Sometimes my eyes are bigger than my stomach. Almost never, but sometimes. And sometimes, when I see a good deal on a food I love, this same effect occurs. I went to Stanley’s on Sunday and saw that asparagus was on sale for 49 cents per pound. Um, what?
Once I saw the price, I obviously bought 2 big bunches. Total cost was $1.04, I am still in shock over that. This was also my favorite kind of asparagus, the really skinny kind. I like the skinny kind because it still stays crunchy and with the wide kind, I often overcook it. The first batch, I just roasted in the oven with a little bit of olive oil and sea salt. While it was delicious, I ate asparagus in 4 different meals and was getting really sick of it. Since I am not one to waste food, I knew I had to get creative for the second bunch. Thinking about eating another piece of just plain asparagus sounded far from appealing so I knew it had to be something really different. I initially thought about making a soup, but I have been eating black bean soup for like a week straight so that didn’t sound so hot either.
I decided to make an asparagus puree which was a great decision if I have ever made one. The puree is SO good. As in, I could (and did) eat it straight out of the food processor with a spoon. Eventually I put it on a baguette so as to be a bit more classy.
Asparagus Puree on toasted baguette
1 bunch of asparagus (about 1 pound?), ends cut off
1/2 cup ricotto cheese (I used low fat)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic
4 t olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/8 t chili powder
1/2 t dijon mustard
1 baguette, cut into thin pieces
Butter or olive oil for baguette
Boil water and cook asparagus for just a few minutes (3?) until it turns bright green. You can test a piece if you are unsure–it should be a little crunchy still but definitely taste cooked. Once the asparagus is cooked to your liking, rinse in cold water to stop the cooking. Drain the water and let dry. Chop the asparagus into pieces (which can be done at the beginning too) and add to food processor. Add the garlic, ricotta, lemon juice, salt, pepper, mustard and puree until smooth.
Butter bread- or you could use more olive oil here in place of the butter and broil for probably 2 minutes, watch it closely so it doesn’t burn. Then spread the puree on bread and eat. If you are anything like me, repeat the eating part at least 5 times.
I know that if you are buying asparagus, which is usually pretty expensive, your first thought probably isn’t going to be that you want to puree it. But think again dear friends because this is honestly the best way I have ever eaten asparagus. Talk to me again next week when I have forgotten the pounds of asparagus I have eaten and I might tell you another story but for now I’m sticking to it.
Now for my Kuma’s Corner review. I know you were all waiting in nervous anticipation. I went with my friend Carolyn because we hadn’t seen each other/caught up in awhile. As I mentioned here, she is moving in a few short months so she wanted to go somewhere that she had never been. Kuma’s Corner was on the list of places and sounded like a great idea! It had been raining the whole day but nothing too serious and then right around the time we were supposed to leave it started lightning, thundering and hailing. We at first thought about just rescheduling but figured that it might be best to go in bad weather because maybe there would be less of a wait (this place is known for 2+ hour waits). We sucked it up and found a parking spot right out front which seemed to be a good omen. I seriously was expecting the place to be empty based on weather, but there ended up being an hour wait. Still not as bad as I was expecting so that was fine. A word about Kuma’s–they always blast metal music so don’t expect to come and have a super intimate dinner. And it is very small which is why the wait is always so long. But I thought the atmosphere was fun, the artwork on the walls was very loud and all of the waitresses/bartenders were heavily tattoed. All of these factors gave the place a different but fun vibe.
After about 30 minutes, 2 spots opened up at the bar and we took those. Nice touch that the hostess told us double the time it would be so we were happy about the ‘short’ wait. I used to just randomly make up a number when I was a hostess and I was usually wrong and people waiting would get upset. Oops…not my calling I guess.
We started out by ordering a beer. Neither Carolyn or I were sure what to order because they have a lot of different beers. We asked the bartender for a recommendation for a lighter beer and she happily gave us two to try. We both decided on the Lagunitas IPA which was really good. I also had a really hard time trying to decide what to order because all of the burgers looked delicious. I eventually decided on the Absu which was ’10 oz. Patty, spicy tomatillo salsa, pepperjack, red onion/avocado relish, queso fresco, trio of breaded deep fried chiles’ and Carolyn got the Brujeria which was ‘Cream Cheese and Chorizo Stuffed Jalapeno Popper, Cheddar Cheese and Charred Tomato Salsa’.
Mine was really hot/spicy which-duh it has deep fried chiles on it. It was sooooo good though. The burger itself (which I ordered medium) was a little pink on the inside and one of the best burgers I have ever had, really juicy and full of flavor. All of the ingredients really combined well together to make a delicous burger. It wouldn’t have been quite as good without a single one of them. I loved the avocado/onion relish and even though the chiles were super hot, they added a great kick to the overall taste. I also had a bite of Carolyn’s and loved hers too. Hers was not as spicy but still had a ton of flavor. The burgers also came out pretty quickly once we ordered. I had read sometimes they take a long time since the kitchen is so small. The portions were hugeee and I ended up taking half of my burger home. Although I think I could have finished the whole thing had I been really hungry.
The only thing I was a little disappointed in were the fries. They were not that good, almost soggy and not super warm so I didn’t eat very many of them. All in all though, a great place and one I would definitely go back to to try some of the other burgers.
Now I’m off to eat more bread+asparagus puree.
I have tomorrow off and am headed back to Bloomington to meet the fam for Easter. See you there!