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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Beer Battered Asparagus with Lemon Herbed Dipping Sauce

Okay, I'll start this off with a confession.  I didn't eat breakfast, and I forgot lunch yesterday... so I made this for an 'afternoon snack' when I got home.  I rationalized... "I won't be as hungry for dinner, so I'll eat less." And while that may be true, I ate almost half of a bunch of asparagus while browsing my emails, etc.  That's what happens when nobody is home to be accountable to. Gulp!  

Asparagus is one of those vegetables that has really grown on me over the years.  Isn't is strange how that happens to you when you become a "grown up?"  These are tender crisp, only the slightest bit spicy, and dangerous.... because food that can be picked up with your fingers, dipped into a tangy sauce, then popped into your mouth is gone before you know it - obviously.  :(  Do you think I could blame it on this nice glass of wine?

So why the pancake mix, you ask?  Well - it's basically flour with all the leavening already in it, so it's gonna puff up, especially when it's mixed with the carbonation from the beer.  So that eliminates the need to go dragging out baking powder, baking soda, etc.  Then it's spiced up with seasoning that you are sure to have on hand in the cabinet. Basically that means that you could probably make some of these right now for yourself!  Note to self  - I think I may try this with Brussels sprouts, too.

I saw this done in a Paula Deen recipe on Food Network, but I decided to tweak it with the pancake mix... because who doesn't have pancake mix on hand already, right?!  I also used Creole seasoning for an extra kick.

Click for Printable Recipe

Dipping Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary leaves
    •  her recipe also had 1 tsp of chopped thyme leaves, but I didn't have any.  I just used things I had on hand.  Feel free to use any blend of herbs that sounds enticing to you.
  • 1 cup buttermilk complete pancake mix
  • 2 tsp Creole/Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

For the batter -
Whisk together the first four ingredients - pancake mix, Creole seasoning, lemon zest and pepper.

1 cup "complete" pancake mix
2 tsp Creole seasoning.
           *For seasoning without heat, try Seasoned Salt.
Zest of one lemon
1/4 tsp black pepper.
    *If you didn't use Creole seasoning, you may want a bit more pepper.
Add in the beer and watch it start foaming! :)
Whisk until smooth.
Mine has a slight pink'ish tinge to it from all the seasoning.
For the dipping sauce -
Mix all the ingredients together.

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
Here's our sauce.
Now cook!
Dip the asparagus spears into the batter, allowing the excess to fall off.
Fry in 350-370 degree oil until crispy and golden brown.
Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkling of black pepper.  Serve with the lemon herbed dipping sauce.

Written Directions 
Heat oil in a heavy saucepan or deep fryer until it reaches 350 degrees F.  I used my candy thermometer.  If you don't have one, the oil should start shimmering after about 5-6 minutes.   Make the dip first by combining all dip ingredients.  Because the rest of this goes super fast.

Whisk together pancake mix, Creole seasoning, pepper, zest in a bowl until combined. Add the beer and whisk ingredients until smooth.  When the oil has reached its target temperature, dip the asparagus in batter to coat. Remove excess batter before frying. Gently transfer battered asparagus to oil and fry until golden. Stir gently to prevent asparagus from sticking together.  I turned mine using long handled tongs so both sides would brown evenly.  Transfer to a baking sheet that has been lined with paper towels and keep warm in a preheated 200 degree F oven (if they last that long).  Sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan and a bit more black pepper.  Serve with the lemon herbed dipping sauce.
Tip:  Use asparagus that are fairly thin in diameter.  These will cook really quickly, so I think the big thick asparagus wouldn't really have enough time to cook.  These were still crisp, yet tender.

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Hot Parmesan Artichoke Dip 
Crock Pot Beef Broccoli 

Ham Carmelized Onion and Gruyere Quiche
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  1. not able to print certain your web site..thank-you so much good stuff to cook...cheers, antje

    1. The post has been updated to include a printable recipe link. Just above the ingredient list. :)


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