Preparation / Directions:
Wash asparagus, removing with knife, scales that hold sand and grit. Lay 2 or 3 asparagus stalks together on cutting board. With sharp knife, cut on very long, slanting diagonal to end of green length of stalk, making bias slices not more than 1/4" thick and 1 1/2" long.
Put butter and water in large skillet with tight cover; heat.
Add asparagus, salt, and pepper. Cook, covered, over high heat 5 minutes, shaking skillet occasionally and checking once to see whether a bit more water is needed.
Test asparagus with fork; if not tender-crisp, cook 1 minute more.
Uncover at once, serve quickly.