I am addicted to french fries. Chris told me recently that he loves me more than french fries. I guess that means he really loves me, because I definitely love me some amazing french fries. So when I found this recipe for Asparagus Fries I thought we should try them. They will never compare to real french fries, but at least they give you the nutrients of asparagus, and maybe later stinky pee.
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1/2 cup flour
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 cup panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a bowl large enough to fit the asparagus, beat the egg whites and mayonnaise together.
In a separate container large enough to fit the asparagus (a plate will do), add the flour.
In a separate container large enough to the fit the asparagus, combine the panko, Parmesan, garlic salt, and black pepper.
Then coat the asparagus in the egg.
Dredge a few pieces of asparagus in the flour.
Lastly, coat the asparagus in the panko mixture making sure to press it on.
Repeat these steps until all the asparagus have been coated.
Bake the asparagus in a single layer for 10-13 minutes until golden and crispy.
They were good. Not outstandingly amazing, but good. Would we make them again? Probably not. They were on the drier side. Chris made them with chicken breasts, where he also sprinkled panko crumbs and parmesan on top. Good but not anything to write home about – and also it really depends on how much you like asparagus.
SAVOR. I have been thinking a lot lately about the word. Memories of amazing food come to mind. Such as goat cheese ravioli from a Portland restaurant called Lucy’s Table that is no longer in operation. When we knew it was closing we went and agonized over our very last serving of their goat cheese ravioli. They closed just three years ago and there is not a day that goes by that I do not remember the amazingness of that appetizer. If only I could recreate it at home.
I can think of a plethora of other items that I savor. French fries (gosh, am I addicted to non fast-food french fries). Eggs benedict with fried green tomatoes or on corn cakes instead of english muffins (thank you, Daily Cafe). The King’s Choice at Veritable Quandary. Yum. Apologies for all the Portland references, but I have my little addictions. Noble Rot fries + burger. Decarli’s salted caramel cheesecake. Crab Rangoon from Shing Yee in West Newton, MA. The “Bill’s Seoul Show” sandwich at Hi Rise Bakery in Cambridge, MA. Okay, I guess I will stop, I could go on.
I love the word savor. There is something downright sassy about it. To me it is anything that you mull over in your thought, crave, or cannot wait to consume. It is not just a word I associate with food. Maybe you savor the idea of a person, a spouse, or friend, or someone who just gets your brain juices going each day. Maybe you appreciate how creative and out-of-the box a colleague is and how that ups your game. You savor a collaborative relationship.
If only I could have a meal of goat cheese ravioli, crab Rangoon, Bill’s Seoul Show sandwich, french fries, a great drink, and salted caramel cheesecake for dessert. Just the perfect meal for my taste buds. Oh, and some time with the people I savor in life.
If you ask Chris, he would tell you I double fist my french fries, and I eat them like the world is about to end. He is right. I am not talking about drive-through french fries, I am talking about the perfect thickness, not too thin that they are crunchy/hard, and not so thick that they are almost pulpy in the middle, with just a slight crunch, and golden in hue. Topped with just the right amount of salt, and I am in heaven. Oh, and he is right, I will double fist them and fight you for what is left in the bowl.
Recently I finished reading “I’ll Seize the Day Tomorrow” by Jonathan Goldstein. The author writes a chapter for each week of the year leading up to his 40th birthday. It was not an amazing book, but interesting enough that I finished. He weaves humor throughout the book, and this particular quote, made me think about my two-handing my french fries:
“If manners are going out the window, then I’ll say this: Quit double-fisting the strawberries. I might want to have one myself.”
“How dare you!” he yells. “You’re the double-fister! Remember that time I ran into you on the street and you were eating from a bag of Cheerios with your left hand and a bag of Fritos with your right? Coming down the street you looked like you were wearing mittens.”
“I was wearing mittens.”
“Even worse! What grown man wears mittens?” page 35
Maybe it is all things salt. I am sometimes known to do the same with chips. Just the other day while stuck in our house due to all the snow, Chris and I had lime chips and guacamole. Before Chris had even one chip I had already made a dent in the bowl. He had gone into another room to get something and when he got back he said “hey, leave some for me.” Dig in quick buddy, you have got nothing on me. A little salt, some french fries or chips, and I am a goner.
So it has been years and years since I have been to a fast food restaurant (In-and-Out Burger does not count). Ever since I was not feeling well about a week ago, I have been having strange cravings and adverseness to certain foods that I love. It has been a funky food week for me. I mostly eat a raw diet before 5 p.m. A green smoothie in the morning, a salad for lunch, and then protein, veggie, fruit for dinner. This is all when we eat at home. When we go out, I still try to eat vegetables, but I also go with what sounds best, or with what would be to complicated or involved to make at home. I also have a weakness for french fries, most likely due to the salt. I can also easily be coerced into ordering a burger with that. However, that would be at a good restaurant. (For Portlanders, my current favorite place for a burger and fries is Noble Rot).
Yesterday, Chris and I were running a few errands, and I had eaten lunch earlier than normal. I was needing a snack and the cashews I brought with me were not cutting it. Every drive thru we drove past I would say: “Oh, salt and fries, yum.” I would not usually say that and crave fast food. This past week I have had cravings for the strangest things (no I am not pregnant!). So because I could not stop talking about french fries, and we were not near our normal favorite restaurants, I suggested we go to Burgerville for some fries on our way home. They use all local ingredients, so how bad could they be? They were fine, nothing too exciting, but they met my imperative need for salt.
What I loved most about this fast food adventure, was the receipt. I have included it below. You will see my fries and Chris’ cheeseburger, and all the facts about each (calories, protein, etc). I do not count calories (way too much work), but I was fascinated! I have never seen that before on any receipt. It also compares your purchase to your daily calorie totals, and gives you percentages too. It is like the newly designed credit card bills that tell you how many months or years it will take to pay off your debt. This shows you how good or bad your meal truly is in relation to calories.
No offense to Burgerville, I am just not a fast foodie, so I will not be back too soon, but I applaud you for providing food from local businesses, and I think your receipt is brilliant.