With over 100 company-owned and franchised restaurants throughout the Eastern and Midwestern United States, RARE Hospitality International Inc. has a fast-growing presence in the steakhouse segment of the dining industry. This relative newcomer to the market--at scarcely 15 years in business, compared to such 1960s-era chains as Ponderosa and Bonanza--RARE's irreverent style of "cowboy cuisine" shook up the segment. By 1996, the company's core chain of LongHorn Steakhouses numbered 81 units. Following its initial public offering in 1992, the company acquired the Bugaboo Creek Steak House chain and its smaller The Capital Grille group of pricey eateries. Founder George W. McKerrow, Jr. continued to serve the company as chairman through the mid-1990s.

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Parmesan Crusted Asparagus



PARMESAN CRUSTED ASPARAGUS
Longhorn Steakhouse Copycat Recipe

Serves 6

1 pound fresh asparagus
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
2 cups buttermilk
oil for frying
Parmesan cheese for grating

Trim asparagus by removing the bottom inch, you can save the trimmings for soup stock. In a shallow bowl combine flour, grated Parmesan, and seasoned salt. Stir to combine the coating well. In another shallow dish add 2 cups of buttermilk.

Coat asparagus first in flour, then dip into buttermilk, and then dredge in the Parmesan coating again. Place the coated asparagus on a wire rack. Repeat with all asparagus. Allow asparagus to rest about 5 minutes before frying.

Add enough oil to your cooking vessel to cover the bottom 2 inches. I like to use vegetable oil, corn oil, or even cotton seed oil. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Drop a few pieces in at a time, and fry until golden brown. Remove golden asparagus and allow to drain on a wire rack.

You may want to serve this with some Ranch dipping sauce.

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