Depending on where you live, you may already be sick to death of asparagus, but over here I've just barely started finding decent ones. And I always knew that the first batch would go to this, a recipe my mom came upon sometime last year.
I've always found boiling asparagus to be incredibly tricky - the timing between just right and eeww, mushy has always been a problem - especially as you need to time whatever goes with it accordingly. Grilling and roasting is somehow less fussy, and in this recipe the asparagus is actually fried in a bit of butter until tender (and maybe a bit browned, yum), then mixed with parmesan, shrimp and a creamy lobster sauce.
The lobster fond I use (and that the recipe called for) is a bought concentrate (Touch of Taste, anyone?), but I'm sure if you're the kind of person who makes his/her own stock, shrimp/lobster/crayfish stock would work even better. Just beware that the amount called for here is undiluted concentrate and adjust accordingly.
Pasta with Asparagus and Shrimp
originally from Hufvudstadsbladet, I've upped the wine a bit and reduced the lobster fond
1 pound (500 g) shrimp (or however much unpeeled shrimp it takes to make one pound, er, shrimp)
2 pounds (1 kg) fresh green asparagus
2 tbsp butter
1 cup (250 ml) grated parmesan
1.5 cup (350 ml) crème fraîche (I used low-fat, but make sure it's a type that doesn't separate when heated)
½ cup (120 ml) dry white wine
3 tbsp concentrated lobster fond/stock
pinch of cayenne
flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Cut the asparagus into slanted slices, about half-inch long. Brown the butter slightly and fry the asparagus for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Set aside and stir in the grated parmesan.
In a separate pan, bring the crème fraîche, lobster fond and wine to a boil and let simmer gently for five minutes. Season with cayenne, mix in the shrimp. Keep on the stove just until the shrimp's heated through, then mix with the asparagus and parsley and serve immediately with pasta.