Friday, April 22, 2011

Asparagus Rolls

Easter is Sunday, and these would make a cute little appetizer while everyone is getting ready for the big dinner. This would also make a great addition to an afternoon 'tea party' for Mother's Day.  But, as usual, there is a story involved with these little rolls...

I went to a family friend's house for a "jewelry party".... everyone knows we just go to eat, chat and drink wine!  My friend served these, and while everyone was oohing and aahing over them, she told everyone that I taught her how to make them. I did??? Whoa.... I hadn't thought of these little babies for years (...decades?). We did used to have them when we were little girls, but I had absolutely NO RECOLLECTION of ever making them!  (They say the mind is the first to go...). When I got home, I decided to whip up a batch. 

If you are one of four girls in an girl family, having "Afternoon English Tea" party is a great thing to do on a Sunday and we all loved it (even Dad!).  Mom would have us iron a certain white lacy tablecloth and matching napkins, polish the silver and deck out the table with all the china and crystal like the Queen for coming or something! We'd even have to dress up. Then the "carb fest" would begin...

Besides the prerequisite hot tea, we'd have tea sandwiches on thin sliced bread with all the crusts cut off, my favorite were always the salmon cream cheese and cucumber.  You don't even want to know how many little tea sandwiches a bunch of dressed up girls can eat...

Scones with homemade raspberry or strawberry jam and whipped cream, a cake of some sort (yeah, of course you need CAKE with your sandwiches and scones, right?), sometimes a pea salad and these fantastic little asparagus rolls (yep, you guess it, in MORE bread!).

This picture doesn't do justice to the yumminess of these rolls!

Makes about 16-20, plan on 1-2 rolls per person.

1 loaf White bread, crusts removed
1 bunch Fresh Asparagus, small spears are best
1 cup of butter, melted
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 8oz bag of cheese, grated
Garlic salt
Fresh Parmesan, for tops

***Note- I show Dijon Mustard in my picture above, but I would recommend NOT using it, it really doesn't need the additional flavor and I felt it competed with the other more subtle/sublime flavors.  I have to say my friend Kelly's Asparagus Rolls were better than mine!

First, using a bread knife, cut the crusts off the bread.
I'd save those crusts and make a Strata or a bread pudding if I was you! Cube them up and throw them in the freezer, that way they'll be ready when you want to make them.

Next, taking a rolling pin, roll out and "smash" the bread into thin sheets. This makes them easier to roll up and the appearance of the finished roll a little neater and more "refined".

Melt the butter and add 1 tsp of Garlic Salt.  Brush one side of the bread with the garlic butter.  Put the buttered side DOWN on your baking sheet.  On the TOP side of the bread, slather with mayonnaise (I never said this was low calorie or good for you...).  Sprinkle with some cheese and add a couple spears of asparagus.  Roll up, seem side down.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top, if desired.

***Note, I don't steam my asparagus before hand because I want it to be as fresh and still bright green, but I know Kelly and my Mom did steam their asparagus first.

Back at 350 until they are golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes!

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