Sometimes things don’t work out exactly as planned.
Sometimes they work out better than planned!
I was trying to put on my elegant hat recently and thought I’d make some fun asparagus wraps. My original idea was to wrap the spears in very thin potatoes and then bake them so the potato would crisp up like a chip.
It was a good idea, but didn’t work exactly right because the potatoes weren’t really strong enough to hold the spears together.
So I had to use bacon also. Like I said. Sometimes things work out for the better!
1) Wash asparagus and break off the ends. Peel the potatoes. Slice potatoes thinly using a mandoline or good knife skills.
2) Dunk potato slices in cold water for a minute to help them relax.
3) Take a few asparagus spears and wrap a potato slice around the center. A few slices might break, so be sure to slice extra potatoes.
4) Then wrap half a piece of bacon around the bundle.
5) Drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
6) Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the veggies are soft and the bacon slightly crispy.
The Basics. Asparagus is starting to be in season now and you should be able to find groups of them that are on the skinnier side. These work better for this kind of thing because they cook faster and you can also group five or six of them together.
Besides that just pick up a few Russet potatoes and some bacon and you’re ready to go.
Slicing the Potatoes. Slicing the potatoes for this dish is a bit tricky. You want them thick enough to be strong, but thin enough to be able to wrap them easily. I went with a slice that was a bit thicker than a chip.
A mandoline slicer makes this the easy part of this dish frankly. If you don’t have one, you can give it a shot with a knife or just leave out the potatoes entirely and wrap the things in just bacon!
Once the potatoes are sliced (slice them long-wise), add them to a bowl of cold water which will wash off the starch, make them a bit more flexible, and also keep them from browning.
Making a Wrap. For the asparagus, just break off the bottom ends. You probably want to break off about an inch or two from the asparagus. You should be able to feel a natural point when the asparagus will snap in half easily.
Then take a few asparagus spears and stick them on a potato slice!
Next, roll the potato tightly around the asparagus. I found that some slices would snap in half or just not work so it’s always a good idea to slice more slices than you’ll need.
It’s not terribly hard though. After a minute, I was able to get the potato around the asparagus without too much trouble.
The Problem. So my idea was to just bake these guys like this with some olive oil and salt and pepper for a pretty side dish. They didn’t exactly hold together though. The potatoes just wouldn’t stay rolled tightly.
Now, I could have secured them with some toothpicks or something, but I happened to have some bacon in the fridge so I thought I’d wrap some bacon around the potato to secure it.
This worked surprisingly well. You’ll need about half a slice of bacon per bundle.
Baking the Bundles. Drizzle a tiny amount of olive oil over the bundles and season them well with salt and pepper. Then bake them about 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. You want the bacon to be crispy and the potatoes and asparagus to be cooked through.
These were my finished versions.
These are just plain pretty I think. Roasted asparagus is always a good thing, but these have the advantage of being basically cooked in bacon fat, which kind of melts onto the spears as they bake.
Turns out that the potato slice isn’t exactly necessary because bacon alone would’ve held the bundles, but I kind of thought it added something. Namely, a slice of potato.
I’m not usually into presentation, but sometimes it’s nice to have something a bit fancy up your sleeve!