Friday, November 21, 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

 
Fairfield on film celebration set Saturday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Solano high school students bring robotics to Shanghai, China

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Hanukkah Festival added to Holiday in the Park

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1, 1 Comment

 
Holidays present seasonal entertainment

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

Memories of Thanksgiving Days gone by

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
Man shot at Suisun City apartment

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 6 Comments

 
 
Fairfield police log: Nov. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Nov. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Emotions rise as people hear immigration plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Obama spurns GOP with expansive immigration orders

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 11 Comments

Congress can’t ‘de-fund’ Obama on immigration

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
A look at the numbers in Obama’s immigration plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

California sheriff criticizes Obama on immigration

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3, 3 Comments

 
PG&E fined over alleged secret dealings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Deal divides billions in closed nuke plant’s costs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
California tuition hike fight shifts to Sacramento

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Feinstein: Drought relief bill out for this year

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
GOP’s success in House races ends in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Insurance sign-ups outpacing first year enrollment

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Man who killed co-worker, cut out heart released

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

St. Louis region prepares for Ferguson decision

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Union: Ferguson officer does not expect charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

NOAA: Globe sets 5th hottest-month record of 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Roofs collapse as New York clobbered by more snow

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Hearing draws apology, admission in air bag mess

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Florida State shooter was well-liked but troubled

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Officials downplay debates over Ebola aid response

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Boko Haram said to kill about 45 people in Nigeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Israeli mayor’s ban on Arab workers ignites uproar

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Protesters, police clash in Mexico before marches

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Egypt acquits doctor in female genital mutilation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Slain beauty queen, sister buried in Honduras

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

Why are we still changing clock times?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 17 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoons: Nov. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A11

 
Thank you to businesses that support veterans

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
 
Thank you for saving my purse

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

.

Living

Today in History: Nov. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Nov. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

I have several part-time jobs and have no time or money for a personal life

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Nov. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Nov. 21-27, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Mike Nichols, crafter of films, plays, dies at 83

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hollywood pays tribute to Mike Nichols

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Five memorable movies from Mike Nichols

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Highlights from Mike Nichols’ multi-genre career

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Handler apologizes for watermelon joke at awards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

O’Keeffe painting sells for record $44.4M in NYC

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
TV Land pulls ‘Cosby Show’ from lineup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3, 1 Comment

Mysterious sculpture recovered from River Seine

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Review: Revolution gathering in ‘Mockingjay

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment calendar Nov. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
How a ‘tiny hamster’ video gets made

By The Washington Post | From Page: B5

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
James Nesbitt as a father whose child disappears

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Bulldogs, Wildcats into SJS quarterfinals

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7

 
Raiders snap 16-game skid with 24-20 win vs. KC

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Giants confident they’re in Pablo Sandoval chase

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Intense Boldin keeps making big catches for 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Lewis in range of big prize at Tour Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Hendrick gives Kahne 3-year contract extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
NASCAR: Johnson says Harvick was correct winner

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Jared Goff growing into role of Cal’s ‘Golden Boy’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
JC volleyball: Falcons have 4 players earn all-BVC honors

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

Manfred given 5-year term as baseball commissioner

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Bills’ home game against Jets relocated to Detroit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

AP source: Bermuda to host 2017 America’s Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
FIFA to review World Cup corruption report

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Union appeals Adrian Peterson’s suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
This week in sports history for Friday, Nov. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Bjugstad leads Panthers to 3-2 SO win over Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Prep football capsules: Week 12

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

 
Cousins, Gay lead Kings past Bulls, 103-88

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

.

Business

LaCrosse rides Buick’s high reliability rating

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Ford gets the aluminum F-150 ready for prime time

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Country of origin label for meat cuts endangered

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Polls: Employers still prioritize health coverage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

New Mexico lawmakers grill spaceport boss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Family gets $6.75 million in Botox treatment case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Gap names heads of namesake brand, Banana Republic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
AT&T pays $23.8 M to settle hazardous-waste case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Soaring generic drug prices draw Senate scrutiny

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
US home sales rise in October

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

US unemployment aid applications fall to 291,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9