Cook Your Comics: An Appetizer for Hourman

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Remember last November when I shared all my best Thanksgiving recipes in a four-part, JSA potluck-themed extravaganza? No? Through the magic of the internet, you can revisit them now:

But what if you get invited to a superteam Thanksgiving potluck, and you’re an android or some other type of person who doesn’t need or like to cook very much? When Hourman was invited to a JSA-JLA dinner, he did his best to get into the spirit of the occasion, but—not being a food-eating entity—his understanding of the details was a little fuzzy. The result:

panel from Hourman #18. Tom Peyer (writer), Rags Morales (penciler), David Meikis (inker), John Kalisz (colorist). DC Comics, 2000

Aww, Hourman.

A few people giggled, but it turned out okay thanks to delightful gentleman Jay Garrick, who has lots of experience zipping in to save the day and/or a person/android’s feelings.

panels from Hourman #18. Tom Peyer (writer), Rags Morales (penciler), David Meikis (inker), John Kalisz (colorist). DC Comics, 2000

I hope they find a way to work this scene into The Flash TV show.

But there’s a way to make deli meat a welcome contribution at any party: Roast Beef-Wrapped Asparagus with Horseradish Cream Sauce. It’s easy and slightly fancy, and once again proves that the tastiest way to eat vegetables is to cover them in meat and dairy products. Even if you don’t cook much, this could be your ticket to potluck popularity!

There are always fancier, more complicated ways to make a dish, but simple foods are often the best ones. Some recipes for horseradish cream sauce call for whipping heavy cream, then adding horseradish and other ingredients, but it takes some effort to whip cream, especially if you don’t have an electric mixer. This recipe takes almost no time at all and requires no special equipment. Make the sauce first so the flavors have time to meld while you’re working on the asparagus.

Easy Horseradish Cream Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 or 3 Tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • dash of cayenne pepper (optional, to taste)
Directions

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, starting with just 2 tablespoons of horseradish (you can add more to taste). Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour—overnight is even better. The flavors will intensify with time. Serve chilled.

Roast Beef-Wrapped Asparagus

Ingredients

  • fresh asparagus
  • thinly sliced deli roast beef
Directions

I didn’t specify amounts because they depend on each other. You need one slice of roast beef for every asparagus spear, or every two spears if the spears are extra thin.

Wash the asparagus, then snap the bottom off each spear because the bottom is tough and fibrous and not good to eat, so toss those away. Asparagus grows in a segmented way that allows you to snap it cleanly at the part where it becomes tender. It’s an excellent design.

Now steam your asparagus. You can use a vegetable steamer if you have one, or put a metal colander inside a tall pot with water boiling at the bottom. Don’t let the water touch the bottom of the colander—you want to steam the asparagus, not boil it. Put a lid on and let the asparagus steam for at least 5 or 6 minutes. The color usually will become a more vibrant green when it’s steamed. You want the asparagus to remain somewhat crisp, so don’t steam it too long or the spears will get limp.

steaming asparagus

Mmmm, healthy! (just kidding: meat and cream sauce to follow)

When the asparagus is done, pull it out of the steam and lay it on a plate to cool. Once it’s cool, wrap each stalk (or two stalks if they’re very thin and you feel like doubling up—it’s up you) in a slice of roast beef.

Handling the roast beef can be tricky if it’s sliced extremely thin, so take your time. When I went to the deli to get my roast beef, I asked for very thin slices. The woman who took my order sliced it so thin it bordered on sarcasm, but it was melt-in-your-mouth tender and delicious.

extremely thin roast beef

Seriously, it was like lace made of cow.

The finished product didn’t look as polished as it might have with slightly thicker beef slices, but it tasted great. My guests devoured the whole tray in a matter of minutes.

roast beef-wrapped asparagus with horseradish cream sauce

Always an appropriate food. Happy Thanksgiving, Hourman!

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About Author

Annie Bulloch writes about comics and pop culture from the perspective of a retailer and longtime fan. She co-owns 8th Dimension Comics & Games in Houston, Texas, where she is Director of Marketing and frequently hosts store events, including a regular Ladies' Night. She loves comics, cooking, and pop culture. Find her on Twitter and Tumblr: @texasannie

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