Thursday, March 31, 2011

March 31, 2011: Asparagus Mushroom Casserole Recipe

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Few vegetables signal spring like asparagus. Of course asparagus is in season right now and will be right through Easter. Those tender green stalks are the perfect accompaniment to just about any dish, from salads to meat. I love asparagus but I’m always looking for new ways to serve it other than a simple stir fry or steam.

The following recipe is based on one from the Taste of Home cookbook, Everyday Light Meals. This was given to me by my secret sister last year, who turned out to be none other than Margaret, my pastor’s wife. She is such a dear and she really knows me well since most of my gifts had to do with cooking or the kitchen!

In typical Candy fashion, however, I’ve modified the recipe a bit. Here’s my version.

Asparagus Mushroom Casserole

4 T. butter
½ cup chopped onion
½ bunch fresh asparagus (you can also use a half package of frozen, thawed asparagus and add them in with the mushrooms at the end - but I wouldn't recommend canned)
2 T. flour
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
½ t. paprika
1 t. lemon juice
1 small can mushrooms, drained
½ cup bread crumbs

Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus and cut the stalks into one-and-a-half inch pieces. In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the chopped onion and the asparagus pieces. Cook for a couple minutes, until the onion is translucent.

Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and add another tablespoon of butter. Add in the flour and stir until mixed. Slowly add the chicken broth, and then the milk, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly. Add the onion and asparagus, spices, lemon juice, and mushrooms. Pour into a greased casserole dish.

Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and mix with the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle on top of the casserole.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 – 30 minutes.

Note: I reduced this recipe to make just enough for 2 – 3 servings. Double the recipe for additional servings.

Tip: You can also use fresh mushrooms in this recipe; just add them in with the onions and asparagus while sauteing them in the butter.

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