Friday, July 21, 2017

Hazelnut Battered Fried Asparagus Spears over Whipped Lemon Parmesan Potatoes

In my what seems like forever quest to make veggies sexier, this happened. And as a certain formerly incarcerated lifestyle guru who has dissed bloggers spouted, "It's a good thing."

The potatoes have 1/4 cup of heavy cream but you can substitute a light version, Half and Half or if you are watching your waistline. The nutty, crunchy crust on the crispy green asparagus is just perfect. 

Even though the asparagus is fried in oil and served on top of mashed potatoes, the lemon zest, juice and hazelnuts give this meal a lighter feeling than you would think. Besides, it is flavor heaven.

This dish is also perfect for Easter celebration or any spring meal. 

Hazelnut Battered Fried Asparagus Spears 
over Whipped Lemon Parmesan Potatoes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
  • 2lbs potatoes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon white granulated sugar
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 bundle baby green asparagus (about 2 dozen spears)
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts or hazelnut flour
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups frying oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw hazelnuts
  • Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks.
  • Bring a large pot of cold salted water to a boil. 
  • Add the 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and the potatoes and boil until soft. You should e able to easily run a fork through them but they should not fall apart when pierced.
  • Wash the lemons and part dry. Zest both lemons. Juice one to get 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Drain the potatoes, place in the bowl of your mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. 
  • Add the lemon zest, juice, butter, heavy cream and whip the potatoes until everything is combined. The texture should be smooth and creamy, not like glue. 
  • Cover the bowl or transfer to a heat proof container and and store in the oven on a warm setting.
  • Wash the asparagus, pat dry and trip off any woody stems.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet. Place a layer of paper towels by the stove.
  • Place the all purpose flour in a shallow dish.
  • Whisk together the ground hazelnuts and breadcrumbs and place in another shallow dish.
  • In a third shallow dish, beat the 2 eggs together.
  • Dredge the asparagus spears in the flour, then the egg and coat with the hazelnut breadcrumb mixture. 
  • Fry the coated spears for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the skillet and place on the paper towels to drain.
  • Remove the potato from the oven and stir in the parmesan cheese. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  • Divide between four plates, lay the fried asparagus on top. Garnish each plate with the chopped raw hazelnuts and serve. 

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