Friday, August 29, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Think thick when tossing asparagus on the grill

Food American Table Grilled Asparagus

This April 21, 2014, photo shows grilled asparagus with lemon butter in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

By
From page B6 | May 28, 2014 |

Grilling vegetables is magical, mostly because the intense heat caramelizes the natural sugars in them. It transforms vegetables from something you feel you have to eat into something you can’t stop eating!

And grilled asparagus is one of my favorites. Not only is it delicious, it’s also easy to make. And you only need four things – thick-stemmed asparagus, olive oil, kosher salt and a hot grill.

Somewhere along the way, a culinary myth started that thin asparagus is the best asparagus. Well, the opposite is true when it comes to grilling. The best asparagus for grilling has a thick, sturdy stalk. In fact, many chefs think this is true no matter how you cook it, saying thick asparagus tends to be more tender than thin asparagus.

Once you have your bunch of thick-stemmed asparagus, you need to trim it, wash it and dry it. You can snap or cut the ends off the bottoms one-at-a-time, or follow this restaurant prep trick. Take the whole bunch and cut just under the bottom rubber band. Almost always it rests at the space where the dried ends of the stalks end. If you think you are cutting off too much, wiggle the band down a little.

After you cut the ends off, remove the rubber bands, wash and dry the stalks, then place them in a zip-close plastic bag. Drizzle with olive oil, then close the bag. You can do this up to a day in advance.

When you are ready to grill, sprinkle with salt and place directly on the cooking grate of the grill. You do not need a vegetable basket. All you need is to make sure that you place the spears across the cooking grates instead of parallel to them. Turn occasionally until you see blistered brown spots.

Grilled asparagus is instantly addictive and excellent hot-off-the grill. But add a fresh compound butter made with white wine and lemon and you’ve got a dish worthy of any king – or queen – of the grill!

GRILLED ASPARAGUS WITH LEMON BUTTER

Look for asparagus with fat, firm stalks and deep green or purplish tips. Also check the bottoms of the spears. If they are dried up, chances are they have been sitting around for too long.

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 4

1 pound fresh asparagus

¼ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Lemon butter, to serve (see recipe below)

Heat the grill to medium and prepare for direct heat cooking. For a charcoal grill, the coals should be spread evenly under the grate. For a gas grill, all burners should be on.

Trim off the tough bottoms of the spears by grasping each end and bending it gently until it snaps at its natural point of tenderness, usually two-thirds of the way down the spear. If the spear is less than 6 inches long, chances are it has already been trimmed for you. Alternatively, you can cut the ends off with a knife.

Place the spears in a zip-close plastic bag. Add the oil and massage the spears to coat very well. Sprinkle in the salt and massage again. Leave the asparagus in the bag until ready to cook.

Use tongs to place the spears on the cooking grate crosswise so they won’t fall through the grates. Grill for 5 to 8 minutes, turning occasionally to expose all sides to the heat. The asparagus should begin to brown in spots, but don’t let them blacken and char. The larger the spears, the longer they will take to cook.

Remove from the grill and serve immediately with lemon butter.

Nutrition information per serving: 250 calories; 220 calories from fat (88 percent of total calories); 25 g fat (9 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 30 mg cholesterol; 5 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 3 g protein; 600 mg sodium.

LEMON BUTTER

This recipe makes enough lemon butter for 16 servings. Prepare the entire batch, then divide into quarters, freezing the portions you don’t plan to use immediately. If tightly wrapped in plastic, the butter will keep all summer. It is delicious on almost any grilled vegetable.

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 16

2 shallots, minced (about 4 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons white wine

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Zest of ½ small lemon

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon flaked sea salt (such as Maldon)

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

In a small bowl, combine the shallots and white wine. Let soak for 30 minutes. Drain very well.

In a medium bowl, mash or stir the butter until it is smooth and slightly fluffy. Add the wine-soaked shallots, then mix well. Add the parsley, lemon zest, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix together, mashing with the back of a fork to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated. Adjust salt and pepper, as needed.

Cut a large rectangle of kitchen parchment. Drop the butter onto the center of it by the spoonful to form a log. Roll the butter in the parchment and smooth out to form a round log. Twist both ends to seal. Refrigerate until hard and easily sliced, about 1 hour. Can be made in advance and stored tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to a week and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition information per serving: 110 calories; 100 calories from fat (91 percent of total calories); 12 g fat (7 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 30 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 0 g protein; 120 mg sodium.

Elizabeth Karmel is a grilling and Southern foods expert and executive chef at Hill Country Barbecue Market restaurants in New York and Washington, as well as Hill Country Chicken in New York. She is the author of three cookbooks, including “Soaked, Slathered and Seasoned.”

Elizabeth Karmel

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

1 critical after 2 shot at Fairfield bus stop

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Prolific pears rule Courtland area

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Suisun police plan holiday weekend checkpoint

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
No plea as Vacaville homicide suspect appears in court

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Fairfield man faces trial on child sex charges

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

 
Vacaville man convicted of fifth DUI

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

 
Police in Vacaville schedule DUI checkpoint

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Accused park shooters set for probable cause hearing

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4

Solano continues to deal with earthquake

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Bunting earns praise for role in paint case

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 27, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A8

Suisun City police log: Aug. 27, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A8

 
Weather for Aug. 29, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B14

.

US / World

Mom won’t be charged in school confrontation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California Supreme Court pick confirmed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Assembly approves statewide ban on plastic bags

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Feds to resume leasing for fracking in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

High school buddies followed similar path to jihad

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Drugs killed Oklahoma inmate in troubled execution

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Q&A: Few laws govern children at shooting range

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Gun tourism grows in popularity in recent years

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Obama sets no timeline for action on immigration

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
4 killed in New Mexico crash of medical flight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

US rebukes Oklahoma for ditching school standards

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Suit claims police brutality at Ferguson protests

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Flight diverts to Boston over reclined-seat upset

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Testimony wraps up in former Va. governor trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Obama rules out US military action in Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
UN Security Council meets on Ukraine crisis

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Russian columns enter Ukraine; leader urges calm

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Attempt to call missing jet may alter search area

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

Europe seeks role in postwar Gaza

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

 
UN: Armed group detains 43 peacekeepers in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

A look at the Islamic State militants in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Jihadists kill dozens of captured Syrian soldiers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

UN: Ebola disease caseload could reach 20,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
.

Opinion

 
What should the US do about the Islamic State?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11

Question of the week: Is US policy on hostages correct?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

 
More ways to help stop bullies

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

.

Living

.

Entertainment

Review: Ex-007 actor spying again in ‘Nov. Man’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Review: ‘As Above’ so-so

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Review: The case against binge-watching TV

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Sports

Angels rally in 10th for 4-3 win over Oakland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Record-setting Petit leads Giants past Rockies 4-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Prep football preview: Rio Vista looks to get back to playoffs

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Borland returns pick for TD, 49ers beat Texans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Carr’s 3 TDs lead Raiders past Seahawks 41-31

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
After Rice, NFL increases domestic violence bans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

USC coach accepts some blame in Shaw situation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Williams overcomes 3 early double-faults to win at U.S. Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Mickelson in a bind with 4 straight playoff events

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Weakened US team aims for world basketball title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Rise in flags makes NFL defenders wary of contact

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Week Zero prep football capsules

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

Local youngster will play baseball on national stage

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B9, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Signups for Friday, Aug. 29, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

Stewart returning to competition after fatal crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Aug. 29, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B11

This date in sports history for Friday, Aug. 29, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Power looks for elusive IndyCar title at Fontana

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

.

Business

M235i revives classic BMW memories

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.1 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Obama touts revised economic growth numbers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
US economy grew at brisk 4.2 pct. rate in Q2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Ukraine conflict weighs on markets; Retailers fall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Abercrombie name to shrink from clothing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

Survey: Americans’ pessimism on economy has grown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Apple to unveil next products at Sept. 9 event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

Frank W. Moy Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Gary Allen Person

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Lois C. Clark

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics