Christmas Eve Dinner Starter – Asparagus spears wrapped in bacon served with cherry tomatoes and mushroom sauce

In our home at Christmas I usually cook the starter and always try do something new and a bit different. This year I got the idea of asparagus spears wrapped in bacon from a Jamie Oliver recipe I saw and thought how I could create my own spin on the dish and what I could add to it.

 

The quantities needed of the ingredients varies greatly depending on how many people you’re cooking for but you would need:

 

Bacon

Asparagus spears (fresh)

Cherry Tomatoes

Mushrooms

Cream

Butter

Flour

Cheddar

Garlic

Olive Oil

 

You start off by wrapping 3 asparagus spears in a piece of bacon, you should try wrap it in a way in which the bacon is not double layered. I wrapped some string around to hold the bacon while cooking, there is no need to tie a knot and it makes it easier when taking the string off later if you don’t.

I cooked the package in the pan with a bit of olive oil on a medium heat. Naturally you would want the bacon cooked through, I quite like having the asparagus a bit crunchy still on the inside and nice to the different texture when eating. When cooked you can simply unravel the string off your asparagus spear and bacon package.

 

I halved the cherry tomatoes and cooked them in the pan too with a bit of olive oil on a medium to high heat until their skins started to wrinkle a bit. I then displayed them on the plate as shown below.

 

To compliment the meal I made a basic mushroom sauce served in a shot glass. I diced the mushrooms very finely and sauted them on a medium to high heat with a knob of butter. To thicken the sauce a bit I used a teaspoon of flour, this said the sauce needs to be fairly runny to be served from the shot glass as do the mushrooms need to be finely diced. Stir the flour into the mushrooms, there should be a fair amount of liquid being given off by the mushrooms and you shoud cook some of this off. Turn the heat down and then start adding the cream. You would need to “cook the flour taste out of the sauce” and then add cream to make it as thick or thin as you wish. To add a bit of flavour I added a bit of diced garlic, small handful of grated Cheddar, a smattering of barbeque spices and season with salt and pepper.

 

You would need to cook all 3 aspects of the dish at the same time in order for them to all be  hot when served but it’s not particularly difficult to do. The asparagus spears and bacon packages can be pre-made and simply cooked when needed.

Advertisements