Hye Thyme Cafe: Asparagus Shortcakes

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Asparagus Shortcakes

Oops, my bad ... I made this the other night and posted the Chicken Croquettes saying I would post the asparagus tomorrow, but that would have been yesterday. Sorry if anyone was waiting for it! I got carried away wrapping Christmas Presents. 😊

This was a recipe that I came across several years ago in the Ladies Home Journal.  Although we all love the asparagus, none of us cared for the biscuit/shortcake recipe that accompanied it. I never got around to trying to come up with a different shortcake. Instead, I bake up some puff pastry and serve it in that. Because we also love homemade Chicken Croquettes, I will typically serve the asparagus with those, so we can use the same sauce as a gravy over the croquettes.

1 1/2 lb asparagus, chopped
2 T butter
2 T minced shallot
2 c milk
2 T cornstarch
1/2 t salt
Pinch mace or nutmeg
1 c shredded cheddar

Bring 1/2" water to a boil, add asparagus and cook for 4". Drain and rinse with cold water. Returning the pan to the stove, melt the butter over medium, add the shallots and cook for about 3", until translucent. Stir the cornstarch into the milk to dissolve, then add to the pan, along with the salt and mace/nutmeg. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, then stir in the cheese and asparagus. Continue until the cheese has melted and the asparagus is heated through.

For the shortcake, cut whatever shapes you would like out of sheets of puff pastry and bake them off per the package instructions. Make the cut outs a little larger than you think necessary because they will shrink up while they puff. When they come out, you can either use a very sharp knife to slice off the tops and fill them, or you can just tap lightly on the top to punch it in. If you slice off the tops, you can put them back on when filled so they make little caps.

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