Asparagus is a rite of spring (even though it is often available year-round!). Best yet, asparagus is one of the best foods to help fight diseases that affect women. Like other leafy greens, asparagus is especially rich in folic acid, which has been linked to prevention of cervical cancer and helps prevent birth defects. Asparagus has also been shown to reduce cholesterol, which helps fight heart disease, the leading killer of women.
1 pound asparagus
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper
3 ounces Gruyere or Swiss cheese, shredded (1 cup loosely packed)
2. In a medium cast-iron skillet, add the butter. Place the skillet in the oven to melt the butter.
3. In a medium bowl, microwave the milk on high for about 30 seconds. Whisk in the eggs, then the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the sugar.
4. Add the asparagus pieces to the hot cast-iron skillet and pour the batter on top. Sprinkle with half of the cheese and bake until puffed golden-brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Top with the remaining cheese.
2. In a nonstick medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Cover to keep warm.
3. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Cut the beef crosswise into 4 equal portions and pound 1/3-inch thick. Season with salt and pepper, then spread a quarter of the cheese in the center of each portion, leaving a 3/4-inch border.
4. Divide the thyme and asparagus equally among each portion. Drizzle each with a teaspoon of olive oil, roll up the meat around the asparagus and secure with toothpicks.
5. Pour the remaining olive oil on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Turn each beef roll in the oil to coat, cover and grill until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes for medium-rare.
6. To serve, divide the mushrooms among 4 plates and top each with a beef-asparagus roll.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until the temperature registers at 375 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer.
3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, sesame seeds, salt and baking soda. Whisk in the seltzer until smooth.
4. Add the asparagus to the batter and turn to coat. Transferring one piece at a time, add about one-quarter of the asparagus to the hot oil and cook, turning, until golden and crisp, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining asparagus, allowing the oil to return to 374 degrees between batches. Serve hot with dipping sauce.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together chives, mayonnaise, lemon juice and ketchup. Add the crab and toss gently to coat. Season with pepper.
3. Divide the asparagus among 4 plates and top with a mound of crab mixture. Serve with the lemon wedges.
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