Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gentlemen, Start Your Asparagus

Okay, so it's not officially spring yet. The asparagus is starting to look like spring asparagus already, though, and I am starting to cook with it again. Last night, I made a dinner that J rated a 10 out of 10. We had my adaptation of Paula Deen's chicken and asparagus bake (with lots of extra cheddar to suit J's cheese tooth), lush egg noodles and baby spinach with citrus poppyseed vinaigrette.

Chicken and Asparagus Bake
3/4 lb. asparagus, trimmed and halved
1 tbsp. oil
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 can 98% FF cream of chicken soup concentrate
1/2 c. light mayo
Juice of half a lemon
2 c. shredded cheddar (yes, it's decadent-I think you could easily do with a cup, half a cup or even no cheese and it would still be great, but I had J egging me on to "add more, add more!")
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. If asparagus is thick or seems tough, cook in boiling water 2 minutes and drain. Put in 8x8 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Brown the chicken well on each side, making sure to salt and pepper it to your liking. Place on top of the asparagus in the pan. Mix soup, mayo and lemon juice. Pour over chicken. Sprinkle top with half the cheese. Bake 40 minutes. Turn off oven. Add rest of cheese and return to oven for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Serves 2.
(The original can be found in Paula's The Lady and Sons, Too cookbook, if you want to try it as she intended it. Lots of other great recipes there, too)

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