I love Orphan Black and I think this season so far has been really great, so of course I wanted to celebrate it, but I could not think of how. I decided it seemed right to take one ingredient and use it a bunch of different ways. They do it all the time on cooking shows. And like the clones on Orphan Black, each thing will be the same and also different.
I decided to use asparagus as my ingredient, mostly because it’s seasonal, but maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. I mean, it was ok. But maybe your pee will smell for a year.
I also decided, even though there are over 22 clones, I’m only going to do 4 asparagus dishes. I say because if the 4 main clones; Sarah, Helena, Alison, and Cosima, but really because I don’t want to make more than 4 things with asparagus for one meal. I settled in making soup, wrapped asparagus, asparagus fries, and sauteed asparagus with mushrooms.
So I started with a soup recipe I found on Diethood. I started way earlier in the day, thinking I can heat it up when it was ready. So you trim your asparagus and smash your garlic, toss it in olive oil and put it in the oven until soft.
After it’s all soft you blend it up with some veggie broth and milk. I had to use a tiny bit of milk for this which I was not happy about but that’s what you do when you live in a home with dairy eaters that don’t want your old almond milk.
So once I was ready for major cooking I took the bender out of the fridge and reheated it on the stove while I tackled all the other parts of this meal. I decided to start with the phyllo-wrapped asparagus, In hindsight I think it would be better to start with the asparagus fries because they are cooked hotter and I would save the sauteing until the end because you can keep the others hot in the oven. Oh well.
I found this recipe on The Circus Gardner. Their version looks much better, not just because I’m sure the writer actually knows how to cook, but because they sprinkled sesame seeds on top. I don’t have a good reason for not using sesame seeds, I just couldn’t find them at the store. So start by trimming the asparagus and steam it a little. I didn’t think it was a huge deal to steam it because it was going to be in the oven, but whatever. I cut about 4 layers of phyllo dough into 6 strips for my 6 asparagus and covered it in sesame oil. I mean, I really covered it. I don’t have any kind of pastry brush so I really dumped sesame oil everywhere. Maybe don’t do that.
I plucked some basil I’ve been growing in the backyard and put a leaf on each strip of dough. This basil is so over-watered with all the rain that I feel like using as much basil as possible is putting it out of its misery. Then, you know the next step. You lay a stalk of asparagus on top and wrap.
So while that was cooking I did the sauteing. This idea came from Mirlandra’s Kitchen and I think it’s pretty self-explanatory. I plopped a good amount of non-dairy butter in the pan and cooked the mushrooms first. When they were good and soft I replaced them with the trimmed asparagus, some water, and added salt and pepper. Too much salt. I thought it was going to be asparagus, but too much salt was really the theme running through the entire meal. I need to learn to pour in my hand and pinch.
So the final dish to make was the asparagus fries. This is from Damn Delicious and it really was damn delicious. First combine your panko bowl with parmesan (I used Go Veggie), salt (perhaps too much), and pepper. So then set up three dishes. One with flour, one with egg (I did use a real egg but you just need something to make it stick), and your piano panko mixture. Then you go across the board with each stalk of asparagus in each mixture. Flour first, then egg, then panko. Lay them out and bake them at 425 degrees.
Once everything is done and reheated as necessary, you’re ready to binge watch Orphan Black. I think my favorite thing was the phyllo-wrapped asparagus. It was SO GOOD with sweet chili sauce. If I were to do it again I would want to try to make each dish more representative of each seestra, but maybe next year I’ll have another chance.
As always, send me any ideas you have. I love a challenge. And stay tuned because I’ll have a post for Finding Nemo very soon. Excited!