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Friday, May 26, 2006

Asparagus Disguised as Peas



Kevin, of Seriously Good, has asked for a plethora of recipes, an Asparagus Extravaganza, if you will.

Asperges en petits pois
Ayez des petites asperges; coupez tout le tender comme des petis pois; étant bien lavées vous les faites faire deux ou trios bouillons à l’eau bouillante; égouttez et les passez sur le feu avec un bon morceau de beurre, un bouquet de persil, ciboules, un clou de girofle, un peu de sariette; mettez-y une pincée de farine; mouillez de bouillon, un peu de sucre et du sel; faites cuire et réduire à courte sauce; en finissant mettez-y une liaison de juanes d’oeuf et de crème.


Menon, Les Soupers de la cour (1755), 4:173-74.

Asparagus Disguised as Peas
1 pound slender asparagus, weighed after the tough ends are cut off
3 tablespoons butter
a bouquet of 3 or 4 sprigs of parsley, 2 scallions, trimmed, 1 whole clove, and 3 or 4 sprigs winter savory, all tied with string
2 teaspoons flour
½ cup bouillon
1 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste
2 egg yolks
¼ cup cream

Clean the asparagus and cut it into pea-sized lengths. Bring water to a boil and parboil them in it for or two minutes, then drain. Melt the butter in a saucepan until it bubbles; add the asparagus and the bundle of herbs; sauté until half cooked, and then stir in the flour. Cook and stir for another minute or two, then add the bouillon, the sugar, and some salt. Cook and stir until the liquid has thickened and reduced slightly. Remove the mixture from the fire, also remove the herb bouquet. Beat together the egg yolks and the cream; stir some of the asparagus mixture into it, and then pour the liaison into the saucepan; stir the mixture well together and heat, but do not boil. Serve at once as a separate dish or as a garnish.

1983 Wheaton, Barbara Ketcham. SAVORING THE PAST : The French Kitchen And Table from 1300 to 1789. Touchstone, New York, NY, p. 268.

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