Asparagus Clafoutis

It's this time of year again: asparagus season! Around here it's in the spring trilogy: rhubarb, strawberries and asparagus. Now that I've overcomed my childhood trauma, I can actually cook them everynow and than. Afterall, they're only in season for a few more weeks here.

Now the fun part for me, is to find a way to prepare them, that isn't the "traditionnal" one here: cooked in water and served with a sauce and some ham. Coming across a recipe from the chef Eric Frechon in a magazine, I thought this might be a nice change.

What I found very interesting in this recipe, is that every part of the asparagus got to be used in the process, from the peels to the head. This attention to details and more elaborated recipe is the touch of a chef that got his 3rd Michelin star in 2009.

I think I'll try more in the future to include all the parts of the vegetables that are used in a recipe, at least this way there will be less waist. The other nice discovery here is the combination of asparagus with parmigiano, that will be used again in a recipe (most likely soon on this blog), because they go very well together.

Asparagus Clafoutis
(based on a recipe from Eric Frechon in Cuisine et Vins De France N°145)

Serves 2

300gr of White Asparagus
4 Eggs
25cl of Soy Cream
100gr of Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated
Salt, Pepper

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Butter your oven dish.

Clean and peel the asparagus, keep the peels. Cut the asparagus in 3 parts: add the end part to the peels, dice the middle part into small cubes and set the head aside.

In a big pan place the peels and the end part and cover them with water, salt a little and let it bubble for about 10 minutes.

Using a skimmer, take out the peels and end parts, you won't need them anymore. Place the asparagus heads in the broth, still bubbling, and let them cook for about 4 minutes. Still using the skimmer, take them out carefull and set them aside.

Now add the soy cream and the diced asparagus in the broth, let it cook for about 10 minutes. After that time, using a plonging mixer, off the heat, mix the broth.

In a bowl, beat the eggs together, add about 4 ladle of the broth (200 to 300ml). Season with pepper and add the parmigiano at this stage.

In the oven dish that you have buttered, place the asparagus heads on the bottom, and pour over it the eggs and broth mixture. Place in the oven for about 50 minutes, it should look a little like a soufflé in the end and have a nice golden top.

Serve hot or at room temperature, with a salad or fancier, with some morels and cream.

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