onion, diced 
  • 1/8 red cabbage head, chopped
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with a drop of water (makes 4 squares, maybe some egg left over) 
  • 40 baby asparagus (Yes, 40; by the time you trim and cook them, it will be a smaller portion)

Directions

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and or butter, cabbage, garlic, onions, and salt and pepper to taste. Saute for 8 minutes (while stirring frequently) or until tender and onions are browned; set them aside until you cook your squares. If you prefer your cabbage more tender, cover it while cooking.

Parboiled and fried baby green asparagus was used in this recipe. Cut off a 1/2 inch from the very bottom of the stems and discard. Then cut the remaining flower and stems in two, so that you have two piles, one soft and one hard. Add enough water to cover the bottom of a large skillet. Bring water to a boil, add hard stems and cover. Reduce heat to a simmer for about 4 minutes. Next add the soft flower halves; cover and continue to simmer for a couple more minutes. You’ll need to check that the skillet doesn’t run out of water before cooking time is up. If you run out of water then just add a bit more; if you run out of water at the end of par-cooking, that’s great or you can drain the water out. Also, you could remove the cover of the pan towards the end of cooking to let the water cook out; the asparagus should soft but not fully cooked.

After par-cooking, remove soft stems and set aside. Raise the heat to medium-high, and saute the harder stems until flexible and browned. Once they are fried, take some out and set aside; keep 20 pieces in the pan (5 for each side of the frame). Use two forks to arrange them into a square frame or use your fingers if it’s not too hot, but it should be hot as you will be working over a hot pan. Arrange pieces for each side of the frame; pay attention, that the asparagus ends are somewhat touching to form a little wall. Add a drop of butter in the center. Next slowly pour part of the beaten egg into the center; pour a little at a time while it’s cooking or drizzle by fork from a tilted glass until the center is built up with egg. After the egg begins to cook around the edges, use a large spatula to flip the square over, and add salt and pepper to taste.



Remove the square from the pan when the other side is firm and cooked; stack the squares on a plate until you are ready to set them up. After you finish cooking both of the hard squares, fry the softer squares the same way. Add oil or butter as needed for frying.


The square frame on the base is the tougher part of the asparagus, and cut in half from one point to an opposite point (after it is cooked) to make two triangles. Place it on a plate, leaving a little space along the middle of the two triangles. Roll up the softer asparagus square and hold it straight up in the center space while adding red cabbage and onions around the sides; gently let go. You may have press the cabbage against the square for better support. The roll will loosen up on its own, and you can add more onions and cabbage to the center; it will be standing and stable enough to make it to serving time. Garnish with orange wedges if you like; these were sweet mango oranges. That’s it. I think the flavors and the design will impress your favorite guest.



Speaking of asparagus, did you know that white asparagus is grown entirely underground to prevent any coloring?  Someday, I will try the white.

Tips

If you ever buy a large bunch of asparagus and don’t eat it right away, clip the stems off and place them in a cup with enough water to cover the bottom, inside an open plastic bag before storing them in the refrigerator.

If you have a recipe that calls for whole, steamed or boiled asparagus, tie up a bunch with cooking string. Stand the stems upright in water; cover the pot with a lid or if they are tall, cover with another, upside down  pot.

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