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a little pink and green

Recipe: grilled prosciutto-wrapped asparagus

menu for hope OR get off your arse!
I just want to remind you all that Menu for Hope is still going on for a couple more days. You can find all of the fantastic prizes being offered here and then go and buy raffle tickets here. Oh, and yes, I’m offering a prize as well! Take your pick from these four photos.

how many people get an email from…
…the crater rim of Mount Erebus, the southernmost active volcano on Earth (in Antarctica)? I did! My pal is imaging the surface of the lava lake in the crater. How f’ing cool is that? VERY.

i like winter in colorado
Well, it looks like winter is taking the nation by storm *snort*, except possibly at Tartelette’s house. I’ll have to bag up some Colorado snow in a ziploc and mail it to her, poor thing. We went to Breckenridge today to enjoy some express lifts on the big mountains. While we love our local hill (and especially the ten minute drive from house to ski hill), the big resorts are really something else, despite the longer drive (anywhere from 1-2 hours). As we walked to the gondola from the parking lot, Jeremy said to me, “If I lived someplace else, I’d probably wish I were skiing all the time. Since we live here, I wake up and think, ‘Should I go skiing today?’” The answer is: hell yes, go skiing!


the view across the valley – snow capped gorgeousness

my tele honey

breck is a big place



It was crowded for a Monday, but we expected as much since it is a holiday week. Luckily, Breckenridge is quite large, so there was plenty of space for folks to spread out and enjoy. And just as an aside… if you smoke pot on the ski lift like the young gentlemen knuckle draggers going up Peak 10 ahead of us this morning – stay the hell away from me on the slopes. You twerps can barely navigate sober let alone high. Crash into a tree and split your head open, but STAY AWAY FROM ME AND MY MAN. Idiots.

to the task at hand
I’ve already posted about the sweets and treats I gave out this season for the holidays – mostly as year-end thank yous to people who not only provide services or perform a job for us, but do them exceptionally well. The flip side of little confections or cookies would be savory bites, like appetizers. I am crazy about appetizers because I prefer savory foods to sweet and because I love tiny foods. Those don’t package as well as gifts for folks and I’m guessing that the majority of recipients would be a little wigged out to get a bag of shrimp cocktail versus a bag of peppermint bark. Oh well oh well…


vegetable love: asparagus



But if you entertain during the holidays or just in general, appetizers are a must. When my friend was visiting last weekend, we snacked on some indulgent appetizers while I prepared our main meal. While we were walking through Whole Foods to pick up a few last minute ingredients before heading to the house, my hand hovered over the asparagus. Sam leaned in and excitedly whispered, “Can we get the white asparagus instead?” They were the same price anyway, and I thought it would be interesting to try. Why not!

thinly sliced prosciutto di parma



This simple, yet delectable recipe was first had at my aunt’s house. She whipped some up for us when we visited last month and I had wanted to try it at home. I’m used to prosciutto-wrapped melon or asparagus or shrimp, but I had never actually had grilled prosciutto-wrapped asparagus before. My aunt cut the stalks in half and wrapped them in half-slices of prosciutto (cut lengthwise), which is much easier to eat as a finger food. Since we were sitting down to eat these with forks and knives, I left the stalks long.

toss stalks with olive oil, salt, and pepper



I personally like both versions: green or white asparagus. The white asparagus has a more delicate flavor and tender bite. The green asparagus tastes more like its brassica roots and is more fibrous. Again, as I’ve stated in the past, I prefer fat asparagus spears to skinny spears – better flavor, sweeter, juicier.

wrapping three spears in a slice of prosciutto

heading to the fire



Grilling these wraps is definitely the way to go. There are days when the winds are blowing so furiously in the winter that grilling is essentially futile. I have tried making this by roasting the wraps in the oven. While it tastes good, it doesn’t taste nearly as good as the grilled version. So if you can, grill them.

crispy, beautiful



While the asparagus wraps are grilling, I make a quick balsamic reduction over the stove. It involves a little sugar and some balsamic vinegar boiled down to about half the original volume. It thickens nicely to a good sauce. Just take care not to breathe in the fumes.

thick enough when cooled



As soon as the asparagus wraps come off the grill, I like to drizzle the sauce over them and serve immediately. If you’re the host(ess), be sure to save one for yourself before offering them up because I guarantee you won’t see any leftover. Jeremy and I had some for dinner the other night… that was our dinner – totally satisfying!

great for parties



Grilled Prosciutto-wrapped Asparagus
[print recipe]

1 lb. fat asparagus spears
6-8 slices prosciutto, thin
olive oil
salt
pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp (or less) sugar

Wash asparagus spears and trim off woody bottoms. If making small appetizer bites, cut or break the spears into halves or thirds and slice the prosciutto lengthwise into halves or thirds depending on the length of the asparagus pieces. Toss the asparagus in a little olive oil (about 1 tablespoon), and a little salt and pepper to taste, to coat all of the pieces. Roll three pieces of asparagus in a piece of prosciutto. Repeat until done. Grill on high heat for 4 minutes or until asparagus loses firmness. Turn and reduce heat to medium and grill for another 4-5 minutes until asparagus is cooked through (less time if you prefer crunchy asparagus). While the asparagus is grilling, combine vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and stir over high heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and reduce to an energetic simmer or low boil until the volume has reduced by half. Remove from heat and let cool. When asparagus is done, drizzle the balsamic reduction over the spears. Serve.

27 nibbles at “a little pink and green”

  1. Rosa says:

    Oooohhh, these asparagus look scrumptious! I’d love to see Colorado…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Mrs Ergül says:

    This looks very good! Barely enough for 2 isn’t it?! hehe

    Oh, and I totally understand why you hate those pot smoking arses!

  3. Passionate Eater says:

    I have a love-hate relationship with asparagus (and its smell when it gets “digested”), but the addition of a thin blanket prosciutto always turns my heart around. I’ve never tried the balsamic vinegar with the asparagus+prosciutto combo, but you’ve inspired me, yet again!

  4. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary says:

    Asparagus is one of my favorite foods. I like it better than ice cream….it’s true. Grilled with prosciutto is one of my favorite ways to eat it. Now if I could just find my grill under the 15 inches of snow!

  5. zoe / puku says:

    yum! I was wondering what could be pink and green… definitely a good combo!

  6. Bridget says:

    I’m spending a week with my family at Breckenridge in March. I’m sure the skiing will be nice, but mostly I’m looking forward to seeing my nephews.

  7. Manggy says:

    We only get the green ones here but the white asparagus sounds looovely… Sometimes those fibrous thingies frustrate me. In any case, it looks delicious, and your aunt is quite talented! Is there anything that grilling doesn’t improve? ;)
    You got me thinking about what I like to do most and where I’d have to be to do it. Obviously, it’s NOT skiing, heh heh :) I don’t think I’ve been in enough places to figure it out ;)

  8. Stacey Snacks says:

    Nice to grill outside in the chilly weather
    I also like the bundles, instead of the dopey way of wrapping 1 spear at a time
    Happy Holidays!
    Stacey Snacks

  9. Amy says:

    Ooh, yum. I would be happy with that dinner, for sure. :)

    That Breckenridge trail map is enormous. Growing up in CT, we had a tiny ski “mountain” (which was really just a little hill) nearby that had 12 whole trails. Woooo! I don’t even know if they had trail maps – I mean, do you really need a map when there’s only 12 possible ways to go? ;) Looks like you guys had fun, pot-smoking twerps aside!

  10. Culinarywannabe says:

    I love anything with prosciutto! And the grilling makes it seem extra special. And I can’t believe those kids who were getting high and skiing – I would have been the rat that reported them!

  11. Christine says:

    This looks like a great starter! :P I wish you good health, joy & peace this Christmas and have a fantastic New Year! And never stop blogging!

    One of your avid readers
    CY, Perth, Australia

  12. cindy says:

    Mmm. Sophie would love this. She’s vastly prefers prosciutto that is cooked, like on pizza. I’m off to print out your taters recipe to make down at my sister’s for Christmas dinner. We might even take the sticks down there with us, although I’m sort of concerned that So. Cal. skiing may be an oxymoron. It won’t be Tahoe, that’s for sure.

  13. Rayfil Wong says:

    The great marriage between savory and veggie sweat veggies.

    You take really great photos as well.
    Keep writing.

  14. Mollie says:

    Appetizers rock. And I love fat asparagus too. I used to think thin was the ideal, but like so many things, thin ain’t what it’s cracked up to be!

    For Christmas day at my house growing up, we stayed in our jammies all day and played with our new toys and presents and ate only appetizers and desserts. The best part of any meal!

  15. Isa says:

    Prosciutto di parma wrapped asparagus = heaven.
    Haha. Love your pictures and your simple, though so delicious recipes!

  16. Nate says:

    I could totally go for bacon-wrapped asparagus for dinner. Wonder what kind of wine would go with that?

  17. dawn says:

    I love grilling outside in the snow!
    I think I could get used to eating my asparagus this way.

  18. Holly says:

    I had something like this once years ago that was the first time I had prosciutto and loved it. It wasn’t grilled though so you are much more brilliant than they were. It was also served on a little piece of crostini, which looking at this now makes me think it was a completely irrelevant addition. Holy Yum!

    Happy Holidays to you both! More snow on the way!

  19. peabody says:

    Wow you are still grilling even in the snow!
    Hope you get lots of skiing in!

  20. cindy says:

    this has to be one of my favorite things in the whole world. i have had it wrapped in bacon as well…yum. and i agree, grilling is the way to go.

    and the mountains look amazing!

  21. Tartelette says:

    Is that what is in my package…a little Colorado snow?!! Yeehaawwww :)
    The asparagus sound completely scrumptious this way! Love it!!

  22. lobstersquad says:

    I´ve discovered your blog today, you´re the best! I´ve flagged a few recipes to try, and my only regret is that I´m going to be away from my kitchen from ten days. And miles from the nearest bottle of soy sauce, too.

  23. jenyu says:

    Rosa – they were quite good :) Yes, you should definitely see Colorado some day, it’s lovely.

    Mrs E – Just right for 2 – hee hee.

    Passionate Eater – I don’t like asparagus pee either, but it’s worth it to me because I just loooove asparagus.

    Lisa – for us, the winds usually wipe any snow clean from our grill… and if it doesn’t, then we’re not grilling, but skiing :)

    Zoe – :)

    Bridget – March will hopefully be good. It all depends on the weather. Right now the climate models are pointing toward a dry spring… but it could change! Let’s hope.

    Mark – I know! Grilling seems to make it all better. Fire=Good :) Maybe it’s snowboarding that will become your favorite activity? ha ha ha!

    Stacey – yup, the bundles are better, I tend to prefer the ratio of asparagus to prosciutto in bundles otherwise it’s too much prosciutto (did I just write that!?!)

    Amy – Yeah, Breck is big. But you should see VAIL! HUGE. Seriously.

    Culinarywannabe – it happens a lot.

    Christine – thank you, you’re so very sweet!! Wishing you all the best too.

    Cindy – I have to say that I always think I like prosciutto in it’s uncooked form, but then I get a taste of it cooked (on pizza, in pasta, grilled…) and I love it just as much! I think I just love pork, the magical piggy :) I hope the potatoes worked out for ya. Don’t ski in So Cal unless you are willing to drive to Mammoth. We used to climb Baldy while watching the “skiers” (I use that term loosely) take the lift up to where they actually had snow. Oy.

    Rayfi – thank you!

    Mollie – Same here. I have learned the error of my ways. FAT asparagus all the way! My MIL used to feed her boys a meal called “combination” which was a bunch of little appetizers. The variety apparently kept Jeremy’s and his brother’s attention enough to have them finish their plates. Combination is basically party food – yum :)

    Isa – thanks :)

    Nate – hard to say. I think brassicas are difficult to pair with wines, especially asparagus. Perhaps a crisp white or a pinot? I’d have to ask my dad. He is the wine expert!

    Dawn – asparagus rules!

    Holly – oh hon, I’m not brilliant. It’s my aunt who is the brilliant one :) Thank you, and happy holidays to you and your family!

    Peabody – it’s the Colorado way, babe! Don’t you know? :)

    Cindy – thanks!

    Tartelette – well, if I sent Colorado snow, it’d be Colorado water (at best) by the time it arrived in your tropical climes, love. No, the stuff I sent won’t melt (unless you light it). tee hee.

    Lobstersquad – never fear. The recipes will be here for a long time. I have about 100 recipes I want to try and the list keeps growing!

  24. Kevin says:

    Those look so good! I like the balsamic reduction on them.

  25. jenyu says:

    Kevin – thanks, hon!

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