Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Asparagus Gratin ****

Can I just say that I love Pinterest?  Yet another winner for us from there.  My 6-year-old loves asparagus, so when I saw this one, I knew I had to make it for him.  It doesn't hurt that I'm pretty crazy about it too.  ;)  It turned out great.  I stuck to the recipe pretty much, except that I had to use regular I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light, since that's all I had on hand.  I also used a Colby/Jack blend for the same reason.  I used a little more cheese than it called for, so I added a little milk to thin it up a bit.  My asparagus spears were HUGE, and they still came out perfect.  Big winner for us!

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ via Apron Appeal)

2 pounds thin asparagus
3 cups water
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated and divided
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat broiler. Line broiler safe baking dish with paper towels or a lint free kitchen cloth. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and set both stalks and ends aside.
Bring water to a boil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus ends and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook covered, for 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove asparagus ends and discard. Add asparagus stalks to skillet, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly tender, 2-4 minutes. Transfer asparagus to paper/cloth-lined baking dish. Pour asparagus water into liquid measuring cup. If liquid does not read 1-cup mark, add water until it does.
Melt butter in now empty skillet over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly until golden, about 1 minute. Whisk in reserved asparagus water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, 3-5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in 1/2 cup Parmesan and Monterey jack until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
Remove paper towels from baking dish. Drizzle sauce over center of asparagus and top with remaining Parmesan. Broil until cheese is golden and asparagus is tender, 4-8 minutes. Serve.

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