During the summer months I’ll do just about anything to eat all of my meals outside, which means I end up throwing a wide variety of foods on the grill! On a recent visit to the Portland Farmers’ Market I found some beautiful, fresh asparagus spears that I couldn’t pass up. Asparagus is perfect for the grill because it’s a very sturdy vegetable, so you don’t have to worry too much about over cooking it! The asparagus will char slightly from the grates but also steam and take on a smoky flavor when the grill is closed. Top it off with some salty, spicy Tillamook Cheddar Jack Cheese sauce and you’ve got a dreamy side dish to go with your grilled burgers!
We’re nearing the end of asparagus season here in Oregon, they taste best from April to late June, so I recommend picking some up at the market this weekend. This is one grilling recipe you don’t want to miss out on this summer!
Spicy, Cheesy Grilled Asparagus
1 bunch fresh asparagus, with ends trimmed
2 cups whole milk
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon Tillamook Unsalted Butter
2 cups Tillamook Shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cayenne powder
1. Rinse and dry the asparagus, and then trim about ½ inch off the bottom of each stalk. Arrange them on a large piece of tin foil, and then fold the edges up to create a boat. Set aside.
2. Bring the milk to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, and then add the butter. Once the butter is completely melted, add the flour. Whisk continuously until mixture begins to thicken. Once thick, add all of the cheese and the spices. Stir until cheese is melted.
3. Pour the cheese sauce over the asparagus and transfer to the grill. Place the tin foil directly on the grates over indirect heat (if you are using a gas grill, turn one burner off, and place the asparagus there. On a charcoal grill, place the asparagus towards the edge of the grill).
4. Close the grill and allow the asparagus to cook for about 10 minutes. When done, the asparagus will be bright green and the cheese will be bubbly and beginning to brown.