TFF: Playing with my food again

Some days, part of the fun of being in the kitchen is getting to play with your food. If chef's never played with their food, we'd wouldn't get great recipes that push the boundaries of what is considered "normal."

Molecular gastronomy is a good example of that, playing with food.

I'm not ready to go that far in my kitchen, and not just because of the lack of "tools" to do it. I don't keep dry ice on hand, or canisters of nitrous oxide. Heck, I don't even have a mini torch. Yet.

I did, however, have a paper bag, and Tyler's idea for steaming asparagus in it. Plus, the kids thought it was funny that I was baking a paper bag. (Not enough to want to help do it, but they did stop and ask what I was doing.)

My only complaint? Too much oil used. The asparagus didn't come out oily, but still, it was alot of oil being used, drizzling on the asparagus and on the bag. There was a puddle under the bag when it was done. Maybe I should have put it aside for the next time I make it. While nothing fancy in terms of flavors, I like grilled asparagus better for flavor and texture, it presented well.

Steamed Asparagus in a Paper Bag
By Tyler Florence, recipe found on the Food Network

1 pound medium asparagus, tough ends trimmed
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
1/2 lemon, sliced paper thin
1 bay leaf (I skipped this)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and arrange an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Get yourself a paper bag (try to get one without any writing on it,) large enough to hold the asparagus comfortable. Throw the asparagus in there and drizzle the outside of the bag with olive oil to keep the bag from burning. Sprinkle the asparagus with the salt and cracked pepper and toss in the lemon slices and bay leaf. Close the bag, folding it over several times and creasing the folds well to hold the steam in. Put the pan on a baking sheet, drizzle it with more olive oil, stick it in the oven, and bake for 20 minutes.

Take the baking sheet out of the oven and set it on top of the stove. Set a serving plate next to the stove. Using a kitchen towel or a pair of kitchen tongs, raise the bag over the plate, open the bag, and slide the asparagus out onto the plate. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve hot. (I'd skip the extra oil, it really didn't need it.)

This is my week's selection for Tyler Florence Fridays. The round up of this week's participants can be found each Friday, here. Anyone can join in at anytime.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Yes, I can see it presents well but I think I'll go with the grilled too. Fish on the other hand I really love doing in parchment or bag but I'm happy with grilled there too.

Megan said...

Interesting presentation, but I'm with you on the grilling. Better flavor, plus the char marks from the grill itself.

BC said...

I have a torch - wanna set something on fire? heehee

pam said...

I've been curious about this. I think I'll stick to roasting.

Deb in Hawaii said...

I had this one marked to make but it did seem like a big waste of olive oil. I think roasting (no bag) or grilling is the way to go!

NKP said...

I almost made this this week! I'll still give it a shot one day, but I do love grilled asparagus.

Joanne said...

Roasted asparagus is my personal favorite. At least now you get to say you've baked something in a paper bag.

I wouldn't trust myself with a torch and dry ice kind of freaks me out. I guess that means there's not going to be much flambe in my kitchen.

Anonymous said...

No mini torch here either...I've got a full sized propane torch that's Kitchen Only!! I use it for a lot of things...carmelizing sugar on the outside of a ham, roasting single peppers, and the obvious. Your asparagus looks marvelous...but I doubt I'd go with the cooking method except as part of a learning experience! Great job!

karen said...

yeah, sounds like a waste of olive oil. i do love grilled asparagus though.