Asparagus with Almonds and Sesame - I
1 tbs. slivered almonds per serving.
6 ½ inch thick stalks of asparagus per serving
1 patty of butter per serving
½ tsp. toasted sesame seed oil per serving
1/8 tsp. chili sesame oil per serving
salt and pepper
Wash asparagus, and trim bottom ½ inch and/or obviously tough bottom areas. Bending the stalk to make it snap at the juncture of the tender and tough doesn't work, and wastes a lot of good asparagus.
Cut stalks into two or three pieces. The objective is too be able to cook the tougher lower part of each stalk longer to tenderize.
Select a non-stick fry pan of a size to hold the asparagus in a single layer.
Use the pan to lightly toast the slivered almonds over medium heat. Be careful not to over toast. Remove the almonds from the pan immediately, and reserve for garnish. (Leftover toasted almonds store well in the freezer.)
Add one inch of water to the same fry pan, and bring to a boil. Place the lower end (tougher) stalks in the water. After 1 minutes add the remainder of the asparagus. Continue simmering until fork tender, perhaps an additional 3-5 minutes.
Pour off water, and arrange stalks in parallel as a single layer.
Add one patty of butter per serving, and turn/toss stalks to coat.
Brown asparagus lightly over low heat, turning occasionally for about 4 to 7 minutes.
Sprinkle with sesame seed oil, hot chili sesame oil, toasted almonds, salt and pepper and serve.
James Speed Hensinger