White Asparagus & Hollandaise
For asparagus, made with sour orange juice.
(Mikado is made with tangerine juice.)
The method is the same as for Hollandaise.
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons orange (tangerine) juice
2 teaspoons fine grated rind
½ teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper
3 egg yolks
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted
Make an infusion of water, lemon juice and ¼ cup orange juice, rind, salt and pepper
Reduce to 2 or 3 tablespoons.
Remove from heat, let cool a little.
Whisk liquid into yolks, tempering a little at a time to prevent eggs from scrambling.
Return to the pan, and cook slowly until the mixture thickens slightly and makes a custard.
Remove from heat, and whisk in ¼ cup of melted, cooled, butter a teaspoon at a time, whisking well with each addition. When the /4 cup is incorporated, continue whisking in the remaining butter a tablespoons at a time, incorporating well with each addition.
Incorporate remaining 2 tablespoons of orange juice, 1 teaspoon at a time to lighten sauce as needed if it gets too thick. Strain and serve with blanched asparagus
Refer to MM Kamman THE MAKING OF A COOK
Zucchini Blossoms in Herbed Broth
3 blossoms per person, pistols removed
1 cup fromage blanc
¼ cup crème fraiche
2 tablespoons finely grated parma cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chicken broth
½ to ¾ cup chopped herbs
parsley, chives, tarragon
Loosen the fresh goat cheese with some crème fraiche. Flavor with a bit of Parmesan mixed in. Stuff each blossom with about a tablespoons of the goat cheese mix and close carefully. Arrange the blossoms in a skillet side by side in a circle. Add the butter and warm enough to melt. Put a cover on the pan and cook slowly until the blossoms wilt. They will give up some water.
Remove the blossoms to individual serving bowls. Add the broth to the pan in which the blossoms cooked. Heat and season to taste. Add the herbs, then divide the broth among the bowls and serve at once.
Sometimes simplicity is breath taking. I slipped a souffléd omelet into today’s menu. We were focusing on home cooking, and the omelet is the sort of thing a home cook in France might make. We started by soaking cake crumbs in a sugar/water syrup flavored with rum. We were careful to moisten the crumbs but not to get them drunk with too much strong flavor. A small amount seemed enticing.
We took eggs and beat them with sugar, then flavored them with orange flower water and vanilla. We whipped them until they doubled in volume. As the eggs thickened they started to resembled cream when it is whipped thick enough to leave tracks of the whip.
I threw a lump of good French butter into a skillet and let it melt. When the eggs were ready, I simply poured them into the skillet and let them cook at a moderate heat. I didn’t want to burn the butter, and I didn’t want to burn the eggs. After a minute and a half or so on the flame, I slipped a spatula under the eggs, lifted them up to see if the bottom of the omelet was taking on color. It wasn’t, so I kept cooking another couple of minutes. I checked the bottom of the omelet regularly.
Once I saw a crust of golden color developing, I dropped the rum soaked cake crumbs in a line across the middle of the omelet. I removed the pan from the flame, and placed it in a 375oF oven. I arranged flat soup bowls on the counter while the omelet cooked. After just a few minutes it had risen, and taken on light golden color. I removed it from the oven.
I inverted the omelet onto a large plate, rolling as it left the skillet. I wanted to shape it to look like a jelly roll cake. I took my knife, sliced it in four servings, set them in a bowl, and served the dessert. The aroma of the rum issuing from the cake blended with the good French butter, so that before we tasted we already were emitting little ‘mmmmm’s of satisfaction.
It was like a fine bread pudding, better for having been made with cake, and lighter in body. But it wasn’t like bread pudding which we all agreed we didn’t like. It was like a cake. Light, flavorful, moist in the center. That suited us better
Golden raisins, soaked in Armagnac
Prunes, cut in 6ths, the size of the raisins, added to Armagnac
Add raspberry jam to cut strawberries and macerate until the berries start to give up their juice. Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.