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Fabulous British Asparagus

British Asparagus & Cheese Brunch Muffins

Ingredients:
12 spears of British asparagus, 400g self raising flour, 200g Cheshire cheese, cut into small cubes, 125g butter, 1 small bunch chives, snipped into pieces, 150ml milk, 100ml plain yogurt, 1tsp English mustard, 2 eggs, salt & freshly ground black pepper. Makes 12 muffins.

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cases.
2. Cut the asparagus stems into small pieces, about 1cm in length, leaving the tips a little longer and blanch in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water, separating the tips from the pieces of stem.
3. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the cubes of cheese.
4. Melt the butter and pour into a jug. Stir through the chives, milk, yogurt, Suffolk Mud mustard and eggs. Mix well until combined and season generously with salt & pepper.
5. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the flour & cheese, and stir through the asparagus stems. Be careful not to over mix and stop as soon as the mixture is combined.
6. Spoon the mixture evenly between the muffin cases and push an asparagus tip into the middle of each. Bake in the oven from 25-30 minutes until golden. Best eaten hot out of the oven, spread with a little cold butter.

British Asparagus, Pancetta and Lemon Linguine

Ingredients:
250g pancetta cubetti, 1 bundle (approx. 250g) British asparagus, cut into small pieces on an angle, 350g dried linguine, 200ml double cream, 200ml half fat crème fraiche, 2 large free-range egg yolks, 35g Parmesan cheese, holding some back to grate on top, zest of 1 unwaxed lemon, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Serves 4.

Method:
1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet, but cook it for a minute or two less so it’s a little underdone.
2. Heat a medium-sized frying pan on the hob and add the pancetta. You will not need oil in the pan as the pancetta will have enough fat in it to cook in. Fry the pancetta for 4-5 minutes on a medium heat until they have become golden and crisp. Add the British asparagus to the pan and fry for 2 minutes or until it has begun to soften.
3. Meanwhile mix together the double cream, crème fraiche, egg yolks, parmesan, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
4. Drain the cooked pasta, leaving a few tablespoons of water in the bottom of the pan. Return the pan to a low heat and pour in the sauce and the pancetta and British asparagus mixture.
5. Toss the pasta in the sauce, giving it all a good mix round until it’s evenly incorporated. Serve with a good grating of parmesan and black pepper.

Morrocan Crusted Salmon and Asparagus Salad

Ingredients:
For the salmon: 1 tsp crushed cumin seeds, 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds, 1 tsp sesame seeds, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp allspice, 1 tsp soft light muscovado sugar, small bunch parsley roughly chopped salt and cracked black pepper, 4 pieces of salmon fillet, scales removed, 4 tbsp olive oil. For the salad: 2 bundles of asparagus trimmed, 1 preserved lemon, seeds and flesh removed, 1 shallot thinly sliced, 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced, 2 plum tomatoes cut into chunks, 2 handfuls rocket washed, 4 tbsp Greek yogurt extra virgin olive oil for drizzling. Serves 4.

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180°c, gas mark 6
2. In a bowl, mix the cumin, coriander, sesame seeds, paprika, allspice, sugar and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Sprinkle the mixture all over the flesh side of the salmon and drizzle over the olive oil.
4. Bring a medium-sized pan of salted water to the boil. Place in the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes. Drain then cool and set aside.
5. In a hot non-stick frying pan seal the salmon skin side down first, then place in the oven for 6-8 minutes.
6. While you are waiting for the salmon to cook, chop the lemon skin and place in a medium-sized bowl. Then add the asparagus, shallots, chilli, tomatoes, rocket and a splash of extra virgin olive oil, season and mix.
7. When the salmon is cooked, divide between 4 warm plates, top with the salad. Finish with a spoonful of yogurt, cracked pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Rib Eye Steak with British Asparagus and Teriyaki

Ingredients:
For the Teriyaki sauce: 75ml soy sauce, 75ml mirin, Japanese sweet rice wine, 75ml sake, 1 tbsp sugar. For the rest: 2 x 150g rib eye steaks, 1 tbsp vegetable oil plus a dash more for cooking the British asparagus, sea salt and black pepper, 1 packet of British asparagus, trimmed of woody ends, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and white and black sesame seeds to serve. Serves 4.

Method:
1. To make the Teriyaki sauce, combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Stir the mixture well. Put it on medium heat and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for a couple of minutes. Stop the heat and cool the mixture. It’s now ready to use but if you have any left you can store the sauce in a clean bottle in the fridge.
2. Heat a griddle pan until really hot and almost smoking. Rub the steaks with the oil, salt and pepper. Griddle the steaks for 2 minutes on each side so that they’re medium rare. Leave to rest.
3. While the beef is resting rub the British asparagus with a little oil then lay on the griddle and grill for 2-3 minutes, turning every now and then until they start to soften but still have bite and have little chars on them.
4. Split the asparagus between two plates. Carve the steaks into 1cm strips and lay on top of the asparagus pouring over the meat juices left from resting. Cover each steak with a few tablespoons of Teriyaki sauce and sprinkle with the cayenne and sesame seeds.

Save £1 per kilo on asparagus at Secretts Farm Shop! Visit www.vantagepointmag.co.uk/offers to get your voucher.

Recipes taken with permission from www.britishasparagus.com.

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