Our finished Grilled Asparagus Wrapped with a healthy Choice

Our finished Grilled Asparagus Wrapped with a healthy Choice

WRAPPED ASPARAGUS WITH A HEALTHY CHOICE Click To Tweet

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One of the favorite Spring vegetables that certainly don’t have a long fresh season around my area, asparagus is know for its fiber and its diuretic quality since it is 93% water.  Although it certainly is a star vegetable to grill, I’m taking it to the healthy side and preparing a wrapped asparagus without all the fat, sodium, and calories of bacon or prosciutto wrapped.

This is a super flavorful twist of carrot and puff pastry that is perfect for a dipping sauce.  Fresh asparagus comes to life when we wood-fire it on the gas grill with wood chunks for added flavor.  When done, you’ll never miss the bacon as this is a meaty, satisfying take on the wrapped asparagus theme.  Now, get your bunch of fresh asparagus and learn this healthier version of wrapped asparagus wood-fired!

Vegetable Prep

our two main vegetables fresh asparagus and ripe carrot

#asparagusspears #Carrots

First, start this recipe by trimming the ends of one bunch of asparagus.  Peel and end trim 3 medium size carrots.  Using a vegetable peeler or mandolin, produce thin peels of carrot, figuring about 2 peels per asparagus spear.  Add water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Blanch the carrot peels in the water for about 30 seconds just to soften.  This will make for an easier time of wrapping the carrots around the asparagus spear.  Remove the carrot peels to a colander then place on paper towels to remove excess water.

With the vegetables prepared, it’s time to work on the puff pastry.  After thawing two sheets of puff pastry according to package directions, place one sheet on a cutting surface and cut ½-inch strips of pastry.  After that, take one egg and one teaspoon of water and beat together to produce egg wash.  This will be used to hold the ends of the puff pastry to the asparagus spear.

Asparagus Twists

Starting at the asparagus tip, begin wrapping one strip of puff pastry around the asparagus spear securing the ends in place with a bit of egg wash to the underside of the pastry.  Each spear will take just one puff pastry strip.  Be gentle with the pastry as the warm temperature of your hands will cause the pastry to begin stretching.  If you should have any excess, simply trim the end off.

wrapping our Asparagus with carrot peel in preparation for the grill

#puffpastry with #carrotpeel

With the puff pastry strip in place on the asparagus spear, time to add the pre-blanched carrot peel.  Each spear will take about two carrot peels, depending on the length.  Starting on the tip end of the asparagus, begin wrapping the carrot peel in the space left by the pastry.  Fold the carrot end under the pastry when you reach the ends.  Once all the spears are wrapped in pastry and carrot, brush the entire spear with egg wash.  Next, gently sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the surface of the stalk, then sprinkle with white sesame seeds.  Lay on a foil lined sheet pan in preparation for the grill.

Tasting Notes: Other options for wrapping the asparagus spears include using a purple carrot either in place of or in addition to the traditional orange to give more visual appeal.  Also, you can use zucchini or sweet potato peels too.

Two-Zone Grill Smoking

two zone cooking method with smoker box on on side and cooking on the other

#grillcooking

 

With all the asparagus spears wrapped in carrot and puff pastry and topped with parmesan, egg wash, and white sesame seed, these spears are now ready for the grill.  I’ve preheated my gas grill to 400° F using only two of the four burners.  On those hot burners, I’ve placed a metal smoker box that holds three double filet wood chunks. My sheet pans of prepared asparagus spears are placed on the unlit side of the grill.  Close up the lid and leave to cook for about 20 minutes.  Don’t be alarmed by the amount of smoke you’ll see from the grill’s vents.  That’s just the wood doing is part to flavor the spears.  After 20 minutes, check and rotate the trays to produce an even coloring to the puff pastry.  It will be 20-30 minutes total cook time depending on the thickness of your asparagus, to make these tender and golden brown.  Once done, remove from the grill and immediately remove the finished spears to a serving platter.

Optional Dipping Sauce

Adding a hint of lemon juice to our dipping sauce

#dippingsauce

Although the smoked asparagus spears are great on their own, I’ll be giving this option of a dipping sauce.  While the wrapped asparagus spears are on the grill, add ½ cup mayonnaise to a bowl.  To the mayo add 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped chives, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice.  If you’d like a spicy kick to the sauce, add a ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes.  Stir well and refrigerator until ready to serve with the wrapped asparagus.

Although wrapping our asparagus spears takes a bit of time, the work is worth it when you taste these flavorful twists.  Perfectly cooked asparagus, sweetness of carrot peel, the airy quality of the puff pastry and the slight crunch of sesame seeds.  Pair them with our simple dipping sauce made from mayonnaise, fresh chives, and lemon juice for the perfect appetizer or side dish.  Ultimately, the only problem is it’s hard to stop eating these spears of flavor.  Grilling asparagus using a two-zone cooking method makes them quick with no need to stand over the grill.  Take advantage of asparagus season and give this easy recipe a try on your favorite grill.

What’s your favorite asparagus recipe?  Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

SmokinLicious Products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

For more reading related to

For more reading related to

More asparagus recipes:

-Flank Steak Pinwheels with Ember Roasted Asparagus

-Crostini with Smoked Asparagus

-Ember cooking fresh Asparagus

Dr. Smoke

Dr. Smoke

Flank Steak Pinwheels with Ember Roasted Asparagus

Flank steak pinwheels- all the ingredients are mixed with the flank steak wrapped and tied for grilling.

Flank steak pinwheels- all the ingredients are mixed with the flank steak wrapped and tied for grilling.

Great recipe idea with the use of Ember cooked Asparagus and Flank Steak.  While the pinwheels can be cooked on the Charcoal/LP-Gas grill or even in the oven!

Listen:

Ingredients:

If grilling on Charcoal or LP/Gas grill use “Double” Filet wood Chunks to add some additional flavour!

Preparing the Flank Steak

The idea is to pound out the flank steak with a meat mallet to help tenderize it.  I like to coat my flank steak with olive oil, fresh ground pepper and kosher salt and place in plastic wrap to marinate for at least 6 hours but I prefer to marinate overnight.  Once marinated, I can begin to assemble with the other ingredients.

Assembling the Flank Steak Pinwheels

Lay out the flank steak and place the spinach leaves overlapping them as you go.  Now take the halved asparagus stalks and layer them next.  Last, load on the mozzarella cheese and then season with salt and pepper.  Remember, if the mozzarella is not fresh, it will have some salt to it so be careful when adding additional salt. Now, staring on the long end of the steak, begin rolling inward, tucking in the filling as you go.  Once completely rolled, take 6-inch lengths of pre-cut meat twine and tie around the rolled flank steak about every 2-inches.  These sections will become the individual serving sizes.  Cut the steak between the twine ties and lay each cut piece of steak on a baking sheet.

Cooking the Pinwheels

Cook the pinwheels on a baking sheet or pan for approximately 30 minutes.  Flank steak will render a lot of juice so you may want to use a roasting rack in the pan.  Once the mozzarella cheese becomes golden brown, you’ll be ready to remove from the oven.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes then serve.

Serve!

This is just one combination of flavors that work well with the flank steak and ember roasted asparagus.  Other winning combinations include artichoke heart, roasted red peppers, kale, even quinoa if you want to add a grain texture.

Our fully cooked plate of three Flank Steak Pinwheels with Cheese and Roasted Asparagus

Bon Appetit!

Flank steak pinwheels with ember roasted asparagus – just one of the wonderful ways to use fresh asparagus this season.

Bon Bar B Q

Dr Smoke and the Culinary Team

 

Purchase Products:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

 

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CROSTINI WITH SMOKED ASPARAGUS

OUR CROSTINI WITH SMOKED ASPARAGUS RECIPE! IS YUMMY!

OUR CROSTINI WITH SMOKED ASPARAGUS RECIPE! IS YUMMY!

Its Asparagus season and that means you should get the most out of this sensational vegetable while it’s fresh!  Be sure to visit our series on the ember roasting of fresh asparagus  ( see the previous blog) so you can move on to our fabulous recipes.  Our featured recipe in this series is Crostini with Ember Roasted Asparagus, Pimento & Olive Spread, a perfect snack, appetizer, and certainly a spur of the moment food for the pop in visitor.  So, here we go!

With your ember-roasted asparagus (see other blog or Instagram #smokinliciousasparagus) in hand, you’ll need these ingredients:

Ingredient List

  • Baguette or other small width bread (in a pinch, pita chips will work as well)
  • Oil for drizzling on the bread slices
  • 8 oz. of ricotta
  • Ember cooked asparagus
  • 2 Tablespoons of lime juice
  • Pimento slices about 2 oz.
  • Green olives about 4 oz.
  • Fresh ground pepper

Combining Ingredients

FOLDING CHOPPED SMOKED ASPARAGUS INTO RICOTTA

FOLDING CHOPPED SMOKED ASPARAGUS INTO RICOTTA

Prior to mixing the ingredients for the spread, cut the baguette into ½ inch slices and place on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with oil – any kind will do though I’m partial to flavored oils. Only toast the bread slices until just golden. In a medium bowl, add the ricotta cheese and gently mix to break

down the cheese to a creamy state.  Dice up the ember-roasted asparagus and gently fold into the ricotta with the lime juice.  Add fresh ground pepper to taste.   Set aside the bowl and chop up the pimento and green olive.  Place in a small bowl.

Assembling the Crostini

ASSEMBLING THE CROSTINI

ASSEMBLING THE CROSTINI

Time to assemble all the ingredients!  Take a crostini, spread a thick coating of the ember-roasted asparagus and ricotta mixture, and top with the diced pimento and olive.  Once you have a serving tray full, you’re ready to serve!

The saltiness of the olive mixed in with the creaminess of the ricotta, blend so well with the wood-fired asparagus.  Couple this with the crispness of the crostini and you have a perfect match.

Ember-roasted asparagus crostini – just one of the wonderful ways to use fresh asparagus this season.

Enjoy!

Bon Bar B Que

Dr. Smoke-try the Crostini with Smoked Asparagus!

Dr. Smoke-try the Crostini with Smoked Asparagus!

 

 

Purchase Products:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

 

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Fresh seasonal asparagus

 

EMBER ROASTING FRESH ASPARAGUS ON A HIBACHI OR OTHER CHARCOAL EQUIPMENT

 

Its Asparagus season and that means you should get the most out of this sensational vegetable while it’s fresh!  Learn how easy it is to ember roast this thick skinned vegetable to bring out the fantastic flavor of this vegetable as a side dish, or used as an ingredient in other recipes like a refreshing dip, soup, or stuffing for meat or fish.

SmokinLicious® Grande Sapore® Wood Chips

SmokinLicious® Grande Sapore® Wood Chips

INGREDIENTS:

 

PREPARING TO EMBER COOK:

Clean the Hibachi or small charcoal grill unit of all previous ash, as well as any leftover wood and charcoal.  Add the SmokinLicious® Culinary Wood Products Grande Sapore® Wood Chips in the base of the Hibachi on the charcoal grates. If not using a Hibachi unit, then place the wood chips in the charcoal area of your small charcoal grill. I like to use Wild Cherry Grande Sapore® Chips to bring a balance to the asparagus’ flavor.  Since I plan to use my roasted asparagus as an ingredient in other recipes, I’m using the chips in their natural state rather than soaking in a flavored liquid but feel free to soak in wine, alcohol, juice or other liquid of your choice.

Items need for this recipe

Items need for this recipe

LIGHTING THE FIRE

After loading the Hibachi or other unit with my Grande Sapore® Cherry Chips, I light the chips using a small kitchen size torch.   I let the chips burn down until I have about 2-3 inches of hot embers to cook with.  I need the layer long enough to accommodate the spears of asparagus and deep enough to ensure the embers encircle most of the spear.  I keep plenty of extra Grande Sapore® Cherry chips on hand to ensure I get the depth and size of the ember bed throughout the cooking process.  This includes maintaining a perimeter of unlit chips around the hot embers.

 

PREPARING THE ASPARAGUS

While I wait for the chips to burn down into embers, I start preparation of my fresh asparagus.  First, I gently clean the spears and then trim the bottoms just where they are a bit dried out and tough.  I gently pat dry and leave them in a tray to wait on the fire.  I drizzle some oil over my asparagus spears and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.  The oil will help the seasoning stick to the spears and also ensure an even cook on the asparagus.  Letting the asparagus sit while you wait on the embers allows the seasoning to penetrate the stalks, giving it additional flavor.

EMBER ROASTING FRESH ASPARAGUS TECHNIQUE

Once I have a bed of hot embers, I’m ready to cook!  I won’t be needing the grill grates as asparagus has a nice thick skin so it’s an ideal vegetable to be placed directly on the hot coals.  Prior to adding the asparagus, I add some more wood chips to the outside perimeter of my cooking area so that I will be able to bring in new embers as needed.  In addition to providing new embers, the unlit chips will provide additional heat to the grill as they ignite.

Asparagus cooking directly on the embers

Asparagus cooking directly on the embers

I lay my asparagus spears into the hot embers allowing the coals to wrap around the majority of each spear.

As I’m using very thick diameter spears, I will let the asparagus cook in the embers for about 10 minutes prior to

checking on the char level.  Just like with conventional cooking, you’ll see the asparagus get a brighter green sheen as they cook through.  Once I see a nice layer of char develop to the skin, I will turn the spears with tongs. The oil will also give a nice golden hue.

Ember roasted fresh asparagus

I’ve turned the asparagus spears only as the char develops on each side until they are fully charred and the spears have tenderized. You’ll know the perfect tender level when you prick the spear with a knife tip and it just penetrates.

Now I’m ready to use these beauties in my recipes but only after a few spears are enjoyed as is.  Ah, the perks of cooking over hot embers.  Bon-Bar-B-Que!

Please go to- Smokinlicious Instagram #smokinliciousasparagus for the audio instructional series

Dr. Smokes favorite- SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE is a great recipe for fresh or frozen Strawberries. The smokiness will add a special twist

Dr. Smoke- ember roasting Fresh Asparagus on the Hibachi is adding a charcoal side burner!

SmokinLicious® Products used in this recipe:

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

More recipes using asparagus:

-Flank Steak Pinwheels with Ember Roasted Asparagus

-Crostini with Smoked Asparagus

-Top 10 Vegetables to Cook in Hot Embers