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Asparagus – Amazing Asparagus

All around us, green things are poking up through the ground this time of year, especially asparagus!

One of the best things about early summer is this tasty green wonder! Now, I know a lot of people have the perception that skinny “pencil” asparagus is preferable, but the fat finger-sized ones are much more flavorful.

Peeling asparagus used to be a popular prep step, but really there’s no need. Just snap the ends off at their natural break point and you’re good to go.

And here’s a little tip; save those snapped off ends, they’re great to use for a cream of asparagus soup – or toss into veggie stock!

Roasted, steamed, pickled, or grilled… this short-season superstar is totally versatile.

Grilling adds a nice smoky character to the “grass” whether it’s straight off the grill, warm, or even chilled.

Give it a quick steam, and drizzle with orange balsamic vinaigrette and sprinkle with tangy goat cheese, or go all fancy and whip up a batch of my Quick and Easy Orange Hollandaise (recipe follows) that has a delicious secret ingredient in it! 😊 – Kathy

Quick and Easy Orange Hollandaise
It’s important to use the entire amount of the butter and be sure it is really hot when adding it to the blender. Serve this tasty sauce over steamed fresh asparagus!

Makes: about 3/4 cup

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 Tbsp. Angostura Orange Bitters
2 Tbsp. cream cheese
2 egg yolks or 1/4 cup pasteurized egg yolks
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt (more or less to taste depending on if you use salted butter or not)
Dash of hot sauce
1 Tbsp. minced chives (optional)

In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until bubbling and hot (but not brown). Or heat to bubbling in microwave.

While butter is heating, combine the orange bitters, cream cheese, egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and hot sauce in a blender. Process for a few seconds to combine ingredients.

When butter is hot, with blender motor running on high speed, remove lid top – and add butter in a slow, so it emulsifies nicely. Turn off and stir in the chives.

Serve immediately or keep warm for up to 30 minutes by placing sauce in a covered mason jar, set in a small bowl of hot water.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

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