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Asparagus Gratin

April 10, 2013

Asparagus Gratin

Our daughter-in-law, Karen, brought this delicious dish to our Easter dinner.  It was luscious!!

2 pounds thin asparagus

3 cups water

salt and pepper

2 T. butter

2 T. flour

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated and divided

1/2 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded

Adjust oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat broiler.  Line a broiler safe baking dish with paper towels.

Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and set both stalk and ends aside. NOTE:  Easiest way to snap asparagus is to just bend it near the end and it will automatically snap where the woody part starts.

Bring water to a boil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add asparagus ends and 1/4 tsp. salt and cook covered for 5 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, remove asparagus ends and discard.

Add asparagus stalks to skillet, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly tender – about 2-4 minutes.

Transfer asparagus to paper towel lined baking dish.

Pour asparagus water into liquid measuring cup.  If liquid does not read 1 cup, add water until it does.

Melt butter in the now empty skillet over medium heat.

Add flour and cook, stirring constantly until golden, about 1 minute.

Whisk in reserved asparagus water and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, 3 – 5 minutes.

Turn off heat and whisk in 1/2 cup Parmesan and Monterrey Jack cheeses until smooth.

Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Remove paper towels from baking dish.

Drizzle sauce over the center of asparagus and top with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Broil until cheese is golden and asparagus is tender – about 4 – 8 minutes.

EXTRAS:  For a little something extra you can add bacon crumbles or sauteed mushrooms to the top of the asparagus before broiling.

Recipe Source:  revised from Cooks County April/May 2011 issue

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