By John Edward Young, Correspondent
12 thick asparagus spears, with tough ends trimmed off
6 thin slices of prosciutto (try imported Prosciutto de Parma)
2 ounces whipped cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives (optional)
Ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Blanch asparagus in boiling, salted water for three to five minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears. Plunge into iced water. Drain and blot on paper towels.
In a small bowl, combine cream cheese with garlic powder, chives, and pepper.
Spread a small amount of cheese mixture over each prosciutto half and, starting at the bottom end of asparagus, wrap prosciutto diagonally around each spear.
Lightly spray a baking sheet with vegetable cooking oil.
Arrange prosciutto-wrapped asparagus on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.