Asparagus with Shallots

Nothing too fancy, though the ingredients sound a bit arch.

1 T. butter
½ T. oil

½ c. chopped shallot
2 bunches thin asparagus, washed, ends snapped

salt and pepper

Place the butter and oil in a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Toss in the shallots, and sauté until they are tender and just beginning to color. Add the asparagus on top of the shallots, plus 3 T. water, and slap a tight lid on the pan. Reduce the heat to medium. Allow the asparagus to steam for about five minutes, then remove the lid and salt the asparagus to taste. Then (using tongs makes this easiest) turn the asparagus so the pieces on the top go to the bottom and vice versa. Replace the lid and steam for another three minutes. It may be done after eight minutes, but it may take as much as ten total. If there is still some water remaining once the asparagus is cooked, raise the heat to high briefly to evaporate it, stirring occasionally to keep the shallots from burning. Season with pepper and more salt if necessary and serve hot.

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