Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Couldn't wait for it to cool down!

When we were at the market, asparagus was on sale and looked half-way decent, so we picked up a large bunch as they were pencil thin. I thought I was going to use the same recipe for roasted asparagus that we were so happy with last time, but I came across one for Roasted Asparagus with Orange Vinaigrette and had to try it. Fresh orange zest, orange juice, some chopped shallots and a dash of sugar infuses the crisp tender asparagus with bright sweetness. This was so good and is on par with the other recipe as far as flavor goes. I might add another half tablespoon of orange zest next time though, just to punch it up a little. If your asparagus are as thin as the ones we used (my favorite!) you may want to adjust the time and cook them a bit less so they stay more crisp than mushy.

I was running behind on getting dinner started tonight, so I couldn't wait for the recipe, Garlic-Cheese Grits, to cool down enough before serving it. The texture was super creamy right out of the oven, but if you let it cool down more, it will firm up and you would be able to cut it out instead of spooning it out as I did. As the quick-cooking (not instant) grits bubble away, garlic is heated up with olive oil just until aromatic, but no color is taken on to remove some of the bite. Once the grits are thick, the garlic oil mixture, sharp cheddar and nutty Parmesan are stirred in. A splash of cayenne pepper sauce is also included in the mix to bring some heat. This is poured into a baking dish and cooked until the top turns golden and crusty. If you can find it, be sure to use an extra-sharp cheese to enhance the plain flavor from the grits. I like both textures, creamy or firm, but if you prefer the creamy - you can always skip the baking and enjoy it right out of the pot!


8 comments:

  1. never had grits of any kind, but these look really really good right now

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  2. Wish I could have been there for dinner!

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  3. oh my god, i love cheese grits! ok, truth be told i never met a grit i didn't like, but cheese grits ROCK!

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  4. Barbara - We are becoming big fans fast!

    Wheresmymind - your missing out!

    Ivonne - come on over!

    Barbie2be - Yeah!

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  5. This sounds great, but have you thought of trying Asparagus with Iberican Ham (Spanish Ham). It's great, just wrap the asparagus tips in the ham and then place in the oven (about 170 Degrees Fahrenheit)for about 10 minutes they are delicious.

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  6. Wow - that all looks great!! I've never had grits, but I LOVE cheesey polenta!

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  7. Kerris - Thanks for the suggestion! We will have to try it!

    Jeph - Me too, I love polenta!

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