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Radio Kitchen - Asparagus and Morels 3-29-11
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As the first produce of the Spring starts to move into our local markets, there are two items in particular that we might want to keep an eye out for. The first, asparagus, is quite easy to find, but may never be better than during these first few weeks of Spring. The second, morel mushrooms are more difficult to find, and their season is quite short. But these uniquely flavored fungi and worth the effort. Interestingly enough, asparagus and morels team up quite easily. Jerry had a great recipe that calls for both.
Asparagus and Morels in a Cream Sauce
1 pound fresh thin asparagus, cleaned and trimmed
4 tbs all purpose flour
1/2 stick of unsalted butter, cut into pats
2 cups half and half cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
6 ounces fresh morel mushrooms, hand cleaned, sliced lengthwise
butter for sauteeing
1. In a large deep skillet, blanche the asparagus in simmering water until tender. This will only take a minute. Shock the asparagus in very cold water, then set aside.
2. Prepare the cream sauce by first making a white roux with the flour and butter.
When it has attained a paste-like consistency, gradually pour in the cream and whisk until it becomes quite smooth, and quite thick. Add the grated cheese and the dash of cayenne. Blend well. Keep it warm on very low heat.
3. In a sautee pant, cook the mushrooms in the butter, being careful not to let the butter brown. The mushrooms will become soft as they cook. When the take on a golden color, they are done. Drain, pat dry, and keep warm.
4. Re-heat the asparagus, and then drain it. Assemble the spears on a long deep serving dish. Toss the morels on the asparagus, and cover with the cream sauce.
Serve at once.