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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Asparagus in a Blanket with Cheese Sauce

I've been using a lot of chicken tenders lately because I had gotten a 5lb bag from Costco. Everything there is in bulk. So I'm trying to think of different ways to use those tenders aside from the obvious, which I will do, too. I figured why not use them as a wrap for some thing. I butterflied and pounded the tenders close to the thickness of bacon and wrapped them around some thin asparagus. As much as I love bacon, trust me...I could go for a bacon sandwich any day, we sometimes have to go for an alternative.

Very tasty. The top tips have a little crisp crunch to them. The body of the asparagus tender with a slight crunch at the center. The chicken baked just right and topped with some of the 4 cheese sauce. I ate 3 little bundles and it was the right amount to fill me up. Not the "guilty" full, but the "satisfied and just right" full. I still had room for dessert (i.e. leche flan). If using thicker asparagus, it'd be best to blanch them first.

This will make 6 bundles.

Asparagus in a Blanket with Cheese Sauce

6 Large chicken tenders
1 bundle thin asparagus (roughly 30)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Juice of half a lemon (optional)

Preheat oven to 350˚F

Wash and cut the bottom ends of the asparagus off. In a bowl, toss them in some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Carefully butterfly the chicken tenders. (Cutting it from the side middle like a book. Be sure not to cut all the way through you still want it to be one piece.)

Then place the tenders in between two piece of plastic wrap and pound it a few times into a thin piece. I use the bottom of a pan since I don't a have a mallet.

Remove from plastic wrap and season both side with salt, pepper and paprika.

Take 4-5 asparagus sticks and wrap it in a slight angle in the pounded chicken. Like in a twist.

Place on a lightly greased baking sheet, ends facing down to keep it from unraveling while it cooks. Drizzle a little olive oil over the chicken.

Bake for 20 min.

Cheese Sauce:
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp All-purpose Flour
1-1 1/2 c milk or 1 12oz can of evaporated milk
Shredded cheese (I used Sargento 4 cheese Mexican mix with Monterey Jack, Mild Cheddar,
Queso Quesadilla and Asadero cheeses)
Salt & Pepper

Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add in the flour and stir to combine making a roux. It'll clump together. Then add in the milk. Stir to combine and melt the flour mix. Once it looks a little thicker add in the shredded cheese.

Stir occasionally until the cheese is melted and has a creamy consistency. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Putting it all together:
When the chicken and asparagus are done place on a plate and pour some of the cheese sauce on top. The cheese sauce is also good for fondue.



Pam said...

Wow - these look really pretty and tasty. Perfect for dinner guests.

Dana Fallentine said...

These kids of meals are my husbands favorite! Beautiful presentation!

Christo Gonzales said...

I know where I am eating when I come to your neck of the woods.....damn these look so friggin' good!

Jenn said...

Pam: Thanks!

Dana: He'll love this then. =)

doggy: You're more than welcome over. =) I love having guests.

Kelly said...

What a great idea! I love it. These would be great for company. Yum!

The Duo Dishes said...

You should mail this to South Beach! It's almost a perfect low carb dish. Great photo.

Heather S-G said...

This looks delicious! Guess what I had for dinner last night...basically chicken and asparagus!! What is going on?? :P

Jen @ said...

These look beautiful! Great new idea for chicken - I love all sorts of stuffed/rolled chicken dishes.

Bob said...

That's awesome. I would have never thought to butterfly chicken tenders!

Juliana said...

Wow, looks delicious...I am like you, got the same bag at Costco...will try your recipe.

Sweta (My Indian Dietitian) said...

Oooh-how innovative!!This looks so good-who would have ever thought of making Asparagus this way!!

Anonymous said...

What an elegant simple dish - gotta love that combination!

Zee said...

Yummy Jenn! I recently discovered that I love asparagus... hahahaha :) and we have lots of chicken tenders in the fridge (also from costco) hehehe

Jenn said...

Kelly: They sure would!

Duo Dishes: That's not a bad suggestion.

girlichef: whoa!!! Ya, what is going on?!?

Jen: You'll like this then.

Bob: now you know.

Juliana: Solution for Costco Chicken!!

Sweta: Gives a spin to just eating it alone.

Oyster Culture: Thanks

Zee: We are costco lovers!!!

Dewi said...

Love Asparagus, never put any sauce on it, but you just give me an idea. Delicious Jenn!

Diana said...

Yet another reason why Costco is AWESOME. And yet another reason why I need a membership! (besides there super delish cookies...)

Julie Jams said...

Great combo of flavors! Looks delicious.

Tangled Noodle said...

This is such a beautiful plate! I love that the ingredients list for the entire dish is minimal and yet the end result is so sophisticated and delicious.

Jenn said...

Elra: Thanks!

Diana: I'd even go to costco just to eat the samples.

Julie Jams: Thanks!

Tangled Noodle: I love you description of this!

Anonymous said...

I love the concept of this asparagus in a blanket! Excellent idea and beautiful presentation! Love the cheese sauce too!

Reeni said...

What a great idea! They look so good, especially with the cheese sauce over them!

Anonymous said...

Interesting! The Missus does something very similar!
We call chicken tnders "sasami" in Japanese.
They are very cersatile!

Anonymous said...

you had me in mind when you made this! CHEESe sauce! whoooooooo!!

SimplyHeavenFood said...

What a great idea? These are beautiful!!

Jenn said...

5 Star Foodie, Reeni: Thanks!

Robert-Gilles: It's amazing how chicken can be used in so many things.

burpandslurp: Gotta lova that cheese sauce!!

SimplyHeavenFood: Thanks.

Victoria said...

This looks so good and healthy, even with the cheese sauce! What a great idea!

Thistlemoon said...

They look absolutely gorgeous! I love it, especially when the tips of the asparagus gets crunchy!

Patty said...

What a great idea! These look great! I always need new ideas for chicken too!

Jenn said...

Victoria K: Thanks.

JennDZ: I saved the crinchy tips for last. LOL.

Patty: It's always fun to come up with something new for chicken.

tavolini said...

Smart! I think Tavo would like something like that--he's a big fan of all things cheese and asparagus.

Jenn said...

TavoLini: This is perfect then. =)

Julia said...

It looks and sounds delicious!

Mahalia said...

I will try this at home, our family are asparagu-holic

Jenn said...

Julia: Thanks!

Mahalia: Perfect for your family!

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Anonymous said...

Made it tonight. Everyone loved it!!!

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