When I make asparagus, I cut off the ends and boil them in water for about 5 minutes. I discard the ends, and add the other half of the (uncooked) asparagus into the pan with the same water for 8-10 minutes (medium high heat). Afterwards, I place the asparagus on a baking sheet, top with cheese, and put it in the oven at 350 degrees until the cheese melts. My question is.. Why do my asparagus come out too chewy/soggy? Am I cooking them for too long? What would you suggest I do differently to get the right texture? Thanks!
I think you are over cooking them. Asparagus is a very delicate shoot, and it goes from nice and crispy to flat and soggy pretty quickly. Some people like it that way, but not me. I like mine hot, but still crisp.
The way I prepare asparagus with water is in a frying pan. Lay the asparagus out in the pan and just cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and immediately pull the asparagus out. It's ready to serve right then.
Sometimes I like to grill it, but that takes a little practice to get the timing just right and also not dropping them through the grill. :-\
I would agree that you are overcooking. I quite often make pasta with asparagus and a cheese sauce, and I cut the asparagus up so that the tips are about 1" long, getting shorter towads the opposite ("woody") end, as the smaller chunks decrease the cooking time for the tougher parts.
All I do is add them in with the boiling pasta water for 3-5 minutes, which seems to cook them enough while maintaining a nice crisp texture.