“Work! Labor the asparagus me of life; the one great sacrament of humanity from which all other things flow…”
I have found myself less and less compelled to cook lately and therefore, not compelled to write at all. While I do enjoy making meals for my roommate, I recently came to the conclusion that I just miss cooking for my boyfriend… Then I looked around and realized that I had sent myself back to the 1950s, so I fixed my hair, popped a mother’s little helper and tried to think of a dish that I could load with butter._
Just to clarify, I’m joking about the drugs and fixing my hair.
FOR THE ASPARAGUS WRAPS
10-12 stalks fresh Asparagus
1/4 cup Marinade (I used some store-bought ginger marinade that I had in the fridge mixed with rice vinegar, hoisin sauce and sesame oil… I just made up the proportions so make it to your taste)
Phyllo dough (the number of sheets needed depends on their size)
4 tbsp Butter, melted
2 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
Sesame Seeds, for garnish
FOR THE PEANUT SAUCE
4 heaping tbsp Creamy Peanut Butter
1 tsp Fresh Ginger Root, finely minced
1/2 tsp Garlic, finely minced
2 1/2 tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Hoisin Sauce (optional)
1 tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 1/2 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
Red Pepper Flakes (according to taste, I added about 1/4 tsp)
3-4 tbsp Water
1. Wash the asparagus stalks and trim off the ends (not the end with the little buds!). I cut mine to be about 6 inches. Lay them out in a glass baking dish and pour the marinade over them. Cover with foil and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
2. In a bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the peanut sauce except for the water and whisk together. Add the water one tablespoon at a time, mixing after each until the sauce has reached the consistency that you want. Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap or tin foil and set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF
4. On a clean, dry surface, lay out one sheet of the phyllo dough. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter with 2 tbsp sesame oil. Brush the butter mixture onto the phyllo sheet and lay another sheet on top, pressing the 2 together. Cut the dough into strips wide enough to cover most of the asparagus, while leaving the buds poking out (so if you’ve cut your asparagus to 6″ pieces like I did, cut the phyllo into strips about 5″ tall).
*Note: this is Nick as he helped me make these during his R&R leave from Afghanistan… I just wanted to make sure no one thought I had man hands.
5. Wrap two stalks of asparagus in each strip of phyllo and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, with the seam of the phyllo dough on the bottom. Brush the top again with more butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
6. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the phyllo is becoming golden brown. Serve warm with the peanut dipping sauce.