Abstract: †I love asparagus by itself with just butter, salt and pepper.† I also like Hollandaise sauce.† I also like variety, so one night I threw this concoction together and loved it. You can pass it off as a gourmet dish if you do it like these instructions.
Serves:† 4 adults
Lead time: †30 minutes or less
Tools:† Colander, chopping board and knife, large skillet or chicken fryer, sauce pan, 4 ramekins or individual serving dishes. †
Bill of Materials:
††††††††††† Fresh asparagus†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1 pound
††††††††††† Unsalted butter†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2 tablespoons
††††††††††† Celery††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1 cup (sliced thin)
††††††††††† Shallots†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4 (sliced thin)
††††††††††† Ginger root (fresh)††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1 teaspoon (peeled and finely chopped)
††††††††††† Cream of Celery soup†††††††††††††††††††††††† 1 10-12 ounce can
††††††††††† Fennel seeds††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1/8 teaspoon
††††††††††† Cumin seeds††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1/8 teaspoon
††††††††††† Cream of tartar††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1/4 teaspoon
††††††††††† Dairy Half & Half†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1 cup
††††††††††† Romaine lettuce††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Several leaves†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
††††††††††† Slice the celery and shallots.† Prepare the ginger root.† It should be diced to the consistency of coarse sand.† If you donít have fresh ginger root you can use 1/2 teaspoon of ground, dried ginger root instead
††††††††††† Put asparagus in a sauce pan with water and a pinch of salt.† Put on high heat and boil until it is the crispness you like.† Dump into colander and let it drain well.
††††††††††† While the asparagus is cooking, melt the butter in the skillet on medium heat.† When it is completely melted, add the celery, shallots and ginger.† Stir continuously until the celery begins to soften.† Usually about 3 minutes.† Add the soup and stir until the mixture is uniform.† Add the spices and about half of the Half and Half.† Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally.
††††††††††† Stack three Romaine leaves on top of each other on the chopping board.† Trim off the frilly edges and cut them in 1 inch squares.† Add these squares to the skillet.† Add the rest of the Half and Half or as much as need to make the mixture the consistency you like.† Simmer until temperature is uniform.
††††††††††† Chop asparagus into two inch sections.† Line the ramekins with Romaine leaves.
Add the asparagus to skillet and stir well.† Ladle into the ramekins and serve immediately.
CAUTION: Fennel is a very powerful spice.† If you are not a fennel aficionado, leave it out or reduce the amount you use.†