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Did you know that Michigan farmers harvest 20 million pounds of asparagus in the 6-7 weeks they have a chance to harvest?  Did you know Michigan ranks second in the nation for asparagus production?  Did you know there are more ways to prepare asparagus than you ever imagined?  Well, since you've had a little lesson on asparagus how bout we put the pedal to the metal and show you a few ways to enjoy it?

 

Our very own celebrity chef, Chef Char is here today at Kitchen 242 in Muskegon to show you a few ways!!  You'll find a lot of other great topics with Char if you take one of her classes at Kitchen 242 and you'll also be helping support the Muskegon Farmers Market!  Here we go with the "Asparagus Episode" on The Muskegon Channel!!  Recipes will be at the bottom of the page for ya!

Our thanks to Chef Char for the ideas and to Kitchen 242 for hosting the show!  Kitchen 242 is a place to incubate your desires to build and grow in the culinary industry!  If you have an idea, stop in and ask for Renae and see just how much they offer up and coming food industry business!  For the recipes from today's episode, look below! 

 

Beer-Battered Asparagus From Chef Char
Ingredients
2 pounds fresh asparagus
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
12 ounces “company beer” or any kind of American Lager or IPA-style beer
32 oz. canola or peanut oil
Directions:
Heat the oil in a deep frying pan to 350 degrees F. Mix all of the batter ingredients in a bowl, adding beer last and slowly, and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate while preparing ingredients for frying. Soak asparagus in cold water until ready to use. Prepare by cutting off bottom inch or two from the asparagus stalks. Place asparagus in a baking pan and pour beer batter over asparagus. Turn with tongs to coat asparagus spears completely. Add asparagus to hot oil in pan, one at a time and avoiding splattering oil. Batter will turn brown and crispy. After the asparagus has been in the oil for about three minutes, using tongs, turn the asparagus in the oil for even cooking. After turning, allow the asparagus to cook and crisp for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove spears from hot oil and place on a rack or plate over a paper towel and generously salt spears. Place on a clean plate to serve. Serve with Ranch dressing or a wicked dipping sauce.

Bonus recipe: Wicked Dipping Sauce for Dunking Fried Asparagus Spears
¾ cup mayonnaise
1 onion, minced fine
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ teaspoons Louisiana hot sauce
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne red pepper
Juice of ½ lime
1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Mix all ingredients until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Tart Ingredients: From Chef Char
1 Sheet Puff Pastry - thawed
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon Water
1/2 cup Italian Blend Shredded Cheese
1/2 lb Asparagus - cleaned and trimmed
Prosciutto for garnish
Sauce Ingredients: (optional)
1 teaspoon Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Honey
Instructions
Preheat oven to 400°F. Lay puff pastry flat on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick. Fold edges 1/2 inch inward and press down gently with fork to secure. Puncture inside of puff pastry square several times with fork. Layer 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Arrange asparagus evenly on top of cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese over asparagus. Mix egg and water. Brush edges of puff pastry with egg wash. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Use a paper towel to blot any liquid released from asparagus. Top with thinly sliced prosciutto. Mix the sauce ingredients and drizzle over the tart.

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