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Asparagus Fries with Smoked Paprika Aïoli

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Serves 6

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 110

Serve these surprising and delicious “fries” as an appetizer or with your favorite burger.

For the aïoli
  • 4 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice, more to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the asparagus fries
  • 3 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 medium lime, juiced
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 lb. thick asparagus spears, trimmed, peeled, and halved crosswise
Make the aïoli

Put the garlic in a small saucepan, add cold water to cover by least 1/2 inch, and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water boils, drain and repeat the process once more. Rinse the garlic with cold water to cool and then peel and mince the cloves.

In a medium bowl, whisk the poached garlic with the mayonnaise, olive oil, smoked paprika, and lemon juice until smooth. Add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to meld the flavors.

Make the asparagus fries

In a 3-quart saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, heat the oil over medium-high heat to 375°F.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the lime juice and 2 Tbs. water.

Put the flour on a small plate and season generously with salt and pepper. Put the panko on another small plate. Dredge the asparagus in the flour and shake off any excess. Dip the asparagus in the egg mixture and then the panko to coat. Working in batches, fry the asparagus until golden-brown, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain briefly. Sprinkle with salt and serve with the smoked paprika aïoli.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 340; Fat (g): fat g 33; Fat Calories (kcal): 290; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 4.5; Protein (g): protein g 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 10; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 15; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 460; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 60; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

very easy, great appy! could be a bit spicier?

The aioli is absolutely amazing. I would definitely makes this again. I actually froze the asparagus after dredging them and they cooked extremely quickly. I'm definitely going to use the aioli as a sandwich spread in the future.

Surprisingly great recipe. Aioli can be made ahead but frying is all last minute and needs to be eaten right away. Leftovers from the fridge got limp.

I made these tonight and everybody loved them. My husband, who is very hard to please since he's so spoiled, raved about them. They'd be a great cocktail party appetizer I think.

GREAT recipe! Really tasty, the aioli was FULL of flavor and these provide a great option for appetizers or children who are finicky eaters.

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