It's almost ASPARAGUS TIME!
Fresh asparagus will soon be showing up in our local farmer's markets and in our gardens.
We are wild about asparagus, here at StoneGable!
This recipe uses just picked asparagus wrapped up with Tavern ham and dripping in a sauce full of Parmesan flavor! Oh, YUMMY!
It's a great recipe to take to a pot luck or to feed a crowd...
STONEGABLE ASPARAGUS ROLL-UPS WITH CHEESE SAUCE
3 lbs fresh asparagus, woody ends cut off
1 lb Tavern ham
6 TBS butter
1/3 cup flour
1 quart half and half
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese
6 oz. vegetable farmer's cheese
8 slices cook bacon, crumbled
3 small Caprese tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Put water in a large skillet to fill half way and simmer on medium.
Put water and ice in a large 9 x 13 pan.
1. Cut woody ends off of asparagus and wash.
2. Put single layer of asparagus in the simmering water. Put a lid on it and simmer for 2 minutes. Blanch asparagus in batches.
3. When asparagus has blanched, put it in the ice bath to shock it and retain a bright green color. Don't skip this step.
4. Cut tavern ham in half and roll up three asparagus in one half slice of ham. Layer in a large baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
5. Pour 1 1/2 cup of cheese sauce over the asparagus. (Cheese sauce recipe follows).
6. Make a second layer of asparagus roll-ups and pour 1 1/2 cups of cheese sauce over the second layer.
Bake for 20 minutes until hot.
Remove from oven and tops with bacon and diced tomatoes.
If I am serving these myself I take the roll-ups out of the pan, plate, add cheese sauce and topping to each individual dish.
Put butter in a large skillet. Melt over medium heat. Add flour and whisk into butter. Cook for 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in 2 two cups of half and half. Whisk until thickened. Add the rest of the half and half. Continue to whisk until thickened.
Add Parmesan cheese and farmer's cheese. Whisk until melted and hot.
I like to garnish the asparagus with tomatoes. They bring a pretty brightness to the dish!