How to deal with basic kitchen and prep tasks such as slicing vegetables - Peel and Cut Asparagus
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Hi! My name is Robert Nasser from Dinner Done in Centreville, Virginia. We’re talking about basic vegetable prep. Today, we’re going to focus on asparagus, how to peel it and cut it.
A little bit about asparagus first. When you’re at the store shopping for asparagus, look first thing to make sure that the bottoms are wet. If you see any dry, it means that the asparagus is probably been sitting around for a while and they’re not going to be as firm and as nice as you want them. Take a look at the tips and make sure that the leaves are on there firmly, if they’re a little bit of purplish in color that’s just fine.
Now, what you’re going to need for this is a knife, a cutting board with a towel underneath so that it doesn’t slip around on you, and a simple peeler. Here’s how we start. Take your asparagus and cut the first say inch to inch and a half off of the bottom. This part of the asparagus is really hard and woody and you really don’t want to eat it. You can also take the entire bunch if you want and carefully cut through those bottoms. Discard the bottoms. We’re not going to need these anymore.
Now, at this point you have a choice. If the dish that you’re making calls for just using the tip, and some of them do, take about another inch to two inches from the top and keep those tips apart, they’re generally the most tender part of the asparagus. The stalks you’re going to save for later if you need to, you could make say cream of asparagus or asparagus soup or just include them in any kind of a vegetable soup.
You can also cut this a whole bunch at the time if you’d like. Grasp them firmly and together like so with your fingers and gently bring pressure to bear with the knife. And that’s it. It’s that simple.
Now we come to peeling them. You don’t really need to peel the tops. They’re tender enough as it is. But if you’re going to use the stalks for a soup or something else, this is where your handy-dandy potato peeler comes in. What we’re looking to do is to take these leaves off ‘cause these can be a little bit harder than the once at the top. With a very careful motion, use your peeler away from you, never towards you, away from you and just lightly take off those little leaves and that’s it. That’s all you need to do to peel and cut an asparagus.