Sunday, July 24, 2016

Spicy Southern Kitchen: Asparagus Casserole

I have this thing for comfort food from back in the day.  "The day" being circa 1950's.  Yes, I'm aware I was not actually alive back then, but they had such fun things to eat!  And most of that stuff kept getting recycled for the next 20 years or so anyway because there was no internet for crazy people to post every friggin' thing they cooked or ate.  Guilty as charged.  So one of the old school casseroles I've been eyeballing is this super retro asparagus beauty.  Now, the original recipe was a true work of convenience food horror, with canned asparagus, cream of mushroom soup, and god knows what else.  This version is still creamy and cheesy and eggy, but it uses fresh asparagus and no canned soup.  Retro memories, updated for the modern world.  Enjoy.

Note: I used Emmentaler for the Swiss because I didn't want to dig through the 20 different Swiss cheeses at Food Mecca and decide which one would be considered an old school Swiss cheese.  #toomanychoices  #modernproblems

Asparagus Casserole
Adapted from Spicy Southern Kitchen blog

4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
2½ pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
½ medium sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1¼ cup whole milk
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon lemon pepper
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (6-ounce) can french-fried onions
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Grease a casserole dish and preheat oven to 350°F.

Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add asparagus, mushrooms, onions, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes.  Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook, stirring continuously, for 1 to 2 minutes.  Gradually stir in milk. Cook until thickened.

Reduce heat to low and mix in mayonnaise, sour cream, both cheeses, salt, lemon pepper, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. Remove from heat.

Crush about ⅓ of the can of french-fried onions and mix them into the asparagus mixture.  Transfer half of the asparagus mixture to the prepared casserole dish.  Sprinkle with the chopped eggs.  Pour the remaining asparagus mixture over the eggs and smooth the top.  Sprinkle the remaining french-fried onions on top. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Makes 8 servings

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