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Asparagus Cheese Fritters

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  Fresh asparagus spears 24
  Boiling water 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  All purpose flour 1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs)
  Baking powder 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Salt To Taste
  Freshly ground pepper To Taste
  Finely grated gruyere cheese 3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)
  Grated lemon peel 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Milk 1 1⁄4 Cup (20 tbs)
  Egg 1
  Worcestershire sauce 1 Dash
  Oil 2 Cup (32 tbs) (For Deep Frying)
  Lemon wedges 4 (For Garnish)
  Parsley sprigs 1 (For Garnish)

Wash, trim and cut asparagus about 1/2 inch below tips; reserve tender part of stems for soups or stews.
Blanch tips in large amount of boiling water 1 minute.
Drain immediately and dry well with paper towels.
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in mixing bowl.
Add grated cheese and lemon peel and blend well.
In separate measuring cup or bowl, beat together milk, egg and Worcestershire.
Slowly stir into dry mixture and blend completely (mixture should be fairly thick, almost the consistency of sour cream).
Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours.
If mixture becomes too thick, thin with small amount of milk.
To cook, heat 2 to 3 inches oil to 375°F in deep fryer or large skillet.
Using long-handled fork or spoon, individually dip asparagus tips into batter and deep fry several seconds on each side until puffed and golden.
Remove with slotted spoon and drain well on paper towels.
Transfer to heated serving platter and keep warm.
When cooking is completed, decorate platter with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs and serve immediately.
Fritters can be frozen.
To reheat, arrange on baking sheet and bake in 400°F oven 10 to 12 minutes.

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