Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Asparagus alla Milanese
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Whenever you have leftover day-old bread — preferably a baguette or rustic white loaf — cut it into slices, place on a baking sheet and dry out the slices in the oven at 300°F for about 10 minutes. Process the toasted bread in a food processor to make crumbs. Store the crumbs in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 4 months. This ancient recipe, which has remained modern, was, it is said, a great favorite of Julius Caesar
Asparagus alla Milanese
- 1 lb. medium asparagus spears, tough ends removed
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 4 extra-large eggs
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil.
- Add the asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and divide the spears evenly among warmed plates.
- In a large fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Break each egg into the pan, taking care not to puncture the yolk or let the egg whites overlap. Cook for 2 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 2 Tbs. water into the pan, cover and cook until the whites are solid but the yolks are still runny, about 2 minutes more.
- Using a spatula, carefully drape 1 fried egg over each serving of asparagus. Sprinkle each serving liberally with the cheese and serve immediately.
Related Slideshow: The Best Weiners in RI
Olneyville NY System
The quote from the James Beard Foundation says it all: "Olneyville New York System, despite its name, serves food that is distinctive to Rhode Island. Slathered with mustard, topped with meat sauce, sprinkled with celery salt and onions, and served in a steamed bun, the hot wiener is signature as are the salt and vinegar French fries. The preferred drink is coffee milk, made in Rhode Island by flavoring milk with a sweetened coffee concentrate called coffee syrup." Enough said!
18 Plainfield St. 401-621-9500.
Original New York System
For decades, this “weenie joint” has been a staple of lunch and late-night crowds. One of the oldest and best in the state, it now has a new owner for the first time in generations. David Giardino is the new—the first generation—owner of Original New York System Hot Wieners. A born-and-raised Rhode Islander, he is a successful entrepreneur who, as he says, he “grew up with wieners and coffee milk and wanted to help preserve the tradition.” And preserve it he has. It’s spiffed-up but still serving the best hot wieners around. They’ve added a few burgers and whatnot to the menu, too.
424 Smith St. 331-5349.
Cosmic Steak and Pizza
We have been eating the wieners at Cosmic since we were in, ahem, high school. And a visit to this Warwick institution (which has been proudly serving great grub since 1976) on a recent Saturday night shows that not much has changed. Teens and families wait patiently at the counter for the plethora of tasty treats on the menu—everything from fresh salads, to baked pastas, to steak sandwiches, to pepperoni pies, to hot wieners. And, oh, the wieners are top-notch. The buns are always properly steamed, never a tough or waterlogged bun to be had here. The meat sauce is terrific and we always end up with some crispy fries to go along with the tasty wieners. These babies have that “snap” that you look for in a good wiener.
1141 Post Rd. 401-781-5410
Sam's New York System
We discovered this spot on our way to one of our favorite Italian take-out joints. We figured...why not some wieners to tide us over? The staff was very friendly and helped guide us through what they do well. That turned out to be just about everything we tried. The wieners were fantastic. The meat sauce, in particular, was one of the best we tried. It had a little spice to it and it accented the celery salt nicely. We also enjoyed the shoestring fries. They were crisp and not at all greasy.
1031 Mineral Spring Ave. 401-722-7922
The Rodriguez family has been building hot wieners here using the same recipe for more than 50 years. The grandkids run it now using the same recipes Grandma Rodriguez used. Rod’s is a townie kind of place, a greasy spoon that serves up cheap eats and everybody knows everybody else’s name. We’re talking traditional comfort food here. Large portions to fill the fishermen and other blue-collar workers bellies are the norm. The family takes great care to make you feel like you are a long lost relative. We like our wieners here with a little extra mustard and extra meat sauce. Don’t forget to add some fries on the side and a coffee milk never hurt anyone!
6 Washington St. 401-245-9405
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