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Beef & Asparagus Spears (Makes 48 appetizers)
2 lb. beef tenderloin, fully trimmed
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Kosher (coarse) salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic, minced
8 oz. Ricotta part skim milk cheese
1 Tbs. parsley, minced
1 small scallion, minced
Juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
48 asparagus spears
1 bunch chives or thin scallions

Rub beef with oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Marinate for one hour at room temperature. Insert meat thermometer into tenderloin. Roast in hot oven (425 degrees) to desired doneness (140 degrees for rare). Refrigerate overnight.

Combine ricotta cheese with parsley, minced scallion, lemon juice and zest, and white pepper. Refrigerate overnight for flavors to blend.

Trim asparagus and blanch spears in boiling salted water for one minute; cool. Slice tenderloin into thin slices and spread with cheese mixture. Lay asparagus spear near one end of beef slice. Roll up in jelly roll manner, leaving tip and stalk exposed. Secure each roll with scallion or chive tie.

Recipe Tips:

Frozen asparagus spears may be used. Allow them to defrost and omit the blanching step.
Each roll may be secured with a frilly toothpick.
A purchased herbed cream cheese spread could be substituted to cut preparation time.
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