May 5, 2011

Asparagus Gratin

1 lb. asparagus
1 1/2 c. water
salt and pepper
1 1/2 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. flour (*I used cornstarch and it worked just fine)
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 Tbs. minced fresh parsley (opt.)

Place oven rack in the upper middle position of the over and preheat broiler to high. Trim woody ends of asparagus. In a saute pan (with lid), bring the water to a simmer. Add the woody asparagus ends plus 1/4 tsp. salt to the water and cook 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove and discard the woody asparagus ends. Return water to a simmer. Add the asparagus to the water, cover and cook for 2 minutes, until just nearly tender. With slotted spoon, remove the asparagus and reserve. Pour 1/2 cut of the asparagus water into a measuring cup and discard the rest. Wipe the saute pan dry and return to stove on medium heat. Melt the butter in the pan and with whisk or spoon, stir in the flour. Reduce heat to medium-low add asparagus broth and cook until thickened. Turn off the heat and stir in most of the cheese, reserving a little for the top. Taste then season with salt and pepper. Pour the thickened cheesy sauce into oven-safe casserole dish. Place the asparagus on top of the sauce. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Broil for 6-8 minutes and top with parsley. Serves 4

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