Appetizers Cooking Main Dishes Miscellaneous Appetizers Cooking Main Dishes Miscellaneous

Asparagus Fries with Smoked Paprika Aïoli

My kids are not huge asparagus fans, and I’m actually not crazy about them if they’re not cooked just right. When I saw this recipe a) I thought my kids would like them and b) I thought they’d be a great party appetizer. With the holidays coming up, I thought I’d give them a whirl. I know, I know; breading and frying the asparagus sort of takes away from the whole ‘healthy vegetable’ thing, but whatever. You don’t have to feed my kids.

The kids came about as close to loving asparagus as they’re ever going to come. And Jim, who is so spoiled by all of my good cooking that I usually don’t get more than a “that was good”, raved about these things.

Asparagus Fries with Smoked Paprika Aïoli

I got this recipe from Fine Cooking’s Special Party Issue “Appetizers” issue, fall 2011. Originally From Fine Cooking, Issue #110, pp. 61

Serves 6

For the Aïoli

4 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice, more to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Asparagus Fries

3 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, beaten
1 medium lime, juiced
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup panko
1 lb. thick asparagus spears, trimmed, peeled, and halved crosswise

Make the Aïoli

Put the garlic in a small saucepan, add cold water to cover by least 1/2 inch, and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water boils, drain and repeat the process once more. Rinse the garlic with cold water to cool and then peel and mince the cloves. In a medium bowl, whisk the poached garlic with the mayonnaise, olive oil, smoked paprika, and lemon juice until smooth. Add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to meld the flavors.

Make the Asparagus Fries

In a 3-quart saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, heat the oil over medium-high heat to 375°F.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the lime juice and 2 Tbs. water. Put the flour on a small plate and season generously with salt and pepper. Put the panko on another small plate.

Dredge the asparagus in the flour and shake off any excess. Dip the asparagus in the egg mixture and then the panko to coat.

Working in batches, fry the asparagus until golden-brown, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain briefly.

Sprinkle with salt and serve with the smoked paprika aïoli.

Nutrition information (per serving):  Calories (kcal): 340; Fat (g): 33; Fat Calories (kcal): 290; Saturated Fat (g): 4.5; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11; Carbohydrates (g): 10; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 15; Sodium (mg): 460; Cholesterol (mg): 60; Fiber (g): 1

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Appetizers Cooking Main Dishes Miscellaneous