I love asparagus, especially fresh asparagus. I can eat it just by itself, drenched in hollandaise sauce, in a salad or in a casserole. However, I find that there aren't all that many good casserole recipes for asparagus or maybe I just haven't found them. This casserole is absolutely one of the best in my opinion. Two of my aunts each say this recipe is theirs so I am not sure which one made it first, but they both make it very tasty so I am just glad they shared it. I did make a few subtle changes to the recipe, but shhhh... don't tell the aunties! The recipe calls for canned asparagus and I am not a huge fan of canned asparagus so I used fresh and I added some celery, garlic powder and a little cheese. The recipe is delicious without any alterations though.
Here is what you will need:
Asparagus, ham, rice, onion, celery, cream of mushroom soup, cheddar cheese, small can of evaporated milk, corn flakes, butter, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Slice the asparagus on the diagonal in about 1 inch pieces. Break off the woody ends and discard those. Put about 2 inches of water and 1/2 tsp. salt in a deep skillet, add asparagus and bring to a low boil. Turn down to simmer and cook for about 3 minutes. The asparagus will turn bright green. Remove from heat and drain in a colander. It will be tender but still slightly crisp.
Rinse and wipe out the skillet and put 1 cup rice and two cups water along with 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, turn heat down and cover. Cook the amount of time it directs on the package. I am all about using as few pans and dishes as possible when cooking to make cleanup easier.
As soon as your rice has absorbed the water, remove the lid and fluff it up.
In another skillet saute ham, chopped celery, and onion in about 1 Tbs. butter just until the vegetables are slightly tender.
In the skillet with the rice, add the ham, celery, onion mixture, the asparagus, the mushroom soup, garlic powder, pepper, the cheese and the can of evaporated milk. Fold it all together and pour it into a casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray.
Place the cornflakes in a Ziploc bag and crush them slightly...not to fine crumbs. They should still resemble cornflakes. Melt 2 Tbs. butter and pour over the cornflakes. Spread over the top. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 35 minutes.
This is a great side dish for a holiday or special meal or with a salad and bread it makes a main dish for a light supper or lunch! It's a great way to use leftover ham.
2 cups asparagus (canned or fresh)
2 cups cooked rice
1 1/2 cups chopped ham
1 small can evaporated milk or a 1/2 cup half and half
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup cheddar cheese
3 Tbs butter
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups cornflakes for topping
1/2 tsp. pepper