Asparagus “Fries” with Sriracha Aioli

04aAspFriesbfLOAs I was planning our Easter feast, I came across a posting on facebook from an old and much trusted boss (hi, Diane!) for breaded baked (“fried”) asparagus served with a roasted garlic aioli.

We love roasted asparagus just about any which way, and, while I opted to make my own horseradish and Sriracha aioli, the asparagus recipe from looked to be just the thing for a feast day table; and leftovers worked a treat in a ham quiche, but more on that, later.

Horseradish and Sriracha Aioli:
•2 egg yolks
•1 tbsp lemon juice
•1 tsp sugar
•1/2 tsp salt
•1/2 tsp dry mustard
01bAiolibfLO•1/4 tsp white pepper
•1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 tbsp prepared horseradish
•3 garlic cloves, chopped
•1 tsp Sriracha
•1 cup veggie oil

•1 lb asparagus, cleaned and trimmed
•3 large egg whites
•1-1/2 tbsp Sriracha aioli
01cSrirachaAiolibfLO•2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
•2 tsp dried parsley
•1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
•Cooking spray

First things first, make the aioli by adding all of the ingredients, except for the oil, to a food processor fitted with the metal blade – I have a mini Cuisinart that works a treat for stuff like this.

Pulse to combine the ingredients, then, with the processor running, slowly stream the oil in through the hole in the top (again, the 02bAspLiquidbfLOmini processor has a streaming trough built into the lid that makes adding the oil just a bit at a time a snap) until the mixture has absorbed the oil and emulsified into thick, rich, tasty aioli.

Transfer to a covered jar and stash in the fridge until needed.

When ready to bread and bake your asparagus, heat your oven to 375º and wash your asparagus, trim the ends, and, if you like, peel the stems. I don’t particularly care, but Rich prefers his asparagus peeled, so, in the interest of enjoying it as much and as often as possible, I peel ours.

Fit a rack into a large foil-lined baking plan and lightly apply cooking spray.

02cAspPankobfLOWhisk the egg whites together with the Sriracha aioli and pour into a large, flat bottomed bowl.

Toss the Panko with the dried parsley and Parmesan and place in another large, flat bottomed bowl.

Working a few spears at a time, toss the asparagus into the egg white and aioli mixture and then in the Panko and Parm mixture until nicely coated.

03aAspRackbfLOArrange the spears on the prepared baking pan and repeat with the remaining spears, always working to ensure that the asparagus is well coated with the egg mixture before tossing into the Panko.

05bHamAspPlatebfLOOnce all of the asparagus has been breaded, I sprinkled a bit more of the leftover Panko mixture over the top, then popped the pan into the hot oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the asparagus “fries” are golden brown and crisp.

Serve with more of the Sriracha aioli for dipping or slathering.

Actually, we thought the aioli went rather well with the ham, too, so there’s a nice bonus. Peach butter and rosemary glazed ham and garlic marinated then roasted sliced sweet potatoes rounded out our feast, with apple galette for dessert.

I don’t believe I’ll make asparagus this way all the time, but for a special dinner, or mebbe as a different kind of munchie?

Yeah, youbetcha!

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