15 Oct Asperges à la Polonaise
Asperges à la Polonaise
15 October 2020
PREP. TIME: 5 MIN - COOK TIME: 10 min - SERVES: 4 - 6
Asparagus dressed with well seasoned melted butter is often considered to be good. The first problem though is that most people are not clear on how to melt butter to avoid the butter sediment remaining in the sauce. The other problem is that no matter how well the butter is prepared - melted butter has no means of adhering to the warm asparagus effectively. This is rather disappointing.
Asperges à la Polonaise is a classic dish of warm asparagus dressed with a mixture of melted butter and fine bread crumbs. The bread crumbs swell in the hot butter and produce a consistency that enables the sauce to adhere to the asparagus spears. You do need to take care in how you melt the butter - though this can be done while the asparagus are cooking. If you want to make the sauce first, set it aside and keep it warm while the asparagus cooks.
When served on warmed, individual, white plates the dish makes for a beautiful looking and excellent tasting first course.
The term ' à la Polonaise' refers to other dishes described in Polish cookery served in the same manner.
For best results - asparagus should be cooked the day they are picked.
Select asparagus with thick firm stems, which should still be creamy white in colour at the cut end. They will last up to 3 days in the vegetable crisper in the fridge. Choose thick green asparagus for best flavour and to mitigate the risk of overcooking the heads.
Be sure to use first grade butter. I recommend unsalted Lurpak brand.
Follow the guidelines below on how to melt the butter properly.
Green or purple asparagus have the best flavour. If you choose to use white asparagus - add a small amount of very finely chopped parsley, chives or tarragon to the sauce.
For more information on how to get the most out of your asparagus - click here
ingredients for 4- 6 serves
200g good quality, cold butter - such as Lurpak
3 teaspoons fine white breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Small, sharp kitchen knife
Large shallow pan to cook the asparagus in
Medium sized heavy based saucepan to make the butter sauce in
Wooden spoon for stirring
Metal spoon for distributing the sauce
Warm, white dinner plates - oval shape is ideal - for serving.
Step 1 - Prepare the asparagus
Snap the asparagus spears with your hands.
Trim them to equal length with a small kitchen knife, for presentation.
Pour about 4cm water into a large, shallow pan. Bring to the boil. Add a tablespoon of salt. Return to the boil and add the asparagus. Cover the pan and cook for about 4 - 10 minutes depending upon the freshness and thickness of the asparagus.
They are done when the tip of a small sharp knife easily penetrates the head and the spear is just becoming tender.
Step 2 - While the asparagus are cooking - make the sauce.
It is very important to melt the butter very carefully, otherwise the milk solids in the butter will spoil the look of the dish.
To melt the butter:
Cut cold butter into small cubes
Place the saucepan over low heat and add 1/4 of the butter and whisk vigorously.
As soon as the butter is melted, add half of the remaining butter and whisk until it boils again.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining butter, whisking it continuously until all of the butter is melted.
The sauce should be thick, smooth and creamy.
Stir in the bread crumbs.
Step 3 - To Serve
Drain the cooked asparagus on kitchen paper towel as soon as they are cooked.
Arrange them attractively, distributing them between each plate.
Using a metal spoon - spoon the sauce over the asparagus.
Sprinkle over sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
Recipe by Edouard Pomiane, Cooking with Pomiane
Adapted by Elizabeth Peddey.
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