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):
Photo: Scott Phillips